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William & Mary Board of Visitors Endorses RBC-19


William & Mary Board of Visitors Endorses Major Changes at Richard Bland College

Five-year plan seeks to grow enrollment, add new programs and improve student outcomes


Petersburg, VA (April 19, 2013) – Today the William & Mary Board of Visitors voted unanimously to approve an expanded mission and a new vision and strategic plan for Richard Bland College at their meeting in Williamsburg. The William & Mary Board last approved a strategic plan for Richard Bland in 1997.


President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D. led development of the new plan, entitled RBC-19, which affirms the university transfer mission and, in addition, seeks to expand access to college credentials through strategic partnerships, specialized programming and scalable innovation. The Board, students, alumni, faculty, elected officials and other Richard Bland stakeholders participated in the nearly year-long strategic planning process designed to identify strategic opportunities for Richard Bland College to more fully contribute to the increased demand for higher education in Central Virginia and throughout the State.


Closely aligned with the Commonwealth’s Top Jobs for the 21st Century legislative goals, the plan’s specific goals include increasing enrollment from the current 1,500 to 2,000 students, the addition of six new degree programs and at least 40 total guaranteed admission agreements with universities to ensure seamless pathways for transfer students. At the same time, the plan seeks to decrease overhead expenses.


“It’s a new day at Richard Bland College,” said Dennis Liberson, Secretary of the William and Mary Board of Visitors and Richard Bland College Committee Chair.  “With a dynamic new leader in place to implement this bold plan for the future and with full support from the William and Mary Board, Richard Bland is well positioned not only for growth, but to deliver the kind of innovation in higher education that the Commonwealth needs in order to remain competitive.”


“RBC-19 seeks to highlight the College’s unique position as Virginia’s only residential public two-year college and to capitalize on the Commonwealth’s recent investment in a new state-of-the art science building and other campus facilities,” said President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph. D. “Students and their families want what Richard Bland College has to offer—small classes with top-rated professors, guaranteed pathways to William & Mary and other great Virginia universities, and the full college experience made possible by residence halls, intercollegiate athletics and a diverse learning environment. Once they know about us, Richard Bland will be a first-choice college.”


To fund the initiatives and priorities outlined in the plan, the William and Mary Board approved a $181 per semester tuition increase for investment in quality improvements in academics. Even with the increase, Richard Bland College’s tuition and mandatory fees remain among the lowest in Virginia and in the region.


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