Board of Visitors holds quarterly meeting

The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held its quarterly meeting on campus Nov. 10-11.

The board approved establishment of the Bachelor of Science in Computer and Cyber Science (BSCCS) beginning in fall 2017, pending approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

The new program will enhance the College of Science and Technology's robust cyber and information technology disciplines and offer current and prospective students the opportunity to prepare for careers in cyber defense, an increasingly in-demand profession. Once approved, Radford University's BSCCS will be one of only two such programs offered in Virginia.

Radford University was recently designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In addition, the university received news that a nearly $34 million renovation approved for funding in the 2016 bond package has been authorized to proceed with planning. The project will fund a major renovation of Reed and Curie Halls that will include a Cyber Security Training and Education Lab (CTEL) for teaching, research, modeling and simulation of cyber threats.

The board also received a report from President Brian O. Hemphill that included updates on campus outreach activities with alumni, supporters, businesses and regional and state leaders since the September 2016 board meeting; engagement activities with alumni during Homecoming and with parents during Family Weekend; the commencement of planning for the university’s strategic plan (2018-2023), which will result in presentation to the board during the anticipated September 2017 board meeting; and economic development and community partnership activities.

President Hemphill also updated the board on the status of the national search for the new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.  The search committee held its initial meeting on Oct. 20 in order to ensure adequate time for a comprehensive search to include off-campus interviews with semi-finalists, on-campus interviews with finalists and selection and onboarding of the new provost by July 1, 2017. 

During his presentation, President Hemphill acknowledged Dr. Joe Scartelli for his continued service as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, as well as Scartelli’s leadership and unwavering commitment to Radford University.

During his report, President Hemphill paid honor on Veterans Day to all the Radford University students, faculty, staff and alumni who are veterans, recognizing them for their service and sacrifice to the nation.

In its Advancement/Alumni Relations and Communications/Marketing Committee (AACMC) meeting, the board heard about Enrollment Management’s initiatives for increasing the university’s applications and enrollment in 2017 and beyond.

Enrollment Management briefed that it is working to boost enrollment by 10 percent each for freshmen and transfer students for the fall 2017 semester. Additionally, Enrollment Management has created a new scholarship model that awards scholarships earlier in the admissions process.

The AACMC also received briefings on the progress of the current branding and marketing campaign, as well as about development strategies and alumni outreach efforts.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee (GAAC) received a briefing on the functionalities and features of Starfish, the university’s new student success and retention platform.  Starfish was implemented in August and provides numerous touch points to track student performance and well-being and support the university’s retention efforts.

The GAAC was also briefed on the various aspects of the Athletics strategic plan and supporting activities during the past quarter, including:

  • Nominations of several fall sports student - athletes for post-season academic honors, including four from men’s soccer to the CoSIDA All-State academic team
  • 30 Radford student-athletes have been named to RU LEAD Scholars, a campus leadership program, and two student-athletes participated in the Big South Conference’s Leadership program and two students will participate at an  NCAA-sponsored program in Baltimore
  • Men's soccer's regular season championship
  • Volleyball’s second consecutive regular season championship and its undefeated 2016 home season

The University Auditor briefed the Business Affairs and Audit Committee (BAAC) on the university’s planned actions related to the 2014-15 Auditor of Public (APA) Audit.  She also informed that the review of the university’s discretionary fund had been completed for the period ending September 30, 2016 and that all expenditures were in compliance with fund guidelines.

The BAAC also received an update on the university’s actions toward addressing eight Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) recommendations that were adopted by the General Assembly. The BAAC was briefed that the university had satisfied all requirements.

Among the requirements now implemented by Radford University are actions related to publication of athletic fees, additional revenue through campus recreation and fitness enterprises, revised organizational structure and human resource policies, standardization of institutional purchasing policies and participating in national academic workload methodology measurement.

As part of the university’s JLARC compliance activities, an independent consulting firm executed a broad scale administrative assessment to examine all administrative areas across the institution during the 2015-16 fiscal year. The report concluded that Radford University’s administration is exceptionally lean as a result of its being well-managed and highly-centralized, its use of state-of-the art systems and its forward-thinking initiatives.  Additionally, the consultant’s report found that Radford University had the lowest cost per student in Virginia. This was attributed to the university’s diligent efforts toward efficiency for the affordable cost of a Radford education.

The BAAC also was updated on the campus’ current capital projects, including:

  • The ongoing $9 million renovation of Whitt Hall
  • The planning efforts for the renovation of Reed-Curie Hall, which was included in the 2016 bond package adopted by the General Assembly

The Student Government Association (SGA) addressed the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), providing updates to the organization’s strategic plan for the 2016-17 academic year.

Among the student-centered activities are programs and workshops designed to enhance Highlander pride, campus safety, civic engagement, sexual assault and domestic violence awareness, diversity awareness, strategic enrollment, student retention, community service and school unity.

The committee also received an overview presentation from Student Affairs regarding the Radford University student experience. The presentation covered a variety of initiatives, including the pilot program Highlander Chats, the “You Matter” campaign, Fear2Freedom, Radford Gives Back and various programs conducted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

The committee was also presented with statistics regarding student retention from the Council on Student Engagement and Success. Improving student retention will be done through several key areas of focus, including use of the Starfish platform

The committee received a presentation from the Office of Diversity and Equity on the university’s Title IX efforts and programs.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Computer and Cyber Science degree, the board approved amendments to the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook, specifically related to faculty evaluations.

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) was briefed on two faculty members who have earned emerti status: Raymond Linville, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Joe Flickinger, School of Communication.

The committee heard from the Career Services staff on significant enhancements to the center.

The AAC also heard from Faculty Representative to the BOV Carter Turner, who discussed certain measures faculty are considering to support and improve Radford University's retention efforts.

The board also approved resolutions honoring board members who completed their terms on the board on June 30: former Rector Anthony Bedell, Mary Waugh Campbell ’71, MS ’71, Kevin Dye, Ruby Rogers and Georgia Anne Snyder-Falkinham.

Additionally, the board approved updates and changes to the board’s bylaws, including added and updated sections on board member resignation; provisions for attendance via electronic communication; clarification of the roles of the non-voting advisory representatives; changing the name of the Advancement/Alumni Relations and Communications/Marketing Committee to the University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee; and moving the conferring of meritorious awards and honorary degrees from the BAAC to the AAC.

The board received a presentation on the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Organization (SMIPO). SMIPO provides College of Business and Economics students an opportunity to gain practical experience in the management and decision-making processes of a corporate structured organization by participating in hands-on management of the funds. SMIPO’s small mid-cap value fund portfolio now is valued at more than $1.35 million. In April, SMIPO students earned the top fund ranking for the Value Fund Category – Undergraduate Division at the 2016 Global Asset Management Education Forum (GAME) in New York City.

The next scheduled meeting of the BOV is Feb. 16-17, 2017 at Radford University.

Nov 15, 2016