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New RC president ready to go

Tuesday, July 08, 2008  
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Dr. Robert Head liked what he saw when he first visited Rockford College prior to his interview for the college presidency late last year.  Now he'll get to relish it as the college's new president.

Head, 53, who was the president of Urbana University in Ohio, started his post at Rockford College recently, and is ready to face the opportunities and challenges that await him.

The new president has an impressive background which includes many years of experience in the banking industry.  He served as vice-president, trust services at Toledo Trust Co., in Ohio, and vice-president, trust services at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago during the 80s and 90s.

"He dealt with difficult situations when he went to Urbana and had positive results," says Ray Wood, chairman of the college's board of trustees.  "He has a unique background in that he spent half his career in the private sector, in particular, banking.  Those skills and the financial discipline will serve us well."

For his part, Head says he is excited to join Rockford College and make a contribution to the campus and the community.

"This is a most impressive campus," he says.  "It's clear the faculty, staff, and students of the college are energized and committed to excellence.  My wife, Sheryl, and I are honored to join the rich, learning community of the college, and being active and engaged in the life of the Rockford area."

Head made the switch to higher education after a stint on the board of trustees at Defiance College in Ohio.  His first job in the field was at Benedictine University, Lisle, where he was an associate professor of business and vice-president at Urbana, a school similar to Rockford College with roughly 1,500 students.

At Urbana, Dr. Head is credited with increasing enrollment by 20% and doubling the residential population, attracting more international students to campus, expanding academic programs, creating partnerships with business and industry, and spearheading a successful $6 million capital campaign for a new student center, educational endowment, athletic stadium, and other campus improvements.

Head has a bachelor's degree in management from Defiance College; a master's in business administration from the University of Toledo; a master's in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine; and his doctorate in organization development, also from Benedictine.  He also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.

Head says the Rockford College mission meshes well with his own view that education goes well beyond the acquisition of knowledge.

"I think helping students understand how to become better citizens and make positive changes in society is an important element both to the vision of Rockford College and the students," he said.

Dr. Head has been married to Sheryl for 30 years, and the couple has three children ranging in age from 18-26.

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