President's Reports to Campus• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
President's Report to Campus dated June 17, 2013
Efforts to reconnect with Richard Bland College alumni have already begun to yield wonderful results. In response to our recent mailing to the more than 7,000 alumni identified through last year's alumni reconnection project, we have received dozens of heartwarming notes and letters from RBC alumni, all of whom articulated the value of their Richard Bland College education in helping them to achieve their academic and career goals. I'm sharing a couple of these notes below and trust that you will find them as uplifting as I did.Hello,
Please expect to hear more from Scott Davis who is working on several projects designed to engage alumni more fully in the life of the College.Enrollment
With appreciation to search committees comprised primarily of external experts and current practitioners in the field, two searches have been successfully completed, including:• Vice President for Enrollment Services – Dr. Jenifer Blair holds a B.A. in
In addition to JB and Chandragupta, Annette Parker will begin her full-time role as Vice President for Finance and Administration on July 1. Annette Smith Parker retired as Vice President and Treasurer/CFO at Dickinson College in 2010 and served through July 2011 as Consulting Vice President for the College during the transition to a new CFO. A graduate of Dickinson with a degree in Fine Arts and Art History, Annette returned to her alma mater in 1988 as Assistant Treasurer and in 1992 became Associate Vice President and Comptroller of the College, before taking on the responsibilities of Vice President and Treasurer in the fall of 1998. Ms. Parker received her M.B.A. in accounting from Shippensburg University. She previously served on the business and economics faculty at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Richard Bland College is fortunate to have been able to recruit these outstanding professionals to work in support of its mission, vision and strategic goals. Please join me in welcoming them to the College.Finally, I extend congratulations to all members of the Richard Bland College family who are celebrating an employment anniversary in June, including:
|Margery Young||27 years of service|
|Roy York||23 years of service (adjunct)|
|Nicole Collins||8 years of service|
|Amy Grieco||8 years of service (adjunct)|
|Donald Schrader||7 years of service (adjunct)|
|James Dumville||5 years of service (adjunct)|
|Allison Spivey||1 year of service|
President's Report to Campus dated May 24, 2013
With appreciation to everyone who provided ideas and input throughout the collaborative process of working with our professional partners to develop branding materials in alignment with the College's updated mission, vision and 2019 strategic plan, I am pleased to present final logos (see attachment featuring variations of the College logo at the top and the new logo for College athletics at the bottom) to be used in all future marketing and communications. The accompanying tagline is: Create Your Journey. Lashrecse Aird is to be commended for her outstanding work as the branding project manager. With the branding work now complete, Lashrecse and Jenna Chaney will move immediately into website development and a marketing campaign focused on elevating awareness of Richard Bland College and enrollment enhancement. More information on these projects is forthcoming.Enrollment
|Brian Travis||4 years|
|Tyler Hart||5 years|
|Nate Jellerson||5 years|
|Lauren Sumner||5 years|
|Jesse Wray||5 years|
|Diane Fair||6 years|
President's Report to Campus dated April 19, 2013
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 at 12:45 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
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
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
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.Regards,
President's Report to Campus dated March 14, 2013
With appreciation to all who participated in Tuesday's strategic planning forum and to all who have provided input to the 2014-2019 strategic plan for Richard Bland College (RBC-19) since we began the planning process in September, I am pleased to present an executive summary of RBC-19 (see attachment) for your final review and input in anticipation of board approval in April. The complete strategic planning document is available via Blackboard.
At this juncture, it is important to note that completion of a roadmap to guide decision making and resource allocation over the next five years is only the first step—and undoubtedly the easiest step—toward the larger goal of developing Richard Bland College into a high performance organization as measured by key performance indicators that are all centered on quality improvement and student success.
The strategic plan simply establishes our shared vision and values, and it prioritizes the work that each of us as individuals and as a team must undertake in order to realize RBC's mission, vision and strategic goals. This is a very small campus; therefore, everyone must assume personal responsibility for adjusting habits of thinking and acting with a singular focus on student success if Richard Bland College is to emerge as the "vanguard of liberal arts education for university-transfer and a leader in innovative, learning-outcomes based education solutions." Avoiding or resisting necessary changes to improve institutional and educational quality, or sitting on the sidelines with a "wait and see" attitude, will virtually ensure failure. My commitment to RBC's future success is unconditional. As a unified team working together toward common goals and objectives, I am confident that we will achieve outstanding results for our students, the local community and the Commonwealth.Institutional Advancement
Job advertisements will soon be released for Dean of Faculty & Academic Effectiveness, Chief Information Officer, Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, VP of Enrollment Services, and Comptroller with anticipated start dates of July 1, 2013, with the exception of the CIO position which will be filled as soon as possible.
Congratulations to all members of the Richard Bland College family who celebrated an employment anniversary in March, including:
|• Barbara Griffin||1 year|
|• Irene Handy||8 years|
|• Rosa Kanga||14 years|
Thanks to each of you for working every day to provide an outstanding learning environment for all RBC students!Branding & Marketing
In closing, the following article speaks poignantly to the need for "educators at all levels [to] work together to develop programs and courses that support all students in reaching their potential… The world needs to know the people our children can become if they are all engaged as young learners."Happy spring break to faculty!
President's Report to Campus dated February 28, 2013
The College branding study is proceeding on schedule, as are plans for a marketing campaign to be launched within the next few weeks to drive awareness of Richard Bland College in target markets with the ultimate goals of increasing summer/fall enrollment. Also, thanks to innovative efforts of Jeanne Holmes and the Enrollment Management team, and support from the ITS team, a new online application is now available to prospective students.
Many of you have provided feedback regarding the draft branding materials, and this feedback will help to ensure that the brand, once established, accurately and persuasively conveys RBC's brand promise and identity. Lashrecse Aird will post revised versions of the brand essence as they arrive, so please continue to offer your insights and suggestions until this important work is completed.
2014-2019 Strategic Plan
The draft strategic plan was presented to the William and Mary Board of Visitors Committee on Richard Bland College at a meeting on February 7, and a near-final draft of the plan is now available on the website at http://www.rbc.edu/PDFS/
Strategic_Plan_2014-2019.pdf. I invite you to attend a campus forum on Tuesday, March 12, at 12:30 in McNeer 104 where the entire campus community will engage in a focused review and discussion of the plan in advance of the April Board meeting at which the 2019 strategic plan is expected to be approved.
Faculty and Staff
In the coming weeks, Annette Parker has arranged for on-site operational assessments of key campus administrative functions, including dining services, IT, etc. These assessments will enable the College to determine priorities for investment in operational improvements in the 2014 fiscal year and beyond, so if you are contacted for an interview, please set aside the time to participate.
Dr. Jody Dodd has accepted a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Biology, effective fall 2013. Dr. Dodd received a graduate degree in biology from Virginia Tech and a Doctor of Medicine degree from VCU, and she possesses impressive credentials in both teaching and research. Appreciation goes to Carolina Yaber, the biology search committee, Jason Brown and the Human Resources team for completing a successful academic search.
Campus Safety and Security
Under the leadership of RBC Emergency Planner, Ed Snyder, I am pleased to report that Sergeant Ott, Officer Nalepka and Patrick Hart (Grounds Department) have successfully completed their EMR training and are now certified Emergency Medical Responders.
Congratulations to Sergeant Ott, Officer Nalepka and Patrick Hart and to every member of the Campus Police force for their diligence, not only in keeping the campus community safe and secure but also for completing the additional training and licensing necessary to respond to medical emergencies anytime students and other members of the campus community are in need.
Finally, congratulations to Carolina and Fernando Yaber on becoming U.S. citizens earlier this month-and thanks, Carolina, for sharing your amazing journey with the campus community. Also, congratulations to all members of the Richard Bland College family who celebrated an employment anniversary in February, including:
|• Patrick Hart||2 years|
|• Steve Nalepka||4 years|
|• George Keys||9 years|
Thanks to each of you for working every day to provide an outstanding learning environment for all RBC students!
President's Report to Campus dated January 31, 2013
Thanks to tremendous effort on the part of Tyler Hart and every member of the campus community who actively engaged in and contributed to the extensive strategic planning efforts that took place in the fall, we began the New Year and the spring semester with a draft of Richard Bland College's five-year strategic plan in place and ready for review, refinement and completion. To that end, last week we hosted a series of forums to review and discuss the draft plan with retirees, university partners, local employers, elected officials, area K-12 leaders, alumni and donors. We have also received considerable feedback from members of the campus community. The overall initial reaction to the draft plan-from internal and external stakeholders alike-has been very positive, affirming the effectiveness of the planning process in tapping the collective "best thinking" of RBC stakeholders about how to proceed in positioning the College for future success in fulfilling its distinctive mission within Virginia's public institutions of higher education. The insightful feedback received to date will now be used to revise the draft plan to be presented to the William and Mary Board of Visitors at their regularly scheduled meeting next week. Following the Board's review and input, a draft plan will be posted online. Additional feedback from alumni, students, employees and other stakeholders is encouraged and welcome.
Faculty Senate convened its first meeting on January 29, and the inaugural meeting of College Council is scheduled for February 5. College Committees will be convened once all representatives have been elected and appointed, at which time the infrastructure for shared governance will be fully operational ... and just in time to facilitate a final internal review of the College's strategic plan, as well as a review of the resource allocation plan for supporting established strategic goals. In general, College Council and Committees will be actively engaged throughout the spring semester in preparing for operationalization of RBC's strategic plan in the coming academic year.
Inspired by Richard Bland College's mission and its commitment to academic excellence, Raymond Burdine Norton, Jr. bequeathed to RBC $20,000 to be used for the purchase of library books dealing with Virginia History and United States History to 1877. On behalf of the entire College community, I have extended our appreciation to Mr. Norton's sister, Emma Norton Parker, for this generous and thoughtful gift from her brother who passed away in 2011, a gift that will be used to advance scholarship and learning at RBC for many generations to come.
Even though the project has just begun, Tom Burton, with significant support from Jacqueline Bryan, Lois Wray and the Registrar's team, has already made significant progress in transitioning the College to a comprehensive fund raising management platform, Raiser's Edge. To date, more than 11,000 alumni have been identified, and we expect by mid-March to be able to communicate with these alumni and thereby begin the important process of reconnecting them with their alma mater. The opportunities ahead for engaging alumni in the life and future of Richard Bland College are tremendously exciting.
Thanks to project manager Deborah James and the ITS team, the two-phase project to provide a mobile-device friendly environment for students, employees and visitors is now complete. The first phase was to increase bandwidth to the campus six-fold to ensure that the network has the capacity to support the many wireless mobile devices students have come to rely upon. The second phase was to complete infrastructure upgrades, including network equipment, programming, cabling and installation of wireless access points in all academic and administrative buildings. I applaud the efforts of the ITS team upon the successful completion of a project that was identified in the fall as a priority by students and employees alike.
The Governor's Office annually conducts an assessment to measure the overall level of preparedness in physical security, continuity of operations planning, IT security, document protection, human resources preparedness, training, and interoperable communications. Agency preparedness reports were recently released, and I am pleased to report that Richard Bland College's rating indicates a high level of emergency preparedness. In fact, the score has risen from 55.05 out of a possible 100 in 2008 to this year's score of 94. I commend Ed Snyder and all who support continuous improvement in the emergency preparedness of RBC.
Seamless Pathways to the Baccalaureate
Syracuse University Professor Eileen Strempel who is a specialist in two-year/four-year guaranteed admission and articulation agreements made considerable progress while on campus last week in identifying and advancing new linkages with four-year and university partners, including UVA, VCU, VSU, Longwood, Liberty and Virginia's Independent Colleges and Universities.
Clinical lab science is a rapidly growing field, and many of the current graduates of the program go on to pursue graduate degrees in the health sciences. As you will note in the strategic plan, we will work diligently to continue to develop this type of agreement with VCU and other partner institutions.
Connecting a Treasured Past to a Transcendent Future
With sincere gratitude to staff members and professors who so graciously offered to volunteer their time and service to plan and execute a presidential inauguration in April, given pressing budgetary concerns and sundry other College priorities, I simply cannot in good conscience justify the investment of College resources (time and money) that would be required to proceed with an inaugural event. Therefore, at the February 7-9 meeting, I intend to request that in lieu of an inauguration ceremony, the Board of Visitors mark my presidency by supporting a special fund raising campaign to be launched this spring that will celebrate Richard Bland College's past as well as its future through contributions to an Academic Innovation and Excellence fund. The inaugural theme that the campus community favored-Connecting a Treasured Past to a Transcendent Future-will serve as the theme for this important campaign in support of RBC's core mission of teaching and learning.
Finally, congratulations to Tyler Hart on the birth of his first child, Ruby Elizabeth. And congratulations to all members of the Richard Bland College family who celebrated an employment anniversary in January, including:
|• Debra Seidel and Dorrie Smith||1 year|
|• Steve Nesbitt||2 years|
|• Casey Blankenship and Jill Mitten||5 years|
|• Jason Collins||9 years|
|• Ralph Ketchum||12 years|
|• Jacqueline Bryan and Esther Floyd||15 years|
Thanks to each of you for working every day to provide an outstanding learning environment for all RBC students!
President's Report to Campus dated January 1, 2013
Happy New Year!
Even as we prepare to welcome new and returning, residential and commuter students to campus for the start of the 2013 spring semester, admissions standards for fall applicants are being revamped. Student housing policies and procedures are being revised in support of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) goals and objectives. Recruitment of a fall cohort of honors students is underway. And plans for a one-stop enrollment services center are beginning to take shape with a planned fall pilot. Obviously, enrolling and retaining more students who are academically prepared for the rigors of college will ultimately be the outcome of a carefully designed and well executed SEM plan. For now, the necessary groundwork is being laid. In the spring semester, Jeremy Colb, our new admissions counselor and academic advisor, is working to streamline the student tour process and create a unified approach to prospective student visits through the RBC Ambassadors program. These and sundry other initiatives currently underway will help to ensure that students who are admitted to Richard Bland College are well informed, properly supported and fully prepared for academic success.
Re-Investment in the Core
As you know, administrative operations were realigned last fall as a first step toward the larger goal of re-investing and eventually increasing resources to the core academic purpose and mission of Richard Bland College. This re-investment in the academic core is and will remain essential if we are to achieve what has emerged both through informal and formal inquiry as a primary interest of College stakeholders-to secure RBC's image and reputation as a premiere, first-choice provider of liberal arts education for transfer. This re-investment will also help to build the College's capacity to respond to the Commonwealth's needs for public institutions of higher education. RBC's enrollment shortfall in the summer and fall, and an anticipated enrollment decline in the spring, have only heightened the need and the urgency to strategically re-position the College to deliver only the "right and best" academic programs in an optimal learning environment, and to do so at a high rate of efficiency. Even as we continue to synthesize the research and stakeholder input gathered throughout the fall semester and proceed to finalize the 2013-2018 strategic plan for RBC in the spring, there is no question that success will be dependent upon collaboration, discipline, focus.
The Launch of Shared Governance
With a system of shared governance now established and codified-thanks to the extraordinary efforts of faculty, administrators and staff working together in the fall-Faculty Senate, College Council and the three official college committees will soon be formally launched. Given the tremendously important work before us in readying Richard Bland College for a bold and aggressive agenda for the future, the timing with regard to implementation of shared governance simply couldn't be better. I look forward to ongoing openness, transparency and clarity in the decision-making process.
The ongoing development of current employees, the identification and hiring of new talent and, in general, the strategic deployment of human resources are vital to RBC's future success. Also, I am well aware of faculty and staff concerns about salary inequities and the need to study and resolve, as appropriate, these inequities in the interest of fairness and workplace morale. I am pleased to announce that Jason Brown has accepted the position of Director of Human Resources, effective January 10, 2013. Mr. Brown served in the U.S. Army for 15 years where he assumed increasing levels of responsibility in human resource management; his most recent HR experience is with the City of Richmond. Please join me in welcoming Jason Brown as the newest member of RBC's administrative team.
Also on January 10, Ms. Annette Parker, a retired executive from Dickinson College, will begin a part-time administrative assignment to run through June 30, 2013. Ms. Parker will be responsible for overseeing systems alignment throughout all administrative processes in the interest of reduced costs and improved functionality. Her focus will be to eliminate silos, to integrate IT solutions, and to build high-performance, cross-functional teams throughout all administrative operations. Specific assignments include general oversight of resource management, capital projects (including plans for the renovation of Ernst Hall), IT systems and other high-priority institutional initiatives. In a part-time capacity and in the same timeframe, Mr. Thomas Burton will assume general oversight of institutional advancement with primary responsibility for transitioning the College to a new and significantly more robust fund raising management platform, The Raiser's Edge. Both Ms. Parker and Mr. Burton are highly regarded professionals in their respective areas of expertise. Both served as external consultants to RBC in the fall, so they are familiar with the campus and will hit the ground running in January.
Dr. Teresa Stillion has announced that she will be leaving the College on January 31, 2013. Gayla Hayes, LPN, has also notified the College of her intent to leave at the end of January. Dr. Stillion and Ms. Hayes have faithfully operated the Student Health Center since 2008, and they will be missed by the entire campus community. On behalf of all of us at RBC, I thank them for their many contributions to RBC and wish them well in all future endeavors. Beginning February 1, campus police officers who are certified emergency responders will provide assistance to residential students and other members of the campus community in need, or, if appropriate, these first responders will provide referrals to appropriate health care providers nearby. We will carefully monitor this change in service and plan accordingly.
Searches are currently underway for biology and chemistry faculty members, with interviews planned for January and February. I extend appreciation and gratitude to members of these and other search committees, for their efforts to bring the best talent to RBC are, quite literally, critical to the College's future success.
Brand Research and Development
Achieving clarity of purpose or, phrased differently, identifying Richard Bland College's brand a "promise" was identified in the fall as an immediate priority by students, alumni, employees and, indeed, all RBC stakeholders. Currently, there are competing views among stakeholders and the general public about Richard Bland College's purpose and "promise." Therefore, we will launch a branding study in January that will both complement and help to inform the College's 2013-2018 strategic plan. Cassandra Clemens of Annodyne, Inc., will serve as project manager for RBC's branding study. More information will follow as the project gets underway, and as previously announced, Lashrecse Aird will coordinate the initiative, so please contact her with any questions, suggestions or insights.
Developmental education is without question one of the most complex, controversial and pivotal issues with which two-year colleges in the U.S. are currently grappling. RBC is no exception. Attached is a report and joint statement released in December by the Charles A. Dana Center; Complete College America, Inc.; the Education Commission of the States; and Jobs for the Future. This report offers new research-based insights and recommendations from organizations committed to addressing what many have described as a crisis in higher education, the large percentage of high school graduates who are placed in developmental courses upon entering college and who never receive college credentials. I invite faculty and administrators to read and ponder this report as we enter the New Year, and I look forward to engaging the campus community in serious discussions about how Richard Bland College will approach and deliver developmental education in the coming year(s).
May 2013 bring good health and good fortune to you and to Richard Bland College!
President's Report to Campus dated November 30, 2012
I trust that your Thanksgiving holiday was restful and rejuvenating. During these final, hectic weeks of the fall semester, my hope is that we will all be extra vigilant in assisting students as they complete this term and make preparations to return in the spring.
You have recently received updates from department leaders regarding key initiatives and activities in their respective areas of responsibility, and you will continue to receive routine communications regarding progress toward established goals in academic & institutional effectiveness, enrollment management, student retention, financial management, and property management.
Board of Visitors
Yesterday morning, the College of William and Mary Board of Visitors engaged with members of the campus community in a lively dialogue about the future of Richard Bland College. Receiving ideas and insights from the College’s governing board is a valuable component to the strategic planning process, and they plan to meet again at RBC in the spring to review a draft of the strategic plan prior to final approval in April. The Board's Committee on Richard Bland College also met at RBC yesterday, and earlier today the full Board approved resolutions to update the Six-Year Plan, to acknowledge the contributions of retiring employees (Dr. Russell Whitaker and Frances Scarbrough) and to approve the RBC Faculty Senate and governing bylaws of that organization.
Board approval of the Richard Bland College Faculty Senate is, indeed, historic, and I commend and congratulate the faculty upon this achievement. I look forward to working with Senate leaders to implement shared governance in the way that we have defined it at RBC:
Shared governance is a mutual commitment among faculty, members of the
Board of Visitors, and the president's administration-each in accordance with
their respective roles and responsibilities-to work collaboratively to achieve the
mission and strategic goals of the college in an environment of transparency,
trust, and respect.
Final versions of Faculty Senate Bylaws and descriptions of College Council and College Committees will be posted to the website.
Virginia's public colleges and universities recently became aware that the appropriation for the current fiscal year had been unexpectedly reduced. This reduction totaled nearly $20,000 for Richard Bland College. Also, earlier this month, we were required to submit a plan for reallocating a total of 5% of approved 2013-2014 funding. For RBC, the total amount is nearly $250,000, and I am pleased to report that given the College's efforts this fall to reduce operating expenses and to reinvest in the core academic mission and new delivery modes, we have already exceeded the required total reallocation. I congratulate Beverly Morris and the Financial Management team, and everyone who has been involved in efforts to re-think college operations and to realign resources in ways that best contribute to student learning and student success.
Faculty and Staff
Please join me in welcoming to RBC Lashresce Aird who began her new role as Assistant to the President on Monday, November 26. Lashresce graduated cum laude from Virginia State University in 2008, and she is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to coming to RBC, she was a legislative aide for Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance for five years. She is married to Blaine Aird, and the mother of Blaine & Blake Aird.
Michaele Shriver has resumed her retirement. I am grateful to Michaele for her able assistance in my office since July, and I wish her well.
Both Cham Pritchard (40 years of service) and Margo Sommer (20 years of service) have announced their intent to retire at the end of the 2013 semester. On behalf of faculty, staff and students, I extend sincere gratitude to both Cham and Margo for their many years of dedicated service to Richard Bland College.
Holiday reception on December 7
Harry and I look forward to seeing you at our holiday reception and retiree appreciation event on December 7 from 4:30-7:30.
President's Report to Campus dated October 30, 2012
Thankfully, tropical storm Sandy left Richard Bland College and the Central Virginia region relatively unscathed. I am pleased to report that this weather event resulted in nominal wind and water damage, and power to campus was not compromised. The College will resume normal operations tomorrow, October 31, 2012.
October has certainly been an eventful month. Strategic planning forums with faculty, staff and students have yielded valuable insights and ideas that will inform RBC’s re-worked mission, vision and strategic goals. Thank you for your active engagement in the strategic planning process, which will establish a collaboratively developed roadmap for Richard Bland College through 2018.Fall Cookout (a.k.a., Turkey Day)
I support Dr. LeAnn Binger in her desire and intent to return to the classroom in January, 2013. As Dr. Binger makes this transition, Scott Davis and I will assume responsibility for the institutional advancement function. LeAnn is to be commended for her service to Richard Bland College as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and, more recently, as Provost and Dean of Faculty. Dr. Binger’s many contributions to the College in a variety of roles are greatly appreciated by the entire campus community.
Following more than four decades of service, Frances Scarbrough has announced her intent to retire, effective January 1, 2013. On behalf of faculty, staff and students, I extend sincere gratitude to Ms. Scarbrough for her many years of dedicated service to Richard Bland College. A search for the next Director of Human Resources is currently underway.Faculty Research: Estimating the Age of Ancient Pottery in the Laboratory
President's Report to Campus dated October 1, 2012
I am pleased to report that at the September 20-21 meeting of the William and Mary Board of Visitors, Richard Bland College faculty representative, Dr. Barbara Morgan, and student representative, Jessica Salazar, were welcomed as new members of the Board. Both presented reports to the Richard Bland College Committee and actively participated in general discussion. With regard to RBC's 2012-2013 priorities, the Committee recommended approval, and the Board of Visitors formally approved this year's goals, which are summarized below:Refocus on the future of Richard Bland College by guiding all stakeholders in a
Invitation to open forum and small group discussion with Dennis Liberson on Wednesday, October 3
Over the past two weeks, the College has hosted the Honorable Anne Holton, who requested a tour of McNeer Hall and took the opportunity to stop by classrooms to greet students and faculty, and Ann Baise, Vice Chair of the Richard Bland Committee, who expressed her enthusiastic support for the College and its mission at a reception involving faculty, staff and students.
This Wednesday, October 3, Dennis Liberson, Secretary of the William and Mary Board of Visitors and Chair of the Richard Bland College Committee, will be on campus to address faculty, staff and students at a campus forum scheduled from 1:00-2:30 in McNeer 104. Mr. Liberson will be available after the forum from 2:30-3:15 in McNeer 109 for small group discussions. Please participate as your schedule permits.RBC Foundation
This week, Thomas Burton, a former colleague and a seasoned fund raiser in the not-for-profit sector, will be on campus meeting with administrators and staff as part of the strategic planning process to assess Richard Bland College's institutional advancement function and to identify opportunities for increasing philanthropic support. Should you wish to schedule time with Mr. Burton to share insights and ideas about fund raising, please schedule with Michaele Shriver @ 26221.Toward a Balanced Budget
President's Report to Campus dated September 7, 2012
With appreciation to all members of the campus community who were involved in the endless details of successfully launching the 2012 fall semester, I extend special thanks to those individuals who helped to ensure that our 241 residential students and their families were well accommodated during move-in weekend. Thank you to student services staff who processed hundreds of admissions, housing and financial aid applications and who ably counseled and advised more than a few anxious students and parents throughout the summer. And thank you to faculty members who in their various classrooms across campus are now delivering to students the high quality educational experience for which Richard Bland College is known and respected.Student Enrollment
This year's student body includes a valedictorian, two salutatorians, and 45 students in the top 10% of their high school class. Among first-year students, 72 are Presidential Merit scholars-3.50 high school GPA. Still, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure that students admitted to RBC are academically prepared to succeed in college, and that all college policies and procedures are aligned with this goal. For example, you saw in Jeanne Holmes' message yesterday that the office of Enrollment Management will be working collaboratively across departments to re-work admission requirements and deadlines. Last-minute enrollments too often result in attrition. Also, the College will benefit this semester from the work of an intern, Naomi Harralson, who is a 4th year law student at William and Mary. Naomi will be reviewing current policies and procedures-with a focus on student and enrollment-related policies-and recommending improvements.Shared Governance
Scott Davis who recently completed his doctorate in law and policy at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, has assumed the duties of interim director of government, community and alumni relations, reporting directly to me. Lieutenant Jesse Wray will serve as interim police chief, reporting to Evanda Watts-Martinez. Congratulations to Dr. Morgan, Dr. Davis and Lt. Wray!
On behalf of the students who will benefit from scholarship funds raised, appreciation goes to Dr. LeAnn Binger and all faculty and staff members who participated in Wednesday's 5th annual RBC Golf Tournament.Employee Development Fund
President's Report to Campus dated August 22, 2012
Over the past several months, I have been immersed in a review of Richard Bland College's history, performance reports (SCHEV, SACS, Pamela Eddy's review, etc.) and planning documents. And since arriving on campus July 1, focused discussions with employees, community leaders and the William and Mary Board of Visitors have served to deepen and enrich my understanding of campus resources, operations and culture.
Now with the goal of strategically positioning the College to deliver the "right and best" academic programs and learning environment, effective August 6, complementary administrative functions will be merged to improve service, optimize employee expertise, enhance communications and gain efficiencies. Friday afternoon I convened members of the campus community to share the rationale and the details of what is, in essence, a realignment of college administrative resources (slideshow attached and available on the website) with the goal of streamlining all processes, functions and systems. This realignment is only the first-step toward the larger goal of re-investing and eventually increasing resources in direct support of Richard Bland College's core purpose and mission, thereby bolstering RBC's reputation as a premiere, first-choice college in the state and the region. Highlights of the realignment are as follows:
• Core administrative departments (aligned with core mission) include:• Academic and Institutional Effectiveness – Interim Director Tyler Hart
• Student Enrollment Management – Interim Director Jeanne Holmes
• Student Retention and Campus Life – Interim Director Evanda Watts-Martinez
• Financial Management – Interim Director Beverly Morris
• Property Management – Interim Director George "Nate" Jellerson
• By merging and clustering complementary administrative functions, the College
will recover approximately $250,000 annually to be re-invested in the academic
• Campus police will be trained and deployed in the coming year to provide first
aid/first responder services to all members of the campus community, including
the 24/7 student residential population.
• $30,000 will be set aside for an Employee Incentive Fund to support and promote
innovation, to advance entrepreneurial initiatives, to gain new efficiencies, and to
establish new standards of excellence in academic programs and administrative
I am deeply grateful to Tyler Hart, Lois Wray, Jeanne Holmes, Evanda Watts-Martinez, Beverly Morris and Nate Jellerson for assuming oversight and management of the newly established administrative departments on an interim basis. The diverse experience, credentials and skills that these individuals bring to their respective roles—and to the leadership team—will serve the College well as we work to achieve short-term goals and to engage the entire campus community in building a strategic plan for the future. In the interest of transparency and accountability, and with the goal of hiring the best talent for every available position, formal searches will be conducted in the spring.
Within the new administrative structure, LeAnn Binger will round out her fund-raising duties by assuming responsibility for marketing, communications and campus events. The synergies to be gained in this area, and the added value for the college, are potentially tremendous. Randy Dean will work directly with a William and Mary legal intern and me in the coming year to review and revise, as appropriate, all campus policies, procedures and documentation pertaining to student services. Randy will also serve as a counselor in the department of Student Retention and Campus Life. Dottie Edwards will continue as Director of IT in the department of Property Management. I look forward to working with LeAnn, Randy and Dottie, each of whom is to be commended for their many years of dedicated service to Richard Bland College.
In closing, I extend heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Russell Whitaker who having dedicated four decades of service to Richard Bland College in various roles and titles—most recently Vice President of Administration and Finance—will retire, effective November 1, 2012. On behalf of the entire campus community, I wish Russell well during his sabbatical leave (August 1-October 31) and upon his retirement, may he enjoy the blessings of family, health and happiness.
The 2012-2013 academic year holds tremendous promise for Richard Bland College. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that the College is well positioned for both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
President's Report to Campus dated July 6, 2012
It is with tremendous enthusiasm that I enter Richard Bland College and the Petersburg community, and I am grateful for the warm welcome that my husband, Harry, and I have received. Thank you for the kind words of support that so many of you have extended in person—as well as the many notes, phone calls and emails that I have received since the announcement in March. Your gracious reception has made my homecoming to Virginia especially pleasant and memorable.
Having now settled in and nearing the end of my first week as president, I am eager to engage members of the RBC community in focused conversation about the past, present and future of the College. During my early weeks and months as president, my primary goal is to begin to know, to understand and to appreciate the history and the culture of Richard Bland College, for I believe strongly that healthy organizations learn from, honor and celebrate the past. At the same time, thriving organizations continuously assess, respond and adjust to changing environmental conditions in an effort to strategically plan for the future. I look forward to hearing from students, faculty and staff as a first step in this strategic planning process. Please expect to hear from Pat Woolfolk who will be scheduling one-on-one and small group meetings throughout the remainder of summer and fall at times that best accommodate student, faculty and staff schedules.
Meanwhile, I extend appreciation to Dr. LeAnn Binger for her service as Provost and Dean of Faculty over the past two years and for her able assistance in transitioning those responsibilities to me prior to the beginning of fall semester. In her capacity as chief advancement officer, Dr. Binger has now refocused her attention on securing much needed funds in support of student scholarships and other campus priorities. My goal in assuming the duties of provost is to fast-track my understanding of RBC's primary asset—its academic programs and services—as continuous improvement in the curriculum and student success is at the heart of RBC's future success.
I am also pleased to announce that Michaele Shriver has agreed to defer her retirement and to provide part-time staff assistance in the president's office, assuming the administrative duties previously handled by Jackie Bryan during Dr. Binger's service as provost. Michaele will be working alongside and in the office across from Pat Woolfolk. Pat's extension remains 6221, and Michaele can be reached at 6241.
It is truly an honor to join the RBC learning community, and I look forward to working with all of you in the coming months and years to advance the College's mission and strategic goals.