Ricks Fully Accredited
Some 13 educators from five states spent several days at Ricks College in early October renewing the college's accreditation. The group conducted about 200 interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The college's steering committee prepared a 200-page self study for use by the accreditation team. In an exit meeting, the leader of the accreditation group expressed her feelings of conducting interviews among family rather than strangers. The official report of the team's findings was presented to Ricks president, David A. Bednar, in early December. Ricks has been accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges since 1936.

Emeritus Club Honors
Evelyn Tonks (44) and Mark G. Ricks (46), and Alta Phillips (31) and Richard A. Egbert (29) were honored with the Distinguished Emeritus Service Award at Homecoming activities in late September. The award is given twice a year to individuals or couples whose lives have been centered in service. The Ricks are serving as president and matron of the Idaho Falls Temple. The Egberts, who were successful in their sheep and farming operation in Idaho's Teton Basin, are retired.

Tuition Increase Ahead
Students planning to attend Ricks during the 2000-2001 school year will encounter a $40 per semester (3.8 percent) increase in tuition. Beginning in the fall semester of 2000, tuition will raise from $1,050 to $1,090 per semester. Tuition pays about 30 percent of the actual operating costs of the college while the LDS Church funds the remainder.

Exemplary Employees
Dixie Nordfelt, a secretary for both the Department of Religious Education and the Division of Religious and Family Living; Bobbie Simonsen, secretary to the director of Physical Plant; and Kevin Miyasaki, assistant dean and international advisor in the Dean of Students Office, were honored in late November with the Exemplary Employees award. The college honors various employees who are exemplary in their service and conduct two times a year.

New Enrollment Record
The enrollment of 8,840 students for the winter semester has hit an all-time high at Ricks. Last fall semester's enrollment of 8,628 was the previous high. By comparison, enrollment for the winter semester in 1990 stood at 7,591 and in 1980 at 5,807. Of the 8,840 students, some 7,606 are continuing, 805 are new, and 429 returned after an absence. Women outnumber men by 1,382. The college's Board of Trustees set an enrollment cap of 8,600 students two years ago. 

ROTC Returns To Ricks
After an absence of three years, the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC), the only one offered by a two-year, non-military college in the country, has returned to Ricks College. A partnership with Idaho State and Boise State Universities was finalized in January 2000. The partnership secures resources and personnel. Previously, a limited partnership between Ricks and Boise State had existed since September of 1998.

Eight-Week Term Added
Ricks is adding an eight-week summer term starting June 19 to accommodate students graduating from high school after the Second Term of Summer School begins. "(We are) trying to maximize the number of students who can come to Ricks College," says Jim Gee, assistant academic vice president for Support Services. The term is open to all students. During the eight-week term, students can take a maximum of nine credits. Registration for the term begins May 8. Students may enroll in the Second or Third Term and the eight-week term simultaneously and could take up to 12 credits. College on-campus housing is offering contracts to accommodate students for the eight-week term.

Online Learning Required
To prepare students to function effectively in an online learning environment, students entering Ricks in Fall 2000 are required to have one online learning experience to graduate. Approved online courses are designated in the class schedule and must be completed during the regular semester or term. These courses can also be used to fulfill general education, elective, or major course requirements. Of the courses, 18 will be offered online through BYU and four others will originate from Ricks. Because the student controls the online learning experience, a high degree of self discipline is needed to be successful, the college catalog for 2000-2001 states.

Library Addition Construction
The first phase of the David O. McKay Library renovation is underway with remodeling work on the former Administration Building. When completed in December of this year, the attached 47,000 square foot building will become the east wing of the library. The library expansion was made possible by freeing up administrative space following completion of the new Spencer W. Kimball Student and Administration Services Building last year. Ultimately, the library expansion will boost student seating by almost 500. Group study rooms will increase from the present four to about 20. Increased computer access will also be provided.

Work on the second phase, the remodeling of the third floor of the main library will begin in December of this year. During the summer of 2001 remodeling will be done on the first and second floor.

Faculty Updates

Some 13 faculty members are retiring this year after having averaged at least 31 years in their jobs. They include Bob Oliphant, chairman of the theatre department, who has been at Ricks since 1967. Another is Blair Pincock (53), who retired in January, and is serving as president of the Missionary Training Center in Argentina. He came to Ricks in 1968. Two other former students are Roger Harris (63), a drama instructor since 1969; and Dorla Rudd Jenkins (65), an English instructor since 1970.

Others retiring are Ralph Thompson, an English instructor since 1962; Bud Johnson, a physics instructor since 1964; Lynn Smith, a sociology instructor since 1965; and biology and zoology instructor Jack Bond, at Ricks since 1966. Others retiring with more than 30 years of teaching at Ricks are Gary Griffeth, a Health Science instructor since 1967; Lynn Speth, a biology and field ecology instructor since 1969; and William "Bill" Conway, an English instructor since 1970. Also retiring are landscape horticulture instructor Allen Wilson, at Ricks since 1977; and Home Economics instructor Janel Smith, at Ricks since 1980.

Title Change
The nine division chairmen/women at Ricks College are now referred to as a dean of their division. The change was made to more closely conform with trends at schools comparable in size and mission to Ricks College and to provide clarity regarding the academic structure and the associated responsibilities at the college.