Next Practices Podcast episode Build a Student Success Model that Supports Financial Health with Dr. Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar former president of University of Central Oklahoma

Build a Student Success Model that Supports Financial Health with Dr. Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar


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Today’s guest is Dr. Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar, former University of Central Oklahoma President and CEO and Principal Consultant of Arc C-Suite Advisory. To kick off Season 2 of Next Practices, Patti digs deep into the strategies behind building a student success model that also supports the financial health of an institution.

Patti shares what leaders should think about when building a financially healthy institution, new and alternative approaches you should consider when developing financially sustainable student success approaches, and what pieces you need to have in place to establish a student success model that supports the financial well-being of your institution.

We’ve also written a downloadable resource on this topic for you, which you can CLICK HERE to download now.

Dr. Neuhold-Ravikumar will also be moderating an interactive discussion, How To Achieve Financial Stability With Student Success, to diver deeper into the tangible ways higher education leaders are putting financial stability strategies into practice at their institutions.

Interactive Leadership Panel

How To Achieve Financial Stability With Student Success

Learn how other higher education leaders are creating and implementing strategies that support long-term financial health.
Watch Webinar

Show Notes:

  • [2:28] – Patti shares her background, current role in consulting, and experience in higher education.
  • 3:41] – There are several challenges higher education is seeing right now, including demographic changes and the aftermath of the pandemic.
  • [4:27] – Prioritize what you have and how to utilize it.
  • [5:24] – It is easier and less expensive to retain a current student than to recruit a new one.
  • [7:35] – Retention is a common problem for all regional universities.
  • [9:21] – We have to be strategic about financial aid distribution and spending to make the most impact.
  • [10:37] – Faculty members are the first line of defense. There needs to be a cohesive relationship with student success initiatives.
  • [12:35] – Data and communication are the keys to making decisions about student success.
  • [14:54] – Early alerts are only the first step. Initiate communication with what the data is telling you.
  • [17:21] – It is important to take a holistic approach.
  • [18:18] – Patti shares an example of how your strategies can change, adjust, and flow. A strategy is a living process.
  • [20:11] – It’s not everyone’s responsibility to take action on things. 
  • [21:24] – A strategy is very rarely done. It’s something repeatable.
  • [23:12] – We all get stuck sometimes. There’s a natural friction point when it comes to student success. Patti explains how to manage this.
  • [25:51] – Create an atmosphere of trust and productive conflict.
  • [28:33] – Having a unified understanding and vision is crucial but it is easier said than done but should be at the top of the priority list.
  • [30:31] – The meetings that Patti describes need to be filled with people who have the authority to make decisions.
  • [32:33] – There can be issues that arise with data trust.
  • [33:53] – A single source of data is the gold standard.
  • [35:45] – Allow people to interact with the data to better understand it.
  • [37:35] – We don’t have the time to waste. The information needs to be ready and you have to act.
  • [39:17] – The health of one department relies on the others.
  • [40:21] – Contact Patti through email at

Links and Resources:

Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar, CEO and Principal Consultant, Arc C Suite Advisory

Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar (NEW’-hold RUH’-vee-koo-mar) recently served as the 21st president of the University of Central Oklahoma and the institution’s first female president in its 130-year history. Prior to her presidency, she served as the university’s Chief Financial Officer. She holds a bachelor’s in Psychology, a master’s in Organizational Psychology, and is expecting to graduate this spring with a doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

Patti is now the CEO and principal consultant for Arc Consulting, which is a c-suite advisory that works with executives to lead strategy, organization transformation, change management, and leader performance.

Katy Oliveira, Host & Producer, Next Practices Podcast

Katy oversees content at Civitas Learning, where she showcases best practices and customer experience to help higher ed institutions improve student success and reach institutional goals. In her 15-year higher education career, Katy gained extensive experience in student success as an academic advising, advising leader, and faculty member. She is also the creator and host of the Apple Podcast featured show, Collegehood Advice.

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