Posted: Mar 17, 2014
Society for College & University Planning

United States


Established in 1965, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) is a nonprofit, professional association dedicated to the integration of planning in higher education institutions.  SCUP has over 5,100 members across more than 30 countries and is a community of higher education leaders who are responsible for or are involved in planning on their campuses, and for the professionals who support them. Institution-based members represent colleges and universities of all types and sizes, including public and private, two-year to doctoral, branch campuses to system offices. Members look to SCUP to find ways to successfully integrate the institution's mission into their academic plan, and then seek to integrate all other kinds of planning on campus in support of the academic plan. 

SCUP supports integrated planning that is holistic, systemic, and crosses functional and operational boundaries. SCUP also believes that effective integrated planning is rewarding, e.g., diverse issues are addressed and implications are understood. These are the attributes of successful, integrated planning. In this spirit, the organization provides a host of membership benefits including:  education, networking, research and thought leadership on best practices. To best serve the membership, SCUP also collaborates with many other associations, foundations, and non-profit organizations on a variety of events, publications, and webcasts.

SCUP members—whether they are from an institutional, governmental, or corporate environment—share a common interest in the teaching, learning, and sharing of information about college and university planning in all its forms, including strategic, academic, financial, budgetary, environmental, and physical planning. The "equality" of membership status and privileges among all professionals interested in planning—regardless of their institutional or corporate affiliation—is a founding principle. To this day, "equality among members" remains an important value that distinguishes SCUP from other higher education associations.

SCUP's culture is a direct reflection of the way all members interact and communicate among one another in a variety of settings in which the sharing of ideas and factual information, as well as professional networking, occur. While business and professional relationships naturally result from contact among members, the foci of participation in SCUP is in promoting the professional development of the entire membership.


As SCUP embarks on its 50th anniversary, the organization is well poised to build upon a rich history and strengthen its brand and service to the higher education community and beyond. The President will work closely with the Board of Directors during this exciting time to establish a refreshed strategic direction that is visionary and results in the enhancement and diversification of SCUPs portfolio of products and services. The President will build strong relationships with leaders across higher education to articulate SCUPs enhanced value and to expand membership.


The President reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for providing leadership and vision for the organization. S/he is responsible for guiding the development and implementation of the strategic plan, programs, policies, and practices of the society. 

Specific Responsibilities include:

Board Relations

  • Establishes and implements short- and long-range goals, strategic plans and policies, in collaboration with the Board of Directors.
  • Serves as the principal liaison between SCUP staff, the SCUP Council, and the Board of Directors.
  • Provides guidance to the Board of Directors, Officers and committee leadership on governance, policies and historical perspective.  
  • Prepares materials for all Board meetings.
  • Maintains ongoing and open communications with members of the Board.

Council Relations

  • Serves as chair of the SCUP Council and its steering committee.
  • Serves as liaison between the SCUP Council and the Board of Directors.
  • Prepares materials for all Council meetings.  

Administration and Operations

  • Oversees operations to include evaluating operating and financial performance.
  • Recruits, develops, directs, and retains qualified staff to manage and administer the programs and services of the society in support of the members, strategic and operational objectives.
  • Motivates the senior staff to surpass established business goals.
  • Establishes administrative and personnel policies.
  • Contributes to annual budget preparation. Provides timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Finance and Audit Committee, Board and senior staff in performing their responsibilities; revises goals and plans in accordance with current conditions.
  • Develops, strengthens, implements and enforces internal policies and procedures of SCUP by way of systems that will improve the overall operations and effectiveness of service delivery.
  • Effectively utilizes information technology to implement SCUP’s operations and programs.
  • Ensures the legal, ethical, financial and regulatory integrity of the society. 
  • Ensures that continuous data-driven needs assessments and program evaluations / reviews take place.
  • Develops a robust business model that contains strategies for multiple revenue streams, including from non-member customers.

Membership and Events

  • Ensures that SCUP offers a strong, fresh, and relevant value proposition to its members. 
  • Recommends new or enhanced member benefits and oversees the development of marketing strategies to recruit and retain members.
  • Contributes to overseeing the organization and execution of best-in-class meetings and events which include large conferences, advanced educational sessions, and other activities consistent with the objectives of the society.
  • Constantly strives to ensure that the SCUP experience is both rewarding and beneficial.

External Relationships

  • Serves as a key representative and spokesperson for the society; maintains effective relationships with the higher education community, the planning community, the association community, and the media. Promotes SCUP through publications and personal appearances at conferences and meetings.
  • Builds and maintains strategic relationships and partnerships with external organizations to support priority issues.
  • Represents SCUP at the Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA).
  • Helps solicit and tailor major sponsorships or program underwriting, encouraging donations to the SCUP Annual Fund.
  • Seeks foundation and grant support through fundraising activities.


The ideal candidate will be a leader with at least 10 years of senior-level leadership and management experience within higher education or a membership society.  Candidates with other relevant corporate or nonprofit experience will also be considered.  S/he must be a visionary and innovative thinker to support SCUP’s continued relevance and growth. 

Characteristics of the ideal candidate will include:

  • Outstanding leadership skills with an exceptional record of achievement, credibility and integrity. 
  • A visionary and strategic thinker who is creative and capable of anticipating and addressing trends affecting SCUP’s members.
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities in academia.
  • Experience reporting to or collaborating closely with a Board of Directors and cultivating strong working relationships with its officers and members. 
  • An ability to build consensus and manage by influencing others; strong diplomatic skills.
  • Proven experience developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage an evolving and growing organization.
  • The ability to expand and engage a diverse membership. 
  • Experience attracting, empowering, and retaining strong talent, aligning teams, and managing a high-performing, collaborative staff. 
  • Proven business and financial acumen, a results-oriented approach, and the ability to effectively manage assets – people, money and time. 
  • Excellent and effective verbal, written, and presentation skills.
  • A track record of building strong strategic alliances with other key organizations that share common interests.
  • Savvy about the application of technology to fostering member engagement and communications, and delivery of member services.
  • Travel and/or weekend work as required, including for 7-9 days during SCUP’s annual conference each July. Board meetings and most conference-related travel will occur on weekends.


  • Successful leadership transition that best serves SCUP’s members, Board of Directors, Council, and staff.
  • Development of a strategy for continued growth and relevancy, and achievement of key milestones aligned to the plan inclusive of membership growth.  
  • Forging relationships with key constituencies, including leaders in higher education.
  • Effective deployment of staff and resources to ensure successful management and quality of all SCUP activities. 
  • Financial wellbeing and success.


Creating the New and Different

  • Is able to come up with the next great breakthrough thing to do; is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.

Inspiring Others

  • Is skilled at getting individuals, teams, and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skillfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.

Making Complex Decisions

  • Can solve even the toughest and most complex of problems; great at gleaning meaning from whatever data is available; is a quick study of the new and different; adds personal wisdom and experience to come to the best conclusion and solution, given the situation; uses multiple problem-solving tools and techniques.

Understanding the Business

  • Knows the business and the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of business propositions and understands how businesses operate in general; learns new methods and technologies easily.

Dealing with Trouble

  • Fearlessly takes on all issues, challenges, and people; comfortably confronts and works through conflict; delivers negative feedback and messages without hesitation; deals promptly and fairly with problem performers; lets everyone know where they stand; thrives in crises and energized by tough challenges; not afraid to make negative decisions and take tough action; challenges status quo.

Managing Diverse Relationships

  • Relates well to a wide variety of diverse styles, types, and classes; open to differences; effective up, down, sideways, inside, and outside; builds diverse networks; quick to find common ground; treats differences fairly and equitably; treats everyone as a preferred customer.

Keeping on Point

  • Can quickly separate the mission-critical from the nice to dos and the trivials; quickly senses what's the next most useful thing to work on; focuses on the critical few tasks that really add value and puts aside or delays the rest.


An undergraduate degree is required. An advanced degree is highly desired.


A competitive compensation package will be provided to attract an outstanding candidate.


Please send applications or nominations to Jacki.Thompson@kornferry.com.


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis. Korn/Ferry shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the performance of duties pursuant to this Agreement, including but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws to the extent applicable.

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