Dr. Robert Head came to Rockford College in 2008 as its 17th president. The former banker started the job after several years of tumultuous financial footing in which the college sold off artwork to raise funds. Head says those years are past, and the college is entering a new chapter to reach out to international students.
Fiscal footing and campus growth
Head credits years of positive growth from a two-phase strategic plan he implemented when he took the helm several years ago. He says the plan involves fiscal responsibility. While there have been renovations in the past couple of years, there are currently no new buildings planned for the campus. The college did acquire a donation of five acres of land this year connecting it to East State Street.
While some colleges look to increase enrollment as a sure way to increase tuition dollars, Head says the college remains dedicated to maintaining a low student to faculty ratio. Tuition is currently $26,210 for the 2012-2013 academic year for full-time students. But he says there are plans to increase the college's enrollment from the current population of around 1,400 students to around 1,700 students by 2016.
Head says attracting international students could be aided possibly through a re-branding. He says the school has been weighing the pros and cons of changing the name Rockford College to Rockford University. He explains in some countries outside of the United States, the term "college" refers to a high school or two-year program. He also says mailings between Rockford College and nearby Rock Valley College are often mixed up. Rock Valley College is a public community college. Head says the thousands of alumni could be involved before a final decision is made regarding a possible name change. He also says there would be some cost involved with changing signage etc.