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Weekly Update

Monday, January 19, 2009  
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From President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.
Events of this week bring optimism for the future

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

No one can deny that today is a day of unprecedented consequence. It is a day that finds us between two extreme realities. On one front, we share anxiety over the global economic crises and America’s involvement in two wars.  On another front, we are energized and captured by hope, reflected in a week that began with the holiday honoring Martin Luther King; the beginning of a new Rockford College semester; and the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. 

Reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. King adds substantial meaning to the election and inauguration of President Obama.  Most importantly, it allows us to think optimistically about the future of America.

Likewise, I am optimistic about the future of Rockford College. How do we tie yesterday’s tradition with today’s realities to form the building blocks for our future? This semester triggers the next stage of our planning process. We will begin to implement Phase One of our Strategic Plan. At the same time, we will tackle the major challenges of systematically scanning our external environment and reviewing our mission and vision. During our monthly meetings of faculty, staff and students, you will learn more about our approach for these processes.  Much like today, there will be moments of anxiety as we approach this semester’s work, but there is also great hope as we construct the future of Rockford College together.

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

See the inauguration today
 Remember there are multiple sites on campus to view the historic inauguration of Barack Obama today.  Choose from the Lion’s Den (refreshments served); Burpee Commuter Lounge; Starr Science computer lounge; RC Learning Center (Starr); and Nelson Hall 2nd floor.  The ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. with the inaugural speech at 11 a.m. (our time). Best to arrive early since the timeframe may change somewhat. See you there for the swearing in of our 44th president!  Sponsored by JACCE and RC Information Technology.


HLC visit on the horizon
 The reaccreditation visit from our accrediting group, the North Central Association/Higher Learning Commission is about a month away (Feb. 23-25).  This is an important time for the college, its students, faculty, and staff and is the culmination of two years of hard work by many.  Stay tuned for more details as the date approaches!


Small ways to save big
 As the economic crunch grows, families are beginning to look for additional ways to save money.  Please remember some great resources that we have here at Rockford College. 


  • You may use library services where books, magazines and DVDs are available at no cost.
  • Save gas going to the post office.  You are able to purchase stamps and mail letters and packages at the mail desk.
  • Take advantage of our free entertainment.  Watch for e-mails that describe sporting and theatrical events that RC employees can attend at reduced cost or no cost at all. 
  • Use your 10 percent employee discount at the bookstore.
  • Quit your gym membership and use Rockford College’s fitness center or swimming pool.
  • Eating out can be expensive.  $4.75 (for faculty and staff) gets you all you can eat and drink in the dining center.


There are many ideas and tips that you can do at home too.  Family credit management has supplied Human Resources with 100 saving ideas in a brochure that is available in Human Resources.  Feel free to stop by and pick up your copy! 


Congratulations, Joe Ward!
 Our Employee of the Month for December is Dr. Joe Ward, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Dr. Ward was recognized for his outstanding service to the Rockford College community, including his computer technology expertise; bringing vitality to the Health Professions Advising program; his work on technology improvements in Starr Science; and interim leadership of the CIS program. Congratulations, Prof. Ward!


About use of e-mail
 Remember that the college’s e-mail policy prohibits the use of “send all” for the sale of personal belongings and for business solicitations.  We will soon have an announcement portlet on the college intranet for posting of things for sale, lost & found, and a book exchange, etc.  In the meantime, you are asked not to use the college e-mail for this. 

Prof. Warner awarded nurse educator fellowship
 We’ve received word that Thelma Warner, assistant professor of nursing, has been awarded a Nurse Educator Fellowship from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The fellowship includes a $10,000 stipend which will be used for professional development, cost of testing, nurse educator certification, software for a SimMan anatomy simulator, and book donated to the nursing department.


RC prof explores cultural impact of Oprah’s Book Club
 As anyone who has ever watched the Oprah Winfrey Show knows, Oprah’s Book Club, in which she recommends new books on the market (and buys copies for her audience) can have a significant impact on a book’s popularity (i.e. sales).  It has also given rise to a debate about the definition and purpose of literature in American culture.  One of those who has helped clarify this debate is RC’s Prof. Michael Perry of the English department, who has contributed to a collection from SUNY University Press that explores the broad culture of Oprah’s Book Club.  Writing about the collection, DelNel Rehberg Sedo of Mount Saint Vincent University says: “This is a valuable collection that will appeal to students and scholars across academia.”

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