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Weekly Update

Monday, August 03, 2009  
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Strategic plan Phase II environmental scanning

During the summer, members of the Executive Council are taking turns writing the President’s column. Today, we hear from Stephanie Quinn, executive vice president and dean of the college. 

Well, my eight weeks of study leave are over, and here is a one-page summary of my work.  A bit more information will be available at the pre-college conference.  I'll make the full report available to everyone, in hopes for good conversations in fall 2009 about a core question for Rockford College--what do we mean by our tradition in liberal arts learning, as expressed in our current mission statement.

The Liberal Arts, the Curriculum, and Higher Education in U.S. Society:

Connections, Disconnections, Reconnections

  • Statement of the Problem—regarding the liberal arts, who are we and why?

  • Rockford College Today—A Mixed Picture

  • Overview of the Report—Connections, Disconnections, Reconnections

    • Thesis of the Report
      • Rockford College is optimally poised to combine its traditional mission and current reality, with academic integrity and quality as well as market viability.
      • The college can address the manifold disconnections in current discussions about higher education and the liberal arts.
  • External Environment—Disconnections
    • Problems—higher education is experiencing enormous pressures of many kinds--economic, demographic, political, and intellectual -- at the same time that need for higher learning is intensifying everywhere.
    • Opportunities—many business and professional sectors seem to be saying the same things, but they are not speaking the same language or talking to each other.  What can Rockford College do to tell this story?
  • Liberal Education—Mistaken Connections and More Disconnections

Before Rockford College can decide if or how it will maintain or revise its liberal learning mission in relation to the external environment, we must all understand it together.

  • Reconnections—Voices from different sectors are sounding similar themes.
  • Back to Rockford College
    • RC is living the issues discussed above, to an intense degree; that very intensity could mean that we can define them as opportunities
    • Approaches for RC to Consider—make opportunities out of problems, all focusing on liberal learning
Enjoy the remaining days of summer, and see you soon.

Stephanie Quinn
Executive Vice President and Dean of the College

College once again named one of the ‘Best in the Midwest’
For the sixth year in a row, Rockford College has been named one of the best colleges in the Midwest by the Princeton Review, a New York-based firm that specializes in resources on colleges for prospective students.

The prestigious program breaks the U.S. down by region, and Rockford College is one of only 158 Midwest schools to receive the “Best in the Midwest” designation and one of 640 colleges nationwide to be included in the group’s lists. Only 25 percent (or one out of four) of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges are included in the “regional bests” category.

The Princeton Review made its selections based on institutional data received from colleges across the U.S., visits to colleges over the years, and opinions of high school and independent advisors. The Review also polled the colleges’ students on various aspects of college life using an 80-question survey.

Among the special distinctions noted for Rockford College is its civic engagement, involving students in community-based nonprofit organizations and projects. As a result, the college has previously been named a “College with a Conscience” by the Review. 

For a complete look at The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges Region by Region,” see   

‘Where’s Robert?’ debuts this week
The Weekly online newsletter starts a new feature this week called “Where’s Robert?” Each week, President Robert L. Head will list several events for the coming week that he will be attending. We hope you find this new feature informative. 

•    Meeting tomorrow with Mayor Morrissey to discuss partnership opportunities
•    Speech on Sunday at DuPage AME Church in Lisle, Ill.

Group takes in Ravinia yesterday
More than 50 staff and friends of the college traveled to Ravinia yesterday as part of a “Music as Pleasure” class sponsored by the Music Academy of Rockford College.  The group saw the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform “A Night in Vienna, Songs and Waltzes.”

Back stairs to Burpee being repaired
Starting today, crews will begin work on the concrete stairways leading to the east side entrance to Burpee Center. As this entrance will be taped off for construction, please use alternate means to access the building and use caution while in the area. Also, as part of this reconstruction projects the back ramp will be lengthened for safety. 

Welcome Bob Reaven as copy center/deliver manager
Bob Reaven, formerly a graduate assistant in the graduate office, will be taking over in the full-time role of copy center and delivery manager this week.  Bob comes to us with many years of management and graphic arts experience.  Welcome, Bob!

Summer Splash potluck Aug. 12
Make plans now to attend Summer Splash, a potluck for all Rockford College employees and their families August 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the Burpee Commons.  Games, food and fun! Beverages, hot dogs, and brats will be provided. Please bring a dish to pass (it is a potluck after all!). Not only will there be delicious food, but there will also be activities for kids, bean bags, water balloons and more.  RSVP to the CARE Committee by August 7.

Help spring Cassie from jail
Cassie Swanson (Mktg/Special Events) has agreed to sit in jail while she waits for her friends and colleagues to bail her out as part of the annual MDA Lock-Up.  It all takes place August 6 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Road Ranger Stadium.  For more or to contribute to the cause, see

Thank you, beautification volunteers
Kudos to Fred Hadley, chemistry, and a group of energetic volunteers who spent several weeks this summer beautifying the campus while also getting exercise. Your efforts are appreciated!

RC in the news
  • Bob Evans, political science, was quoted in the Rockford Register Star last Tuesday about the effectiveness of protests when it comes to economic issues. Among other things, the story talked about people who have been protesting proposed cuts affecting the city library.

  • Fred Rezazadeh, economics, was quoted in the Register Star yesterday about the economy’s effect on workweek hours. The story cites numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that show the average workweek has decreased by 48 minutes since the recession began.

  • Two RC education alums were featured in separate stories on the same day in the Register Star. Leann Burmeister, was featured in a “Get to Know Me” column. She’s an ’09 grad who will be teaching at Rockford Christian High School this fall. Another story featured Rebecca Bennett, a ‘99 grad, who will be a third grade teacher at the new Galapagos Charter School this fall.   
The Weekly will provide links to stories when they are posted on the Web.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

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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