RADFORD – Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed budget for Virginia’s 2022-2024 biennium includes funding for several projects requested by Radford University.
“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,” said Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D., Radford’s interim president.
One stream of funding included in the proposed budget would provide additional money for financial aid, which university administrators said is much needed in today’s financial climate.
“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.”
Infrastructure needs for Radford University are also included in the proposed budget, which includes $20 million for renovation of instructional and study spaces in the McConnell Library and additional upgrades to infrastructure across campus.
Environmental sustainability efforts are also funded in the proposed budget, with $11.2 million in funding that “would allow Radford University to proceed with innovative sustainability projects, moving the university toward its commitment of net carbon neutrality by 2040” according tot he university announcement.
“This includes plans to install a combined heat and power facility (CHP) to self-generate electricity and steam heat,” it states. “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 has praised the efforts of Radford University and other agencies for sustainability 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,” said 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 Northam’s proposed 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 educational opportunities and help build a workforce pipeline for many years to come.”