RU Board of Visitors reviews the year’s accomplishments at its quarterly meeting

At its quarterly meeting Dec. 7-8, the Radford University Board of Visitors (BOV) reviewed university progress and accomplishments in academics, business affairs, capital projects, student affairs, enrollment management, governance, information technology, athletics, fundraising and marketing.

Radford University’s new strategic plan 2018-2023 Strategic Plan: Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future was unanimously approved during the Dec. 8 BOV meeting.

The strategic planning process, which began in October 2016, was co-chaired by Kenna Colley, current interim provost and previous dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and Jack Call, professor of Criminal Justice.

“The goals identified within this five-year plan reflect the hopes and dreams of Radford University and those it proudly serves, including our students, faculty, staff, alumni, community and friends,” said Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill. “The plan will drive each of us in our daily interactions and collaborative efforts to selflessly serve current and future generations of Highlanders.”

The new mission statement, which is before the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) for final approval, emphasizes that “…Radford University empowers students from diverse backgrounds by providing transformative educational experiences, from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level, within and beyond the classroom.”

The new vision for the university stated in the strategic plan is as follows: Radford University aspires to be the premier, innovative, student-centered university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research and service.

Radford University honored the memory of Mary Ann Jennings Hovis ’65 in an emotional ceremony Dec. 8 by dedicating its executive boardroom in honor of the former Board of Visitors member. Hovis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in social science from Radford College in 1965.

She served on the BOV from 2002-10 and served again from 2015-17, including terms as rector in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Alumna Lisa Throckmorton ’94, the newest board member was officially welcomed to the BOV on Dec. 8. Throckmorton, a first-generation student, is the chief operating officer at SpeakerBox Communications.

President Hemphill briefed the board on senior leadership changes, including Anne Marie Klotz as the next vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Admissions Mildred Rigney Johnson. Hemphill also briefed the board on the upcoming Advocacy Day, on which students go to Richmond to meet with government leaders. On Oct. 18, the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and Radford University announced a new dual-degree program to help Radford University students expedite their law school education.

The agreement allows students to complete three years at Radford and transition into law school. President Hemphill also discussed various partnerships with global institutions of higher education.

The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) unanimously approved two program proposals from the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) for submission to SCHEV.

A Sport Management major (B.S.) that would be an extension of a current department of Health and Human Performance undergraduate concentration to prepare students for careers as professional, collegiate and recreation sports administrators.

An Allied Health Sciences major (B.S.) that would be a pre-professional program for students seeking to enter graduate professional programs that prepare them for licensure as physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors or physicians assistants.

The AAC recommended, and the board approved, the discontinuance and teach-out of the undergraduate Athletic Training program. Radford will seek SCHEV approval for a Masters in Athletic Training, as recommended by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), their accrediting organization.

The AAC was briefed by Interim Provost Kenna Colley. Among the goals Colley outlined for her transition were:

To meet with each academic department to better understand their mission, personnel and initiatives.

To build a strong holistic approach between the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Division, such as boosting student registration for the Spring 2018 semester.

Colley also reviewed the Academic Excellence and Research component of the Strategic Plan with the AAC. Colley discussed the plan’s academic initiatives to deepen interprofessional collaboration and boost educational opportunities for students.

Based on recommendations from the department personnel committees, department chairs, college deans and the provost, President Hemphill has awarded emeritus status to the following retired faculty members:

Dr. Ellen Birx, School of Nursing

David Castonguay, Department of Music

Dr. Alice King Ingham, School of Social Work

Dr. Lisa Onega, School of Nursing

Dr. Joseph P. Scartelli, Department of Music

Associate Professor of Anthropology Jason Fox, BOV faculty representative, briefed the AAC on the activities of the Faculty Senate, including:

Work to develop procedures, policies and criteria to recommend creation of the senior instructor position for non-tenure track, special purpose faculty with five years of service

Review and development of a crime analysis minor

Suspension for one year of the quadrennial evaluation of department chairs

An ongoing effort to ensure compliance with the SCHEV general education guidelines

The Governance, Administration and Athletics Committee (GAAC) approved recommendations regarding revisions to the Administrative and Professional (AP) Faculty handbook.

Among the revisions are contract non-renewal notice requirements. The update to the handbook requires that AP faculty members with more than five years of service with the university receive notice of non-contract renewal for the full term of a contract. The revision reduced the number of service years from 10. AP faculty with one to five years of service must be given a three-month notice, increased from two months, of non-contract renewal. Additional handbook revisions involved the cycle for performance evaluations, clarifications related to grievance procedures, and the establishment of annual leave payouts for those with more than five years of University service.

The committee heard an update from Danny Kemp, vice president for Information Technology. Kemp’s report included current and future strategic initiatives.

Director for Intercollegiate Athletics Robert Lineburg provided a report about the university’s Athletics Department, including an update on the tennis courts and the transition of the sports medicine facility inside the Dedmon Center.

The Business Affairs and Audit Committee (BAAC) approved a second quarter adjustment to the 2017-18 operating budget. Due to increased enrollment and the receipt of the first installment of the federal grant funds for the IMPACT program, revenues increased from the projected $216 million to nearly $220 million, according to Associate Vice President of Budget and Financial Planning Chad Reed.

The University Auditor provided the quarterly Follow-up Audit Status Report and noted that the office will be undergoing its mandated five-year external quality review in March.

Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Alvarez introduced an overview of the university’s ongoing capital projects:

The Residence Halls Umbrella Renovation Project is a $36 million project in which multiple residence halls have been renovated. Pocahontas, Bolling and Draper Halls and the new Moffett Quad chilled water loop are complete. Phase 2 includes upgrading life safety systems for Muse Hall.

Whitt Hall renovation, a nearly $9 million project, was completed and provided a complete interior renovation.

The Reed-Curie renovation, a nearly $34 million-project, will renovate the existing Reed Hall and Curie Hall science buildings to complement the Center for the Sciences.

Additionally, the university completed a nearly $2 million project in conjunction with the Roanoke Higher Education Authority to expand the Nursing Simulation Center at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, officially unveiled on Nov. 15, 2017.

The University Advancement, University Relations and Enrollment Management Committee (UAUREMC) was briefed on fall 2018 enrollment updates, the university’s marketing approach, media appearances, the capital campaign and homecoming.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Kitty McCarthy updated the UAUREMC on the application numbers for fall 2018. As of Dec. 6, new freshman applications were 9,526, compared to 9,006 in fall 2017. Completed applications for fall 2018 were 6,092 compared to 4,462 for fall 2017. Admitted students for the fall 2018 semester are 5,005 compared to 2,911 in fall 2017, a 72 percent increase.

Joe Carpenter, vice president for University Relations and chief communications officer, briefed the UAUREMC on university marketing strategies and progress, creative production support to the university’s admissions, retention, fundraising and alumni relations strategies, and media relations activities highlighting student, faculty and university accomplishments.

Wendy Lowery, vice president for University Advancement, updated the committee on the giving report, which included total giving reflecting a 66 percent increase over the previous fiscal year to-date. Lowery also said that the capital campaign planning committee held its first meeting and outlined the campaign’s four pillars of support: academic excellence and research; student success and engagement; capital infrastructure and improvements; and experiential learning and innovation.

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) approved the resolution to amend the Radford University Admissions policy for first-time enrollees by updating the immunization requirements. The policy brings Radford into compliance with both the code of Virginia and standards set by the American College of Health Associations.

The Committee also heard reports from the Student Affairs Division, which included interim Vice President of Student Affairs Susan Trageser, Director of SAVES and Student Counseling Kelly Rubin, Director of Housing and Residential Life James Penven, and Student Government Association President Julianna Stanley, a junior mass communications major from Williamsburg.

Penven briefed the committee on current and anticipated residential occupancy numbers. Penven said that Fall 2017 occupancy was 3,449, an increase of more than 500 over Fall 2016.

Stanley detailed the SGA’s active fall semester that included events, legislation, community involvement activities and development of new initiatives.

Among SGA programs in development are:

A micro-grant program to help students handle the financial pressures of college

A Ring Dance and Dinner for students and families in March

Full participation in January’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Unity Fest

Eleven events highlighted the SGA program of work in the fall, including:

The freshman cook-out at the Governor Tyler House with President Hemphill

The Fear2Freedom survivor support activity

Recycling activities

A campus safety walk

A coat drive to assist Radford students in need.

The next meeting of the BOV is scheduled for Feb. 15-16, 2018 at Radford University.

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