RU Board of Visitors approves new Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation Policy
At its quarterly meeting held Nov. 20-21, the Radford University (RU) Board of Visitors (BOV) approved the university’s proposed new Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation policy.
The policy update incorporates the most recent U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidelines for colleges and universities, and was part of RU’s review of Title IX policies and procedures related to sexual assault and sexual harassment that was initiated by university leadership nearly one year ago. Title IX is the section of federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in educational institutions, of which sexual assault and sexual harassment are examples. The new RU policy was approved by the President’s Cabinet in October and recommended for final approval by the BOV as part of its regularly scheduled November meeting.
The policy codifies RU’s commitment to ensuring a culture of prevention, support and safety for its students, staff and community and establishes a high standard of concern for one another and for honorable, ethical behavior.
Other highlights of the recent BOV meeting included a briefing to the Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee about two high-visibility information technology projects under development that will support the university’s future enrollment management and advancement activities. The committee heard a report on the substantial progress made to convert existing university data and implement the two systems, as well as the ways by which both systems will significantly enhance operations in the Admissions and Advancement offices.
The committee was also briefed on progress made to establish the women’s lacrosse team, the newest edition to the university’s lineup of Division I sports teams, with the signing of a new head coach and 13 student-athletes to-date in advance of the team beginning competition in the spring of 2016. The committee was also briefed on the many athletic and academic honors that RU student-athletes have garnered during the fall season.
The Student Affairs Committee heard updates on the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which is scheduled to open on Dec. 1. The 110,000-square-foot facility presents a modern, open floor plan that offers scenic views of the RU campus. The center includes an inclined running track spanning the entire length of the building, a fitness and wellness suite, two floors of strength equipment, three floors of cardio equipment, four fitness studios, a multipurpose activity court, a three-court gymnasium, two racquetball courts, a conference room and several classrooms. The center will become the home to RU’s intramurals, RU Outdoors, sports club programs and the Department of Student Recreation and Wellness.
At the conclusion of their meetings on Nov. 20, Board members toured the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center and then hosted a reception in the center’s multipurpose activity court for student leaders representing a number of student clubs and organizations. The reception served as an informal opportunity for BOV members to meet students and hear their viewpoints.
Board members also received an update from the student representative to the BOV about the Oct. 21 Campus Safety Walk with RU and City of Radford representatives. The walk examined potential safety issues on and off campus, such as additional or enhanced lighting and signage at crosswalks and stop signs.
The BOV was provided a briefing about the university's analysis of student retention and the implementation of retention and degree completion programs, including the Quest orientation program, the BE S.E.E.N. series, and the university's first residential-learning community, "Biology Connections," which launched at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester.
At a joint session of the Academic Affairs and Business Affairs and Audit committees, members heard a report about enrollment trends and recruiting strategies for both undergraduate and graduate students.
In other business, the BOV also approved a change to the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook (section 188.8.131.52.) that modifies the composition of the College Curriculum Committees.
The next RU Board of Visitors meeting is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 2-3, 2015 in Richmond.