On Monday, the University of Central Oklahoma’s 21st president, Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar, announced her plans to step down from the position in January of 2023.
Her reason for leaving, she said in a news release, is to prioritize her marriage, which has been forced into long-distance mode for years.
“My wife and I have lived half a country apart for more than five years,” she said. “Our commitment to each other’s success is what enabled us to live this way for so long. We find ourselves on the flip side of that situation now. It is our commitment to each other’s success that is leading our decision to now live in the same place together.”
Her plans are to move to Kansas City, Missouri, to be with her wife who serves as president of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Neuhold-Ravikumar became president of the university in July 2019 and has been with the university since 2007. Through her leadership, the university has met goals and made advancements in several areas:
- The university was recognized for being in the top 10% of schools for lifting social mobility for students.
- She paved the way for the university’s first professional doctorate.
- UCO was listed in Newsweek’s 2022 America’s Top Online Colleges.
- Fundraising at the university has grown by 170%.
- The university is the only school nationwide to receive all eight iterations of TRIO federal grants, which aim to support underserved students in attending college.
“I am sad to leave my wonderful colleagues and friends at UCO,” she said. “We’ve been through some incredible times over the past 15 years. My love for UCO is inextricably linked to this community of people, and I am proud of what we have achieved together.”
In addition to her role as UCO’s president, she serves on the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ executive committee, as well as the board of directors for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Oklahoma Academy, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Riversport Foundation.
“We are grateful for her many contributions and wish her the very best as she prioritizes spending time with her family,” said Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents Chairperson Connie Reilly. “President Neuhold-Ravikumar’s 15 years of dedicated service have helped make UCO a top regional university committed to academic excellence and preparing our students for success.”