Message from President Kyle Regarding Board Meeting
Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle sent the following message to the campus community on May 5, 2012.
Dear Members of the Radford University Community,
I am writing to update you on several actions taken by the Radford University Board of Visitors at its meeting yesterday. As you are aware, tuition and fees for the next academic year are set by the Board at its annual spring meeting.
After a lengthy and thorough discussion, the board approved a 3.2 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students, marking the lowest increase in 11 years. The recommended rates were possible because of the additional general fund support proposed by Governor McDonnell and the Virginia General Assembly, new student enrollment growth, and through the internal reallocation of institutional resources.
The Board's action allows the university to continue our essential six-year plan initiatives while remaining one of the most affordable public institutions in the Commonwealth. Ensuring the university's academic excellence and exceptional student services remain our highest priority.
Total in-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees will increase $270 or 3.2 percent for the 2012-13 academic year while out-of-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees will increase $682 or 3.5 percent. Total annual tuition and mandatory fees for graduate students will increase $296 or 3.3 percent for in-state students and $622 for out-of-state students, a 3.5 percent increase. A copy of the schedule of all tuition and fees approved by the Board for 2012-13 is attached.
Pressures on the University’s 2012-13 operating budget include unavoidable cost increases (e.g. fringe benefit and health insurance increases, rising energy costs, contract escalators, etc.), operation and maintenance for new facilities coming on-line, and critical university initiatives supporting instruction and core student services. We are all very concerned about cost increases in higher education and have worked diligently to mitigate the impact on our students and their families.
Last year, the university presented a plan to carry forward a portion of the federal stimulus (ARRA) funds into the first quarter of 2011-12 which was approved by the Board of Visitors and the Commonwealth's Department of Planning and Budget. This allowed the university to moderate the need to increase tuition drastically in one year and to position itself for the future.
As part of managing the phase out of ARRA funds, the University strategically looked at all funding sources to determine if reallocations were available. This review was designed to ensure institutional resources were leveraged as efficiently and effectively as possible, while continuing to address the increasing programmatic needs of our students.
During the 2012 General Assembly Session, Governor McDonnell and our legislative leaders took an important step in maintaining excellence through revising the funding formula for higher education from base adequacy to one driven more by incentives, initiatives, increased enrollment growth, and other performance factors outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011. The letter that I sent to faculty and staff on April 19, 2012, outlined in detail, the new funding proposed by the General Assembly which is currently being reviewed by the Governor for final approval.
For 2012-13, the proposed budget includes $2.7 million in state general fund support for the university’s base operations, enrollment growth, retention and degree completion, expansion of accelerated degree and distance education options, and in-state undergraduate need-based financial aid. This reinvestment in higher education signifies meaningful and renewed support by the Governor and General Assembly, for which we are truly appreciative. The increased state support has also allowed the university to mitigate the need to increase the cost to students further.
I want you to know that we are actively preparing and planning for the future. With input from the campus community during the past two years, the framework for the six-year plan was developed and continues to be updated to reflect the essential programmatic needs and strategic initiatives supporting the goals and priorities of the university and Commonwealth.
To proactively address the financial challenges facing the institution, we plan to continue partnering with the state to meet the goals outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 by increasing enrollment, continuing to identify efficiencies, focusing on retention and degree completion, and strengthening development efforts to encourage external support through sponsored programs and private fundraising activities.
Other action items approved by the Board included:
- Elected alumna Linda K. Whitley-Taylor of Virginia Beach as rector and Milton C. Johns of Gainesville as vice rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors. Whitley-Taylor, a 1986 graduate of Radford University, is Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Amerigroup in Virginia Beach. Johns is a partner in the law firm of Day & Johns PLLC, which has offices in Gainesville and Manassas, and is chair at large for the Prince William County School Board. Both appointments are effective July 1, for the ensuing year.
- Elected Emily Redd, a senior English major from Galax and President of the Student Government Association, as the non-voting advisory student member to the Radford University Board of Visitors, effective July 1, for the ensuing year.
- Approved the tenure of 21 faculty members.
- Approved Radford University's Crisis and Emergency Operation Plan.
- Approved the university's commitment to continue Level II Authority.
- Approved the financing in 2012 of the construction of the Student Fitness and Wellness Center through the issuance of 9(d) bonds and the renovation of Washington Hall through the issuance of 9(c) bonds.
- Confirmed the delegation of authority for personnel matters to the Governance and Administration Committee of the Board.
Because of the weather, we had a "condensed" Commencement ceremony this morning, and our speaker, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, delivered an inspiring message to our nearly 2,000 graduates. As many of you begin your summer activities, I want to thank you for the hard work, dedication and service you always provide to Radford University.
If you have questions or would like further explanation regarding any of the information contained in this letter, please let me know.
With much appreciation,