Hours after being removed by Rock Valley College trustees, Chip Chapdelaine is speaking out; 23 news Reporter Erica Hurtt spoke exclusively with Chapdelaine Wednesday afternoon and has his reaction.
Chapdelaine was not in his office at all this week and did not attend Tuesday night's meeting, but Wednesday he spoke out about the vote to remove him as Rock Valley's top leader.
Under the advice of counsel, ousted Rock Valley College President Chip Chapdelaine could say little about his firing.
"I look forward to the opportunity when the time is right to be able to discuss the issues in greater depth," said Chapdelaine.
But a pensive Chapdelaine did say he enjoyed his time at Rock Valley and thought he was doing what was best for the school.
"I love Rock Valley College. I love Rockford. When the time comes, I have a great deal that I wish to answer, share and explain concerning my tenure at Rock Valley College. I wouldn't have been there for six years if I hadn't of devoted my life and my soul to achieving the goals of Rock Valley College."
RVC's Board of Trustees was tight lipped about why they voted to get rid of Chapdelaine, but his management style and the college's finances have come under the microscope. During the past year all three employee groups passed votes of no confidence in the former president. Word of Chapdelaine's dismissal spread quickly around campus.
"I was pretty surprised because I had heard about the problems but I didn't think he'd get fired over it," said Ashley Adams, a RVC student.
Some students say the board's decision is good for the student body.
"I think it was reasonable considering the fact that college was spending into deficits," said Aaron Funfsinn, a RVC student.
Others think the move will have little effect on their day-to-day studies. As for Chapdelaine, he says now his focus is his family.
"Now if the time for me to focus on myself and my family. Something perhaps I haven't done as well as I should have over the years,” he says.
Chapdelaine is credited with bringing major growth to the campus including the opening of the starlight theater. He was named Rock Valley college president in 1997. Trustees plan to select an interim president at their next meeting. The school will pay Chapdelaine $147,000 because he was fired for reasons not listed under his contract.