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Past Events

DREAM 2023 (Achieving the Dream)

February 15, 2023
Time: 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Data & Communication-based Strategies for Scaling Adult Learner Enrollment: Lessons from the PACCE Initiative

Community colleges across the country continue to implement innovative strategies to increase the enrollment of adult learners. This session will share some of the adult learner enrollment strategies implemented by the 20 colleges in Achieving the Dream’s Prioritizing Adult Community College Enrollment (PACCE) grant.

During the session, speakers will share how behavioral science can help your college refine your recruitment and enrollment strategies with adult learner needs and strengths at the center of the process. We’ll then share how a return on investment analysis can help prepare for scaling, sustaining, and communicating your adult learner enrollment strategies.

Donna Desrochers, Senior Associate, will present during this session.

2022 Higher Education Government Relations Conference

November 30, 2022
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

The Lingering Impact of HEERF on Campuses and Students

The session will highlight some of the uses of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) I, II, and III resources. Panelists will examine the past, present, and future uses of funding. They will also discuss campuses’ experiences with shifting flexibility in the use of funds, on the one hand, and the built-in limitations on the other.

Moderator: Mark Browning, President – Blue Mountain Community College


  • Rick Staisloff, Founder and Senior Partner, rpk GROUP
  • Amanda Winters, Program Director, Post-Secondary Education, National Governors Association

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.

NACUBO 2022 Planning, Budgeting, and Analytics Forum

September 18, 2022
Time: 10:45 am - 11:45 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Attaining System Goals Through Strategic Operational Planning

Join one team on their journey from analysis to building a transformative operational plan. This session will lay out and review the goals, steps taken, analysis, the operational plan, and its outcomes. The exposition will be followed by an interview that will dive into the impact of analysis and planning on the institution-wide system.


  • Lorenzo Esters, chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College – Indianapolis
  • Katie Hagan, principal, rpk GROUP

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.