Upcoming Events

2022 EACUBO Annual Meeting

October 30, 2022 - November 2, 2022
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: New York City

Moving Toward Sustainable Transformation

Higher education leadership often talks about transformation as a goal. But what does transformation look like when it is achieved? And how can transformation efforts become sustainable?

Laura Casamento, President of Utica University, will join rpk’s Rick Staisloff to share a case study demonstrating the impact of their move to a return on investment lens. That lens, including transformation of the academic portfolio and administrative services, has now been in place 3 years.

Attendees will learn:

– How to apply an ROI lens to academic and administrative operations
– Apply best practice for engaging all institutional stakeholders in the creation of sustainable transformation
– Learn how to adopt a change management approach in moving toward sustainable business models

Richard Staisloff is the founder and Senior Partner of rpk GROUP, a leading national consulting firm supporting institutions with their growth and reallocation strategies. rpk GROUP emerged from two decades of leadership positions in the higher education sector, where Mr. Staisloff developed his expertise in finance and higher education from the perspective of public and private, two- and four-year institutions, higher education commissions, and State legislatures.

Laura Casamento became the ninth president of Utica University in 2016. She is the first woman to serve as president. Prior to joining Utica College in 2004 as VP for Institutional Advancement, she was president and chief operating officer of Herkimer County Trust, an independently owned, state chartered bank located in central New York.

2022 EACUBO Annual Meeting

October 30, 2022 - November 2, 2022
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: New York City

Building Sustainable Innovation Across the SUNY System

This session will share insights from a large-scale, multi-year, 50-campus student success sustainability effort at the State University of New York (SUNY). This bold initiative began with SUNY’s strategic investment in Open Education Resources, but quickly grew to include multiple student success approaches. The framework that resulted links student success to the business model to create sustainable innovation. The panel will share from their experience creating the SUNY Sustainability Framework, including its use of peer support, where institutions help each other with sustainability capability development. Specific tools such as a sustainability field guide, case studies, rubrics and pro forma models will also be shared. Participants will be engaged around the Sustainability Framework, and the panel will use crowd sourcing techniques to identity key areas of interest and common barriers to achieving sustainability. Finally, participants will interact in several activities, leading to early action plan creation for their institutions.

Attendees will learn:

– How to use best practice frameworks to achieve sustainable innovation
– Ways to leverage internal institutional and system resources to support long-term investment in student success
– How to create new relationships between the CFO, CAO and student success leadership and their teams

Donna Desrochers is an Associate with rpk GROUP. Donna has analyzed contemporary issues in education and the economy for nearly 20 years, with a primary focus on higher education finance and the economic importance of postsecondary education. She is an authority on higher education finance data, and analyses and reports on changes in higher education spending, revenues, and outcomes.

Mark McBride is a Senior Strategist for the SUNY System, focusing on innovative models to support student success and the System’s academic portfolio.

Recent Webinars

Opening the Doors: The Business Model Case for New Student Access & Success Strategies

June 15, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

We’re excited about our next Webinar Wednesday installment on June 15!

We’ll be discussing the business model behind student access and success strategies to attract new student populations as the demographic cliff approaches. We will be joined by individuals who are already doing the hard work to address this challenge, including:

Luke Dowden, Chief Online Learning Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor, Alamo Colleges District
Cristen Moore, Independent Consultant to HCM Strategists

Cristen and Luke will share from their own experiences designing strategies to attract, enroll and support new student populations through transfer agreements and adult-centered enrollment approaches. This conversation will center these approaches in the current enrollment landscape, discuss the financial sustainability of these approaches, and identify the challenges and best practice in moving to action.

There are great lessons for all of higher education in their experiences, but this session is especially relevant for institutions and senior higher education looking to diversity their enrollment management strategies in response to shifting enrollment patterns.

Creating Sustainable Business Models – Acting from Urgency (Not Panic)

April 20, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

We’re excited for our next Webinar Wednesday installment on April 20!

We’ll be discussing the critical decisions higher education must make to move toward sustainable business models. And we will be joined by individuals who are doing the hard work, including:

  • Charles Ambrose, Chancellor, Henderson State University
  • William Reuter, Special Advisor, SUNY Erie, and previous Interim President and Chief Administrative and Financial Officer

Chuck and Bill will share from their own experiences of moving boldly to change the business model.  This conversation will touch on approaches to understand current state, best practice in moving to action, and strategies for engaging all stakeholders.  There are great lessons for all of higher education in their experiences, but this session is especially relevant for institutions and senior higher education leaders who recognize that the time for change is now.

Centering Academic Affairs in the Higher Education Business Model

February 16, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

We’re excited for our next Webinar Wednesday installment on February 16. We’ll be discussing the importance of ensuring alignment between academic program offerings and the institutional business model. We will be joined by two individuals who have done, or are working on doing, exactly that:

  • Terry Brown, Vice President of Academic Innovation and Transformation for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  • Howard Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Pittsburg State University

Terry and Howard will share from their own experiences of understanding academic program return on investment, how the academic portfolio at institutions connects into the overall institutional strategy and business model, and the challenges around culture change that are necessary as program and portfolio management becomes more data-driven. There are great lessons for all of higher education in their experiences, but this session is especially relevant for institutions and higher education leaders wrestling with how to adjust academic offerings in response to changing student needs and shifting enrollment patterns.

Transformation at Scale

October 13, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

We’re excited for our next Webinar Wednesday installment on October 13. We’ll be discussing Transformation at Scale and will be joined by two great leaders in the field:

– Dr. Barbara Bichelmeyer, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Kansas
– Dr. Yasmine Ziesler, Chief Academic Officer, Vermont State Colleges System

Barbara and Yasmine will be sharing their stories of transformation across institutions and systems. There are great lessons for all of higher education in their initiatives – especially given that they were achieved in the midst of a pandemic.

Save your spot to learn more about:

– Reallocating existing resources toward new shared future vision.
– Moving toward change at scale.
– Securing faculty and staff buy in for bold change.
– Adopting an ROI approach at your own institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from post-pandemic survival to recovery to sustainability.

Past Events

NACUBO 2022 Annual Meeting

July 16, 2022 - July 19, 2022
All-day event
Location: Denver, CO and online

Transformation at Scale in Higher Education

Rick Staisloff, rpk’s Founder and Senior Partner, will lead this session featuring expert insights on the necessary conditions to achieve transformation at scale. Barbara Bichelmeyer (Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of University of Kansas) and Yasmine Ziesler (Chief Academic Officer, Vermont State Colleges System) will present use cases showing the challenges faced and solutions created in achieving bold change at an institution and system level. Particular attention will be given to the use of an ROI lens, and how to build capacity for ROI thinking across faculty and staff.

KU’s transformation spanned its academic portfolio and the achievement of new efficiencies, the development of new shared service models for the delivery of administrative services, and a revised resource allocation model. The VSCS story includes the consolidation of all the four year colleges/universities into a single institution.

The session will include small group exercises and Q and A for the speakers.

EACUBO 2022 Spring Gathering: Building Toward a Post Pandemic Future

March 28, 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Building Toward a Post Pandemic Future

Institutions are increasingly considering how to move toward a post-pandemic future. Colleges that have shown the courage to do the hard work around academic and administrative offerings are now well positioned to emerge stronger in 2022. This session will share proven best practice for adopting a sustainable business model, including streamlining academic portfolios, reinvesting in high growth/high revenue programs, creating efficiencies in administrative service delivery, and creating data-informed culture to support change.

Richard Staisloff, rpk GROUP’s founder and Senior Partner, will be joined by Kathleen Hetherington, President Emeritus of Howard Community College in this session, where they also will share a case study demonstrating the use of a strategic finance lens to drive transformation.

rpk Office Hours

March 16, 2022
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Online

Looking for a safe space to talk about strategy with your peers? Interested in solving problems instead of just admiring them?

Then you’ll want to join rpk for its next Office Hours segment on March 16, starting at 5 p.m. ET.

We had a great opening session in January, with engagement from leaders across higher education.

In March, we’ll explore what it takes to move from optimization to transformation. Our team can’t wait to see where the conversation takes us.

Learn more and save your spot here.

SCUP Mid-Atlantic 2022 Regional Conference

March 10, 2022
Time: 11:40 am - 12:40 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA

Moving Toward Sustainable Business Models for the Academic Portfolio

Society for College and University Planning

Mid-Atlantic 2022 Regional Conference | South Meeting Room | Newcomb Hall

Presented by: Katie Hagan, Principal, rpk GROUP | Nicole Woods, Chief of Staff, University of Virginia | Tammy McHale, Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Planning, University of Virginia

The pandemic has accelerated existing challenges to higher education’s business model. In order to create more sustainable models, we will need to ask hard questions regarding our academic portfolios. Using the University of Virginia’s (UVA) College of Arts and Sciences as an example, we will discuss emerging best practices for creating academic portfolios that serve both an institution’s mission and market. This session will empower you to put this best practice to use and begin the difficult work of analyzing your institution’s academic portfolio.

Pandemic Relief Funding: Using HEERF for Strategic Investments

July 14, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

The rpk team is excited to announce a new webinar on Pandemic Relief Funding: Using HEERF for Strategic Investments. rpk GROUP has engaged with more than 80 institutions as they explore ways to strategically utilize their institutional Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) allocations. This webinar will be led by Rick Staisloff, Donna Desrochers and Katie Hagan.

Sign up to learn more about:

  • The three funding Acts and student & institutional funding streams
  • Appropriate and disallowable uses of institutional funds and spending timelines
  • A framework for strategically investing in academic and student success within HEERF parameters
  • Examples surfaced from the field around best practice for strategic investing of institutional funds.
  • Adopting an ROI approach at your own institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from survival to recovery to sustainability post-pandemic.

Learn more and sign up here. 

From Framework to Practice: SUNY’s Approach for Sustained Success

May 25, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

rpk GROUP’s Donna Desrochers joins fellow presenters Michael Daly, Carrie Fishner, Michell eBeechey and Cori Wilhelm for a 50-minute virtual session. You’ll hear insights from a large-scale, multi-year, multi-campus sustainability effort in SUNY.

Presenters will share from their experiences creating and supporting adoption of the SUNY OER Sustainability Framework, including the facilitation of peer support cohorts, where campuses guide each other in the adoption of sustainability policies and practices.

This session is part of the fourth annual Northeast Regional OER Summit, running virtually through University of Massachusetts Amherst from May 24-26. A multi-state collaborative virtual event for new and experienced OER advocates, the summit offers the opportunity to learn and share effective practices in awareness building, implementation, collaboration, strategy, and research.

Streamlining Academic Portfolios to Improve ROI

May 13, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

Prior to the pandemic, most academic institutions were wrestling with a disconnect between their program offerings and student/employer demand, as well a lack of understand around academic portfolio ROI. As a result, academic portfolios were often financially unsustainable.

In 2020, rpk completed a full academic portfolio and efficiency analysis, plus capacity building workshops for academic leadership and faculty at Howard Community College.

In this upcoming AACC Digital session, our senior partner Rick Staisloff and Howard Community College president Dr. Kate Hetherington will share the approach, analysis and results from their 2020 academic portfolio review.

What’s involved in a full academic portfolio and efficiency analysis? How can capacity building workshops help faculty?

If you’re curious about these services and how related challenges get resolved, you’ll want to join in this ‘bite-sized’ session.

 

Creating Sustainable Business Models for the Post-Pandemic Campus—Session 4

April 27, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

This workshop series is part of our continuing partnership with ACE, it will be led by Rick Staisloff, Donna Desrochers and Katie Hagan, and will be offered on the ACE Engage®​ peer-to-peer learning platform.

The workshop series supports a new Strategic Finance microcredential issued as an open digital badge⁠, which can be added to your CV, LinkedIn profile, and Credly Acclaim platform.

​​​Sign up for the series if you need to:

  • Understand the shift from traditional approaches to resource allocation to a return-on-investment (ROI) lens
  • Be able to identify the components of ROI
  • Be familiar with best practices in the field for creating sustainable business models
  • Get peer and expert feedback on action plans for adopting an ROI approach at your own institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from survival to recovery to sustainability post-pandemic

This session will provide general feedback on the action plan creation and allow participants to engage with practitioners in the field.

Special guests: Members of a strategic finance leadership group convened by rpk GROUP and ACE to map an agenda for the field.

Session Activity​

  • Participants will capture key best practice for implementing an ROI lens.

Creating Sustainable Business Models for the Post-Pandemic Campus—Session 3

April 13, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

This workshop series is part of our continuing partnership with ACE, it will be led by Rick Staisloff, Donna Desrochers and Katie Hagan, and will be offered on the ACE Engage®​ peer-to-peer learning platform.

The workshop series supports a new Strategic Finance microcredential issued as an open digital badge⁠, which can be added to your CV, LinkedIn profile, and Credly Acclaim platform.

​​​Sign up for the series if you need to:

  • Understand the shift from traditional approaches to resource allocation to a return-on-investment (ROI) lens
  • Be able to identify the components of ROI
  • Be familiar with best practices in the field for creating sustainable business models
  • Get peer and expert feedback on action plans for adopting an ROI approach at your own institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from survival to recovery to sustainability post-pandemic

Session 3: Creating an ROI Action Plan

Participants will build on the skills from Sessions 1 and 2 to consider an action plan for applying an ROI lens. Facilitators will share pitfalls to avoid and strategies for implementing change management approaches.Session Activity

  • Participants will identify the components necessary to create an action plan for implementing an ROI lens at their own institution.

Creating Sustainable Business Models for the Post-Pandemic Campus—Session 2

April 6, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

This workshop series is part of our continuing partnership with ACE, it will be led by Rick Staisloff, Donna Desrochers and Katie Hagan, and will be offered on the ACE Engage®​ peer-to-peer learning platform.

The workshop series supports a new Strategic Finance microcredential issued as an open digital badge⁠, which can be added to your CV, LinkedIn profile, and Credly Acclaim platform.

​​​Sign up for the series if you need to:

  • Understand the shift from traditional approaches to resource allocation to a return-on-investment (ROI) lens
  • Be able to identify the components of ROI
  • Be familiar with best practices in the field for creating sustainable business models
  • Get peer and expert feedback on action plans for adopting an ROI approach at your own institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from survival to recovery to sustainability post-pandemic

In session two, we’ll take a deeper dive into the application of an ROI lens. Case studies will be used, examining academic portfolios, student success initiatives, and administrative services.

Session Activity

  • What challenges would you likely face in applying an ROI lens at your institution, and how might those challenges be addressed?
  • In what ways does the application of an ROI lens differ when used for academic, student, and administrative services?