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Weekly Update

Monday, April 06, 2009  
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A message from President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

New opportunities for higher ed may be on the horizon

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The landscape of higher education, generally believed to change at a glacial pace, is shifting more rapidly than ever before. While the economic crisis provides impetus for additional change, the evolution of our environment escalated long before. In 2007, Gov. Ted Strickland (Ohio) announced the strategic plan for the state, which prominently incorporated his vision for higher education. There were two components that seemed to declare war on private higher education:

·       The elimination of the Ohio Choice Grant, which was the equivalent of the Illinois Monetary Award Program Grant (MAP).  Gov. Strickland is against the use of public funds for the benefit of private institutions.

·       The creation of the University System of Ohio, linking the two-year and four-year public institutions. Two major initiatives of the system included: 1)  a “Seniors to Sophomores” program, creating the opportunity for any public high school student to attain college credit through dual enrollment at the public institution of their choice (and in the process, have the opportunity to eliminate the time and cost of a traditional freshman year in college); and 2) the creation of the “30-Mile Promise,” which allows four-year publics to offer baccalaureate degrees on the campuses of two-year colleges. The net result is that public institutions, two-year or four-year, exist no further than 30 miles from any citizen and are capable of providing a baccalaureate degree.

There are two bills of a similar nature pending in Illinois. The first is House Bill 656/Senate Bill 244 that would grant Harper Community College the right to offer two baccalaureate degrees. Harper’s argument is that 12 other states have granted community colleges this power in recent years. Both public and private four-year institutions are opposed to this expansion of mission and, likely, duplication of services.

The second bill is SB 1883, referred to as the Collaborative Baccalaureate Degree Development Program. This bill seeks to create partnerships between community colleges and four-year institutions (public and private) to offer baccalaureate degrees on or near the campuses of the community colleges. This bill is fully supported by the majority of four-year colleges.

What is clear to me is that the work we are doing this semester in preparation for the second phase of our strategic planning process is critically important to our future. It’s important to understand how Rockford College fits into today’s landscape, but even more important to know how we will fit into the landscape of the future. I applaud the work of the Committee on Environmental Scanning and the Mission and Vision Committee. Please participate in the upcoming discussions on mission and vision and let your voices be heard.

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.


Burpee 1st floor office moves planned
In the next week, minor construction will begin in preparation for a few office moves within the SAS and Admission suites on the first floor of Burpee.

Your patience is appreciated as this work may cause some amount of noise and clutter during business hours.

The changes will result in the following:

·       Additional office space for admission counselors while creating a more private space for the backroom functions of the Admission office to take place

·       Heather Snider, coordinator of institutional research, and her staff will relocate to offices within the SAS suite. This will require some minor changes to the dock area of Burpee to accommodate the additional people locating within the SAS suite.

During this transition, Maintenance will do everything possible to minimize the disruption to our students, faculty and staff.

RC grads to be inducted into business hall of fame
Two well-known Rockford College graduates have been named to the Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame and will be honored at a special dinner May 13 at Cliffbreakers. The two are Sunil Puri, head of First Rockford Group and Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gear.

Puri came to the Rockford area as a student at RC in 1979. Since forming First Rockford Group in 1984, he has become one of the top developers in the region with projects not only in Rockford, but also California, Arizona, and Florida. He also sits on a number of boards, including the Rockford College Board of Trustees, and is considered one of the area’s top philanthropists.

Young took over the family business, Forest City Gear, in 1968 and has helped grow the company into one that services a number of Fortune 500 companies and whose parts can even be found on the Mars rovers.

The hall of fame is sponsored by Junior Achievement. Congratulations, Sunil and Fred! 

Looking for job opportunities? Try speed networking
A “speed networking event” sponsored by Rockford College as well as NIU and the Rockford Area Career Clearinghouse will be held April 16 from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Katie’s Cup located at 502 7th St. There will be 10 Rockford College seniors as well as 10 seniors from Northern Illinois University participating in addition to 20 local companies being represented. This event is designed to help students meet with employers, practice their interviewing skills, and make connections in our community. It will also help employers meet potential candidates for positions and provide students with advice for their job searches. The sponsors are still looking for five more RC students, so if you’re interested, contact Kelly Haugen, career services director at


‘Connect the Dots’ is Wednesday
About 80 people are expected at the “Connect the Dots” event on campus Wednesday. CTD is an annual networking event for students, faculty and alumni of Rockford College. The event is sponsored by the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE).


Mohit Singh has big plans after graduation
We’ve received word that one of our students, Mohit Singh, will be off to Boston after graduating in May to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Mohit has been active in JACCE, Music Club, and other activities. He settled on MIT after also getting an offer from UC-Berkeley.  He plans to pursue his doctorate in nuclear science and engineering and then go on to Harvard for a degree in public policy/administration. Congratulations, Mohit!

SAAC sends Care packages to soldiers
A project sponsored by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to pack Care packages for service men and women with relatives locally packed 16 packages last week and sent them off to the soldiers. SACC thanks the college community for its donations and generosity.   


Sundstedt is Employee of the Month
Bern Sundstedt, director of alumni and development, has been named RC’s Employee of the Month for March. Bern, a ’78 RC grad, has worked as a professional actor on and off Broadway, in regional theatre, and on television.  Today, working in alumni relations and development, he stays in touch with RC alumni and helps cultivate relationships with both alums and friends of the college.  As one nominator put it: “Bern has worked tirelessly and consistently above and beyond typical office hours—not just for alumni donors but for Rockford College as a community for the past 15 years in a variety of campus capacities.”  Well-done, Bern!   

New life-saving device for the Athletic Department
The Athletic Department is the beneficiary of a new automatic external defibrillator along with training for the staff.  The donation comes from the Rockford Memorial Development Foundation external grants program.


RC sets “Take Back the Night’ event Thursday
Rockford College hosts “Take Back the Night” April 9 to raise awareness of the problem of violence against women. The event starts with a gathering at 4:30 p.m. in the Grace Roper Lounge of the Burpee Center on campus followed by a march around campus at 5 p.m. and inspirational ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The college is holding this event in collaboration with Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All activities are open to the public and both women and men are encouraged to attend.

Residence Hall Council plans bake sale
As many of you may be aware, Rockford College’s Residence Hall Council (RHC) is in the process of raising funds for the numerous projects they are undertaking both now and in the coming semester.  The council has set a bake sale on April 8 toward this end. 

Baked goods are essential to a bake sale, so the RHC is asking for donations! Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, lemon bars, or something special we haven’t thought of, they’d love to sell it!

So bring a batch of something made from scratch, a special recipe you’re renowned for, or even just your favorite baked goods from your local bakery or grocery store!

The group will be taking donations for two days preceding the bake sale, as well as on the morning of the event, so drop your baked goods by Nick Kaplewski’s Office in Nelson on April 6, 7, or the morning of April 8. If that doesn’t work for you, e-mail and they’ll set up a time to send someone over and pick up your donation!

If you’re willing to donate baked goods, please contact the RHC so they have an idea of how many donations they might be receiving.

Psych honor society inducts new members
The Psi Chi honor society in psychology inducted seven new members into their Rockford College chapter last week. The students are:

·       Amber Champion – Rockford

·       Michelle Craglow – Rockford

·       Anastashia Glazier – Caledonia

·       Brian Miller – Rockford

·       Danielle Townsend – Machesney Park

·       Jenna Warren – Ashland, Wis.

·       Randi Woodward – Machesney Park

RAGE sets annual 5K Walk/Run
Regent Athletics Getting Excited (RAGE) is hosting its 2nd Annual Regent 5k Walk/Run Sun., April 19 at 10 a.m. (April Weekend). The event will be held on campus, and sign-up takes place at Seaver Gymnasium. Entry fee is $3 and donations are accepted. All proceeds will be donated to the local Special Olympics Foundation. Come out and support RAGE, represent Rockford College and accomplish a goal for yourself!

Note you do not have to run the 5k, as participants are also encouraged to come out and walk. Anyone and everyone is welcome to take part in this race: students, faculty, staff, family, friends, and even local Rockford runners. Prizes will be awarded to the first five women and first five men, as well as five random drawings for participants. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation without participating, you are more than welcome.

If you have any questions about the 5k or RAGE, contact Tony Hardin ( or Coach Balon (

Position opening posted on our Web site
A new position has been posted on the Rockford College Web site.  Qualified internal candidates and qualified students are encouraged to apply.  Also, some of our best employees are referrals from our current employees! See the Web site for more details on the Communications Specialist opening, 


Volunteers needed for commencement
Commencement Day is quickly approaching and what better way to honor your fellow graduating classmates than to volunteer? Volunteers are needed the day of commencement, Sun., May 17 from noon – 4 p.m. Please let Cassie Swanson, (director of marketing and special events) know very soon if you are able to share your time. You can reach Cassie at


InterVarsity observes ‘Justice Week’
This week is "Justice Week" at InterVarsity and they’ll be showing a short documentary about the global slave trade and then discussing what we, including college students, can do to be involved in the fight against it. As always, this event is open to the entire campus community. InterVarsity meets Thursdays at 8 p.m. in Fisher Chapel.


Oxford Classical Dictionary now online in Colman
Colman Library is now offering the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the online version of a long-time standard in classical reference. The link to this is now available on the Colman home page under “Reference.” You can also click on the title here to take a look at it.
This purchase marks another step toward building an electronic reference collection. Going forward, purchase of e-reference works will be a focus. If you have suggestions for reference works you’d like to have available online, contact Phil Hjemboe at


RCPC: Creating a competitive edge for the future
Do you want to gain real world experience while networking with local Rockford business leaders? Then the Rockford College Professional Club (RCPC) may be for you.
The new RCPC will be working directly with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce to help students network and develop professional skills necessary for the working world once they graduate. The club will be inviting in guest speakers, holding workshops, and organizing off campus visits to local businesses, among many other activities.
Students will also be invited to many of the networking events held by the Chamber of Commerce, so you will be able to form relationships with companies that could lead to internships and possible future employment.
This club is for all students, not just business majors. Don't let the professional in the club name deter you. The companies that they will be working with cover all aspects of the working world, so any student can gain from this experience.
If you’re interested, contact Marty McLain at with all of your contact information and any times you will be available to meet in the next two weeks. You will not want to miss out on this opportunity to gain a competitive edge for your future!

Preparation Techniques for the GRE 2009
Prepare for the GRE with this specially-designed course. Meets Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the following dates: April 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14.  Please be prepared to attend all classes with the required text at each session: How To Prepare for the GRE 2009 Edition by Barron’s, which must be purchased for this 10-hour review.


For more information or to register for the class, call 815-226-4087 or e-mail Starr Science room 402 is the location.

There is a $50 fee for Rockford College students. Class size is limited.

Prof. Schiek to present ‘Last Lecture’
Tammy Schiek, assistant professor of physical education, has been nominated to present the “Last Lecture” on April 14 at 4 p.m. in the Fisher Chapel. It’s an opportunity for her to reflect on life as if this was going to be her last message before passing.

The Last Lecture is based on a concept developed by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch who delivered the talk “The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life” on facing terminal pancreatic cancer. Schiek was nominated based on nominations from students, followed by narrowing down the finalists, and then another vote by students.  The event is sponsored by the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JAACE).   

Mission, Vision Committee sets open meeting                                           
The Mission and Vision Committee seeks input from the entire campus community at a meeting to be held April 8 from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre. The discussion will center on the pros and cons of our current Mission and Vision statements. The group’s goal is to get input and feedback on the college’s Vision and Mission statements.

Dance is focus of three Penny Theatre production
Rockford College’s Three Penny Theatre presents an original performance of “More Adventurous Modern/Hip Dance Show” April 10-11, 7:30 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre. The show, which features modern, contemporary and jazz dance, was choreographed by Rockford College students Rebecca Pink, Jessica Pink, Jessica Julian and Matt Casey. Admission is by donation at the door. All proceeds go to support the college’s Regent Players. For more information, contact the Rockford College box office at 815-226-4100.     

BSU Talent Show auditions set
Auditions for a talent show hosted by the Black Student Union at Rockford College will be held April 24 and May 1 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. and April 25 and May 2 from noon – 2 p.m. in the Lion’s Den. Auditions are open to the public and all are invited to audition. The BSU Talent Show will be held at the college May 7 at 7 p.m. For more information, call Kenneth McNeal, BSU president, 773-860-5641;, or Danyelle Perry, BSU vice president, 779-770-2923,

Community Search
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FORUM: Babes In Arms

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

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