Radford University Board of Visitors holds quarterly meeting, Honors President Penelope W. Kyle

Board of Visitors members toured the new Center for the Sciences while on campus Feb. 1.

The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held it quarterly meeting Feb. 1-2 at Radford University to receive updates and reports about the university’s progress and accomplishments in academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.

In honor of Penelope W. Kyle, J.D., who will retire as Radford University’s president at the end of June, the BOV voted to approve a resolution that named the College of Business and Economics building "Kyle Hall." President Kyle, who is RU's sixth, and first female, president, has served since 2005. During her tenure, Radford University has secured approval and funding for more than $330 million in capital projects, including both new construction and renovations. Under President Kyle's leadership, Radford University secured approval from the Commonwealth of Virginia to offer its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology. More recently, Radford University has sought and gained approval for additional doctorates in physical therapy and nursing practice, and a master's degree in occupational therapy.

In other actions, the Board of Visitors:

  • Approved establishment of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree beginning in the fall of 2017, pending approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
  • Approved a resolution certifying that RU was in compliance with its debt management policy
  • Approved additions to the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook

At the board meeting, Presidential Transition Committee (PTC) Co-Chairs Alethea "A.J." Robinson and Mary Ann Hovis ’65 updated the Board on the PTC’s progress and plans. Their report included an overview of events planned for the transition between the President Kyle and incoming president Dr. Brian O. Hemphill. Four subcommittees will handle the process:

  • A committee focused on President Kyle's transition from office
  • A committee focused on preparing for Dr. Hemphill’s arrival
  • A committee focused on orientation of Dr. Hemphill by faculty
  • An at-large committee whose members support all transition activities

The new home for the College of Science and Technology features 18 teaching labs and five additional classrooms, and will incorporate a bio research lab, a forensic sciences research lab, nine science specific research labs, a vivarium, the Museum of the Earth Sciences and a planetarium.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee was updated on the governor’s biennial budget proposal to the General Assembly. More than $2.5 million in additional funds for student access, retention and financial aid initiatives have been proposed and await legislative approval. A proposal for an $81,000 increase in the Equipment Trust Fund to approximately $1.7 million and a capital project for the repurposing of Reed-Curie Hall were also submitted by the governor to the legislature. The BOV was also updated on the university’s ongoing capital projects, including the recently completed Center for the Sciences, which the BOV toured, and the new academic home of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, which is targeted for completion in fall 2016, and the renovation of Whitt Hall, with an estimated start date of summer 2016.

The Student Affairs Committee was briefed on the Mentoring Academically Successful Highlanders (MASH) program. For the fall 2015 semester, 31 students participated and 28 returned for a 90 percent retention rate. The MASH program ensures participating students meet regularly with academic advisors and peer academic leaders and are fully engaged in academic workshops, Quest and University 100. It was also announced that three new learning communities for fall 2016 would be launched:

  • RUMakers
  • Environment/Community Connections (ECO)
  • NextGen

The Student Affairs Committee also received a briefing on an active fall 2015 program of events that included Fear 2 Freedom, a community service activity at which students prepared care kits for use by the victims of sexual assault and delivered the Women's Resource Center and the New River Valley Medical Center.

Hannah Gullickson, the student representative to the board, updated the Student Affairs Committee on a productive agenda of student activities such as the Winter Wonderland community fair, the RU Holiday Food Drive and the MLK Day of Service on which more than 250 students, faculty and staff volunteered on behalf of various community organizations. Gullickson also provided updates on current Student Government Association initiatives on sexual assault awareness and student safety.

The Academic Affairs Committee received an update about cost/benefit analyses from the deans of each college. Additionally, the committee discussed the admissions and enrollment process and was briefed on strategic enrollment initiatives.


Dr. Rhett Herman gives the Board of Visitors a preview of the new planetarium during their tour of the CSAT building.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee received a briefing on risk management and computer lab strategy and resources. The director of athletics provided a briefing on the Virginia State Legislature’s Chapter 794 (HB1897) and highlighted achievements of RU Athletics during the past quarter, including:

  • Student-athlete academic success – 67 percent of Radford student-athletes have a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Men's Soccer's second consecutive regular season championship
  • Men's Basketball's victories over Georgetown and Penn State
  • The recognition of Men's Basketball alumni Doug Day '93, the twelfth highest all-time NCAA three-point shooter, with a Dedmon Center banner

The Advancement/Alumni Relations and Marketing Committee was briefed on year-to-date fundraising progress, alumni participation increases, student engagement, and an overview of Alumni Relations activities and plans. The committee was also briefed on marketing activities for the current academic year and coordination with enrollment activities.

The next scheduled BOV meeting is May 5-6 at Radford University.

Feb 15, 2016