Radford University Board of Visitors holds quarterly meeting

At its quarterly meeting Feb. 15-16, the Radford University Board of Visitors (Board) reviewed university progress and activity.

The Board, led by Rector Mark Lawrence, approved:

  • A revision of the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook to extend the adjunct teaching assignment period from one to three years
  • A resolution allowing the delegation of authority to the Chief Financial Officer to approve certain fees
  • A resolution certifying the annual compliance with the Radford University Debt Management Policy
  • A resolution approving the University’s Internal Control Policy
  • A resolution approving a revised Internal Audit Charter.

President Brian O. Hemphill reported to the Board on two recent initiatives: the Jan. 18 announcement of the intended merger of Radford University and Jefferson College of Health Services and the Jan. 24-25 Student Advocacy Day during which 40 Radford University students joined senior administrators to canvas more than 60 members of Virginia’s General Assembly about the campus’ activities and initiatives. Director of State Government Relations Lisa Ghidotti also briefed the Board on the University’s ongoing legislative outreach efforts.

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC), chaired by Susan Whealler Johnston, was briefed by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna Colley on a variety of Academic Affairs initiatives. In her presentation, Colley:

  • Recognized School of Nursing (SON) graduates’ who for the sixth consecutive year surpassed the national average pass rate by first-time test takers of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Graduates from the SON’s Dec. 2016 and May 2017 cohorts combined to post a pass rate of 93.9 percent on the test to exceed the 83.2 percent national average for Bachelor of Science – Nursing (BSN) program graduates. Radford University’s first-time test takers also exceeded their Virginia colleagues’ pass rate of 89.1 percent.
  • Introduced Tamara Wallace, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)
  • Announced the search process has begun to replace College of Business and Economics Dean George Low, who will be taking a similar position at California State University-East Bay
  • Reviewed early data pertaining to the Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training (IMPACT) program which launched Oct. 1. The program’s first certificate program – in cybersecurity – currently has eight regional partners and 11 enrolled students.
  • Updated the AAC on the Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET) program, the product of a three-year, $13.8 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education. According to Colley, ASSET is staffing up and developing curriculum for learning modules to be delivered by this summer for to up to 400 special and general education teachers across the Appalachian region.
  • Outlined the progress of a series of meetings with faculty in each of the university’s academic departments to acquaint her with each one’s programs, challenges and opportunities.
  • Highlighted the process of aligning the university academic activities with its newly-adopted strategic plan is underway.

Faculty Senate President and Associate Professor of Anthropological Sciences Jake Fox briefed the AAC on two Faculty Senate initiatives: development of an intellectual property policy recommendation and exploratory work to revise Radford University’s current core curriculum/general education program.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee, chaired by Robert Archer, was updated by Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Administration Richard Alvarez on the University’s latest capital project, a nearly $34 million-project to renovate the existing Reed Hall and Curie Hall science buildings to complement the Center for the Sciences. Internal demolition began in January and the project is expected to be ready to host classes by the Spring semester of 2020.

Alvarez briefed the Board on the status of the various state budget proposals and their potential impacts on the University for the next biennium.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee, chaired by Rachel Fowlkes, was briefed by Director for Intercollegiate Athletics Robert Lineburg on the Highlander student-athlete classroom success. Highlights included:

  • Thirty-one percent of Radford University athletes have a 4.0 GPA.
  • Forty-five percent of Radford University student-athletes earned Dean’s List honors and 63 percent were named to the Big South Conference Honor Roll.
  • Of Radford’s 16 intercollegiate teams, 14 had a collective 3.0 GPA.

Lineburg also recapped fundraising results, reporting that there are nearly 600 members in the Radford Athletics Club-(RAC). To wind up the annual athletic season, Lineburg reported that Highlander Pride Weekend, which includes a golf outing, half marathon and 5K with a post-race festival, is set for April 26-28 at Bisset Park.

Senior Associate Athletics Director Stephanie Ballein and former Highlander soccer player Fraser Colmer ‘17 reported on the deployment of Game Plan, a professional development e-learning platform that helps student-athletes develop personal and professional skills to support their career development upon graduation.

Danny Kemp, vice president for the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and chief information officer, apprised the Board of four changes to policies within the division. The DoIT report included a review of the division’s rollout of a virtual computer lab, implementation of a two-factor authentication to strengthen password security and support of university initiatives, such as the IMPACT program and SON Clinical Simulation Centers.

The University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee, chaired by Krisha Chachra, was briefed by Vice President for Enrollment Management Kitty McCarthy on recruitment data as of Feb. 13.

  • Freshmen applications are at 12,864 and 8,749 have been admitted for the fall semester, an increase of 154 over Fall 2017.
  • Out-of-state students have submitted 3,081 applications, an increase of 122 over Fall 2017.

Wendy Lowery, vice president for University Advancement reported the gift summary as of Dec. 31, 2017, student philanthropy and alumni engagement. Among the featured student philanthropy efforts were:

  • TAG Day
  • Affinity groups
  • Class giving through commencement cords

Vice President for University Relations and Chief Communications Officer Joe Carpenter reviewed the progress of this year’s marketing campaign and shared an overview of media coverage of the Jan. 18 announcement on the intended merger with Jefferson College.

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC), chaired Debra McMahon, was briefed by Ann Marie Klotz, vice president for Student Affairs on a variety of issues, including student retention efforts like the creation of a sophomore experience program.

Student Government Association (SGA) President Julianna Stanley joined Jessica Wollman, non-voting student representative to the Board, to outline the upcoming celebration of Radford University’s tradition of diversity and inclusion, Unity Fest. The student-organized festival will feature a diverse mix of activities for all ages to appeal to the entire campus and surrounding community.

Stanley also provided an overview of the SGA’s ongoing efforts to engage students through activities such as:

  • The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
  • Student Appreciation Day
  • Facebook Live Forums
  • “What Do You Want” Wednesdays
  • T-shirt Drive
  • Ring Dance and Ceremony
  • A spring tailgate event

The SAC was briefed by LaShan Lovelace, interim director of Diversity and Inclusion and assistant director for Greek Life, on the Office of Greek Life, which oversees the university’s fraternity and sorority system. Greek Life highlights included:

  • Donation of approximately 24,500 community service hours
  • Recognition by the Manassas City Council for work with at-risk children and families
  • More than $11,000 raised to support Greek Life scholarships and programming through the Greek Life Challenge
  • Active participation in Radford Gives Back, National Hazing Prevention Week, SGA Safety Walk, MLK Day of Service, Bobcat Backpack Program, Toys for Tots and American Red Cross activities

Kelly Rubin, director of the Office of Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support (SAVES), described for the SAC several initiatives, such as the partnership with JED Campus, a nationwide consortium that guides schools through a collaborative process toward building a comprehensive system of student safety and well-being programs and policies.

A key outcome is a newly-formed campus-wide Health and Wellness Task Force. It is Radford’s Wellness Hub and encompasses services, programs, office and events related to student health and wellness. Among its activities were:

  • Training programs for RA/RDs in suicide prevention
  • Establishment of a partnership with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Presentations to the SGA and Student Senate to engage them in suicide prevention efforts
  • Sponsorship of a speaker whose topic was suicide prevention
  • Closer collaboration between Student Counseling Services and the Dean of Students Office for students’ post-hospitalization follow-up care

Throughout the two-day meetings, Rector Lawrence and other Board members praised faculty and staff on their many accomplishments, congenial collaboration and positive direction of the university in support of current and future students.

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for May 3-4 at Radford University.

Feb 22, 2018
Don Bowman