Fall 2016 Welcome Back

Aug. 29, 2016

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

It is my sincere honor and distinct pleasure to welcome each and every one of you to the beautiful campus of Radford University for the 2016-17 academic year! As we settle back into daily life following the summer months, I am confident that we will quickly focus on the tremendous excitement and widespread optimism before us this semester and throughout the year. Whether you are new or returning, I am so pleased that you are part of the Radford family. For those who are new, thank you for choosing to be a Highlander. In the weeks and months to come, you will witness first-hand what makes this University and the community so very unique and special. For those who are returning, your steadfast commitment to and continued support of Radford University are appreciated.

Today marks the beginning of our adventure together, as classes begin and the campus comes alive with anticipation and enthusiasm for what the new academic year will hold for each and every one of us. Over the course of the coming year, we will join together to reflect on the rich and storied history of Radford University and plan for our bold and promising future as part of a campus-wide strategic planning process. Our strategic plan will identify the many ways in which we, as a campus community, can engage daily in excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness, with a focus on the following areas: brand identity; academic excellence and research; student success; strategic enrollment growth; economic development and community partnerships; and philanthropic giving and alumni engagement. The comprehensive strategic plan, which will be developed over the course of a full year of meetings and discussion, will bring to life our shared vision of transforming Radford into an innovative, premier university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research and service.

As we prepare to officially launch the strategic planning process, you are encouraged to participate in Presidential Open Forums. Forums for students will be held on September 6, 2016 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Bondurant Auditorium and on September 7, 2016 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Bonnie Auditorium. Forums for faculty will be held on September 6, 2016 beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Bondurant Auditorium and on September 7, 2016 beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Bonnie Auditorium. The forums will provide an opportunity for you to learn more about the future direction of our University and provide feedback on ways in which we can strengthen our programs and services. Additionally, the University will host a Budget Planning Summit, a first of its kind event, to engage a wide range of constituents in detailed discussion and idea generation regarding future budget cycles. The Summit, which will be held on September 9, 2016, will include 125 participants from across the campus community through appointments by the shared governance leaders, specifically Student Government Association President, Faculty Senate President, Administrative and Professional Faculty Senate President and Staff Senate President.

Feedback from the forums and the work of the Budget Planning Summit will be invaluable to the Strategic Planning Task Force and its subgroups, which will be comprised of students, faculty, administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, alumni and community members. Please know that our collective plans for the future, which will take shape in a new strategic plan to be launched in early 2018 and run through 2023, are merely a glimpse into the Radford University of tomorrow, which will provide limitless opportunities for future generations of students. With each of you as dedicated members of the Radford family, I am confident we will continue to strengthen our beloved University and its impact on the local community, the New River Valley, the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

Indeed, we have much to be proud of at Radford University. As students, faculty and staff make the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building their new home, I hope that you will join the Radford family on the afternoon of September 16, 2016 as we officially dedicate and open this state-of-the-art facility that will provide endless opportunities and infinite possibilities for our students and our faculty. On October 14, 2016, the Radford family will come back together as we officially dedicate the Center for the Sciences, which came to life last spring as faculty moved into their offices and students engaged in learning opportunities.

Our individual and collective achievements speak volumes about the quality institution we are all blessed to be a part of each and every day. I know that by working together, our achievements will only continue to build with no limit to what we can achieve as one Radford family! I offer you warmest wishes for a great start to the 2016-17 academic year and a fall semester filled with progress, promise and purpose!

Go Highlanders!

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.
President