Board of Visitors hold virtual quarterly meeting
The Radford University Board of Visitors met virtually for their quarterly meeting on Friday, June 12, 2020.
The meeting was led by Rector Robert A. Archer, who was reelected rector. In addition, James R. Kibler, Jr., J.D. was reelected vice rector.
Several resolutions were approved during the meeting, including:
- The approval of 2020-2021 tuition and fees as tuition will not increase for in-state undergraduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year;
- The approval of teaching and research faculty tenure for 2020-2021;
- The approval to amend the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook, Section 188.8.131.52, Appointment Terms;
- The approval to amend the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook Section 184.108.40.206, Student Evaluations of Faculty; and
- The approval to amend the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook Section 220.127.116.11.1 Evaluation Procedures for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty.
In President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.’s report to the Board, he discussed the transition of the University’s on-campus learning format to a virtual environment during the Spring 2020 semester due to the impact of the COVID-19 global health pandemic. He expressed his gratitude for Radford University’s world-class faculty and dedicated staff as they helped steer the University through this process. He also commended Highlander students for their sheer perseverance during this challenging and unprecedented time.
As part of the transition, the COVID-19 Contingency Planning Group was established on April 23, 2020 and convened for the first time shortly thereafter. The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday, and sometimes on Friday, regarding operations and reopening.
President Hemphill announced that the first day of classes will be August 12, 2020. The early opening will enable the University to complete the semester, including classes, final exams and Commencement exercises, prior to Thanksgiving. The reopening plan includes special precautions across campus, such as physical distancing in classrooms, labs and shared spaces, required personal protective equipment (PPE), single points of entry and exit in campus buildings and broad-based COVID-19 testing.
The President applauded Chief of Staff and Vice President for University Relations Ashley Schumaker and Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Trageser, Ed.D. for their “outstanding leadership in the midst of one of the most complex things we’ve ever dealt with in this University’s history.” He also announced that Vice President Schumaker has been named the University’s COVID-19 coordinator, as required of all institutions by state guidelines.
In conclusion, the President acknowledged the retirement of Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Danny Kemp, effective June 24, 2020. He commended Vice President Kemp, a “creative and results-driven professional,” for his exemplary leadership and outstanding service to Radford University.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Craig Cornell discussed with the Board several strategic and creative student recruitment initiatives the University has recently implemented amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Enrollment Management, in partnership with University Relations, created a Highlander Digital Experience program for prospective students. The program includes welcome videos from the academic deans and President Hemphill, break-out sessions and student panels. More than 1,300 students registered for the program, representing about 92% of last year’s registrants.
In addition, Vice President Cornell noted that a new campus Virtual Tour was developed and implemented by University Relations with support from Information Technology and Student Affairs.
Another major project was transitioning the University’s new freshman and transfer student orientation, Quest, to an online format. The virtual Quest experience features full housing tours - including room layouts - personalized academic advising opportunities for all attendees, online photo submission and specialized mailing for the ONE Card, and unique sessions ranging from financial aid to campus safety.
Vice President Cornell announced that the Bridge Program, a partnership between Radford University and New River Community College, had reached 70 students, surpassing the original goal of 50 commitments.
Vice President Cornell and the Board thanked former Vice President for Enrollment Management Kitty McCarthy for her service to Radford University as she prepares to transition to another institution.
Also commended by the Board for his unwavering service to the University was Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Scartelli, Ph.D., who is entering retirement.
In an update to the Board, Interim Provost Scartelli outlined four recommendations regarding faculty tenure and the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook. All four resolutions were approved.
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Chad Reed provided the Board with an extensive breakdown of 2020-2021 tuition and fees.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for September 10-11, 2020.