August Campus Update

August 1, 2016
Update for the Radford Family

Dear Radford Family,

It has been one month since I assumed one of the greatest opportunities of my professional career– becoming Radford University's seventh president. During this short time, Marisela, our children and I have been warmly welcomed into the Highlander community.

Without question, the Highlander community's feedback and insights have been very helpful in learning more about Radford University and our collective aspirations for the future. In addition to informal meetings on and off campus, I facilitated two near-capacity presidential forums for Administrative and Professional Faculty and Classified Staff and hosted three well-attended alumni forums across the Commonwealth, specifically in Northern Virginia, Richmond and Virginia Beach. As part of each of these events, I shared my strategic areas of focus and solicited questions and comments from those who proudly represent our university each and every day. Furthermore, I witnessed a passion for and commitment to Radford University that is truly inspiring and is sharply focused on the success of our students.

As we move forward in the coming months, additional opportunities will be planned for campus and alumni engagement. For example, alumni receptions are scheduled for Southwest Virginia during August, and dates for out-of-state alumni receptions will be announced in the near future. And, as the Fall 2016 semester begins, I will announce various on-campus forums for students and faculty. I encourage each of you to attend and provide your perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing our university.

During this first month, I have also reviewed some of our administrative organizational structures and realigned them in an effort to improve our effectiveness, accountability, efficiency, advocacy and capacity for engagement. For example, I recently approved a recommendation to align Human Resources under Finance and Administration. This move is consistent with a multitude of other universities of our size and complexity, and it positions our team to better serve our campus. Additionally, the university's retention efforts will be administered through Student Affairs in strong collaboration with Academic Affairs and the entire campus community. The Director of Diversity and Equity and Title IX Officer will report to me through the Chief of Staff. This new organizational structure will provide a valuable and experienced senior advocate on my staff for the important programs represented by Diversity and Equity. The Chief of Staff will also provide oversight to the university's legislative affairs activities as we advocate for our students, programs and services with the General Assembly, as well as other government leaders and state entities.

In an effort to provide a consistent framework and another opportunity for me to gain much-needed input, advice and perspective, I recently established the President's Leadership Council, which will be comprised of the vice presidents, chief of staff, academic deans and director of Athletics. The council will add to the valuable insights gained throughout the year from students, faculty and staff, as well as their respective governing bodies.

As I shared with each of you in my campus-wide message on my first day, I am confident that our future is full of immense potential and infinite possibilities, and that we can achieve these by working together as one Highlander family. Based on my first month as your president, I have witnessed your focus on teamwork and our connection as a campus community. I look forward to meeting each of you in-person and continuing our work together to transform Radford University into an innovative, premier university with a keen focus on teaching, research and service.

With Highlander Pride,


Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.