Radford University Board of Visitors hold quarterly meeting

BOV member Debra McMahon dines with a student at during lunch on Sept. 7.
BOV member Debra McMahon dines with a student during lunch at Dalton Hall on Sept. 7.

At its quarterly meeting Sept. 14-15, the Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) reviewed university progress and accomplishments in academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, enrollment management, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.

The BOV was briefed on the university’s increases in enrollment, retention, academic profile and residence hall occupancy for fall 2017. Highlights included:

  • The university’s total enrollment is 9,430 students.
  • Fall new freshmen enrollment is 1,848, up nearly 100 students from the previous fall semester.
  • The College of Graduate Studies and Research reported 1,000 students for the fall semester, its highest number since fall 2013.
  • With its fall 2017 entering class, the university registered the highest number of out-of-state freshmen in a decade: 156 students, registering a 22 percent growth in out-of-state students over fall 2016.
  • The retention rate for first-to-second year students increased 1.4 percent over the previous year, the highest since fall 2013.
  • The academic profile, as measured by high school GPA, is 3.24, the highest since 1996 when the statistic began to be measured.
  • University-operated housing increased by 15.6 percent year-over-year, from 2,951 in fall 2016 to 3,497 students in fall 2017.

Additional BOV action:

  • Approved a  $209.7 million university operating budget for 2017-18
  • Approved the university’s 2017 six-year plan and six-year capital plan, both of which highlight the institution’s key future strategies
  • Approved a resolution recognizing the university’s new Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training (IMPACT) program
  • Approved a resolution in honor of the late Mary Ann Jennings Hovis ’65, a former Board of Visitors member and lifelong Radford University advocate who died last month
  • Approved changes to the university’s Title IX policy
  • Approved a resolution to adjust state-approved base salary compensation
  • Recognized several Highlander student-athletes and their coaches: the baseball team won the 2017 Big South Tournament and the women’s basketball won the 2016-17 Big South regular season championship

President Brian O. Hemphill briefed the board on a business leaders reception he hosted on Aug. 14 at the Governor Tyler House – the university president’s official residence. More than 100 business leaders learned of the university’s progress and discussed opportunities for collaboration among university and business partners.

President Hemphill reported to the board about a special ceremony on Aug. 19 that honored Joseph P. Scartelli, former dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and provost emeritus, who retired from the university July 1. At the event, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered in the atrium of the Covington Center to unveil and dedicate the Joseph P. Scartelli Atrium.

President Hemphill also updated the board on proposed changes to spring commencement 2018. These changes include holding one commencement ceremony on Moffett Lawn at which each graduate’s name will be called and degrees will be conferred.

Faculty Senate President Jake Fox briefed the BOV on several areas of focus for the Faculty Senate, including advocacy of faculty resource issues – teaching workload, salary compression and retirement and retirement transition; ensuring that Radford’s core curriculum remains current with the latest SCHEV guidelines and working with the provost to review and update the faculty handbook.

Student Representative to the BOV Jessica Wollmann presented several student-focused initiatives, including building Highlander spirit, spreading environmental awareness and planning the second annual Unity Fest, a community-wide festival.

BOV rector Mark Lawrence chats with a student at Dalton Hall on Sept. 7.
BOV rector Mark Lawrence chats with a student at Dalton Hall on Sept. 7.

In addition to reviewing the university’s enrollment and retention rates, the University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee (UAUREMC) also heard updates on the university’s branding and marketing campaign and fiscal year 2017-18 fundraising progress and goals.

Wendy Lowery was introduced as the new vice president for University Advancement. Lowery discussed the university’s upcoming fundraising campaign, which includes four areas of investments: academic excellence, student success and engagement, capital infrastructure and improvements and experiential learning and innovation.

In addition, the UAUREMC learned that alumni chapters have been re-established across the Commonwealth, as well as two in North Carolina and one in Atlanta. Radford University has also established an alumni board for the first time in more than a decade.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee (BAAC) was briefed on the university’s Financial Performance Report for fiscal year 2016-17, which ended June 30, 2017.

The committee received a report from the Acquisitions and Contract Management Specialty Team Director and Auditor of Public Accounts project manager. In addition, BAAC heard a report from the university auditor.

The BAAC committee was also updated on the write off of past due accounts in fiscal year 2016-17 and current campus capital projects, including the renovation of the Reed and Curie Halls science buildings.

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) reviewed two new undergraduate programs, Sport Management and Allied Health Sciences, for submission to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

In addition, Graham Glynn was introduced as the university’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Glynn recapped for the AAC some of the highlights of his introduction to the university. He cited Radford’s embrace and incorporation of high impact practices, which deepen student engagement, the evolving focus of the Career Services operation toward engaging students early in their time at Radford and the success of its programs in education, health care, cybersecurity and criminal justice. He also identified several opportunities for growth, including expansion of the online program offerings, providing the Radford educational experience internationally and leveraging summer school opportunities.

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) heard from Civic Engagement and Community Service leaders who provided an overview of the university’s 2016-17 community service efforts: 2,221 unique students and 124 student organizations participated in 276 unique service events, resulting in a total of 30,926 community service hours. The SAC was also briefed on planned 2017-18 community service projects, including several fundraisers for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as the Fear 2 Freedom sexual assault awareness event and the Radford Gives Back canned food drive.

As part of the SAC meeting, the Student Government Association (SGA) outlined its 2017-18 strategic plan initiatives:

  • promoting Highlander Pride
  • campus safety, including safety walks and the LiveSafe app
  • increasing voter registration
  • raising awareness of sexual assault
  • diversity awareness campaign
  • providing additional community service opportunities

The SAC was also briefed on the restructuring of Student Life. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), which formerly reported to the Dean of Students office, is now a department within Student Life. Student Counseling Services (SCS) is now an in-house counseling services operated and staffed by the university. The transition will allow for the expansion of services and more outreach opportunities for SCS staff, previously contracted through a private health care system.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee (GAAC) received a briefing on strategies to protect university data and systems from cyberattacks. The director of athletics provided an update on resource development, updates to NCAA required days off for athletes, facilities and branding.

Highlights included:

  • Seventy-one percent of Radford student-athletes have a 3.0 GPA or higher and 33 had a 4.0 GPA
  • Volleyball was recognized as achieving a Top-25 GPA in NCAA Division I
  • Men’s soccer won the 2017 Big South regular season championship as well as the Big South Tournament
  • The volleyball team won the Big South regular season championship
  • Men's soccer defender Fraser Colmer was voted the 2016-17 Big South Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

The next BOV meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at Radford University.


The Radford University Board of Visitors

Sep 21, 2017
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150