Update on the Planned Merger Between JCHS and RU

May 2, 2018

Dear Jefferson College and Radford University Faculty and Staff:

As the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Radford University communities celebrate our respective graduations, please join us in expressing our appreciation and gratitude for your dedication to the success of the more than 2,100 students from our Classes of 2018. The upcoming Jefferson ceremony in the Berglund Center and the Radford ceremony on Moffett Lawn will be joyous occasions celebrating our students, their hard work and their scholarship contributions, as well as the support of their families, friends and loved ones. Our commencement ceremonies will embody their collective hopes for rewarding and fulfilling careers of our newest groups of alumni.

Both of our institutions share an enduring focus on student success. That common purpose has informed the process of bringing two communities together in advancing the proposed merger announced in January. In the interest of transparency, it is our pleasure to update you on the progress we have made toward the planned merger of Jefferson College into the Radford University family of colleges and departments, specifically the Waldron College of Health and Human Services.

To provide the organizational framework to facilitate critical decision-making, an Executive Committee, comprised of the executive leadership of Carilion Clinic, Jefferson College and Radford University, was recently formed. They will approve and implement the strategies by which the planned merger will move forward in accordance with the previously announced timeline of 18 to 24 months.

To study and prepare the reports and recommendations that guide those strategies and plans, as well as to explore the many other detailed aspects of the merger, a Steering Committee was also formed. Supporting the Executive and Steering Committees with more detailed analysis and recommendations will be a structure of five subcommittees, each with faculty, staff and administrators representing all three entities:

  • Academic Programs and Accreditation
  • Communication
  • Human Resources
  • Finance and Legal
  • Student Services

Both the Communication and Academic Programs and Accreditation Subcommittees were formed in February and have been meeting since March. Appointments to the other three subcommittees were recently finalized, and those subcommittees soon will hold initial meetings and begin to lend support and expertise to the effort by which Jefferson College and Radford University will together become a preeminent provider of health sciences, health care and human services programming in Virginia. This merger would result in a dynamic professional educational entity to serve the citizens of Southwest Virginia and a robust engine of economic growth in the Roanoke Valley and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Our letter to you today is the latest in our pledged effort to update you regarding the unique and valuable opportunities this proposed merger affords us. Forums with faculty and staff at both of our institutions are scheduled for Monday, May 7 at these locations and times:

  • Jefferson College: Room 617 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Radford University: Bonnie Combo Room at 1:00 p.m.

The forums will serve as opportunities to update you on the merger and respond to any questions you may have about the transition structure, recent progress and the path forward.

The Communication Subcommittee is in the process of developing a website in order to facilitate timely information and updates for our students, faculty and staff regarding some of the many details related to the planned merger, including subcommittee assignments and noteworthy milestones and developments, as they become available. An announcement will be made when that website is launched.

As we look to elevate our current partnership into becoming an institution that serves students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters, neighbors and the Commonwealth of Virginia, we rely confidently on the individual strengths of our two historic institutions and the collaborative spirits of our local communities. Our institutions’ heritages of service, reputations for excellence and financial strength supply a powerful momentum to the planned merger.

Together, we can and will distinctively enhance the quality of health care education for our students and provide access to top-notch clinical experiences and research that will in turn benefit citizens of the Roanoke Valley, Southwest Virginia and Commonwealth of Virginia.

With Blue Healer and Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.
President, Radford University

Nathaniel L. Bishop, D.Min.
President, Jefferson College of Health Sciences