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Rockford University LogoFall 2020 Academic Plan

06/17/2020 12:33 pm

The faculty and staff at Rockford University are excited to welcome students back in the fall, and today we are sharing our plans to offer our exceptional educational experience assuming Illinois Phase 4 guidelines (https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-phase-4) will be in place. To protect the health and safety of the RU family while following recommended guidelines, we will be offering a blended curriculum that enables in-person, on-campus learning while adhering to social distancing guidelines and providing a safe and clean environment for our community. 

All classes will be designed with a hybrid approach using virtual and in-person instruction. This will allow a variety of classes to meet face-to-face while simultaneously employing current technologies, fully utilizing classroom space, and accommodating those students, faculty, and staff who find themselves in a vulnerable class in regards to Covid-19. Moreover, such preparation, in the unlikely event, we find ourselves back in Illinois Phase 3, will leave all classes well prepared to respond with fully online programs.  Indeed, our faculty and staff have been planning to ensure your experience is positive and personal – no matter the learning environment.

There also will be changes to the academic calendar to better accommodate a safe environment for our students.  We will begin the semester as planned on August 19th, but we will not have the traditional 3-day fall break. The final day of the regular semester will be November 24th, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Final exams will occur online the week after Thanksgiving. This schedule change allows you to return home before Thanksgiving and complete final exams online, so you do not need to return to campus; however, it is important to note that residence halls will be available for students who wish or need to return to campus.  In addition, further communication regarding residential and student life will be coming out next week.

Regardless if you find yourself in the traditional undergraduate program, if you are living on campus or commuting, if you are enrolled in the adult degree completion program, or one of our graduate programs, please know that these guidelines and safety measures apply to all of our students.  We are aware that the demands, needs, and schedules of these various programs differ, and the policies and procedures we develop in the coming months will make sure to not only take those issues into account, but we will also make sure the appropriate communication reaches each of our students. 

We are still actively planning and working through many details and possibilities. With so many uncertainties, we recognize you may have questions as the fall semester approaches.  Over the next two months, faculty and staff will be working out details regarding our fall curriculum insofar as various modes of delivery, location of classes, and concrete safety protocols.  Moreover, we are actively monitoring recommendations and guidelines from local, state, and national officials, and designing responses with our students, faculty, staff, and partners in higher education.

Our top priority is to deliver the Rockford University experience to our students with all precautions and measures to keep our campus community safe and healthy. We understand and anticipate that some of these plans may need to evolve based on changing circumstances. If and when they do, we’re prepared to respond and keep you informed.

Michael Perry, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of English
Rockford University

Academic Planning Work Group

06/12/2020 12:10 pm

The Provost, Registrar, Academic Deans and Faculty Officers have been meeting to plan for Fall 2020 semester.  We are finalizing plans which will be communicated to the RU community during the week of June 15-19.  We are developing plans that follow IL Phase IV guidelines as well as Federal, State, and Local health agency recommendations.

Over the past week we have encouraged all faculty to reach out to deans to share ideas/concerns and distributed a survey seeking additional input and assessing levels of confidence from faculty scheduled to teach in the fall.  In addition, in partnership with facilities, we are looking closely at all learning spaces and assessing capacity that allows for proper social distancing.  Finally, we are making sure adequate support systems and trainings are available in regards to remote and hybrid delivery of curriculum if necessary.  

 See additional relevant updates

 

Employee Work Group Update

06/12/2020 11:54 am

This group has been comprised of faculty and staff from Human Resources, Admissions, Lang Health Center, Library and Operations.  The group was responsible for recommending and implementing a phased return to work plan under guidance given by CDC, OSHA, WCHD, IDPH, and CUPA-HR.

The group finalized a return-to-the-workplace under phases III, which went into effect on June 1, 2020.  The highlights of the plan is as follows:

  • Intro to returning to the workplace: Prior to coming back to work all employees should take the brief training from Safe Colleges that was sent out today called Corona Awareness.  There will be more trainings that might be required at a future date.
  • Phased staffing: VP’s and supervisors will discuss the below phased staffing plan for their departments.  This will include staff and graduate assistants.  Student employees will only be allowed to work in a very limited capacity in key areas.  Faculty can start to return to their offices, but should follow the guidelines attached.
  • Alternating Days/Shifts: In  order  to   limit   the  number  of  individuals  and  interactions  among  those  on campus, departments  should   schedule   partial   staffing  on  alternating  Such   schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.
  • Staggered Hours: Supervisors will have the availability to staff hours so that employees report to work at different times.
  • Remote Work: Those  who can  work  remotely  to  fulfill   some of their  work  responsibilities may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the  COVID-19    These arrangements, which should be approved by the immediate supervisors, can be done on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.
  • Safety practices that are required: Any employee who is reporting to work will need to complete a self-assessment to ensure they do not have any symptoms.  This self-assessment is referenced in the guide. Employees will also need to take their temperature prior to reporting to work.  Any fever great than 100.4 would indicate an employee should not report to work. Face masks must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to       maintain (e.g., common workspaces,  meeting  rooms, classrooms, ).  Appropriate use of face masks    is critical in   minimizing risks to others near you.
  • Reference handouts: There are many reference materials in the attached guide (pdf).  All employees will be required to read each of these prior to coming back to work.
  • Meeting guidelines: All meetings should continue to be held via zoom, if at all possible.  Smaller meetings will be allowed with no more than 4 employees social distancing and wearing masks. Employees should not be congregating in a small space, at any time, without wearing masks.
  • Visitors: The University will be open to visitors but in a very limited capacity.  This will include the Athletics and Admissions Departments.  In order to be able to have visitors come to campus, they will need to follow very strict guidelines that will include scheduling (by appointment only) one visitor at a time, having the visitor sign in and out on a log with a telephone number, visitors have to be accompanied by an employee at all times, and each visitor must follow all guidelines, including wearing a face mask and social distancing.
  • The campus will remain closed to the public until further notice:  Frisbee golf will remain closed.  The only visitors allowed are those who have scheduled an appointment with the department they will be meeting with.

As phase IV approaches, these guidelines will be updated and communicated to the campus community. Please continue to visit this site for further updates.

Facilities Work Group Update

06/12/2020 11:50 am

This work group has been comprised of staff from Residence Life, the Lang Health Center, Operations, Dining Services, and Custodial.  Their charge has been to examine the delivery of services across each of these areas in light of the Covid-19 situation.  Listed below is an update of their most recent items of discussion and action. 

  • Cleaning schedules:
    • Public restrooms: the cleaning frequency will be doubled to twice daily, morning and afternoon.
    • Common restrooms (residence halls): the cleaning frequency will be doubled to twice daily, morning and afternoon.
    • Lounges and other common areas: the cleaning frequency will be doubled to twice daily and will include the sanitizing of high-touch features
    • Classrooms: strategizing as to how to clean desk surfaces between classes
    • Hand sanitizing stations: increasing our number of stations around campus, placing stations at all entry points to residence halls
  • Social distancing:
    • Lounges: occupancy and seating reduced to meet Phase IV of Illinois State standards
    • Dining areas: occupancy and seating reduced to meet Phase IV of Illinois State standards
    • Hallway traffic: certain key hallways will be routed as one-way so at to maximize social distancing
  • Signage: signage around campus and in residence halls to remind people of social distancing necessities, self-monitoring of health necessities, and where to go for help on any issues/concerns related to Covid-19
  • Dining services:
    • Den: spacing signage, reduced occupancy, flow instructions
    • Dining hall: spacing signage, reduced occupancy, flow instructions
  • Health alerts/reminders:
    • Social media: frequent updates via RU’s websites, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds
    • Lang Wellness Center: serve as the “information hub” for securing the latest updates from Winnebago County Health, the Center for Disease Control, and the State of Illinois

These topics are matters of on-going discussion and evaluation amidst a fluid environment.  We also anticipate that additional items will be added to this list.  As updates and new information come in, our thoughts, strategies, and efforts will be adjusted accordingly.  Please continue to watch this space for further bi-weekly updates. 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of our lives, I have no doubt that in ways we may not yet recognize or fully appreciate, it has made us stronger and more adaptable.  The uncertainty of this time has raised questions about how Rockford University, along with our peers across the country, will resume operations in the fall. We are thinking about potential answers to these questions daily.

First, let me state clearly that it is our intent to begin our fall semester with in-person instruction and to open the residence halls. I say this with complete acknowledgment of the continued fluidity our current environment dictates. I believe we have a distinct advantage in being able to offer smaller classes and activities in a variety of flexible spaces, which will aid in our ability to adhere to the latest public health standards. In all circumstances, the University will follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal health authorities to ensure that we are doing everything necessary to protect the health and safety of our entire campus community.

We are also aware that it is likely that a second wave of the virus will occur. As such, several contingency plans are being vetted to prepare us for whatever situation may face us this fall. This includes not only asking our faculty to prepare for the possibility of both in-person and online delivery options for all classes, but also scheduling options that involve a hybrid blend of offerings (classes that meet both face to face and online) to allow us greater ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Large gatherings, student activities, performances, and athletic events may still be limited. Be assured that we are considering multiple scenarios so that we can make every effort to start the 2020-2021 academic year together.

There are still many unknowns between now and August. We will continue to provide updates as we progress through the summer to keep you informed. These efforts require a delicate balance between making premature decisions with potentially long-term ramifications and acting soon enough to allow for students, families, and University personnel to plan as needed.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility over the last couple of months.  I have every confidence that we will find a good and positive path forward – together.

Sincerely,
President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of our lives, I have no doubt that in ways we may not yet recognize or fully appreciate, it has made us stronger and more adaptable.  The uncertainty of this time has raised questions about how Rockford University, along with our peers across the country, will resume operations in the fall. We are thinking about potential answers to these questions daily.

First, let me state clearly that it is our intent to begin our fall semester with in-person instruction and to open the residence halls. I say this with complete acknowledgment of the continued fluidity our current environment dictates. I believe we have a distinct advantage in being able to offer smaller classes and activities in a variety of flexible spaces, which will aid in our ability to adhere to the latest public health standards. In all circumstances, the University will follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal health authorities to ensure that we are doing everything necessary to protect the health and safety of our entire campus community.

We are also aware that it is likely that a second wave of the virus will occur. As such, several contingency plans are being vetted to prepare us for whatever situation may face us this fall. This includes not only asking our faculty to prepare for the possibility of both in-person and online delivery options for all classes, but also scheduling options that involve a hybrid blend of offerings (classes that meet both face to face and online) to allow us greater ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Large gatherings, student activities, performances, and athletic events may still be limited. Be assured that we are considering multiple scenarios so that we can make every effort to start the 2020-2021 academic year together.

There are still many unknowns between now and August. We will continue to provide updates as we progress through the summer to keep you informed. These efforts require a delicate balance between making premature decisions with potentially long-term ramifications and acting soon enough to allow for students, families, and University personnel to plan as needed.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility over the last couple of months.  I have every confidence that we will find a good and positive path forward – together.

Sincerely,
President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D.

March 26, 2020 Campus Update

Online instruction will take place for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester; Changes to Residence Hall Occupancy; May Commencement Ceremony canceled.


Dear Rockford University Community,

We are closely monitoring the effects that the COVID-19 crisis is creating for higher education. Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Winnebago County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Health, and the State of Illinois, we have made several decisions to protect our students and employees. Simultaneously, we also are working diligently to find new ways to deliver instruction so that our students can maintain their studies. As such, the following changes will take effect immediately for the remainder of the spring semester.

Online Learning Extended
Remote learning will be in place for the rest of the semester. I am confident that faculty and students will continue to find new ways to innovate and learn together. Our sense of community remains a hallmark of our institution, and not even a pandemic can alter that bond.

Residence Halls Closing
This decision impacts our remaining residential students. Up until this point, we allowed students who wished to live on campus to continue to do so. We were able to accommodate those needs within the state’s Stay At-home order. Now that we will not return to in-person learning, we are asking all students to return to their permanent residence by April 4. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent this, students will be able to appeal to remain on campus. Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case.

We are developing a plan to provide a prorated credit for room and board charges. We will provide the specifics on this as soon as possible, and information will be sent directly to students. Students should be watching their Rockford.edu emails closely.

Commencement
These decisions also directly affect how we will close out the semester and celebrate our graduating class. It is with sadness that we now must cancel our commencement ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 17. We recognize the unique importance this day holds for our graduating seniors and their families and friends, along with our faculty and staff who find such joy in celebrating the accomplishments of our students. We are moving forward with plans for a virtual ceremony to take place in May, and diplomas will be mailed when available. We are also working on plans for an in-person ceremony this fall once we can safely gather together again. More details will be shared regarding this as soon as possible.

Most other events scheduled on campus for the remainder of the spring term are also canceled.

These are unprecedented times, and we are making challenging decisions that are in the best interests of the health and safety of our Rockford University community.  Please continue to be patient with one another and to extend grace whenever you can – knowing that everyone is forced to deal with new realities and to give up things that they never imagined having to do.  We will come through this time as a stronger campus community.

Eric Fulcomer
President

map with different continentsLes chemins de Loco-Miroir

10/14/2019 6:15 pm

  1. Image
    In this book, the story takes place in an island called Haiti, in the city of Jéremie, this island is in the middle of the Caribbean Sea next to Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

    In this island, people speaks two languages, French and creole but most of them speak creole. There is a lot of racism unfortunately, white people have more right than black people.

  2. Background
    This book talks about the adventure between 2 twin’s sisters, Violaine, a beautiful white girl and cocotte, a black girl, these sisters are twins but they are also really different.

    In the book, Violaine acts like the girl who like to break the rules, and cocotte is the innocent girl, she observes and analyze people’s behavior, specially Violaine’s attitude, she is helpful and generous too. But the story is mostly around the lovely relationship between Violaine and a black Guy, Alexandre and about the jealous feeling of Phillipe Edouard, a rich white guy.

    We can understand that the relationship between Violaine and Alexandre will be full of problems because of Alexandre’s skin color.

    Indeed, Violaine is white and Alexandre is black, her parents doesn’t accept their relationship, basically she has been promised to Phillipe Edouard, a rich white guy.

  3. Critical analysis and assessment of assigned texts
    The technique used in this book is very special and interesting, the narrator changed each chapter, for example, for one chapter, cocotte tell us the story, like what is going on, and the next chapter is explain by another character. This technique is used because by this way, we can figure out the feelings of each character, how the character think about the situation, because when we read a chapter, we are inside the mind of the character who explain us the story.
  4. AAC & U Global Learning:
    In Haiti at this time, there is a lot of racism, White people are like the high social class, they have a better education than black people, they have more money and more right than them.

    Violaine and Cocotee grew up with a white family, their family is famous in Jéremie, they are rich and they belong to the high social class, so we could say that they had a good education, a nice childhood.

    The message of this book says that there is no limit with love, we are all humans and we all deserve to be loved by someone else, the book says also that love can be sometimes out of control and we have to be careful. For example, in the book, during the ball, Violaine was angry after everybody because her love Alexandre has been taken because of his color’s skin, she even spited on her mom’s face. 

  5. Reactions and though
    Personally, I totally agree with the message of this book, there is no limit with love, it is the most beautiful thing in the world, we all deserve to be loved and nothing could stop that.

    This book reminds me the story of Romeo and Juliette, they are both in love with each other’s but they can be together forever because their family are both against that. At the end, they both died so they can be together forever. This end is similar with the end of “Les Chemins de loco-miroir” because at the end of the book, Violaine’s soul die, she has been empoisoned because her family didn’t accept her relationship with Alexandre. So, after her sould died, she acted like a zombie, she was under control and her parents gave her to Phillipe-Edouard.

Rock Solid Regent JhasmynJhasmyn O’Connor is our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the month of October! Jhasmyn is a junior double majoring in biochemistry and human development with a concentration in child and adolescent development. She was nominated by Dr. Gidget Tay and Dr. Bill Doria. Jhasmyn is known as a well-prepared and enthusiastic student. Her professors believe she is a great role model for younger students to emulate: involved in the community (both on and off campus), engaged in class, and a well-rounded, kind human-being.

Jhasmyn is involved in many aspects of the Rockford University Community. Jhasmyn is president of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate (a club that she helped found), a member of Alpha Helix, and a member the Math Club. She works at Student Administrative Services, is an IT lab assistant, and does organic synthetic chemistry research on campus. Her other responsibilities include being a Campus Liaison to assist first-year students as well as an Advancement Ambassador. Jhasmyn’s plans after graduation are to attend a Graduate/Medical school to obtain her MD and PhD in Biochemistry. She truly is a Rock Solid Regent. Congratulations Jhasmyn!

Faris Al-YamiCongratulations to our final ROCK SOLID REGENT for this semester, Faris Al-Yami. Faris is a freshmen nursing major from Najran, Saudi Arabia. He was nominated by Dr. Mehmet Dik, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. Dr. Dik shared that Faris has done a superior job in his Math courses. He is always prepared and a regular participant in class discussions. Faris is helpful to his classmates in many ways. He helps others with course work and he also assists domestic students with understanding his culture.

Faris has served as a Global Ambassador and international student orientation leader, welcoming new students to the RU campus. The Office of Global Affairs shared that he is “always willing to lend a helping hand.” Additionally, Faris is the Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Club, a member of the Multicultural Club and a member of the Saudi Arabian Soccer Club.

RU has been a great place for Faris to study. He is appreciative of the closeness of the campus community and how people get the opportunity to really know each other well. Faris desires to be a great nurse and eventually become a top healthcare provider. Congratulations to our ROCK SOLID Regent, Faris Al-Yami.