Board of Visitors hold quarterly meeting Feb. 16-17
The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held its quarterly meeting on campus Feb. 16-17.
The Board was briefed on an encouraging report regarding Radford University's recruitment activities. Highlights included:
- As of Feb. 10, 13,291 new freshmen applications have been received, representing a 78.5 percent increase compared to last year's total applications (7,447) and 62.2 percent more than the previous record of 8,192 total applications for the fall 2012 entering freshmen class.
- The academic profile, as measured by high school GPA average, of the new freshmen applicants to-date increased by 1.9 percent compared to the average GPA of total applicants for last fall's new freshmen class.
- Radford University also is experiencing a 28 percent increase in transfer student applications to-date for the fall 2017 entering class, as compared to the number of fall 2016 class received at the same point in time, with a total of 936 applicants as of Feb. 10. The transfer application process is ongoing and continues through the summer.
The Board approved the Student Success and Retention Action Plan, which outlines the university’s multi-year plan to increase student retention and graduation rates.
The Board also recognized the Highlanders women's volleyball and men's soccer teams. The soccer team won the Big South Tournament Championship and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Coach Mark Reeves was named Big South Conference Men's Soccer Coach of the Year. Volleyball advanced to the finals of the Big South Tournament Championship. Coach Marci Jenkins was named the Big South Conference Women's Volleyball Coach of the Year. Both teams presented game balls to Rector Christopher J. Wade and Vice Rector Javaid Siddiqi.
President Brian O. Hemphill briefed the Board on the search for Vice President for University Advancement. He also provided updates on the increase of applications for the fall 2017 semester.
President Hemphill briefed the Board on Advocacy Day, when a record 50 students participated and met 71 state representatives in Richmond.
President Hemphill also stressed the importance of international partnerships with other universities, including the university's recent partnership with Monash University, an elite Australian university. Radford is also exploring a possible partnership with Shandong Youth University of Political Science, located in China.
The University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management committee was briefed on an upcoming series of special events and ongoing outreach efforts by the Enrollment Management team, in conjunction with University Relations and Alumni Relations, to attract new freshman students for the 2017-18 academic year.
University Relations also shared details from a comprehensive economic impact study that showed that Radford University directly or indirectly contributes more than $1 billion to the statewide economy and produces more than 8,000 jobs. Regionally, Radford contributes $475 million to the economy and sustains more than 4,176 jobs.
The committee also received briefings on the university's ongoing fundraising efforts during the current fiscal year. As of Feb. 10, total giving to Radford was $9 million, a $2 million increase over Feb. 10, 2016.
The University Auditor briefed the Business Affairs and Audit Committee (BAAC) on the quarterly review of the university's discretionary fund, which determined all expenditures were in compliance with policy. A status update was also provided on the items outstanding from the last university audit.
Information was also presented regarding the upcoming audit on the university's financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016. The responsibilities of the auditors and management were discussed, as well as the planned scope and timeline of this year's audit.
The BAAC recommended and the Board approved a resolution certifying compliance with the Radford University Debt Management Policy.
The committee was updated on the incremental funding proposed for Radford University’s operating budget in the Governor’s Amended 2016-2018 Executive Budget Proposal. The proposed Biennial Executive Budget included a 5 percent general fund budget reduction, a recovery of one-time prepayments to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and a 1.5 percent bonus for faculty and staff. In conjunction with the presentation, President Hemphill discussed the variations between the house and senate budget amendments. The outcome of the proposed 2016-2018 budget will not be known until the completion of the 2017 General Assembly session.
The BAAC also was updated on the campus' current capital projects, including:
- The ongoing $9 million renovation of Whitt Hall, set for completion in July 2017
- The renovation of Reed-Curie Hall, targeted for completion by December 2019
- A Nursing Simulation Center expansion at the School of Nursing’s site at the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC), set for completion by fall 2017
The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) heard from College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) leaders about a proposed new doctoral program, the Doctorate in Education (Ed. D). The degree is designed to address several state and local needs, such as an applied approach to problem solving; a practical focus to become a leader in the school system; an affordable Ed. D. that continues Radford’s renowned education program; and being designed around the working professional educator.
The proposed Ed. D. would be a synchronous online program with an initial class size of 18 students. The part-time degree program is expected to take the working professional four years to complete.
The committee also learned of the School of Nursing's (SON) impressive licensure passing rates. For the fifth consecutive year, Radford’s SON graduates surpassed the national average pass rate by first-time test takers of the National Council Licensure Examination. Graduates from the SON’s December 2015 and May 2016 classes combined to post a pass rate of 94.4 percent on the test to exceed the 84.5 percent national average for Bachelor of Science – Nursing programs.
The Governance, Administration and Athletics committee (GAAC) received an overview of the Division of Information Technology highlights for the fall 2016 semester, including the completed technology installations in the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building and technology and planning configurations for the Whitt Hall and Reed-Curie renovations.
Athletics reported that 69 percent of student athletes achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher for the fall 2016 semester. Thirty-two of those students earned a 4.0, and 49 made Dean’s List honors. Women’s golf and softball had 100 percent of their athletes earn a 3.0 or higher GPA. Volleyball had the highest GPA at 3.71.
The Student Government Association (SGA) addressed the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), providing updates to the organization’s strategic plan for the 2016-17 academic year.
Among the student-centered activities are programs and workshops designed to enhance Highlander pride, campus safety, civic engagement, sexual assault and domestic violence awareness, diversity awareness, strategic enrollment, student retention, community service and school unity.
SGA representatives shared details from their recent trip to Richmond for Advocacy Day. Students spent Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in the state's capital networking with legislators and sharing their Radford University experiences.
SAC received a presentation from the Office of Student Affairs regarding student retention efforts, which include the new Starfish platform, improving timely course registration, the expansion of living-learning communities and mentoring academically successful students.
The committee was also briefed on Radford University's student conduct process.
The next scheduled meeting of the BOV is May 5-6, 2017 at Radford University.