Board of Visitors hold spring quarterly meeting and freeze tuition for 2019-2020 academic year

Members of the Radford University Women's Basketball Team bet with the BOV to celebrate their successful season.
Members of the Radford University Women's Basketball Team met with the BOV to celebrate their successful season.

The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) held its quarterly meeting May 9-10 in the Mary Ann Jennings Hovis Memorial Board Room located in Martin Hall.

The BOV approved a recommendation that called for Radford University to freeze tuition for undergraduate and graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year. It is the first time in 19 years that the University will not increase tuition.

The BOV approved an increase in the mandatory comprehensive fee of 4.33% for all students. Radford University Carilion tuition and fees will decrease by $2,699, or about 10%, for the 2019-2020 academic year when compared to tuition at Jefferson College of Health Sciences from the previous year.

The BOV also approved the recommendation from the Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee that Robert “Bob” A. Archer, of Salem, will serve as rector and James “Jim” R. Kibler, J.D., of Virginia Beach, as vice rector for one-year terms beginning on July 1. The BOV approved the selection of Breon Case, of Suffolk, as the student representative for the 2019-2020 academic year. Case is a rising junior majoring in business management.

At this meeting, the BOV also approved:

  • Recognition of honorary degrees to be awarded at the May 11 Commencement; and
  • Changes to the University’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation Policy to be effective July 10.

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., briefed the BOV on the progress toward establishing a business incubator on campus to promote and encourage student entrepreneurs. This will allow students “as they have great ideas, to have the ability to go to a place and work on bringing that potential idea to commercialization,” President Hemphill said. The space will be located on the lower level of the Davis College of Business and Economics and will offer 24-hour access “because ideas do not just hit you between 8 and 5,” President Hemphill said.

President Hemphill also briefed the BOV on the inaugural Retention Summit held on campus in January. About 125 people participated in the event aimed at improving student retention. President Hemphill spoke about the signing of a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement with New River Community College on April 4 at the NRCC Dublin campus. The agreement ensures credits earned by NRCC students will transfer to Radford University, thereby saving students time and money. President Hemphill also briefed the BOV about the April 22 celebration event in Roanoke that united the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Radford University communities. There, the name – Radford University Carilion – and logo for the soon-to-be merged entity were unveiled.

The BOV student representative Myriah Brooks briefed the BOV about her work over the past year, including participating in the Unity Day of Service on April 11. Radford students were involved in eight different service projects that day. Brooks also conducted a survey during the academic year asking students to provide feedback about their ideas for how they might like to see campus grow and change.

The BOV provided special recognition to the student-athletes and coaching staffs of the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s tennis teams.

The BOV heard from Faculty Senate President Jake Fox, Ph.D., and Interim Director of Core Curriculum Nicole Hendrix, Ph.D., about The REAL General Education Model, representing a focus on reasoning, expression, analysis and learning, that is student centered, has foundations in student success and reflects the identity and responsibilities of Radford University.

The BOV paid tribute to outgoing Rector Mark S. Lawrence and approved resolutions for outgoing BOV Members Randolph “Randy” J. Marcus and Lisa Throckmorton ‘94. The BOV also announced the formation of The Founders Society to foster continued engagement of former BOV members. The Society’s first event will be held in April 2020.

During the Student Success Committee, chaired by Debra K. McMahon, Ph.D., Committee members heard from Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President Cody Hartley. Hartley is the co-chair of the Student Advisory Committee of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and presented to the BOV several SCHEV recommendations, including enhanced support services and programs for transfer and under-represented students, as well as additional campus safety initiatives.

SGA President Julianna Stanley shared highlights from the 2018-2019 academic year, including:

  • A special ceremony for Virginia State Police Trooper Lucas B. Dowell ’13, who was killed in the line of duty;
  • The International Student Donation Program that assists incoming international students with school and dorm supplies;
  • A successful Unity Fest and well-attended Ring Ceremony; and
  • The creation of an on-campus “green bench” thanks to a Bags to Benches campaign that encouraged the campus community to donate plastic bags so  that they could be used to create the bench.
RUPD met with the BOV members during the May 9-10 meeting.

RUPD met with the BOV members during the May 9-10 meeting.

Vice President for Student Affairs Susan P. Trageser, Ed.D., introduced the new Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support (SAVES) services Director Brian Lusk, who joined Radford University in March. Since his arrival, the SAVES office has implemented new group sessions for students and created a Recovery Lounge for students to study, relax and engage with one another.

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) hosted Radford University’s first-ever “INclusive Week” on campus to celebrate students’ abilities.

Vice President Trageser also highlighted several student success and retention initiatives, including:

  • The recruitment of 22 students, who withdrew from the Fall 2018 semester and re-enrolled for the Spring 2019 semester;
  • The Spring 2019 “You Matter Campaign” during which approximately 40 faculty and staff members visited each residence hall to talk with more than 700 students about mid-term grades and advising; and
  • The creation of new and intentional traditions for students, including the Halfway There Celebration for sophomores, the Junior Twilight: It’s Your Time for juniors and Senior Signing Day.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee, chaired by Vice Chair Jay A. Brown, Ph.D., heard from the Auditor of Public Accounts Zachary Borgerding, who outlined the audit results for the Commonwealth of Virginia for the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. According to the audit, Radford University was found to have no material weaknesses.

The Committee also heard from University Auditor Margaret McManus, who reported that 100% of expenditures were reviewed and all were found in compliance with the BOV’s guidelines.

Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Chad A. Reed presented the Radford University Police Department (RUPD) to the Committee. The RUPD is a full-service, sworn and accredited law enforcement agency that is devoted to the welfare of the University community. Reed introduced members of RUPD, including Chief of Police David Underwood and RUPD’s newest member, K9 Brix.

Vice President Reed also updated the Committee on the University’s two active capital projects in progress:

  • The nearly $33 million project to renovate the existing Reed and Curie Halls to complement the Center for the Sciences, which is expected to be ready to host classes by Spring 2020; and
  • The Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity, for which planning is ongoing. The $95 million, 215,000 square feet, multi-story building currently awaits final authorization from the General Assembly, though Radford has received $4 million with which to begin planning.

Vice President Reed also presented on the 2020-2030 Master Plan and a succession plan update, designed to ease transitions for key personnel, executive positions and employees nearing retirement.

Vice President Reed discussed the budget priorities for 2019-2020, including:

  • Student Affordability;
  • Implementing the Strategic Plan;
  • Addressing Mandatory Cost Increases; and
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences Merger.

As part of the Committee discussion, the University recommended modifying the tuition model for the 2019-2020 academic year to limit the flat rate to 16 credit hours for students at the Radford campus. Students will be incentivized to more actively manage course loads and it better aligns tuition price and cost with student credit consumption. Students taking more than a 16-hour course load would pay an additional $329 per credit hour.

The Committee also reviewed Radford University Carilion information, including degree overlap, the need for nurses, personnel operations, non-personnel operations and revenue and expenditures.

The Academic Excellence and Research Committee, chaired by Vice Chair Rachel D. Fowlkes, Ph.D., voted unanimously to recommend the award of tenure to 23 Radford University teaching and research faculty members and promotions for 51 others.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna Colley, Ed.D., said the faculty members, who had earned promotions and been awarded tenure, reflected the great work done by Radford’s entire faculty.

Faculty approved for tenure were:

  • Artis College of Science and Technology: Joyce Caughron, Matthew Close, Laura Gruss, Eric Choate and Shawn Huston;
  • Davis College of Business and Economics: Thomas Duncan, Jane Machin and Feifei Zhu;
  • College of Education and Human Development: Laurie Bianchi, Carol Bland, Theresa Burris, Joshua Carroll and Keith Davis;
  • College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences: Dayna Hayes, Tay Keong Tan, Laura Vernon;
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts: Amy Van Kirk and Jimmy Ward; and
  • Waldron College of Health and Human Services: Sarah Gilbert, Judith Ismail, Sheila Krajnik, Philip Mongan and Matthias Naleppa.

When considering faculty for tenure, the BOV examines the continuing need for the individual’s expertise, teaching effectiveness, advisor effectiveness, professional development, participation in University co-curricular activities, committee work, cooperation with colleagues and contributions toward the objectives of the department, college and University.

Colley announced that seven distinguished Radford faculty members had been awarded emeritus status by President Hemphill. The newly-named emeriti faculty members are:

  • Virginia Burggraf, professor of nursing;
  • Daniel Davidson, professor of accounting, finance and business law;
  • Juergen Gerlach, professor of mathematics and statistics;
  • Sharon Hartline, professor of philosophy and religious studies;
  • Lucy Hochstein, professor of criminal justice;
  • Susan Kwilecki, professor of philosophy and religious studies; and
  • Etty Vandsburger, professor of social work.

The Committee recommended approval for two changes to the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook that were submitted by the Teaching and Research Faculty Senate. The changes to the handbook pertained to changing the rules for the composition of the Faculty Grievance and Faculty Appeals Committees.

Dr. Fox briefed the Committee on the Senate’s work to develop a new model of general education for the University and its continued efforts to align the handbook with the current academic governance framework. Dr. Fox added that work is underway to bring the Senate’s Constitution up to date, so that the Senate can welcome and serve the new faculty who will join Radford upon completion of the impending merger with Jefferson College of Health Sciences in July.

Dr. Fox also announced the new slate of Faculty Senate officers who will work with him to lead the Senate in his third term as Faculty Senate President.

  • Vice President: Vernard Harrington, associate professor of management;
  • Secretary: Tim Channell, professor of music; and
  • Members At Large: Scott Dunn, associate professor of communication, and Katie Katz, assistant professor of nursing.

In other reports, Interim Provost Colley was joined by Assistant Professor of Social Work Matt DeCarlo to review the University’s Open Education Resource initiatives on textbook and coursework affordability. Drs. Colley and DeCarlo briefed the Committee on two examples of books and lab manuals being produced by Radford faculty that will become publicly available teaching learning and research resources. The resources can then be used freely by others and be repurposed by users under open intellectual property license.

Interim Provost Colley reviewed other noteworthy activities by various academic departments:

  • Approval of Radford’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program for which there are already 105 applicants for two planned 20-person cohorts, the first of which will begin in January 2020. The online program will prepare practicing professional educators for positions as educational leaders at the district level in Virginia and will qualify successful candidates for licensure as a superintendent;
  • A growing complement of professional development courses hosted by Radford at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon and the opening of a Master of Counseling Education cohort there by which Radford can help address the regional shortage of school counselors;  
  • The Capture the Flag competition, hosted by the Department of Information Technology, that featured 15 teams of more than 60 high school students in a challenging cybersecurity exercise. The event was broadcast internationally via an online platform, called “Twitch,” to project the University’s cutting-edge leadership in computer security; and
  • A series of upcoming residential and day camps in cybersecurity and forensic sciences that will complement the University’s ongoing recruitment activities and full summer schedule of camps and activities.

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 May 7.

Freshman applications are at 15,538 with 11,708 having been admitted for the Fall 2019 semester. In the first year of data, including Radford University Carilion, freshman applications are a combined 16,225, with 11,908 students having been admitted. The average high school grade point average (GPA) for admitted students is 3.30, up from 3.27 for Fall 2018.

Vice President McCarthy also briefed the Committee on graduate student recruitment, ASSET applications and Jefferson College of Health Sciences – soon to be Radford University Carilion – recruitment efforts for fall 2019 and beyond.

Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lowery reported on the Celebration of Giving, provided an update on the Highlander Family Tour, Spring Fever and alumni engagement initiatives.

Chief of Staff and Vice President for University Relations Ashley Schumaker reviewed the progress of this year’s marketing campaign, which included a streaming TV recap and an advertising update, and shared various collaborations across campus, including the Spring 2019 edition of The Magazine of Radford University, along with other projects.

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee, chaired by Dr. Fowlkes received updates from University staff.

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Danny Kemp updated the Committee on his division’s major strategic initiatives, which includes support for Radford University Carilion, network connectivity for University off-campus apartments, support and enhancements for the IMPACT program, classroom audio and video updates, infrastructure planning for Reed and Curie Halls renovation and annual IT security awareness training.

Vice President Kemp said DoIT has completed a review and update of its strategic plan. The plan more closely aligns with the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, and it can be found on the DoIT website.

Vice President Kemp also updated the committee on a customer service survey that his division has been conducting since 2014. The survey’s purpose is to identify areas of service that need addressing and improving. The focus is on telephone, classroom, field technician and walk-in support. The survey has received 230 responses.

On behalf of Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg, Associate Athletics Director for External Operations Cory Durand updated the Committee on student-athlete development, competitive excellence, resource development and special events.

Associate Athletics Director Durand said Radford student-athletes currently rank first in the Big South Conference’s Sasser Cup standings. The cup is awarded annually to the Big South member institution with the most successful year in athletics. Associate Athletics Director Durand said Radford has never won the competition.

Associate Athletics Director Durand provided the Committee with a spring sports update on baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s outdoor track and field.

In resource development, Associate Athletics Director Durand said new pledges and gifts to the Highlander Club totaled $463,100, as of May 7, 2019, and the club has 1,034 members.

Special events coming in the fall include a student-athlete welcome back dinner and a meet the coaches social.

On Thursday afternoon, BOV members had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with students during a special research and internship poster presentation in Martin Hall.

Students representing the Highlander Research Rookies Program and the Center for Career and Talent Development talked with BOV members about their research and internship projects that have enriched their Radford University experience.

Senior Ruth Pokuaa, a marketing major, said she was ecstatic to present to the BOV just days before Commencement. “What an amazing graduation gift from Radford University,” Pokuaa said. “I’m excited to share about how much Radford University has helped me achieve my dreams and connect and network with BOV members. I am sure they will have a lot of career advice to offer.”

Several members stopped at Pokuaa’s poster, which highlighted her internship with the Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley. During the internship, she helped market the nonprofit organization through creative campaigns and marketing materials.

Senior Jacob Walters, a computer science major, presented on his internship with Booz Allen Hamilton, the company he has secured a job with upon graduating from Radford University this spring. As the president of the University’s Cyber Defense Club, Walters worked throughout the past academic year to teach the skills he gained from the internship to club members.

BOV Member Krisha Chachra, chair of the University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee, said it was “very rewarding to see what students have been up to and what passions drive them as Radford University students.”

“It is impressive to see such a breadth and depth of knowledge represented in this room,” Chachra continued. “We get to see first-hand how they are going to impact their communities and the world.”

The next quarterly on-campus BOV meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26-27, 2019 at Radford University.

May 16, 2019
Chad Osborne