Radford University Board of Visitors holds Fall quarterly meeting

The Board welcomed and acknowledged the diligent work of the Radford University Facilities Management team.

The Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) met September 26, 2019 and September 27, 2019 for its quarterly meeting. The meeting was hosted in the Mary Ann Jennings Hovis Memorial Board Room located in Martin Hall on the main campus.

During the two-day session, the BOV, led by Rector Robert A. Archer, reviewed University accomplishments and progress in academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, enrollment management, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.

The BOV voted to:

  • Approve a  $255.7 million University operating budget for 2019-20; and
  • Approve the University’s 2020-22 update of the rolling six-year plan and six-year capital plan, both of which align with the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan: Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future.

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., briefed the Board on the Highlander Family Tour, which gathered more than 1,000 members of the Radford University community of alumni and friends during a series of regional events during the Spring and Summer months. President Hemphill also reviewed the series of events that marked the opening of the Fall 2019 semester, such as the first-ever Radford University Carilion Convocation, the inaugural event of the Highlander Discovery Institute and a premiere, stand-alone Family Weekend.   

The BOV welcomed Karl Kuhn, who was recently named Radford University's sixth head baseball coach. The Board also welcomed and acknowledged the diligent work of the Radford University Facilities Management team.

Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Chad A. Reed and Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Mike Biscotte previewed the draft master plan that supports the current five-year strategic plan with appropriate physical plant and infrastructure resources. According to Biscotte, the campus-wide effort to assess and develop the inventory of infrastructure on the Radford University campus, 2.8 million square feet of space devoted to academic, student and general use, will culminate with a formal plan to be presented for approval at the BOV’s December 2019 meeting.

The Board welcomed Breon Case as the student representative to the BOV for the upcoming academic year. Case is a junior management major from Sulfolk, Virginia. He briefed the BOV on opportunities he sees and how he hopes to make contributions to further unify the campus and foster Highlander Pride.

The University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee was briefed by Vice President for Enrollment Management Kitty McCarthy on Fall 2019 enrollment data and Fall 2020 recruitment efforts.

For Fall 2019, the Radford University enrollment at both the Radford main campus and Radford University Carilion is 11,141. McCarthy also briefed the Committee on graduate student, IMPACT and ASSET recruitment efforts.

Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lowery reported on the division’s ongoing advancement communication efforts and provided a giving overview. Currently, more than $2.3 million in gifts have been received in fiscal year 2019-2020.

Chief of Staff and Vice President for University Relations Ashley Schumaker reviewed last year’s marketing campaign and previewed the marketing strategy for 2019-2020. Schumaker discussed the Radford Amazonian Research Expedition (RARE) Program, which resulted in strong and positive media attention and highlighted partnership projects, including the “I am a Highlander” campaign that was launched at the semester-opening Club Fair, the campaign that helped build interest in the Highlander Discovery Institute and the creative and promotional efforts to launch the Venture Lab, which held its grand opening ceremony on September 26, 2019.

The Academic Excellence and Research Committee heard from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna M. Colley, Ed.D., who shared several academic updates.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, 24 new faculty and 78 faculty from Radford University Carilion have joined Radford University. Colley introduced Benjamin Caldwell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research; Heather Keith, Ph.D., executive director of Faculty Development; and Nasser Albeiruti, director of Academic Budgets and Administration.

Colley outlined the University’s revised student suspension policy and appeals process, as well as several new strategic initiatives, especially the Venture Lab. Another initiative that Colley highlighted is the Highlander Research Rookies Program for freshman and sophomore students. Fifteen students, along with faculty from 12 different disciplines, comprise the 2019-2020 cohort.

To meet the demand for more teachers in the Commonwealth, Colley said, two teaching certificates in special education and literacy have been developed and are being reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Colley added that the University will offer a master’s degree program in school counseling at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center located in Abingdon, Virginia, beginning in the Spring 2020 semester.

As part of the Committee meeting, faculty representative to the BOV Jake Fox, Ph.D., reported on progress toward the University’s general education reform effort, the REAL Education Model. Fox also briefed the Committee on an external morale and satisfaction survey for faculty, the COACHE (Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education) survey.

Karl Kuhn, Radford University's new head baseball coach, is introduced to the BOV.

The Student Success Committee heard from Student Government Association (SGA) President Colleen McNickle, who outlined the SGA’s planned initiatives for the 2019-2020 academic year. McNickle highlighted several efforts to engage new Highlanders during the first month of the semester, as well as a new town hall series for students to express their concerns and present issues to the SGA. The SGA, according to McNickle, will continue to support signature community service projects, such as the Radford Gives Back canned food drive, the Take Back the Night Rally and the Fear 2 Freedom project.

Jamie Penven, Ph.D., assistant vice president of Student Success and Retention, reported on the First-Year Success Team, which partners with Ruffalo Noel Levitz to identify 1,200 students requiring the most support to re-enroll. Each of the students has access to a First-Year Success Team advisor or a faculty/professional who monitors the student’s attendance, reminds them about financial opportunities and support and guides them through other processes necessary to achieve their college degrees. Penven said he is hopeful the new initiative will support the 2019 fall-to-fall retention goal of 80.2%.

Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Trageser, Ph.D., introduced Scott Hill, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Radford University Carilion, and Anthony White, Ph.D., the new director of Housing and Residential Life.

Trageser highlighted a new initiative by Student Counseling Services, called “Let’s Talk,” that offers informal counseling sessions for students at locations across campus. Student Counseling Services has also expanded its counseling hours, said Trageser. She added that Housing and Residential Life has implemented a new “culture of CARE” philosophy, which stands for customer service, accountability, retention and engagement.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee was briefed by Vice President Reed on the University's Financial Performance Report for fiscal year 2018-2019, which ended June 30, 2019.

Reed informed the Committee of the write-off of past-due accounts in fiscal year 2018-2019 – less than 1% ­­­– and current campus capital projects, including the renovation of Reed and Curie Halls, which are on track to open in January 2020.  Reed also reviewed an ambitious $2.8 million effort that began this summer to revitalize 252 University-owned apartments.   

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee was updated on a series of initiatives and accomplishments by the Division of Information and Technology and Radford Athletics.

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Danny Kemp detailed his division’s major strategic initiatives, including expanded network connectivity for Radford University Carilion, University-owned apartments and other campus facilities, such as the new Venture Lab housed in the Davis College of Business and Economics.

Kemp demonstrated the new University events calendar and reviewed the cable television streaming services available to students. Kemp shared performance data from Technology Support Services that indicates the office processed more than 5,000 support requests between April 10, 2019 and August 20, 2019.

Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg updated the Committee on the Radford University student-athlete experience, academic and competitive excellence, resource development and special events.

Lineburg told the Committee that former Highlander basketball star and criminal justice graduate Javonte Green ’15 is the first Highlander to sign with a National Basketball Association team, the Boston Celtics.  

Lineburg highlighted data indicative of Radford student-athlete academic achievement:

  • 73.5% of student-athletes in the Spring 2019 semester finished with 3.0 GPA or higher;
  • 53% recorded over a 3.4 GPA, which earns them a spot on the Dean’s List;
  • 40 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA;
  • 15 of 16 athletic programs had a GPA of more than 3.0; and
  • 70% of student-athletes made the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll.

Lineburg informed the Committee that new pledges and gifts to the Highlander Club totaled $552,267 with 260 members. The Athletic Department opened the VCOM Sports Medicine Center on August 29, 2019, with a 4,300 square feet area, in which team physicians can provide care to Radford student-athletes.

The BOV will hold its next series of meetings on December 5, 2019 and December 6, 2019 in Radford.

Oct 7, 2019
Don Bowman
(540) 831-7523