President Kyle hosts spring semester student forum
President Penelope W. Kyle hosted a spring semester State of the Student Body Address on Feb. 23 in the Covington Center for Performing Arts.
Dozens of students attended the Feb. 23 event where President Kyle was joined by several university administrators to answer students' questions.
President Kyle, along with Student Government Association President Colby Bender, has facilitated these forums every semester since fall 2014. Each event has provided a unique opportunity for students to engage in lively discussion, bring attention to matters and concerns important to them and to hear university updates and accolades.
In their questions during the February forum, students addressed topics pertaining to diversity, the recruitment of out-state-students and space allotted for student events and organizations.
In an important discussion, students expressed their concerns that the diversity of the faculty and staff did not match that of the student body. President Kyle acknowledged how crucial minority representation is and assured students that the recruitment of a more diverse faculty is an important mission of the university.
Regarding student diversity on campus, President Kyle assured students that the university was working rigorously to recruit students of different ethnicities.
"We understand students want to live and study where there are a lot of people like themselves," Kyle said. "We also understand how important it is for our students to be exposed to different viewpoints and cultures. Diversity is critical to a well-rounded and vibrant educational experience."
In addition to increasing diversity, Radford's Admissions team is working to attract more out-of-state students, President Kyle said. She encouraged out-of-state students already enrolled at the university to "spread the word about Radford" by visiting their high schools during the upcoming spring break.
Several students expressed the need for an additional space on campus where they can gather and host social events.
President Kyle told students that once the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences opens this fall, many offices and departments will relocate there, freeing up space in other buildings. She also announced future plans for the construction of a new student annex beside the Hurlburt Student Center.
Toward the conclusion of the forum, one participant asked Kyle what she considered to be her most proud accomplishment as president of Radford University.
"You all," President Kyle told students. "My interaction with students has been so rewarding. You all have taught me so much. You have changed me. You have changed how I view the world and how I think about education."
President Kyle was then presented with a bouquet of a dozen red roses, 11 of them representing the number of years she has served as president, and an extra, "because we are so grateful for all you have done for us," Bender said.
President Kyle will retire as Radford University’s president on June 30, 2016. She is the university's first female president and its sixth president since the institution’s founding in 1910.