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Campus News / News

Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., appointed 18th President of Rockford University

02/22/2016 1:28 pm

For immediate release – February 22, 2016 Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill., – The Rockford University Board of Trustees announced today that Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., has been appointed as the 18th President of Rockford University, and to succeed Robert L. Head, Ph.D., who is retiring June 30, 2016. Dr. Fulcomer is the current Vice President for Enrollment Management at Rockford University and has more than two decades of leadership experience in higher education. The appointment was finalized with a unanimous vote at the University’s Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Dr. Fulcomer will take office as President on July 1, 2016.

‌Rockford University Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas A. Muldowney ’74 said, “After a nationwide search to select a successor to President Head, we are extremely pleased to have unanimously chosen a President who is well-positioned to expand on the stability and improvements that Dr. Head has overseen for the past eight years. Dr. Fulcomer understands our strengths and challenges; his insight and proven leadership will be extremely beneficial for our University. We are very proud and excited about the prospects for Rockford University with Dr. Fulcomer at its helm.”

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the 18th President of Rockford University” stated Dr. Fulcomer. “Since joining the institution three years ago, I have been so impressed by our highly distinguished faculty who excel in their fields and who prepare our students well for graduate school, vocation and active participation in a global society. I have been equally impressed by our many dedicated staff members who support our students in so many ways. I believe that the education we provide at Rockford University is indeed the very best of what American higher education has to offer: grounded in the liberal arts, extended by professional and practical experience. I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, board, alumni and friends as we continue to build a strong future for our great University.”

Board of Trustees Vice Chair and the Presidential Search Committee Chair James W. Keeling added, “Dr. Fulcomer brings a highly successful enrollment expertise to the position. Under his leadership, enrollment has steadily improved, with a record student enrollment this year. We know how essential this remains for the success of any university, especially Rockford. In addition, Eric has the unique experience of having served as an elected official for 11 years in his former community, as alderman, council president and mayor. During his three years in Rockford, Dr. Fulcomer has been an excellent representative of Rockford University as a community leader with Transform Rockford, Alignment Rockford, and as a board member and volunteer for other local and regional organizations.”

President Robert L. Head added, “Dr. Fulcomer has proven himself to be an exceptional leader and dedicated proponent for Rockford University. Beyond his success in leading us in growing enrollments to record levels, he is uniquely qualified to continue without disruption the momentum already underway. It’s been my pleasure to work alongside Dr. Fulcomer for the past three years and I’m thrilled that he has been chosen to lead Rockford University in its efforts to become an increasingly capable institution for our students and community.”

More about Dr. Head’s presidency
Dr. Head joined Rockford University in June of 2008. Under his direction, the University has achieved several successful milestones that include:

• Total net assets have increased 300 percent to $24.2 million up from $6 million in FY09.
• Endowment has grown by $3.5 million.
• Enrollments are at record highs, including largest recorded number of full-time undergraduate students for fall 2015 – up nearly 9 percent from 2014 and reflective of a 23 percent increase since 2006.
• Named Best in the Midwest – Princeton Review; Tier One Midwest University – US News & World Report.
• Significant annual economic impact to the region of $118 million.
• Geographic footprint currently represents 24 states and 23 countries.
• Since FY07, $14 million has been invested in capital improvements throughout campus, including the Burpee Student Center and Seaver Physical Education Center renovations.
• Concluded 9th consecutive year with a positive operating budget for FY15.
• Successful launch of a $17.3 million dollar capital campaign in October 2015.

Dr. Head announced his intention to retire in February 2015.

About Dr. Fulcomer‌‌
In addition to his enrollment management responsibilities at Rockford University, Dr. Fulcomer also supervises the areas of student administrative services, student life, athletics and global affairs. Prior to coming to Rockford, Dr. Fulcomer was Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Life at Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio. He served there from 1993 to 2012. He has teaching experience at both Bluffton University and Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Fulcomer received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Toledo, his master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University and his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, cum laude, from Eastern Michigan University.

He and his wife Andrea, a physician assistant, live in Rockford and are proud parents of two teenage children, Noah and Anna.

About the Presidential Search
A nation-wide search resulted in more than 80 candidates who applied for the position. After a thorough review and interview process, a search committee made up of faculty, staff and trustee representatives invited four finalists to make campus visits in late January and early February and to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders and members of the Board of Trustees.

About Rockford University
Rockford University is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The University offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and as a US News & World Report Tier One Midwest Regional University,” Rockford University currently serves approximately 1,300 students throughout its diverse program offerings.

About Dr. Fulcomer – Curriculum Vitae
Press conference announcing the appointment of Dr. Fulcomer as RU’s 18th President: