BOV holds spring quarterly meeting

The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held its quarterly meeting May 3-4 in the University’s Mary Ann Jennings Hovis Memorial Board Room.

The BOV was updated on the progress and status of campus divisions, projects and initiatives, including academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, admissions, retention, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.

To maintain Radford University’s high-quality, student-focused education and implement strategic initiatives identified in the University’s new strategic plan to advance the institution, the BOV approved annual tuition and mandatory fees for students for the upcoming academic year.

The decision is the result of a thorough evaluation of all University costs and continued implementation of operating savings in Fiscal Year 2018-19 and allows the University to continue its effort to provide in-state students a quality education at an affordable price, while addressing all relevant fiscal factors.

At this meeting, the BOV also approved:

  • a recommendation to forward the Master of Science in Athletic Training to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) for consideration and approval
  • a recommendation to forward the establishment of the Honors College (a name change of the current Honors Academy) to SCHEV for consideration and approval
  • creation of the rank of Senior Instructor
  • to change the name of the Academic Affairs Committee to the Academic Excellence and Research Committee and the Student Affairs Committee to the Student Success Committee

For Fiscal Year 2018-2019, the BOV elected Mark Lawrence to serve another term as rector of the BOV and Robert Archer, who currently serves as chair of the Business Affairs and Audit Committee (BAAC), to serve as vice rector.  The Board also selected Myriah Brooks, a management sophomore from Virginia Beach, as the student representative to the Board for the next fiscal year.  Associate Professor Jake Fox notified the BOV that he was re-elected to another term as Faculty Senate president and will serve another term as the faculty representative to the BOV.

The 2017-18 Radford University Board of Visitors.

The 2017-18 Radford University Board of Visitors.

President Hemphill briefed the BOV on senior leadership changes, including the retirement of Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Richard Alvarez and the selection of Chad Reed, incoming vice president for Finance and Administration. Hemphill also updated the BOV on the progress of the IMPACT program, which is the only competency-based education program and first of its kind among four-year public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hemphill discussed various public and private partnerships that have been developed by the IMPACT program.

Hemphill also said that the proposed merger with Jefferson College of Health Sciences, which was announced in January 2018, is on schedule for preparation to be in place by summer 2019 for an implementation by fall 2019.

The BOV recognized Alvarez’s significant contributions and service to the United States, higher education and Radford University with a resolution recognizing his more than 53 years of public and private service.  “This is just a little token of our appreciation for your service to this university, but also for your military service,” said Robert Archer, chair of the Business Affairs and Audit Committee.

Hemphill said that Alvarez was a person who was with him from his first day in office as Radford University’s president, advising him on all matters related to the University. “I greatly appreciate everything you’ve done for this institution and also for me personally,” Hemphill said.

Alvarez said he has been honored to serve the Board, President Hemphill and Radford University.

“In my more than half a century of service, this is only the second time that I’ve worked in an institution that has this caliber of a cabinet of senior leadership,” Alvarez said. “That’s one thing I hate to leave. You are blessed with people who make this University function. The institution is blessed with the kind of man who was brought on board - President Hemphill. He is phenomenal and a wonderful man.”

Jessica Wollmann, the outgoing student representative to the BOV, provided an update on the initiatives that she has focused on this year, which included environmental awareness initiatives, building Highlander Spirit and the second Unity Fest.

“Thank you for everything that you do for this campus,” Wollmann said to the Board. “We appreciate all your thought and effort.”  Wollmann also outlined the community service projects in which the students have been involved, including the food recovery program and Earth Week.

Wollmann was honored by the BOV for her term as the student representative to the BOV.

BOV members Susan Whealler Johnston, Krisha Chachra, Steve A. Robinson '81, M.S. '85 and Javaid Siddiqi were also honored for their service to the Radford University family during their terms.

The BAAC heard updates from the Auditor of Public Accounts and the University Auditor.

Additionally, the BAAC was briefed on current campus capital projects, including:

  • the progress of the nearly $34 million renovation of the Reed Hall and Curie Hall science buildings, which is expected to be complete in time to host classes for the spring semester 2020 and will complement the Center for the Sciences
  • initial planning for the proposed Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee (GAAC) was briefed on the top 10 Information Technology (IT) issues in higher education of 2018, according to EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit IT association.  The presentation highlighted the many tools and techniques Radford University is using to address these issues, including campuswide information security training, enhanced Wi-Fi accessibility, state-of-the-art learning spaces and constant consultation with faculty and academic leadership to understand and support innovations and changes in higher education.

The GAAC also received an update on the accomplishments of intercollegiate athletics this season, including the Radford softball team’s successful spring 2018 season, that the University would host the Big South Softball Conference Tournament May 9-12, and the successful seasons of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The women’s team went 24-9 and advanced to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

With a breathtaking buzzer-beater 3-pointer that gained national attention, the men’s basketball team clinched the 2018 Big South Men’s Basketball Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they secured their first-ever win.

In addition, the GAAC was briefed on the second annual Highlander Pride Weekend, hosted April 26-28 by Radford Athletics. The three-day event included the Red and White Gala, the Highlander Open and a 5K and half marathon.

The University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee (UAUREMC) was briefed on the university’s enrollment, retention and academic profile for fall 2018. Highlights included:

  • 13,870 new freshmen applications submitted
  • 10,287 new freshmen have been admitted
  • 3.27 average GPA for admitted freshmen

The UAUREMC received updates on total giving to-date, student philanthropy and alumni engagement. Among the featured philanthropy efforts were:

  • Spring Fever and the Spring Fever Bash, which included 991 unique donors and 138 first-time donors
  • Capital Campaign update
  • Highlander Hometown Tours

Additionally, the UAUREMC reviewed progress of the University’s marketing campaign and was briefed on analysis of the impact of the Highlanders’ participation in the NCAA Tournament. The coverage, reporting and exposure the team experienced were estimated to be the equivalent of $44.6 million in paid advertising.

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) approved a resolution of tenure for the following faculty:

  • Caleb L. Adams, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Anthony M. Dove, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Daniel F. Farhat, Department of Economics
  • Pamela Y. Frasier, Department of Health and Human Performance
  • Darren W. Minarik, School of Teacher Education and Leadership
  • Brad E. Bizzell, School of Teacher Education and Leadership
  • Terry K. Smith, School of Teacher Education and Leadership
  • Brock W. Cutler, Department of History
  • Virginia K. Weisz, School of Nursing
  • Iris L. Mullins, School of Nursing
  • Deneen L. Evans, School of Social Work
  • Mashooq A. Salehin, School of Social Work

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) was briefed on a variety of topics, including student retention initiatives, affinity building, and diversity and inclusion events. Some of the initiatives and events are:

  • outdoor programs
  • Tyler Hall Coffee Connection Program
  • “You Matter” Campaign
  • sophomore and junior spirit leaders
  • Halfway There event for sophomores
  • Brother4Brother male mentoring program

Student Government Association (SGA) President Julianna Stanley presented on SGA campus events and changes in student policies, including:

  • sexual assault prevention
  • Unity Fest
  • Spring Tailgate
  • Earth Week
  • Student Counseling Services and the SGA hosting information sessions to teach the signs of suicide and depression

The SAC also received an update on the progress of campus living-learning communities for the fall 2018 semester.

The next quarterly BOV meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13-14, 2018 at Radford University.

May 14, 2018
Max Esterhuizen