Chapdelaine dodges interviews
By Jeff Havens, Staff Writer
Rock Valley College (RVC) President Roland Chapdelaine has avoided at least four interviews with various media in recent weeks.
The Rock River Times interview
The Times requested an unrestricted interview with Chapdelaine for March 7. However, on March 4, RVC attorney Joseph J. Perkoski of the Chicago law firm of Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton and Taylor, Ltd., demanded that all questions be limited to the states severe reprimand of RVC for filing late and inaccurate financial data.
Details of the states downgrading of RVCs recognition status are in the Times Feb. 26 edition. The Times declined the offer for a restricted interview.
March 5, the day after the Times cancellation of the restricted interview, WNTA (1330-AM) radios Doug McDuff scheduled Chapdelaine for a morning interview on his show. However, Chapdelaine abruptly canceled the interview citing illness.
Also on March 5, this reporter and Frank Schier, editor and publisher of The Rock River Times, were scheduled for an afternoon interview on WNTAs Chris Bowman Show.
The March 5 edition of the Times described why college documents were turned over to Winnebago County States Attorney Paul Logli.
The documents, which were obtained through a Feb. 7 Freedom of Information Act request, detailed Chapdelaines recommendation and the RVC Board of Trustees approval of questionable construction contracts and a planned gifting schedule for Robert Stenstrom of Stenstrom Companies, Ltd.
Rockford Register Star interview
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced March 12 in his State of the State address that RVC would be one of six state higher education institutions that may be the site for a proposed entrepreneurship center.
Gary Gray of the Rockford Register Star tried to obtain an interview with Chapdelaine to comment on RVCs selection by the governor to be a possible host for this initiative. However, Grays questions for Chapdelaine were referred to Shirley DeBenedetto, RVCs small business center director.
WTVO-TV Channel 17 also requested an interview with a RVC representative about the entrepreneurship center on March 12 . Mike Wright, WTVO news director said they were referred to DeBenedetto to answer questions.
College presidents for the other five colleges that were selected as possible entrepreneurship centers all took questions from the media. The other college/university presidents are at Western Illinois University in Macomb, University of Illinois in Champaign and Chicago, and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and Carbondale.
Elizabeth Stirling, RVCs public relations director, was left a message for comment about this story March 18. As of press time, the call was not returned.