Online Course | Beyond a Bailout: Creating a Sustainable Business Model in Response to COVID-19

Part 1: May 6, 2020 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 2: May 13, 2020 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 3: May 20, 2020 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET


Institutions suffer from a lack of understanding around budget and finance: Where does the money come from, and where does it go? As a result, they are unaware of their economic engines and the levers under their control to create more sustainable business models. This need to open up the black box of higher education finance becomes all the more urgent in light of institutional responses to COVID-19. This course will share best practice from the field regarding sustainable business models behind academic portfolios, student success initiatives, and administrative services. This best practice will be discussed within the framework of return on investment. Finally, participants will be invited to create action plans supporting a return on investment (ROI) approach at their own institutions, increasing their chances of moving from the immediate response to COVID-19 to a longer-term, sustainable, shared future vision.

Learning Outcomes:

NOTE: You will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated below. You will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators during the breakout portions of the course segments.

  • Learn about research on the financial impact from and available responses to COVID-19 vs. the 2008 Great Recession
  • Examine the shift from traditional approaches to resource allocation to an ROI lens
  • Explore the components of ROI
  • Review and discuss best practice in the field for creating sustainable business models
  • Create action plans for adopting an ROI approach at your institution, with an emphasis on moving successfully from survival to recovery to sustainability in light of COVID-19


Rick Staisloff Rick Staisloff, Founder and Senior Partner, rpk GROUP

Donna Desrochers Donna Desrochers, Associate, rpk GROUP