April 19, 2013

Dear Colleagues:


This has been a week to remember at Richard Bland College. We announced 30 new inductees to Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Alpha Beta Omicron Chapter, the return to intercollegiate athletics through NJCAA plus 4 new sports (track & field, soccer, softball and cross country) to be fielded in the fall, and W&M Board approval of the RBC-19 strategic plan that we’ve worked throughout the academic year to create as a roadmap for the College’s future.


Next week promises to be equally eventful. On April 23, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. in the McNeer Hall Atrium, I invite you to attend the “live launch” of Richard Bland College’s Center for Strategic Initiatives where you’ll be formally introduced to its first two strategic partners: the Global Education Skills Alliance (GESA) and the Language Institute. Special guests from Australia, New Zealand and New York will attend. GESA’s website is now officially ‘Live,’ so for a sneak peak, visit www.gesa-edu.org.


On April 25, please plan to attend the Retiree’s Luncheon at12:45 p.m. in the Community Room. The RBC Committee of the W&M Board of Visitors will visit campus, and members have been invited to participate in this special luncheon honoring our 2013 retirees.

2013-2014 Budget
At their meeting today, the William and Mary Board of Visitors also approved the 2013-2014 operating budget and tuition & fees, which was developed to advance the mission and goals of RBC-19. The budget, which will be posted to the website, includes a $181/per semester tuition increase to support academic quality enhancements, e.g., added investment in faculty development and reduced faculty workloads (details to be determined through shared governance process).


Honors Program

At a meeting earlier this week, College Council acted upon recommendations of the Faculty Senate and the Academic & Institutional Effectiveness Committee to launch a new honors program to be piloted this fall. Dialogue among student, faculty and staff representatives to College Council resulted in the decision to initially proceed with the generic “honors program” designation with the understanding that honors courses will be developed by faculty in the coming year, details of the honors program are posted online.


Emergency Preparedness

At its April 19 meeting, the W&M Board acknowledged closure of the RBC Health Clinic and the College’s plan to provide 24/7 emergency medical response. I am pleased to report that an Operational Medical Director, Dr. Boyd R. Wickizer, Jr., has been appointed, and the EMS licensing process is moving forward as planned. In the interest of improved police and emergency service, an auxiliary police office is now up and running at the Student Village.


I have approved updates to the RBC Continuity Plan. And following an aggressive corrective action plan, a recent fire inspection by the State Fire Marshal deemed the College to be in compliance with State fire codes. I commend Ed Snyder, Nate Jellerson and the maintenance team for their work to bring the college into full compliance.


Residence Halls

Jason Brown will temporarily assume responsibility for Residence Halls, effective May 6, working to ensure plans to expand the availability of student housing to 100 additional students in the fall proceed as planned. BCOM, RBC’s building official, has reviewed the plan to increase occupancy and has affirmed that there are no code implications.



I invite you to participate in the College’s 2013 Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in Statesman Hall. Commencement is always a highlight of the academic year as the campus community gathers together to celebrate academic achievement, and this year is particularly special.


In recognition of an historic milestone—the College’s 50th Commencement ceremony—members of Richard Bland College’s first graduating class (Class of 1963) will be recognized. The impressive academic and career accomplishments of the first graduating class, and of the more than 7,000 alumni who have followed them, evidence the College’s tremendous impact in preparing students for university transfer through academically rigorous programs grounded in the liberal arts tradition of William & Mary.


And immediately following Commencement, there will be a reception on the athletic field to celebrate our 2013 graduates.


Faculty & Staff

In addition to aligning fiscal and physical assets in support of RBC-19 strategic goals, human resources will also be optimally aligned with RBC’s mission and strategic goals, effective July 1, 2013. Click here to see the organizational chart.


Congratulations to the following members of the Richard Bland College professoriate:

  • Jill Mitten and LeJeanna Raymond were granted academic tenure
  • Dr. Elizabeth D. Rescher was promoted to Professor of English
  • Dr. Daniel F. Zelinski was promoted to Professor of Philosophy and Religion
  • Dr. Kevin J. Peters was promoted to Associate Professor of Biology


At their meeting today, the William & Mary Board of Visitors also acted upon resolutions to acknowledge the retirement of Cham Pritchard, Margo Sommer, Dottie Edwards and Jacqueline Davis. Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for your outstanding service to Richard Bland College and its mission.


Finally, congratulations to all members of the Richard Bland College family who celebrated an employment anniversary in February, including:


  • Jacqueline Carrell       2 years
  • Dustin Brewer              4 years
  • Dennis Wray                 3 years
  • John Dyson                   15 years
  • Deborah James            15 years
  • Thomas Goudreault    17 years
  • Pat Harvey                    18 years


Thanks to Tyler Hart for his tireless work on the strategic plan, and to each of you for your contributions to Richard Bland College and its mission to prepare students for university transfer and to expand access to college credentials.