Our View: Rock Valley College will continue to fill vital role in community

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Rock Valley College is stable, accredited and not going anywhere. Credits students earn will continue to transfer to four-year universities. RVC will continue to offer a first-rate education at an affordable price. It will continue to meet the critical needs of the region.

None of that will change as the administration and trustees make difficult decisions to keep the college running as well for the next 50 years as it has for the past 50.

Trustees will consider laying off an unknown number of professors and instructors when they meet Tuesday. No one likes making these reductions in force, but they are necessary as officials work to fill holes in RVC’s budget.

The biggest hole has been created by the state of Illinois, which is supposed to provide the college with $6.6 million annually. It would take more than financial expertise — it would take magic — to balance a budget without layoffs and a fraction of the promised state funds.

Reductions in force are ugly, but common in education. They haven’t been used at RVC, but RIFs have often been used by local public schools trying to balance their books. Some of the laid-off teachers wind up coming back to work for their schools and it would not be surprising if that happens with the Rock Valley layoffs as well. Still, there will be people left without jobs.

The challenge for trustees, who are unpaid, is to ensure layoffs have minimal effect on the classroom. They have to ensure that limited resources are used as effectively as possible.

Rock Valley gives students a better chance to succeed in life. RVC has opened the doors for people who would not have had a crack at a college education.

It has opened some of those doors though partnerships. Rock Valley expanded its aviation program to accommodate the demand for workers at a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Chicago Rockford International Airport; it partnered with OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center to expand the nursing program; it partnered with Northern Illinois University to offer engineering degrees; and it partnered with the Rockford Register Star to create RVC Downtown, a location that has made the college more accessible for Rockford residents who live west of the Rock River.

Rock Valley College has a vital role in the life of this community. That will not change despite the current financial struggles.

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via Editorials – Rockford Register Star http://ift.tt/1XK6UHU

February 27, 2017 at 10:33AM

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Our View: Rock Valley College will continue to fill vital role in community

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