Board of Visitors Holds Quarterly Meeting, Approves Annual Operating Budget
The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held its quarterly meeting Sept. 18-19 at Radford University.
The board received reports on the university’s progress and accomplishments in academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.
The BOV elected Kevin R. Dye, M.D., of Roanoke, as Vice Rector. That position had been left vacant when the previous holder, Michael A. Wray of Roanoke, was named Rector of the BOV on July 1st. The board also welcomed four new members: the Honorable Andrew B. Fogarty, Ph.D., of Chesterfield, Va.; Susan Whealler Johnston, Ph.D., of Berryville, Va.; The Honorable Javaid Siddiqi, Ph.D., of Chesterfield, Va.; and Christopher Wade, of Fairfax, Va.
The BOV approved a $203.4-million operating budget for FY 2014-15 for the university. Also approved were:
- Veteran Registration Priority Policy that ensures RU compliance with state code, giving priority registration to students on active duty in the Armed Forces
- revised Office of Audit and Advisory Services Charter, incorporating nomenclature and mandatory guidance from the Institute of Internal Auditors.
- Radford University’s 2014 Six-Year Plan
- Radford University’s write-off of past due accounts as of June 30, 2014
- revised Threat Management Policy, which in accordance with the General Assembly amended Code of Virginia in 2014, incorporates additional requirements to establish policies and procedures that outline circumstances for reporting and notification
RU President Penelope W. Kyle reported to the board on significant campus events and developments that occurred since the BOV’s May meeting. She introduced senior leaders that had joined the university or assumed new positions, including: Melissa E. Wohlstein, Vice President for University Advancement and Alumni Relations; George S. Low, Dean, College of Business and Economics; and Margaret Devaney, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts.
President Kyle’s report to the BOV highlighted that Radford University had received several high profile rankings, including:
- U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” 2015 ranking – “Best Regional Universities – South.” RU ranked 34th overall in the 12-state southern region and 13th place of southern region public universities.
- The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges in the Southeast” 2015 ranking. RU was ranked among the 138 best colleges in the Southeast. RU previously has been ranked in this category seven times since 2008.
- Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” ranking for the second consecutive year. RU was ranked 35th among master’s universities and was the highest ranked master’s university in Virginia.
President Kyle highlighted RU’s hosting of several high profile youth programs during the summer, including: Virginia’s Boys State; Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools in the Humanities and in the Visual and Performing Arts; the College of Science and Technology’s Summer Bridge program; and the first-ever hosting at RU of the Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering and Applied Mathematics (STEAM) Academy. President Kyle publicly thanked the RU faculty and staff who made these programs successful.
During her report to the BOV, President Kyle congratulated the Student Government Association (SGA) on its 100th anniversary at RU, complementing the current organization on its contributions to the student body.
The BOV’s Academic Affairs Committee learned about developments at RU including notable grant awards, developments in academic programs such as nursing, and a vision for the future of enhanced and expanded personal, professional and career services programs for students. The committee’s discussion also included the importance to RU of building relationships with local, regional and state private industries to increase internships and professional development opportunities for students. The committee also received a report from Jerry Kopf, President of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Representative to the BOV, on the state of faculty affairs, the faculty’s perspectives on the impact of possible budget savings plans, faculty salaries and morale.
The Business Affairs and Audit Committee was updated on the potential impacts of the state’s revised revenue forecast and briefed on the financial performance report for the year ending June 30, 2014, proposed FY 2014-15 operating budget, 2014 Six-Year Plan, and write-off of past due accounts. The Commonwealth’s Auditor of Public Accounts’ Project Manager for Radford reported that the University received an “unmodified opinion”, the highest rating possible, for its 2012-13 Financial Statements. The University Auditor presented the quarterly University Discretionary Fund review, FY2014 Activity Report, the FY2015 Audit Plan, Budget and Staffing Summaries for FY 2014 and FY 2015, balanced scorecard for FY 2014, and a follow-up audit status report. The committee also received an update on the progress of six RU capital projects, and was informed of LEED Gold certification of the College of Business and Economics building, the first new construction building at RU to receive this prestigious certification.
The Student Affairs Committee was briefed on the department’s mission, goals and visionary initiatives, which include a Center for Leadership and Community Service, residential learning communities and a Student Organization Involvement Center. The committee was briefed on the steady increase in student involvement, including the university's more than 250 clubs and organizations. The committee and BOV were briefed by Colby Bender, SGA President and Student Representative to the BOV, regarding the SGA’s strategic plan, which includes increasing campus safety through the "Consent" sexual assault prevention, awareness and support campaign, as well as planned “Campus Safety Walks” during the academic year. He also provided a briefing on the university's partnership with TurboVote and Virginia21 to encourage student-voter participation and to simplify voter registration.
The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee received an update of information technology projects accomplished during the summer, including a variety of hardware and software upgrades across the campus, implementation of a new digital asset management system, installation of a new campus cable television system and new hardware installed in six of the university’s computer labs. The committee was also updated on university’s new identity and access management system and progress toward development of a campus-wide Constituent Relationship Management system.
The committee also received an update of RU Athletics. More than 270 student-athletes participated in the Welcome Back Dinner coinciding with the beginning of the fall semester. The success of RU’s student-athletes during the 2013-14 year was also shared with the committee: three student-athletes earned Academic All-American honors; four student-athletes earned All-America All-District selections; 62 percent of RU student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher; 50 student-athletes achieved a 4.0 G.P.A.; and more than 50 percent of student-athletes earned Big South Honor Roll recognition. The board was briefed on upgrades to RU’s Division I athletic facilities, including completed, ongoing or planned renovations to the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms, volleyball and softball locker rooms; renovations of the Dedmon Center riverside entrances; and softball stadium improvements that included installation of new seating, dugouts and a press box.
The Advancement/Alumni Relations and Communications/Marketing Committee received a report on year-end results for FY 2013-14 and a briefing on the vice president’s near-term fund raising goals. The committee was also briefed on upcoming alumni relations events and activities. The committee then received an update on ongoing analysis and research associated with the integrated branding and marketing campaign and discussed the BOV’s role in the creative concept review process.
The next meeting of the Radford University Board of Visitors is scheduled for Nov. 20-21 on the University campus.