RU President Kyle joins prestigious national commission on intercollegiate athletics


President Penelope Kyle

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle has been named to the prestigious Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

President Kyle is among four recently announced new appointees to the 19-member Commission, co-chaired by William Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University. As a new appointee to the commission, President Kyle joins Walter Harrison, University of Hartford president; G.P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Institute of Technology, and Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York.

"We are delighted to add four leaders of such high caliber to the Commission," Kirwan said. "They are not only revered leaders on their respective campuses, but also are respected nationally for their expertise in a broad range of higher education areas, including intercollegiate athletics."

"It is a privilege to represent Radford University, our student-athletes, and the Commonwealth of Virginia in support of the Knight’s Commission’s important work," said President Kyle. "The challenges facing intercollegiate sports now are complex, but I welcome the opportunity to join this collaborative effort to chart a successful course to a sustainable paradigm that balances healthy intercollegiate competition and higher education."

The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 in response to scandals in college sports. Its reform agenda emphasizes the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission’s recommendations including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate more than 50 percent of their players in order to be eligible for postseason championships. The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. For more, visit

President Kyle became RU’s first female and sixth president in 2005. In 2011, she became the first woman to be elected president of the Big South Conference and has represented the conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Presidential Advisory Group.

Feb 7, 2015