Strategic Budgeting at Radford University

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Over the course of the past few weeks, the spirit and strength of the Radford family have been evident in the many discussions and thoughtful interactions that have occurred about the future of our University. As shared governance leaders and groups joined together to engage all constituents, our campus shared differing perspectives, but emerged united to represent the best interest of Radford University as we prepare to respond to the financial challenges, both short-term and long-term, resulting from the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

I am pleased to share that the Administrative and Professional (AP) Faculty Senate, Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate, as well as the undergraduate academic deans, all recommended the strategic approach to budget reduction strategies, which will be necessary in the wake of COVID-19. Although these deliberations were complex and the decision was difficult, I must express my heartfelt appreciation to our world-class faculty and dedicated staff for being forward-focused and student-centered in their thinking and their actions.

During a time in which many institutions are implementing across-the-board cuts, salary reductions, and furloughs, we, as a Radford family, have made the challenging, but strategic, choice to put our students and our future first and foremost. This strategic approach includes establishing data-driven criteria and examining productivity trends for all areas. This most recent demonstration represents what is fundamental to the operations and vital to the success of this great University.

In reflecting on the active engagement and extensive considerations, the University’s shared governance leaders shared the following on behalf of their groups.

“I appreciate the foresight of the Board of Visitors and President Hemphill to make possible a plan for strategic budget cuts. When considering the options presented to us, the AP Senate’s driving forces were to be inclusive of the AP Faculty community and save as many jobs as possible in order to keep the Radford family intact. We unanimously chose the strategic option. This choice allows for a higher level of creativity and flexibility, which will grant opportunities to address the University’s budget issues as a whole rather than as several divisions. We also value President Hemphill’s leadership in bringing together shared governance and leadership groups to collectively rise to this challenge.” – AP Faculty Senate President Ashlee Claud

“Faculty Senate, along with the AP and Staff Senates, and the undergraduate deans have found consensus around a process that will allow us to move forward as a University to navigate the challenges we face. I am proud to be a part of the Faculty Senate whose stellar members modeled their commitment and dedication to shared governance as we deliberated the complexities of the decisions we were asked to consider. Our goal continues to be to serve our students, and we take seriously our responsibility to ensure that Radford University continues to thrive into the future.”
– Faculty Senate President Katie Hilden-Clouse, Ph.D.

“Staff Senate appreciates being involved with the decision making process for Radford University’s budget strategies for the upcoming biennium. By talking with our constituents about the options available, seeking answers to their questions and concerns, and analyzing each strategy in how they would impact the lives of classified staff, as well as Radford University stakeholders, Staff Senate unanimously endorses the strategic approach to budget reduction strategies. This decision was not made lightly, and our vote is representative of our constituents. We believe this option allows our University to continue to efficiently serve students in a unique, personal way, while keeping the best interest of staff and faculty in mind and preserving the long-term health of the University. Staff Senate looks forward to collaborating with shared governance and leadership in the coming months to develop a budget that will continue to allow our students, staff, and faculty to thrive at Radford University.” – Staff Senate President Kristina Contreras

With campus engagement at the heart of our work, the real work begins. As such, I am pleased to announce the creation of two Strategic Budgeting Advisory Groups, one focused on academics and the other focused on services. The groups will be co-chaired by Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Chad A. Reed and Chief of Staff and Vice President for University Relations Ashley Schumaker. Initial meetings will be held on Monday, July 6, 2020, beginning at 10:00 AM for academics and 1:00 PM for services. As part of the initial meetings, I will provide a charge, share potential reduction amounts, and respond to questions from group members. The groups will also receive an initial set of data, discuss reoccurring meeting dates and times, and establish a timeline in order to complete their review and formulate their recommendations by Monday, August 3, 2020.

Strategic Budgeting Advisory Group - Academics

  • Faculty Senate Executive Council
    • President Katie Hilden-Clouse, Ph.D.
    • Vice President Vernard Harrington, Ph.D.
    • Secretary Tim Channell, Ed.D.
    • At-Large Member Matt Close, Ph.D.
    • At-Large Member Katie Katz, D.N.P.
    • Past President Jake Fox, Ph.D.
  • College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Representative
    • Faculty Senate Member Kurt Gingrich, Ph.D.
  • Administrative Representatives
    • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lyn Lepre, Ph.D.
    • Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lowery
    • College of Education and Human Development Dean Tammy Wallace, Ph.D.

Strategic Budgeting Advisory Group – Services

  • AP Faculty Senate Executive Council
    • President Ashlee Claud
    • Vice President Scott Bennett
    • Secretary Kay Johnson
    • Parliamentarian Sandra Bond
  • Staff Senate Officers
    • President Kristina Contreras
    • Vice President Christi Wayne
    • Secretary Connie Leathers
    • Parliamentarian Sharon Proffitt
    • Past President Karen Montgomery
  • Administrative Representatives
    • Special Advisor to the President for Partnerships and Chief Innovation Officer Angela Joyner, Ph.D.
    • Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Trageser, Ed.D.
    • Waldron College of Health and Human Services Dean Ken Cox, Au.D.

Despite the hard work and incredible progress that have occurred in recent years, we are preparing for the most significant challenges our campus and our community have experienced. Without question, COVID-19 has changed every facet of our lives and our work. Our University is no different, and the impact is very real. Like each of you, I care deeply about every member of the Radford family, and I love Radford University.

In the months to come as our budget picture becomes evident and the path forward takes shape, we must remain sharply focused on the character and commitment that have defined Radford University for more than a century. We must remember that there will always be moments in which we may disagree on issues, processes, and decisions. But, we must remain dedicated to working through issues together, while exhibiting a constant amount of compassion and respect and, at the same time, making decisions based on our collective needs, both current and future.

Following our shared governance groups expressing their support for a strategic response to our budget realities, now is the time to re-imagine what Radford University is and what it will become. This is an important responsibility before us. And, as proud Highlanders, it is one we will navigate together!

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Jun 29, 2020
Ashley Schumaker