The GREATNESS of an institution ALWAYS begins with PEOPLE
- Jim Collins

Regent's Update  by Mark Stansberry, RUSO Chair
As a RUSO employee you know firsthand the tremendous impact our institutions have on student success and in our communities. Several recent reports have highlighted RUSO's contributions.

The 2018-2019 RUSO dashboard shows that our institutions' high impact practices, significant increase in online classes and high social mobility rate are helping make higher education accessible to more Oklahoma students, who are thriving in the workforce.

Also, the State Chamber Research Foundation recently released a report on the economic effect universities have on local economies. The report shows RUSO institutions alone have a multiplier effect of more than $1 billion on the state's economy. What is not reflected in the report -  and is equally valuable - are the relationships, support and collaborative efforts between our universities and their communities.

This legislative session we welcomed Governor Stitt, Lieutenant Governor Pinnell and 57 new legislators to session this year. As these reports show - and we see in our daily work - our students face diverse challenges and regional universities can be their ladders for success. Help us spread this message through daily conversations and through more formal means, such as emailing your legislator.Together we make a difference.

Thank you for your service Regent Stansberry
by RUSO Executive Director Sheridan McCaffree

Regent Mark Stansberry recently announced that he is not seeking another term and will be retiring as a RUSO regent effective May 12. He has  served more than 13 years, including three years as chair. This enduring commitment is remarkable especially considering that regents are voluntary public servants who are not compensated for the many hours they dedicate to serving RUSO.
Regent Stansberry has been a tireless advocate for Oklahoma higher education. He understands that investment in Oklahoma's public higher education institutions will result in a thriving workforce, increased per capita income and a happier and healthier population. 

In 1988, Oklahoma appropriations provided almost 75% of the cost of higher education. Today, Oklahoma  covers only 27.2% and students and families are responsible or the rest. We know that by 2020, 67% of jobs in Oklahoma will require some college education, and yet Oklahoma has decreased its funding for higher education on a percentage basis more than any other state in the last five years. 

Regent Stansberry has remained optimistic about RUSO's present capabilities and future opportunities.  He has always been proud of the collective power of RUSO universities . He never fails to listen carefully to opposing viewpoints and he values the opinions of others. His leadership and tenacity in pursuit of RUSO goals will be missed, but all of us who have been able to call him a friend will continue to be inspired by his example. 
Did You Know - RUSO Benefits
By Crystal Chavez, RUSO/OKHEEI Benefits Coordinator

As healthcare costs continue to rise, many employees are seeking alternatives to paying out of pocket for healthcare expenses. Two popular options offered by RUSO schools are health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts. 

Find out more about the benefits and differences between the two accounts, eligible expenses and other important information.

New RUSO Dashboard Data Highlights 
Student Support for Success

The RUSO Dashboard Work Team recently reported updated data based on the 2018-2019 fiscal and annual year. Several themes highlight RUSO institutions' ability to successfully recruit, retain and graduate students.   High impact practices are a significant strength of RUSO institutions in building powerful relationships with students. These interactions inside and outside of the classroom can lead to extraordinary success rates in retention and graduation.

RUSO institutions are also excelling at providing students with new opportunities and connections that can lead to higher income and better quality of life. According to two national studies, RUSO institutions are outperforming the national average for upward social mobility by 38 percent.

One way to increase RUSO's impact for economically challenged students is by increasing the tuition waiver cap. Tuition waivers attract new students who might not go to college because of costs and assist students in financial crisis who might "stop out" to earn tuition money, but then never return to school.

Currently, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education policy caps the award of tuition waivers at 3.5 percent of operating budget. The Work Team recommended a higher waiver cap of 4.5 percent to the RUSO Board of Regents. This change would require OSRHE approval and impact all public institutions in the state.
Student Success Spotlight

State Leader Found Early Support at NSU
Lisa Johnson Billy is  Oklahoma's secretary of Native American Affairs, a leader in the Chickasaw Nation and a former state legislator. However, the path to success wasn't paved for her. Find out more about Billy's path to success. 

Paycom CEO Hits Paydirt in Oklahoma
A determined and successful entrepreneur of one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, Chad Richison has built a technology juggernaut. He credits much of who he is to the time he  spent and the challenges he overcame while attending UCO.  

To read more student success stories visit the RUSO website.
Updates from RUSO

Higher Education Day at the State Capitol
Students, faculty and staff from across RUSO institutions traveled to the Oklahoma State Capitol on February 12, 2019. The annual Higher Education Day at the capitol gave members of campus communities the opportunity to speak with the governor and legislators while promoting the importance of funding higher education in the state.  

RUSO Names New UCO President

The Regional University System is honored to name Patti Neuhold as the 21st president of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO President Don Betz will retire June 30.

Neuhold has served in leadership positions in finance and budget, administrative and professional development departments since joining the the university in 2007.  She balanced UCO's $187 million budget through years of the most significant declines in state support and declining enrollment. She also oversaw business process reviews that resulted in savings, higher retention of faculty and new leadership development opportunities.  Learn more

Great Happenings at Your Regional University
For inspiration and collaboration learn more about what is happening at regional universities.

The Teacher's Promise Scholarship provides Oklahoma's public school teachers the opportunity to send their children to ECU. The scholarship is a $1,500 tuition waiver per year for up to four years. Full-time freshman are eligible.

NSU has partnered with Tulsa Scottish Rite to create a RiteCare clinic on the NSU-Broken Arrow campus for children with speech and language disorders. The clinic provides diagnostic evaluation and treatment and helps NSU students gain professional experience prior to graduation.
Learn More
The 16th annual art show at NWOSU is open through through Friday, March 29. The show features art from students, current and retired employees and alumni. Visit the J.W. Martin Library during regular hours.
Students used their day off from classes for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to participate in campus and community service projects. Students representing 13 campus organizations worked at locations across the area.
Learn More

SWOSU at the Village is an inter-generational residential experience benefiting both senior citizens at Corn Heritage Village & Rehab and university students. In exchange for their time and interaction with CHVR residents, students can live free on-site in a partially furnished apartment.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded UCO a seven-year, $6,115,200 GEAR UP grant. The grant will help prepare low-income students from high-poverty schools for college through a program of academic counseling, tutoring, workshops and more.

Regional University 
System of Oklahoma
3555 N.W. 58th Street, Suite 320
Oklahoma City, OK 73112