Presidential Search Position Announcement
Rock Valley College is seeking its next President. Since its inception in 1964, Rock Valley College has served as a regional resource to students, their families, and the employers of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. To lead this vital institution, the Board of Trustees requires an exceptional candidate who understands the significant role of a community College in the present and emerging global landscape. The Presidential Search Committee invites applications from individuals who excel at blending vision and execution, inspiring and leading stakeholders, and who can successfully adapt to an ever-changing environment. The hallmark of the next President’s tenure will be academic excellence, increased enrollment, an engaged faculty and staff committed to students and their goals, a prepared workforce ready to augment growth of regional employers, taxpayers, and stakeholders who value education and the contribution of Rock Valley College to the greater community. The institution is uniquely positioned to serve the growth opportunities in the community by aligning an ambitious agenda with strategic regional partnerships including business, industry, not-for-profit agencies, municipalities, and taxing districts.
About the College
Rock Valley College is a comprehensive two-year community College in Rockford, Illinois, offering more than 100 courses for transfer, career programs and certificates.
Rock Valley College is part of the 48-institution Illinois Community College System and serves a total population of more than 340,000 in Winnebago and the surrounding counties. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association; it is also recognized by both the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
With a total operating budget of over $60 million and total budget over $100 million, Rock Valley College derives revenue from numerous sources including tuition and fees, local property taxes, state appropriations, and state grants and contracts.
Vital to the financial health of the College is the work performed by the Rock Valley College Foundation. Since 1999, the Rock Valley College Foundation has raised more than $20 million in cash and pledges for scholarships, grants to faculty and staff for innovative projects and programs outside the College budget, equipment, campus beautification, and capital projects. Of that, over $2.3 million has been awarded to students through the Foundation Scholarship Program. In addition, the Foundation has allocated more than $1 million in grants to faculty and staff to enhance classroom instruction, experiential learning, and professional development for Rock Valley College instructors and staff.
With five satellite locations throughout Rockford and extensive facilities on its wooded 217-acre main campus, RVC enrolls around 6,000 students, and serves annually more than 23,000 students in its non-credit and career enhancement programs. The campus also boasts a refurbished Student Center and Educational Resource Center, recently renovated Physical Education Center, the newer state-of-the-art Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math, and our newest building which opened in the Fall 2017, the Health Sciences Center. The College is home to the one-of-a-kind retractable roof Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theater, and has a new Aviation Career Education Center at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.
Articulate a Clear Vision and Strategy for RVC
The President, in harmony with the Board of Trustees, must carry out the vision for RVC. The College needs to continue to develop educational programming for the current and future needs of its students and the larger community, setting priorities based on criteria such as student interest, community need, transferability, employment possibilities, chance of success, and affordability.
To meet this challenge, the President must be a strong, collaborative leader who is able to inspire others to work together in difficult financial times to grow enrollment. The President will lead a process that yields decisions that are discerning and realistic, as well as bold and creative, and are responsive to the community as well as consistent with a cohesive sense of the College's educational philosophy and purpose.
Promote the Academic and Personal Development of Students
- As an open-enrollment institution, RVC offers educational opportunity and access to students who come to the College from a wide range of backgrounds and with varying levels of preparation. The College has a strong tradition of liberal arts and sciences infused throughout its curricula as well as a strong general education program. The President will be required to work with faculty, staff and administration ensuring all students have access to support services that enable them to reach their potential. The College has strengthened the career and technical educational programs in response to the needs of the community, helping with workforce development, and preparation of engineers, nurses and allied health workers, and the transfer of GED prepared students to their next educational level.
Assure Financial Stability and Growth
- In order for RVC to continue offering affordable, high-quality education to the community, the President must work to ensure funding from a diversified range of sources. The President will be responsible for developing and stewarding RVC's operating budget and for working to guarantee financial stability. To successfully manage RVC's finances, the President must work closely with the Board ensuring the College is prepared for all future economic scenarios. The President must diligently work with elected and appointed county, state, and national leaders to aggressively advocate for the College’s needs, especially with declining assistance from the state.
- In addition, the President will work with the RVC Foundation in helping the College to raise money through philanthropic donations, and to generate corporate sponsorships through partnerships with the area’s businesses, industries, and public-sector enterprises. The Foundation has been successful at providing funding for student scholarships and is poised to take on an even larger role. The President, along with the Foundation, will need to continue to build a culture of philanthropic support among the College’s alumni, many of whom have achieved remarkable success after leaving RVC. Through personal efforts and by galvanizing board and staff, the President must be tireless in seeking all appropriate potential sources of financial support.
Enhance the College’s Role in Community Revitalization
- The President will work to strengthen the College’s presence as a valuable community resource, enhancing its image and utility to the broader community. It is expected the President will lead the College in responding to the rapid pace of change in the region by positioning the College to be more responsive to emerging workforce development needs through partnerships with business, industry, community leaders, and other educational institutions.
- Furthermore, the President will continue to strengthen RVC’s connection to K-12 education in the region and across the state. The President should work with local and regional high schools to highlight RVC as an institution of choice and continue to increase articulation agreements across the state and country. The President will support modern high school career pathway courses that provide high school students with transferable credentials to pursue career goals; increase access for high school students ready to have College-level learning experiences; provide career and technical training to high school graduates that allows them to enter the workforce quickly with tangible skills or continue their education towards future employment; and increase access to courses that build technical competencies in modern career pathways such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Technology.
- The President should promote RVC as a vital community partner with a strong reputation throughout all of the counties RVC serves, and beyond, as an institution of choice for college preparation, workforce training, and continuing education. Through its satellite campuses, RVC should be viewed as an institution that ties multiple constituencies together and is a resource to all citizens in the community, regardless of neighborhood and socioeconomic status.
- Sustained progress will be demonstrated through proactive and routine outreach to community leaders, faculty, administration, and students alike. Mutual respect and inclusion will be the cornerstone to success. Unique viewpoints matter at RVC – the President will embody a commitment to diversity by embracing input from people of different cultures, races, religions, ages, genders, identities, and opinions to cultivate outcomes supporting the mission of the college.
Expand RVC’s Capacity and Reputation as a Resource for Workforce Development
- Local leaders in business and industry have historically partnered with RVC to develop training and certificate programs allowing students to move quickly into available jobs. The region remains a national leader of manufacturing and industry; however, employers are still challenged to find skilled, local workers qualified to take open positions. The employment crisis in the region provides not just an opportunity, but a need for the next leader of RVC to facilitate partnerships with businesses for training and certificate programs that are dynamic and beneficial to students and to businesses and are impactful to the economics and spirit of the community.
- The next President of Rock Valley College will be chosen based on a strong leadership background, ideally with experience operating in a strategic role within both the business and education sectors.
- Prior experience in a union setting and reporting to an elected board are strongly preferred.
- In addition, the successful candidate for President should possess many, if not all, of the following experience and qualifications:
- A history of collaborative and strategic engagement with trustees, faculty, and staff; is able to demonstrate effective experience leading an accredited institution with strong assessment of successful student learning outcomes.
- Discernible capacity to provide visionary leadership that inspires a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders through integrity, openness, and the ability to build consensus.
- Balances academic best practices with financial management strengths to advance the College on its community-aligned growth agenda during a difficult funding climate.
- Fiscal budget experience that combines both the understanding of public finance and the realities of enrollment-driven budgets.
- Resilience and flexibility in the face of unexpected constraints, superior ability to balance short-term and long-term pressures and opportunities, and experience implementing creative solutions to difficult problems.
- Successful experience partnering with K-12 systems and baccalaureate institutions.
- A proven track record of supporting and expanding diversity throughout the organization.
- Experience establishing strong community relationships and developing strategic partnerships with a broad range of organizations.
- An understanding of national and regional trends in higher education, as well as the rapidly changing dynamics affecting global workforce development.
- A track record of success in fund development and donor retention.
- A terminal academic degree preferred.
Located on the banks of the Rock River, Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County. The largest city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, Rockford is the fourth-largest city in the state with approximately 148,000 residents, and an outlying metropolitan area population of nearly 350,000. Rockford is located only 80 miles northwest of Chicago via Interstate 90 and is in the center of a rich agricultural area just south of the Wisconsin border.
Highlights of the Rockford area include:
Three modern, well-equipped hospitals are located in Rockford: Saint Anthony Hospital, SwedishAmerican Hospital, and Javon Bea Hospitals. These facilities attract a high level of professionalism represented by the more than 300 doctors who serve the community.
Rock Valley College District 511 includes several public-school districts including the Rockford Public School District, the Belvidere Public School District, the Harlem Public School District, the Hononegah Public School District, Winnebago School District, Pecatonica School District the Byron Public School District, and others. Additionally, many church-sponsored, Montessori, and secular schools make up the more than 20 private schools in the Rockford area. In addition to RVC, College level work can be pursued at Rockford University (a four-year liberal arts College), and Northern Illinois University, which operates a Rockford facility and the main campus in DeKalb. Advanced degree work can be pursued in Rockford at Rockford University, the University of Illinois, and Northern Illinois University.
More than 160 churches and temples offer spiritual and education assistance to various religious faiths. All major religions in the world are represented in the Rockford area.
Few communities the size of Rockford can match its cultural resources. Music, art, dance, and theater are offered in great variety:
- Rockford Symphony Orchestra
- Rockford Art Museum
- Clark Arts Center at Rockford University
- Rockford Dance Company
- Burpee Museum of Natural History
- Midway Village
- Discovery Center Museum
The city enjoys an excellent park system, which has been recently awarded the prestigious gold medal from the National Recreation and Park Association. Rockford offers recreational activities that will appeal to every interest: For example, golf courses (six public and three private courses), tennis courts (two private indoor clubs, three private outdoor clubs, and over 60 public outdoor courts), a paved riverside recreational path, 2,800 acres of public parks, and a beautiful state park are available to local residents.
How to Apply
View and complete the application.
In addition to your application of employment, and your resume and a cover letter detailing your interest in this role, please submit official transcripts for all degrees you possess, and five (5) letters of recommendation from professional contacts.