July Update on the Merger Between JCHS and Radford University

Dear Jefferson College and Radford University Faculty and Staff:

We would like to update you on the on-going progress to bring the Jefferson College academic portfolio and its valued team of educators and staff into the Radford University family of colleges and departments, primarily the Waldron College of Health and Human Services. The detailed process of bringing the two communities together has gained momentum. Our goal is to have all of the processes in place for the two entities to operate as part of Radford University by the summer of 2019 with the merger completed on August 22, 2019, as we begin the 2019-2020 academic year.

As we look to elevate our current partnership into becoming the premier regional healthcare education institution serving students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters, neighbors and the Commonwealth of Virginia, we acknowledge and rely on the individual strengths of our two historic institutions and the collaborative spirits of our dedicated and talented faculty and staff. As such, the Executive Committee, composed of Carilion Clinic, Jefferson College and Radford University leadership, is working to welcome Jefferson College personnel and its portfolio of programs and services into Radford University.

To guide the implementation and explore the many aspects of merging our two institutions, several subcommittees have been working diligently toward realizing the merger. Administrators and experienced faculty and staff from both institutions serve on these subcommittees and have been assessing the many elements of this exciting, but complex, initiative and have made a number of recommendations. As a result of this detailed and important work, which included program leaders and faculty from both institutions, the Steering Committee recently approved – and the Executive Committee affirmed – several recommendations from the Academic Programs and Accreditation Subcommittee regarding Jefferson College’s academic programs.

The following Jefferson College programs will be accepted and fully integrated into Radford University’s portfolio:

  • Emergency Services (Bachelor of Science);
  • Nursing – Accelerated (Bachelor of Science);
  • Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (Master of Science);
  • Nursing – Nursing Administration (Master of Science);
  • Occupational Therapy (Doctorate);
  • Physician Assistant (Master of Science); and
  • Respiratory Therapy (Bachelor of Science).

Additionally, the Jefferson College programs in Nursing Post-Licensure (RN to BSN) (Bachelor of Science) and Occupational Therapy (Master of Science) will accept Radford University’s curriculum and discontinue current curriculum. Jefferson College programs in Physical Therapy Assistant (Associate of Applied Science) and Surgical Technician (Associate of Applied Science) will be part of a Level 1 teach-out at Radford University and are proposed for transfer to Virginia Western Community College, pending review and action of the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The following program recommendations will be considered by the Steering Committee later in July:

  • Biomedical Sciences (Bachelor of Science);
  • Healthcare Administration (Master);
  • Healthcare Management (Bachelor of Science);
  • Health Sciences (Bachelor of Science and Doctorate);
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences (Certificate and Bachelor of Science);
  • Nursing – Pre-Licensure Traditional (Bachelor of Science);
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (Associate of Applied Science); and
  • Public Health (Bachelor of Science).

With this announcement regarding academic programs, many of you will have the need to seek further information related to your personal situation. At this time, the Human Resources Subcommittee is working diligently to reconcile the various personnel and benefits policies that govern our organizations. The subcommittee will share comprehensive information about its recommendations when completed. As additional information develops, it will be posted on the newly-developed Merger Initiative website.

This communication represents our pledged effort to inform you about the progress toward fulfilling the unique and valuable opportunity presented by this proposed merger. Prior to this update, the latest information available was provided during a series of town halls in early May with faculty and staff on both campuses. At those sessions, several faculty and staff members expressed understandable concerns about merger-related issues pertaining to employment status and benefit packages. These concerns were clearly heard and have informed the discussions among the subcommittees. Summaries are available at the following links: Jefferson College Town Hall and Radford University Town Hall

The Jefferson College and Radford University communities share an enduring focus on student success. Our institutions’ histories and traditions of service, reputations for excellence and financial strength provide a solid foundation for success. As educators and clinicians, we can build from that foundation in becoming a preeminent provider of health sciences, healthcare and human services programming. Together, we can distinctively enhance the quality of healthcare education for our students and provide them unparalleled access to valuable clinical experiences and research opportunities. From there, our students may then confidently enter our region’s communities, hospitals, clinics and homes to enhance the health and well-being of our region and the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole. 

We appreciate all the hard work to-date in bringing the merger closer to reality. Your feedback and perspectives have been tremendously helpful and informative. Each member of the Jefferson and Radford teams serves a vital role in making this initiative successful for our students and our communities.

With Blue Healer and Highlander Pride,

Nathaniel L. Bishop, D.Min.
President, Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.
President, Radford University

Jul 2, 2018