Submit your story, memory, advice, or prediction using this form.
Answer: Five, seven, nine, eight, six, five
Question: How many SCUP regions have there been in the past 50 years?
SCUP members around the world are each assigned a regional home, but the number, composition, and names have changed several times.
The mission of SCUP regions is to facilitate programmatic exchanges, people connections, and volunteer and leadership development at the grassroots level.
Fifty years ago, SCUP’s original 311 charter members hailed from five countries. Those in the United States and Canada were assigned to the five original regions, with Australia, Belgium, and New Zealand in an “Overseas” category.
Realignments over the years were made to respond to changes in population,member distribution, and airline travel patterns.
The 2003 realignment connected members from countries around the world with the five regions we know today.
1966–1971: Five regions
1971–1979: Seven regions
1979–1996: Nine regions
1996–1997: Eight regions
1997–2003: Six regions
2003–present: Five regions
Click here to see the countries, Canadian provinces, Mexican states, and US states and territories in each SCUP region today.
||SCUP’s anniversary year has been marked not only by looking back, but facing forward. Read some of your responses to the 50th anniversary website questionnaire.
What has been SCUP's greatest impact on higher education? On you?
What advice do you have for someone new to higher education planning?
What are your predictions for higher education in 2025?
Share you thoughts! The questionnaire will be available on the website through the end of December 2015.
Starting in 2002, Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Initiative provided grants to 86 US campuses that focused on the preservation of heritage buildings as well as the conservation of landscape and significant sites.
As the first of the grant recipients completed their projects, Getty Foundation leaders realized that the reports could be strong resources for colleges and universities working to preserve their historic resources, and offered the opportunity to demonstrate how preservation could be integrated into the master planning process.
The Getty Foundation awarded SCUP a $300,000 grant in 2008 to analyze project results, share lessons learned with the broader higher education community, and develop partnerships with other organizations interested in preservation planning. Claire Turcotte was named project administrator for SCUP.
Each of the individual campus heritage projects was showcased on a special website starting in 2009. SCUP published a special themed issue of Planning for Higher Education in April 2011, and hosted the SCUP Campus Heritage Symposium in November 2011 in Washington, DC, to share lessons learned in a face-to-face setting.
Explore the more than 80 higher education historic preservations plans in the Getty database.
Read the special issue of Planning for Higher Education, “Integrated Planning to Ensure the Preservation of Campus Heritage”
||What could SCUP and its members contribute to higher education in our next 10, 15, 25 years? Members posted responses to that question in the 50th anniversary space at SCUP–50.
The gavel used by Kermit “K.C.” Parsons, SCUP’s first president, is the newest donation to the SCUP archives. Who was this renowned founding member?
Kermit Carlyle Parsons was professor and chair of city and regional planning at Cornell University when he was elected SCUP’s first president in 1966.
Along with Albert Wagner, John Telfer, and Harold Goyette, he is considered one of the “four fathers” of SCUP, charter members who identified the need for a professional association for college and university planning and made it a reality.
Parsons measured his success by the positive impact his work had on the people using the space or facility that he helped plan.
He was the author of numerous books, including SCUP’s first publication, An Annotated Bibliography on University Planning and Development. SCUP honored him in 1985 by creating the K.C. Parsons Founders Award for Distinguished Achievement in Higher Education Planning.
After serving as dean of the college of architecture, art and planning at Cornell, Parsons returned to teaching and later became director of the Cornell-in-Washington program. He died in 1999.
Stephen Parsons donated the gavel used by his father to call early SCUP meetings to order. He was glad to hear that it would find a place of honor during SCUP’s 50th year. “K.C. would have liked that kind of historic touch.”
Do you have items for the SCUP archives at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library? Email email@example.com.
Photo: K.C. Parsons
Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 was the most destructive natural disaster in history, causing severe damage to Gulf Coast states from central Florida to Texas. More than 1,800 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, and over one million were displaced. These included college students preparing for the fall semester. SCUP took action to coordinate response by the higher ed community.
Within three days of the disaster, SCUP had set up an email listserv to connect displaced students with 200 colleges and universities across the country that offered opportunities to temporarily continue studies on their campuses during the recovery period.
Institutions were generous with offers that included expedited admissions, free tuition, and room and board. Nearly 1,000 subscribers joined the listserv in its first 48 hours. In the months that followed, SCUP continued to provide college and universities with resources on disaster planning and response. These included a January 2006 web conference, “Lessons from Katrina: Improving Emergency Preparedness Plans,” co-hosted with the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS).
Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
People often talk about the impact and special memories of their very first SCUP event—whether an international or regional conference, a workshop, or the planning institute. That's what sparked the idea for a commemorative poster of logos from SCUP's first 50 annual, international conferences. See the poster that was distributed at SCUP–50.
What college was the site of SCUP's first annual conference?
The history exhibit from SCUP–50 is now online.
The commemorative booklet includes reflections on the themes that distinguish SCUP and the ways in which the society has had an impact, told in the words of SCUP members. The expanded online version also lists annual conference themes and locations, award recipients, presidents and board chairs, chief staff officers, and a special thanks to all who contributed to the anniversary observance.
Blenda Wilson, president of California State University-Northridge, shared her remarkable story of leading an institution through disaster and recovery in a 1997 plenary address at SCUP-32 in Chicago.
More than 7,000 people were injured and 57 lost their lives when a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California on January 17, 1994. Cal State-Northridge was the closest university to the epicenter of the quake.
"If anybody had told me before the '94 quake that all the buildings on campus would be damaged and closed, I would have said they were crazy,” said Wilson. “But that's what happened—every last one of them. A few we were able to open up in a week or so, but others have taken years to repair or replace."
After the Northridge earthquake, universities in the Los Angeles area realized that the San Andreas Fault wasn't the only earthquake source to worry about. Cal State-Northridge was sitting virtually on top of a previously undiscovered fault.
SCUP has provided a range of disaster planning and emergency management resources over the years. These included a 2002 audio conference on higher education and community collaborations in disaster mitigation; a compilation of web-based resources; and a 2007 monograph by then-SCUP president Sal Rinella on the role of college and university presidents in disaster planning and response that was distributed to every institution of higher education in the United States.
Blenda Wilson served as president of California State University-Northridge from 1992-2001. She was the first African-American woman to lead a university with an enrollment of more than 25,000 students.
SCUP annual conferences have featured a wide range of influential presenters. One went on to become president of the United States.
Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia when he spoke about the changing environment in higher education at SCUP–7 (August 1972, Atlanta, GA).
News from SCUP reported that the 350+ attendees heard Carter criticize colleges and universities for their failure to provide greater and more direct assistance in solving the problems of society.
The governor was highly critical of the institutions for their unwillingness to divulge their long-range plans to state and other governmental agencies and argued that it was impossible to divorce planning for the future of higher education from planning for the future of all public services.
Echoing other speakers at the conference, Carter stressed that colleges and universities would be subject to more stringent financial accountability.
“There can be no more hallowed financial ground for the higher education system,” he warned. “We must make an inquisitive examination of funds for higher education.”
Carter suggested that ways would have to be found to employ “the same funds to educate the same students better or to educate more students with the same funds.”
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
By Maria Wilpon, principal at Stantec, New York, NY
SCUP’s major impact on higher education is that it not only allows the campus-based community to share what is happening at their institutions, but it invites everybody together: sharing ideas, growing within our respective professions, making new friendships. That is priceless.
SCUP is not a place that you just go to sell your business. It’s a place where you meet people and share a passion that is higher education—either from the institutional side or from the consultant side. We’re eager to learn from each other; we have a common interest.
There’s not one other organization out there that connects people the way SCUP does, and that’s a great strength.
Maria Wilpon, a long-time SCUP member and volunteer, currently serves on the North Atlantic Regional Council as sponsorship co-chair.
Highly respected for his visionary work on integrating campuses into the natural environment and community, Chapman was a treasured mentor and generous colleague. His passion for the environment was very much a part of his daily life. While raising three daughters, he and his wife Dawn had but one family car. Chapman rode his bike to work every day—rain or shine—for 40 years, and enjoyed hiking and camping his way through the mountains of New Hampshire and New York.
During his 46-year career at Sasaki Associates, Chapman took pride in his work with the Olympics, managing large-scale environmental and public policy planning for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the late ‘90s, he became principal in charge of Sasaki’s work at the University of Missouri-Columbia, extending the legacy of long-time SCUP member and Distinguished Service Award recipient Jack Robinson, who served as UM’s master planner for 16 years.
In 2012, the Hideo Sasaki Foundation sought to work with SCUP to establish a memorial to Perry Chapman. It was to honor both Hideo Sasaki’s commitment to integrated planning and Chapman’s passion for developing and sharing knowledge with the campus planning community. The Perry Chapman Prize, now in its third year, is a SCUP competition that funds research in the planning and design of institutions of higher education.
SCUP conferences have featured influential speakers over the years, but R. Buckminster Fuller holds a special place in SCUP history.
The world renowned architect-designer—widely known for popularizing the geodesic dome and inventing the Dymaxion house—presented the opening plenary address, “Humans in the Universe,” on July 31, 1978 at SCUP–13 in Hollywood-By-The-Sea, FL.
Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive and integrated perspective on the world's problems,pioneering solutions that reflected the potential of innovative design to create technology that does “more with less” to solve global problems surrounding housing, shelter, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty.
Fuller died in 1983 and was honored with a special resolution at the annual business meeting at SCUP–18:
“ . . . as the 18th annual international conference of the society focuses on Managing Technology so shortly after the death of this renaissance man who sought to relate man and nature through creative technology, SCUP expresses grateful tribute and corporate sorrow to the family of Richard Buckminster Fuller.”
The tribute was included in the official minutes “so as to perpetuate the example and inspiration of this self-styled ‘comprehensivist’ among the membership.”
Learn more about Fuller and his ideas: Everything I Know: 42 Hours of Buckminster Fuller’s Visionary Lectures Free Online (1975)
1985: SCUP Mid-Atlantic Regional Looks to the FutureThirty years ago, higher education icons George Keller and Robert Zemsky co-anchored the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convocation at the University of Pennsylvania. Their remarks proved prescient.
Zemsky identified three areas that institutional planners should concentrate upon:
Keller emphasized a more external perspective, with six areas he described as needing attention:
Today, SCUP events continue to explore how institutions address the internal and external forces disrupting the status quo and threatening the achievement of mission. The SCUP 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Planning for Change: Cultural, Technological, and Economic Shifts in Higher Education, will take place March 8–10, 2015, in Norfolk, VA.
In 1985, George Keller was senior vice president of the Barton-Gillet Company, Baltimore, MD. He retired in 1994 as professor of higher-education studies at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Keller received the SCUP Founders Award in 1988 and served as executive editor of the Planning for Higher Education journal from 1990-1997. He died in 2007.
In 1985, Robert Zemsky was director of planning analysis at the University of Pennsylvania. Today, he chairs the Learning Alliance for Higher Education and is the founding director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
In February 2002, institutional and corporate planners from Australia, New Zealand, England, Northern Ireland, Canada, and the United States gathered at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for SCUP’s “Road to Comprehensive Planning: A Workshop for University and Institute Planners,” also known as Australasian SCUP–1.
Peter Brennan, then director of university services at UTS, had been a tireless champion for SCUP in Australia. After soliciting SCUP’s support, he recruited UTS deputy vice-chancellor Robyn Kemmis to co-chair the program committee.
|Peter Brennan and Robyn Kemmis with 2002–2003 SCUP President Pam Stewart|
The program featured deep-dive sessions, each with five panelists from institutions and organizations across the globe interacting with the 88 attendees. Topics included “doing more with less” and planning for huge increases in enrollment. Three popular SCUP workshops were offered: Ray Haas’ workshops for new and advanced planners, and a space management workshop led by Clint Hewitt.
|Sessions were held throughout the UTS campus|
Today, 32 SCUPers hail from Australia, making it the country with the third largest number of SCUP members (after the US and Canada).
The University of Technology Sydney campus is currently implementing a $1.2 billion city campus master plan, which included the February 2015 opening of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, home to the UTS Business School.
The Society for College and University Planning hosted its first annual conference, “Contrasting Concepts in Campus Planning,” on Aug. 13–14, 1966 at Portland State College in Portland, OR.
SCUP—1 drew 123 attendees despite a major airline strike that affected 60 percent of US air travel that summer.
Presentations about the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of Illinois at Chicago contrasted the challenges of planning for rural and urban campuses. Portland State representatives hosted a walking tour and told the story of the institution’s recovery from a devastating flood that destroyed its initial site, subsequent moves to several locations, and plans for future development.
K. C. Parsons, SCUP’s first president, expressed his hopes for the newly formed society in his introductory remarks.
“The intent of ‘SCUP,’ as we call it,” he said, is to provide for exchange of ideas “among the many people who are concerned with more rational planning for the development of colleges and universities, whether they be architects and planners concerned with both the campus and the campus-community relationships, or faculty and administrators responsible for day to day, as well as long term academic policy and administrative problems.
“Our principal objective is to further discussion and cooperation among all those concerned with college and university planning. We hope that we will have a very broad membership.”
SCUPers will return to Portland State University on March 22–24 for the SCUP 2015 Pacific Regional Conference.
Many thanks to Fred Mayer, emeritus planner at the University of Michigan, who edited the SCUP—1 proceedings and donated a copy for the new SCUP Archives to be established at the UM Bentley Historical Library. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have items to donate.
When Ray Haas heard that the Society for College and University Planning was establishing a formal archive collection at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, he contacted Jolene Knapp in the SCUP office to inquire about donating his papers.
Haas, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, has been a member since 1970. He served as SCUP president, received both the distinguished service award and the founder’s award, chaired the professional development committee, and developed the original workshop that became the basis of the SCUP Planning Institute.
One item on his list of potential donations stood out immediately: a 1974–75 membership directory that SCUP had been seeking for many years.
SCUP discontinued the print membership directory in favor of a searchable online version in 2010. The early print directories are important sources of information on members, committee rosters, staff, and more.
They also allow a glimpse into SCUP’s changing demographics. The foreword to the 1974–1975 directory notes that the percentage of women represented in SCUP more than doubled since the previous edition—to 6.8 percent.
Establishing a formal SCUP Archives at the UM Bentley Historical Library will protect documents pertaining to the growth of planning in higher education and make them available to researchers. Contributing to the archives also offers members a good opportunity to clean out their basements and attics.
“Going through these files has revived lots of pleasant memories and I am enjoying every moment,” said Ray Haas. “When I finish, I hope to attack the files in my study, or as my wife calls it, my ‘cave.’” She asks the grandchildren not to go in Pop-Pop’s Cave for fear that they may get lost. Who knows what kinds of SCUP mementoes I will find there!”
SCUP is still seeking membership directories from 1970, 1976, 1977, and 1983. If you have these or other items to donate to the SCUP Archives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to get the conversation started.
In January 2001, SCUP and the American Institute of Architects' Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA/CAE) announced the first joint awards program for Excellence in Planning.
Awards were presented at the SCUP-36 conference in Boston.
In the 14 years since then, the annual juried competition has expanded to recognize excellence in planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, in eight categories.
Left to right:
James Rogers, Bruce Flye
Eleven higher ed professionals became the first complete all three steps of the SCUP Planning Institute on January 5, 2005 in Tempe, AZ.
For many years, former SCUP president and professional development committee chair Ray Haas had offered a workshop at SCUP’s annual conference for people new to planning. When the decision was made in 2002 to create a multi-step program on integrated planning in higher education, this workshop became Step I of the new SCUP Planning Institute.
Participants in the first Step II, offered in January 2004, practiced an integrated planning process reflecting the collaboration of all functional areas of an institution. Step III in January 2005 focused on change management, weaving the technical planning for changes with the realities of people and relationships on campus.
In the past ten years, 463 people have graduated from the planning institute.
SCUP was formed in 1965, but the need for a professional association for college and university planning had become evident years earlier.
By the early 1960s, the surge of enrollment in universities and colleges—the combined effect of an increasing 18-24 population and a steadily rising participation rate—had led to the explosive physical expansion of US campuses.
The role of campus planner was new for colleges and universities, and these pioneers had few ways to connect with peers on other campuses, let alone within their own institutions. Academic, administrative, and financial planning was largely ad hoc. Leaders were too busy to plan.
Harold Goyette, who was appointed Harvard’s first staff planner in 1957, said that planners “were viewed by academics and staff alike as threats to their authority and prerogatives… we had a low place on the totem pole.”
“For planners,” said K.C. Parsons, SCUP’s first president, “there was no knowledge base. It was difficult to exchange ideas and information.”
In 1958, an internal memo proposing a meeting of campus planners was written at the University of California by Albert R. Wagner, later to become one of SCUP’s founding members.
The first significant meeting was a 1959 summer program on institutional growth and the urban setting attended by 25 campus planners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Two meetings in October 1960 at Philadelphia’s Warwick Hotel and the University of Pennsylvania—known as “The First Philadelphia”—were considered the overture to SCUP’s founding. There were also meetings of planners in Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Newark.
A significant pre-SCUP event took place in October 1965 when informal campus planning sessions were held in conjunction with the American Institute of Planners (AIP) Conference in St. Louis.
The realization slowly grew that the needs of college and university planners could not be accommodated within the structure of existing associations, which looked with increasing disapproval at these gatherings being tacked onto their annual meetings.
Six months after the St. Louis event, the planners were ready to take the plunge. Meeting again in Philadelphia, they formed the Society for College and University Planning on April 17, 1966. SCUP was an association whose time had come.
Read more about SCUP's early history in the free e-book 20/20 Planning.
SCUP board secretary John A. Dunn was on the leading edge of technology when he distributed the first issue of SCUP BITNET News on November 17, 1987.
The first issue of SCUP BITNET News was sent to 75 subscribers. Today, as The SCUP Scan, it is emailed weekly to over 15,000 and is one of the two oldest email newsletters still being transmitted (the other is eAIR, published by the Association for Institutional Research).
BITNET was a cooperative US computer network established in 1981 by University of New York and Yale University. It originated the listserv utility and laid the groundwork for today’s Internet. By the time of its 1991 peak, BITNET had connected roughly 500 educational institutions around the world.
Dunn, who was vice president of institutional planning for Tufts University at the time, went on to become SCUP president and recipient of SCUP’s Distinguished Service Award. In his first newsletter he noted that while nonmembers could subscribe, “I will, as head of the membership committee, try my best to enroll all subscribers in SCUP. You have been warned!”
SCUP’s first telecast program, Creating Tomorrow’s Learner-Centered Environments—Today!, was produced in partnership with PBS Adult Learning Service and delivered live via satellite to 344 locations on Oct. 22, 1998.
“We’re on the threshold of an age in which knowledge, not information, will be the valued commodity,” read the program description. “Citizens of this ‘Knowledge Age’ will learn anywhere and anytime, and their learning will be fused with work and other activities. Through technology, learners will learn in collaboration with others.
“For colleges and universities, planning effectively for this new age includes creating environments to support it. These environments encompass more than physical space and technology infrastructure: they include programs, processes, and relationships.
“To create learner-centered environments, an institution must involve everyone who has a role in planning—whether for physical facilities and technological infrastructure or for academic programs and administrative processes.”
The telecast featured video examples of learner-centered environments at colleges and universities. A panel of senior academic leaders responded to questions submitted by fax during the program. Participants also had access to print and web-based resources, and could engage online with moderator Don Norris for a week following the event.
Teleconference - Part 1
Teleconference - Part 2
*Norris is president and CEO of Strategic Initiatives, Inc. in Herndon, VA. He joined SCUP in 1980 and has written many articles and books for SCUP, including the best-selling "Transforming Higher Education: A Vision for Learning in the 21st Century" (1995). Norris received SCUP's Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Founders' Award in 2014.
I am absolutely convinced of the very important and critical role that the society plays. The continuing support of the membership with their creative ideas, dedication, and spirit will ensure the future of the society.
I believe the uniqueness of the society is much clearer than it has been before. I have talked with many individuals, looked at other organizations and their programs, and it's clear to me that we provide the only forum where people in higher education involved in academic, financial, facilities, and administrative matters can come together with ideas and can package an approach to problems in a manner that ensures the proper interface and investment of time and money.
The society must never lose sight of this important uniqueness and must build upon it. To be sure, the higher education community is not going to come to us pleading for assistance—we must promote this very important and unique service.
*Hewitt is professor emeritus at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Design. He joined SCUP in 1970 and has served as secretary and president of the board of directors, as well as on the North Central regional council, Awards Committee, Nominating Committee, and as program co-chair for SCUP-35. He received SCUP's 1987 Founder's Award and 1999 Distinguished Service Award.
When SCUPers converge in Chicago this July, it will mark the fifth time that the annual, international conference has been in the Windy City. Take a trip back and enjoy photos from SCUP–42, "Shaping the Academic Landscape: Integrated Solutions" (Chicago, 2007).
Created with flickr slideshow.
In July 2006, 4,400 higher education colleagues, media, local dignitaries, and exhibitors came together in Honolulu, HI, for “The Campus of the Future: A Meeting of the Minds.”
SCUP’s forty-first annual conference—hosted jointly with APPA and NACUBO (National Association of College and University Business Officers)—offered an unprecedented look at the future and an opportunity to envision it together.
Among the highlights: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman’s plenary address on the impact of globalization; scenario-building sessions on the most influential driving forces shaping the future of higher education; campus tours; and a welcoming reception on the shores of Waikiki.
Hot Time at SCUP–2
By George Hume, emeritus director of planning and construction for Ryerson University, Toronto, ON.
My earliest SCUP memory is from the annual conference in Ann Arbor in 1967. My wife and I were returning to the hotel from an event. It was raining. Jonathan Green of the Ford Foundation needed a ride. We agreed to squeeze him into our MG, definitely a two-seater.
There was a scorching smell by the time we got to the hotel. It turned out that Jonathan was sitting on the cigarette lighter between the seats. Fortunately, it burned out the lighter before it burned Jonathan.
I still drive the MG, and I gave up smoking, so the lighter still doesn't work.
Long-time SCUP leader Roland Proulx was inducted into the exclusive Ambassadors' Club of the Palais des congrès de Montréal (the city’s convention center) in April 2005. The recognition acknowledged his dedication, initiative, and leadership in bringing the SCUP–43 annual, international conference to Québec in July 2008.
SCUP–43 generated an estimated $3.7 million in economic spin-offs for Montréal,and a brick was later installed in the convention center’s “Walk of Fame” to honor SCUP’s conference and Proulx’s role.
Roland Proulx passed away on January 25, 2015. He was professor, director of planning, and consultant at the Université de Montréal. Proulx joined SCUP in 1985 and his many roles included North Atlantic regional representative, board secretary, program chair for SCUP–33, local host chair for SCUP–43, and 2013 North Atlantic Regional Conference chair. He also authored articles for Planning for Higher Education and served on the editorial board.
SCUPers will remember Roland Proulx at the 2015 North Atlantic Regional Conference (March 8–10, 2015 in Norfolk, VA).
In the mid ‘90s—when I learned that SCUP was something other than a fish—our regional programming consisted of one meeting per year jointly managed with SAIR, the Southern Association for Institutional Research. Meetings were modestly attended by, maybe, 50 people tops.
In the late ‘90s, our region simply went to sleep: no conferences, no workshops, nothing for at least two years. Then John Sutusky, who was with the Medical University of South Carolina, was elected as our regional representative, and things started to change.
John managed in short time to organize a regional conference in Charleston, SC. He was easily re-elected as our regional representative, but due to job demands had to find someone to finish out his second term.
John’s no dummy; he clearly recognized talent, leadership and devotion to SCUP in Jeff Floyd. Jeff completed John’s second term and was re-elected for his own term.
Under Jeff’s and John’s leadership, a regional council was established, regional annual conferences could be counted on, and eventually one-day events were established.
As John says, the success of the Southern region today lies not in what any one person did or does, but in what all regional SCUPers do.
I hope y’all are as grateful and proud as I am to be just a portion of the importance and richness that SCUP is to higher education!
*Holt is president of Holt Marketing & Communications in Atlanta. She served as Southern regional representative from 2004-08, as Local Hosts chair for SCUP-34 in Atlanta, and as a passionate membership volunteer.
This free e-book, a short and lively history of SCUP’s first 20 years, was originally published in 1985.
Author Jeffrey Holmes was president of SCUP from 1978–1980 and recipient of SCUP’s first Distinguished Service Award in 1989. He gives his take on SCUP’s role in the evolution of college and university planning: from the late 1950s when campus planners first gathered to share knowledge and resources, through the society’s founding and rapid growth in the 1960s, its near-collapse in the ‘70s, and recovery and renewal by the mid-1980s.
Holmes poses a question as timely today as it was 30 years ago: Will SCUP use its experience and abilities to play a major higher education leadership role?
Memories from Kathleen Beaumont, SCUP–33 local host chair, and Pam Stewart, SCUP–33 conference program chair
Photo by Megan Snow
The opening ceremony at SCUP-33 in Vancouver in 1998 was a celebration of Pacific Northwest First Nation culture. Dressed in traditional regalia, Chief Maurice Nahanee of the Coast Salish peoples performed a traditional blessing, welcoming all SCUPers to British Columbia and Vancouver, thanking the Creator for the environment in which we live, and asking the Creator to help attendees achieve their goals during the conference.
He presented SCUP with a talking stick, which is used when people gather to discuss important issues in councils.
The talking stick is meant to give speakers the courage to speak the truth and the power to speak from the heart. It is meant to give audiences the responsibility to listen carefully and to try and understand the message. The talking stick ensures a democratic process: all members are encouraged to contribute and all are treated as equals.
In 1977–79 the society nearly went bankrupt. It spent some time convalescing after its records traveled from New York to Nova Scotia for safekeeping, in a Volvo station wagon, while volunteer leaders worked hard to bring it through. During discussions about bankruptcy and rejuvenation, founder Jack Freeman thought that “planning” had been overplayed as the society’s focus and that SCUP should be talking more about management in general. However, he rejected the proposed new title of Society for College and University Management on acronymal grounds: SCUM?
In July of 1980, after looking at possible locations for its office in Toronto, Tallahassee, Kansas City, and Columbus, SCUP settled back into Ann Arbor, under the auspices of Marv Peterson at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CHSPE) and then-University of Michigan School of Education dean, Carl Berger.
The third meeting of SCUP’s Board of Directors was held in January  in Ann Arbor. All nine members were present, despite record mid-West snows and the fact that everyone paid his own way. The weather made Wagner's reputation as the Omar Khayyam of SCUP:
Seated in a train.
Stalled in a snowdrift,
Somewhere east of Chicago,
Wagner and Sanders subsisted,
On a loaf of (sourdough) bread,
And a jug of wine.
They survived snowdrift and sourdough to make it to the meeting on time. For a book of verse they had a Telfer agenda only slightly shorter!
In a 1988 SCUP Bitnet News article, Jack Dunn proposed a mental model for planning that allows for “the irregular, the unexpected, the personal, the forceful, the imaginative, the daring.”
In trying yesterday to explain to a very astute visitor from the University of Sussex what the nature of the planning and decision-making process was at Tufts, I was struck again by the inadequacy of our standard mental model of strategic planning.
Our received wisdom has several components. A careful systematic review of environmental factors. A thoughtful compilation and evaluation of alternative courses of action. A bottom-up bringing together of the thoughts and plans of the members of the organization. A consensus-building around continuing themes and new ideas. A systematic testing out of the plans against economic and staffing implications.
All that is good and true and beautiful. What the traditional mental model lacks, however, is the irregular, the unexpected, the personal, the forceful, the imaginative, the daring. It’s a recipe for perpetuation and refinement of what exists, not for creation of the new or for achieving substantial change.
Don Norris and Nick Poulton make the case in the “Guide for New Planners” for the Lewis and Clark approach to planning, not the Cook’s tour. That captures some of the spirit. I’d go much further. The model I like is captured in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ remark that “The merit of the common law is that it decides the case first and determines the principle afterward.”
What I guess I’m arguing for is a return to careful case studies. We haven’t really looked for a long time at what works and what doesn’t in individual institutions, with different casts of characters, in different situations.
We’ve extracted some “golden rules” (the archetype sketched out above), but they have been so abstracted from reality that it’s the specifics of the situation that may be most interesting and important guides to action, not the generalities.
Maybe there ought to be three golden rules for planners:
1. Read all the literature on planning you can; understand the general principles as best you can; never never never quote those principles to others or let them guide your decisions.
2. Get to know the cast of characters who constitute the institution you are working in; try to understand what problems they are dealing with and what they want to achieve; and work to help them achieve what they want for that institution at that time.
3. And never plan. Your job is not to plan but to be sure those with the operating responsibility are planning effectively, and to help them do so.
Opposing viewpoints and case studies are welcome. New theories will be treated with skepticism.
Jack Dunn, who was vice president of institutional planning for Tufts University at the time, went on to become SCUP president and recipient of SCUP’s Distinguished Service Award.
Responses posted in the 50th anniversary booth at SCUP–49
Memory from Fred Mayer*, university planner emeritus
For me (~1970–now), attending the annual conference always seemed to reinvigorate me in terms of my own professional work. Many times when I left Ann Arbor for the conference I was consumed with thoughts about the problems of the state’s economy, the lack of funding for the university, projects that were moving ahead too slowly, lack of support for projects or programs which I thought to be important, etc. But after my conference experiences I always returned home feeling that I had learned some important things and needed to get back to work and get things accomplished to create a better campus environment. The conferences provided that spark that helped me to see planning through to successful conclusions.
*Mayer is university planner emeritus at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He joined SCUP in 1970 and has served as editor of Planning for Higher Education and as SCUP-31 conference chair. He is the 1999 recipient of SCUP Founders' Award.
Advice from Fran Gast*, retired planner
Your job is to develop the pertinent questions, find the answers (data!), and present the data effectively and with integrity, so that the people making the decisions have the best information to use. You will find that sometimes leaders prefer their visions. It's your job to be the advocate for truth.
College and university planning is about furthering the mission of the institution. Whether you are an architect or a builder or a consultant or work within the institution, seek to understand its mission, history, academic programs, students and faculty, leadership, financial situation. Make sure everyone -- even the lowliest worker bee -- knows what this college or university is and wants to be. Even if the outcome is a building or renovation, it will be a better one.
*Gast is a retired planner who joined SCUP in 1984 and has been an active volunteer leader in the North Atlantic region. She was planner at University of Connecticut and associate vice president at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
By Jolene Knapp
Good planners always have an eye on the future, and SCUPers have long been engaged in trend spotting. At SCUP–7 in 1972, Fred Crossland, higher education program officer for The Ford Foundation, said that “change—rapid and unsettling, if not traumatic—has become the norm in higher education.” With 43-year hindsight, let’s take a look at his predictions to see how much really has changed!
Jolene Knapp retired in 2014 after 19 years as SCUP executive director.
What are your predictions for higher education?
Higher Education Predictions for 2025
Responses posted in the 50th anniversary booth at SCUP–49