to rethink and restructure general education to ensure that all undergraduate students have the
benefits of a rich, rigorous educational experience.
‘As vice chair, Jane worked closely with Chairman Arthur Quern and other members to
develop and implement the Priorities, Quality, and Productivity (PQP) initiative, which
strengthened the quality of educational programs at Illinois colleges and universities and
maintained support for Illinois higher education in a time of fiscal stringency.
‘Throughout her tenure, Jane has called attention to the needs of elementary and
secondary education. An active member of the Joint Education Committee, she has worked to
coordinate the efforts of the state’s educational agencies to ensure that all precollegiate students
are well prepared to succeed in college or the work place.
‘In these and other activities, Jane always has been willing to lend an ear or hand and to
serve as needed. She made important contributions to some of the Board’s most important select
committees of the past two decades including the Committee on Affordability, the Committee on
Underserved Areas, the Committee on the Educational Needs of Lake County, and the search
committees for hiring two Executive Directors.
‘Jane’s dedication to education has been personal and lifelong. Education has formed
an integral part of her life as a guidance counselor, mother of three, Chair of the Kenilworth
Elementary School Board, and member of the National Advisory Committee for Institutional
Eligibility and Accreditation for the United States Secretary of Education.
‘Whatever the situation before the Board, Jane has responded with grace, strength and a
quiet leadership focused on substance. Board members have found her a pleasure to work with
and staff a pleasure to work for. She leaves a Board that has been shaped by her actions in
countless ways and a legacy of stability, civility, and accomplishment. We are grateful for her
friendship, joyful presence, and unfailing courtesy and realize that, thanks to her example, we
truly understand the requirements and spirit of public service.’
“The resolution will be forward to Jane. Her husband, Rich, has accepted a position with
the Bush administration which requires his presence in New York, so Jane has joined her husband
in New York. We wish them both well.”
The Board of Higher Education unanimously adopted the above resolution.
Mr. Kaplan said: “On behalf of the Board, I will read the following resolution:
‘We, the members of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, express our profound
gratitude to and deep respect for Philip J. Rock for his exemplary service to the citizens of Illinois
and to students throughout the state during his three decades of public service.
‘During twenty-two years in the Illinois General Assembly – the longest serving Senate
President in Illinois history – and six years on the Board of Higher Education, Phil Rock has
been a potent voice for students at all levels of education. He played a pivotal role in passage of
an income tax increase that has benefited millions of students from kindergarten through
graduate school. He has, in particular, been the voice for those who have had no one else to
speak for them in the halls of power. The Philip J. Rock Center and School in Glen Ellyn for
those who have both visual and hearing disabilities is testament to his commitment to young
people and his leadership for education.
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