Monday, February 23, 2009
From President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.
We welcome our HLC accreditation team to campus
Dear students, faculty and staff:
It is my privilege to welcome the team of Higher Learning Commission Consultant-Evaluators to our campus today. Once again, the team includes:
· Dr. Lee Bash (Team Chair) – Dean, College of Working Adults, William Penn University
· Dr. J. Richard Ellis – Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, John Brown University
· Dr. Nancy L. Erickson – Vice President for Academic Affairs, Iowa Wesleyan College
· Dr. J. Burton Kirkwood - Associate Professor of History/Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Evansville
· Dr. Scott D. Miller - President, Bethany College
· Dr. William J. Shustowski, Jr. - Vice President of University Advancement, University of St. Francis
Thanks to all of our faculty and staff who worked so hard to prepare us for this moment. We are well prepared for the visit and I look forward to it. The team has the mission of reviewing where we are versus HLC standards. The varied backgrounds and experiences of the team members will provide a solid foundation for a thorough and helpful analysis of Rockford College. The outcome will help inform and enable the continuous improvement of our institution. I want to encourage you to attend the closing meeting in Regents Hall on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
Another important topic is the continued work of our Board of Trustees. The February meeting of the board occurred over this past weekend and resulted in significant dialogue on several issues along with a few actions that I want to make you aware of. Those actions include:
· Approval of an amendment to the faculty constitution dissolving the Advisory Committee on Long-Range Academic Planning (ACLRAP) and establishing the Committee on Academic Assessment and Planning (CAAP). CAAP will have the responsibility for academic assessment; provide feedback on assessment for academic planning; and give oversight to academic program review.
· Acceptance of the audited financial statements from the 2008 fiscal year. The audit produced a clean opinion and confirmed the third consecutive year of a positive change in net assets for Rockford College.
· Confirming officers for the period February 2009 through June 2010 as follows: R. Ray Wood, Chair; David R. Rydell, Vice-Chair; Peter Provenzano, Treasurer; and Jane R. Thomas, Secretary. As you have the opportunity, please congratulate them and thank them for their commitment.
Have a great week!
Robert L. Head, Ph.D.
It’s accreditation time!
As Dr. Head mentioned, an evaluation team from the North Central Association/Higher Learning Commission is conducting a Comprehensive Visit at Rockford College today through Wednesday. If you see one of the team members, say hello. And don’t forget to wear your “Regent Pride” button this week!
For them, spring break is a time to volunteer
While many students will be relaxing or heading to warm-weather destinations this spring, some 37 students and staff will head down to Starkville, Miss. for the 14th annual Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break, for a chance to build homes with Habitat for Humanity.
The group of volunteers is participating in the Collegiate Challenge from March 7-14, a year-round Habitat-sponsored event to provide simple, decent, affordable homes for people in need. This alternative to more traditional spring break activities has become an important part of the Rockford College experience, and in 2005, the trip was named in honor of the late Dr. Alan Hutchcroft, a former Rockford College chemistry professor.
This year’s contingent includes 26 students and 11 alumni/staff. One of the volunteers, Rockford College alum Ron Aitchison from Indiana, is making his 11th trip to Starkville this year.
Aside from the home-building, the group will take part in team-building activities including a rope exercise about 50 feet above ground. They will stay at Camp Seminole, a Boy Scout camp, along with students from other colleges around the U.S.
For the second year, volunteers will post blogs on the Rockford College Web site documenting their experience. Go to http://www.rockford.edu to view their posts.
Changes on the way for portal, e-mail
First, the portal is being updated to include Rockford College Classifieds. This section of the portal will allow you to post items for sale, list lost and found items, and sell or buy books through a book exchange. There is also a section for clubs and organizations to post meeting announcements and events. Submissions will expire after 14 days unless they are re-posted. You can use this new feature of the portal now at my.rockford.edu. And watch for a whole look and feel to the site in the near future!
We are adding this new feature for your convenience, and to begin to control the number of broadcast e-mails being sent to the entire college community. So, if you’re thinking of sending a broadcast e-mail out, ask yourself: Is there a better way to communicate with the college? How can you best target your message to your intended audience? The portal may be the answer.
The second change is very important and affects everyone who has a college e-mail address. Beginning March 22, new e-mail log-in policies will take effect that will require you to change your password every 90 days. Moreover, your new password will need to include a combination of eight letters and numbers.
This change will help the college conform to new standards regarding e-mail security. Even if you’ve never been victim of someone hacking into your e-mail, you would want your account to be as secure as possible. That is why we are making the policy change.
We’ll tell you more about the portal and e-mail change in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the IT help desk is at your service if you have any questions. Just call ext. 4127.
Prof. Kitchen to have manuscript published
Prof Duane Kitchen, associate professor of biology and chair of the department, reports that a manuscript he co-authored was accepted for publication in the journal, Plant and Soil. The paper, "Annual fire and mowing alter biomass, depth distribution, and C and N content of roots and bulk soil in tallgrass prairie" will be published online in the next week or so, and will be distributed both online and in print. Co-authors are Dr. John Blair, Kansas State University, and Dr. Mac Callaham, Jr., USDA Forest Service Southeast Research Station.
Plant and Soil is an international journal that publishes original research papers and solicited review articles that deal with the interface of plant biology and soil sciences, and are of general interest. Plant and Soil is published under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Society of Agricultural Science.
Charter Day observed at Rockford College Wed., Feb. 25, 4-5 p.m.
The long-held tradition of Charter Day commemorates the founding of the college in 1847, and has been held every year since. It features all faculty in their full regalia, flags, and ceremony. Featured speaker this year is Dr. Belinda Wholeben, professor of psychology. The event is held in the Maddox Theatre.
See Civil Rights Walk-Through before it’s too late
If you haven’t seen the Martin Luther King, Civil Rights & African American History Museum Walk-Through, you still have time. This display includes photos, newspaper articles, and other artifacts of the civil rights movement from its beginnings in the 60s to the present. It’s located on the 2nd floor hallway in the Burpee Center.
Open Mic in Lion’s Den
Watch or perform at the new Open Mic Thursdays, Feb. 26 and March 5, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. in the Lion’s Den. Showcase your musical talent, try your hand at performing or come to support your fellow musicians. Original singer-songwriters, all music styles welcome. Free. For more information, call 815-226-4176. Hosted by Matt Flamm, assistant professor, and Student Activities.
Best way to handle lost items
Did you know that there is a lost and found in the mailroom on 2nd floor Burpee? If have found something (keys, books, flash drives, clothing items) the best way to handle it is to check the lost and found box first. By the same token, if you have lost something, check the lost and found first. The mailroom is open Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Chuck Cornele and Ashley Geiger to do the Polar Plunge
Care to take a plunge into a lake in the middle of winter? That just what Chuck Cornele, Maintenance, and Ashley Geiger, Athletic Trainer, are doing March 7. It’s all for a good cause: Special Olympics Illinois, a non-profit offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 21,000 athletes age 8 and over with intellectual disabilities. You can donate online to either participant by going to http://www.firstgiving.com/
(name of participant). Chuck and Ashley will join about 2,600 other brave souls around the state to take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Illinois. This is the second year that Cornele has taken the dip; it’s Geiger’s third plunge.
On Forum essays
Just a reminder that the deadline for submission of “Failed Forum Essays” is March 2. This covers the fall semester and any period prior. For more information, call Prof. Catherine Forslund at ext. 5211.
Speaking of deadlines
The priority deadline for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is March 1. This applies to both new and continuing students. Since many types of financial aid are given on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s important to submit the form. You can find the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Armelin earns NAC honor
When the Northern Athletics Conference announced its weekly Student-Athlete of the Week awards on last Monday, listed among the winners was Rockford College men’s basketball junior Danny Armelin Jr. He joins Regents senior Rennell Taylor as the only Regents men’s basketball players to receive the award.
Armelin, a sports management major, has been a major player in the Regents’ recent basketball resurgence. On the season, Armelin is leading Rockford with 18 points, good for third in the NAC. He also ranks as Rockford’s leader in three point percentage (41.4%) and free throw percentage (84.1) and among the top three in minutes (32.4), assists (51), and steals (32). Congratulations, Danny Armelin Jr.!
‘Diary of Anne Frank’ this week in Cheek Theatre
You may want to get tickets for the Regent Players performance of “The Diary of Anne Frank” soon. The shows for Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon are sold out, but you can still get tickets for Thursday and Friday nights. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets can be secured at the box office in the Clark Arts Center. Cost is $10 for adults; $7 for students and seniors.
Rezazadeh will appear on public affairs TV show
Economics professor Fred Rezazadeh will talk about the economic stimulus package on “13 Cares” this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on Channel 13.