September 3, 2013

Dear Colleagues,


This weekend the Richard Bland College men’s Soccer team beat Tidewater Community College 4-3 in overtime in their historic first-ever game. I know that you’ll join me in congratulating our soccer players, as well as the coaching team headed by Matt Weiler and AD Chuck Moore, on this impressive victory. Go Statesmen!


Although census data is not yet final, it appears that fall FTE enrollment will settle at about 1,050. Though lower than planned, an enrollment decline is certainly not unexpected given the College’s strict adherence to published admissions standards—a 47% admit rate. Approximately 45 Honors students and 80 student athletes nearly are included among the 1,450 students at Richard Bland College this fall, populations that will grow in the coming years as we more strategically recruit students in accordance with the College’s updated mission and vision. Also, the Center for Strategic Initiatives headed by Tyler Hart has a number of new initiatives underway that will yield additional enrollment through the Language Institute, GESA, dual enrollment and other special programs designed to “expand access to college credentials through strategic partnerships, specialized programming, and scalable innovation” (RBC-19).


RBC’s New Virtual Home
For many prospective students and employees, the College’s public face and character are portrayed through our website. The soft launch of a new College website that aligns with our brand promise and standards will occur on Thursday, September 5. The full launch—and deactivation of the current website—will occur on September 12, 2013. The new website was built using an innovative modular framework that enables new functionality as and when needed, without the time, effort and expense of replacing the underlying infrastructure. Also, the new website has a mobile component and automatically adjusts itself to the device on which it is being accessed. Lashrecse Aird will provide additional details as the launch proceeds.


MSVL Training
Interested full-time faculty members are invited to receive training on the effective use of the new Main Street Virtual Learning (MSVL) platform. Supported through special funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia, MSVL is a highly intuitive software that enables faculty to connect with students in dispersed locations in real time.

MSVL training, which takes only a couple of hours, is designed to build the instructor’s comfort level with online teaching in general and the use of the MSVL platform in particular. Faculty who complete the training will receive a $250.00 stipend.

Contact Tyler Hart to schedule a training session.


The Mark Bryan Scholarship Fund has now become an endowed scholarship as a result of a $4,000 anonymous donation. As an endowed scholarship, the fund will support student scholarships in perpetuity, which is a tremendous tribute to Professor Bryan and his legacy as an educator.

The RBC golf tournament will take place tomorrow, September 4,  at the Country Club at the Highlands at noon. Please contact Scott Davis to sign up.

As a reminder, all employees of Richard Bland College can contribute to the Foundation through payroll deduction. Through the Foundation, the College has been able to build residence halls, enhance the athletic complex, award hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, and much more. Scott Davis will be in touch soon with more information about opportunities to get involved in supporting the important work of the RBC Foundation.


‘Constant Kindness’
As we continue our work together in support of RBC-19 goals and 100% student success, I encourage you to remember the words of Albert Schweitzer who said, “Constant Kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” In the midst of significant change, which is disruptive and unsettling by its very nature, each of us in this small community that is Richard Bland College has a fundamental choice to make. Choosing to be constantly kind to our students, our colleagues and ourselves will help to build a campus community and environment that nurtures creativity, innovation and excellence.