Governor's Budget Proposal includes funding for Radford University
On Thursday, December 16, 2021 Governor Ralph Northam announced his proposed budget for the Commonwealth’s 2022-2024 biennium. He was joined for the announcement by Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears.
Northam’s final budget proposal builds upon top priorities for his administration - education, equity, and investments in working Virginians; and funds several key projects submitted by Radford University officials.
“We are very grateful Governor Northam’s proposed budget includes priorities for Radford University that are vital to our mission of providing quality educational experiences, building toward the future and helping some 9,000 students realize the possibilities available to them,” Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D., Radford’s interim president.
The university funding requests focused on increasing access and affordability, campus infrastructure improvements, and establishing innovative sustainability initiatives that will be impactful and meaningful for students and the greater campus community.
“The number of students eligible for need-based financial aid has grown tremendously,” said Chad A. Reed, vice president for finance and administration at Radford University. “We are thrilled to see $12 million in the budget proposal that would provide additional need based financial aid and increased operating support and therefore give students more opportunities to be successful Highlanders.”
In addition, $20 million in the Governor’s proposal would fund reimagination of instructional and study spaces in the McConnell Library and upgrades to infrastructure across campus.
These projects support our mission of providing transformative educational experiences and greatly improve the environments where our students learn, live and work.
Finally, $11.2 million of the proposed funding would allow Radford University to proceed with innovative sustainability projects, moving the university toward its commitment of net carbon neutrality by 2040. This includes plans to install a combined heat and power facility (CHP) to self-generate electricity and steam heat. The move comes as the university seeks to reduce green- house gas (GHG) emissions through increase energy efficiency. The CHP facility will reduce risks of rising energy costs, electric grid disruption and enhances energy reliability while providing the university with redundancy of critical systems.
The Virginia Department of Energy commends our efforts. “This is another success story for our Energy Savings Performance Contracting program. The Trane Energy Solutions and Radford University initiative, including CHP, is a bold strategy that sets this project apart from the long list of projects already contributing to the over $1 billion in energy savings achieved here in the Commonwealth," says Virginia Energy Director John Warren. "Their commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability is to be celebrated as Radford University joins a growing community of agencies and education facilities seeking to reduce their impact on the grid."
The General Assembly will consider and take action on Governor Northam’s introduced budget during the 2022 session beginning in January, and the budget passed by the General Assembly will then head to Governor Youngkin for his review.
“On behalf our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I share our deep appreciation to Governor Northam for including allocations for Radford University initiatives in his proposed budget,” said Lepre. “I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the gubernatorial administration to advocate on behalf of current and future Highlanders. With almost 53,000 Radford University alumni who live and work in the Commonwealth of Virginia, this support will help us continue to provide transformative educational opportunities and help build a workforce pipeline for many years to come.”