RU welcomes 50 new full time faculty members to campus

Radford University formally welcomed its newest group of educators to campus Friday at the university's New Faculty Luncheon held at the Douglas and Beatrice Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts.

Fifty new teaching faculty members are joining RU this year, resulting in a total of 436 teaching faculty members, the most the university has employed in more than 20 years. New faculty members come to RU from 19 states and are filling positions in 27 university departments and schools.

At the luncheon, RU President Penelope W. Kyle visited with those in attendance before formally addressing and warmly welcoming the educators to campus. The president introduced administrators, spoke of student and alumni success stories and informed the new faculty about the numerous construction and renovation efforts underway at the university.

Just a few steps outside the Covington Center doors where the group was gathered, RU currently is in the process of building a 114,000 square-foot, $32.5 million Student Fitness and Wellness Center, which is projected to be completed in the fall of 2014. Construction also is underway for a $49 million Center for the Sciences. The president also noted the recent completion of the $9.9 million Washington Hall renovation.

While numerous campus improvements are developing, Kyle noted the university's commitment to teaching has not altered.

"One thing that hasn't changed, the focus at Radford that has been here – I'm going to say, forever – is that we are a university built around you as teachers who like to teach and want to be in the classroom, and you want to connect with your students, and you want to teach your students," Kyle said. "You are coming here because you love teaching. You are coming to an environment where that is encouraged and it's applauded."

Kyle said students enroll at RU well informed of the faculty's commitment to teaching excellence, "and they want that connection," she said.

RU is anticipating a freshman class of more than 2,000 students for the fall semester. It would be the third consecutive year RU has enrolled a freshman class of that size. At Thursday's 2013 Fall Convocation, Kyle said those freshmen could boost the university's total enrollment to more than 9,500 full time equivalent students for the fall semester.

President Kyle with new faculty members

President Kyle, Vice President Richard Alvarez, and Faculty Senate President Laura Jacobsen chat with several of the new faculty members.

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Aug 23, 2013
Chad Osborne
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