Radford University is a comprehensive, mid-size public university that is known for student-focused academic programs, a strong emphasis on service to others, and a picturesque 204-acre campus. As an institution with an enrollment of approximately 9,400, the University provides its students a winning combination of broad opportunities associated with a large university and highly personalized relationships considered the hallmark of a smaller college. Well-known for its strong student/faculty bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment, and vibrant student life on a beautiful campus, Radford University offers many opportunities for success in and out of the classroom. Radford University faculty members are focused on teaching and deeply invested in the success of their students. Approximately 35 miles southwest of Roanoke, the surrounding community of Radford and its immediate neighbors, Christiansburg and Blacksburg, form a continuous metropolitan region nestled in the New River Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering an outstanding quality of life rich with natural resources and outdoor recreational options, a diverse economy, and numerous cultural and intellectual opportunities.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, the Director of Housing and Residential Life (Director) provides vision and leadership for all services and programmatic direction meeting the needs of approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students living in a range of university operated housing facilities. The Director is responsible for managing all aspects of Radford University’s residential system, which encompasses 15 residence halls and a growing number of University owned/operated apartments. The Director is responsible for advancing a student-focused, learning-based, residential educational program/curriculum that emphasizes personal growth and development, as well as global citizenship, community engagement, and academic success. The Director also provides leadership for assignments and occupancy management, policy development, facilities management, residence life, educational programming, conference management, and assessment activities.

In addition to daily operations, the Director is responsible for strategic planning, emergency planning, capital projects and construction, and the strategic allocation of reserve funding to address preventive and deferred maintenance. As a key member of the Student Affairs Management Team, the Director participates in on-call duties and will collaborate with many campus partners on student success and retention initiatives, including immediate colleagues in the division, as well as colleagues in leadership and staff positions across Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Facilities Management. Sustaining and supporting the division’s aspirations to impact and elevate student learning, while actively promoting the value of living on campus are also important responsibilities of the Director.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

An advanced degree in higher education administration, or related field, and a track record of progressively responsible professional experience in residential life and/or student affairs experience are required. Evidence of strong and innovative leadership in building a residential experience that contributes to the university’s overall success, as well as exceptional skills demonstrated in decision-making, critical thinking, and crisis management are also required. A broad background and knowledge of housing and residential life operations, trends, and best practices is needed for success. Additional competencies and experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the next Director of Housing and Residential Life include: demonstrated ability to plan, direct and evaluate complex housing operations using staffing, time, funds and other resources for the accomplishment of long-term and short-term goals of the University; proven experience and foundation in student conduct administration; demonstrated experience in supervision, planning, and budget management; proficiency with computers and technology; excellent communication and relationship-building skills across many constituencies—students and family members, faculty, senior administration, and staff, local community, and other external stakeholders; and a record of and commitment to cultivating inclusive and socially-just communities.

In addition to the above, the following characteristics and attributes of an ideal candidate were consistently identified by Radford University stakeholders:

  • Demonstrate a true heart for students with focus on student success.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and innovative vision.
  • Possess experience that spans both traditional residential hall and apartment complex management experience.
  • Consistently demonstrate high energy, optimism, persistence, and resiliency.
  • Take a keen interest in staff as talented, whole persons.
  • Champion teamwork and transparency of communication.
  • Demonstrate a track record of success facilitating and leading change.
  • Possess a keen understanding of first generation college students’ experience.

History of the Position

In August 2016, James Penven joined Radford University as the Director of Housing and Residential Life. Based on Penven’s portfolio of experience and research interests, Radford tapped him in fall 2018 to serve as the Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention. In assuming this new set of responsibilities, a vacancy of full-time leadership for Housing and Residential Life was created, which has led to a search for a successor.

As the search for a new permanent Director of Housing and Residential Life advances, Penven is continuing to provide oversight and direction for housing operations, including assignments, occupancy management, and facilities maintenance. Angela Mitchell, who serves as the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, is leveraging her prior experience in residential life and serving temporarily as the lead staff member directing the residential life portfolio of the director’s responsibility.

Housing and Residential Life is experiencing a period of growth and expansion in terms of occupancy which in turn will impact the organizational structure.  The Associate Director and Area Directors for Residential Life are key leadership positions within the department and report to the Director. Additionally, the Office and Budget Manager reports to the Director and provides support and assistance in managing department expenditures and administrative processes.  Reporting to the Associate and Area Directors are 14 professional and administrative full-time staff members and approximately 130 student worker positions.

The next Director of Housing and Residential Life will report to Angela Mitchell and will serve as a key member of her leadership team within the Division of Student Affairs.  In addition to Housing and Residential Life, within Mitchell’s portfolio is the Dean of Students Office, Student Standards and Conduct, Center for Accessibility Services, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services, Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support services (SAVES), and advising of the Student Government Association.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The next Director of Housing and Residential Life must readily embrace the mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities of both the University and the Division of Student Affairs. As the chief housing officer, the Director will assume a high visibility role overseeing a comprehensive organization and will be part of a dynamic division leadership team focused on increasing student success and supporting engagement, academic excellence, and retention goals. First and foremost through all of their actions, the director must demonstrate an unwavering heart for students keeping their interests as the foundation of daily work and decision making.

Key thematic areas in which the next Director will find challenges and opportunities to exercise vision and lead change include:

Occupancy Management: the Director will need to be comfortable with data analysis, confident with budget projections, and capable of translating occupancy data for varied audiences, including University senior officers. There is a keen desire to limit the number of students initially assigned to triple rooms as attrition rates of students cast into these environments is significantly higher than average. Additionally, the university has recently acquired a number of apartment properties in close proximity to campus that will need to be renovated and marketed to returning undergraduates and graduate students. A strategic occupancy plan developed in conjunction with the Associate Director of Assignments that promotes the value of living on-campus, reinforces the current two-year live-on requirement, and is supported by a well-designed marketing campaign is critically important.

Residential Curriculum: the current residential education curriculum model in place at Radford is now in its second year and AY 2019 marks only the fourth year of professional Resident Directors at the university. In light of student success objectives, this presents a unique opportunity to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the current model using quantitative and qualitative data to determine ways in which to support continuous improvement and desired student outcomes.

Building Community: the Director will be regarded as a campus expert in building community across students who live on and off campus. With a growing number of recently acquired apartment-style beds coming online and the fact that the majority of students who live off campus reside within a three block radius of the university, the director will be a pivotal leader in setting the agenda and implementing programs and services along with his/her staff in collaboration with the SAVES; especially in delivering bystander intervention initiatives, New Student and Family Programs (new student orientation – Quest), and University 100 faculty that are designed to build a vibrant and respectful community. Muse Hall houses just under 900 students, most of which are first year students. Building a positive culture that upholds the university’s values, supports diversity and inclusion, and engenders positive school spirit is of vital importance.

Living-Learning Communities: bridging academics, residence hall living, and community-building, living-learning communities (LLCs) are a key success component in residential living for first-year students. The Director will need to collaborate with academic partners to integrate residential life staff into the LLCs to support mutual objectives and increase communication, while also strengthening and expanding students’ ability to participate in these unique, high impact learning communities. Additionally, as residential renovations are planned, taking into account requirements for faculty offices and other LLC programmatic space demands will be important considerations for the Director of Housing and Residential Life. At present, there are seven LLCs with projected growth of about one new program annually and steady expansion of participation levels for each community anticipated.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the Director of Housing and Residential Life as articulated by stakeholders are listed below.

  • Must forge and nurture positive working relationships with the departments of Facilities Management and Conference Services (that report up through the Division of Finance and Administration).
  • Support the integration of expanded apartment-style living into the overall Housing and Residential Life operation, including the development of policies and practice.
  • Build a strong and resilient organization—clarify responsibilities and accountability of each position, as well as shape professional development plans that promote growth and build internal capacity.
  • Assess and enhance the efficiency of the annual “move-in” process for new and returning students, including cleaning and preparation of rooms, addressing requests for bed lofting, and distribution of keys.
  • Provide input and feedback to the Department of Facilities Management regarding master planning and future renovations planned for Norwood, Tyler, and Muse Halls.
  • Review, refine, and formalize where needed, and educate staff and students regarding department policies. Ensure consistent application of policies related to student conduct and programming expectations across all residential facilities.
  • Actively support the “on-call” systems for Housing and Residence Life and the Division of Student Affairs. Educate all staff on appropriate on-call response and procedures.
  • Analyze the current room change request process and determine improvements—examine possibilities of a centralized process versus the current decentralized process being managed by Residential Life staff.
  • Support the migration from HMS CBORD to StarRez student housing software system scheduled to go live in spring 2020, including the training and professional development needed for all staff users.
  • Radford University’s planned merger with Jefferson College of Health Sciences will ultimately result in the housing of approximately 140 students in Roanoke. Residential programs, policies, and services will need to be developed to meet the needs of that on-campus community.
  • Foster partnerships with others across campus, yet recognize there will be times when offers of collaboration may need to be declined in order to remain focused on key strategic priorities.

Measures of Success for the Position

At appropriate intervals after joining Radford University, the following items will define success for the new Director of Housing and Residential Life. The new director will have:

  • positive and productive working relationships established with Housing and Residential Life professional and administrative staff and key campus partners within first three to six months;
  • reviewed, observed, and assessed the fall move-in processes, as well as gathered feedback and provided recommendations for improvements for the following year;
  • learned about, assessed, gathered input from key partners, and developed a strategic plan for growth and expansion of Living Learning communities;
  • monitored and assessed occupancy at appropriate regular intervals and adjusted occupancy strategy accordingly as needed;
  • implemented strategy to develop connections with student staff and residents to be in touch with student needs and day-to-day challenges;
  • reviewed and assess residential curriculum and its implementation, providing feedback and recommendations for improvements.

An Overview of the Division of Student Affairs and Office of Housing and Residential Life

Division of Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs at Radford University encompasses Housing and Residential Life, Student Success and Retention, Student Standards and Conduct, Dean of Students Office, Center for Accessibility Resources, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Student Counseling Services, Substance Abuse and Violence Education Support services (SAVES), Student Involvement, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Government Association, Student Health Services, Student Recreation and Wellness, and Student Media.


The Division is led by Susan Trageser, Vice President for Student Affairs. Trageser has been with Radford University since 2012, first serving as Associate Dean of Students and then as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. During her tenure at Radford University she has also served in capacities as interim Dean of Students from August 2016 to May 2017 and interim Vice President for Student Affairs from May 2017 to January 2018. She was appointed permanently as Vice President for Student Affairs in summer 2018.

Prior to joining Radford University, Trageser served as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards at the University of California, Berkeley. Earlier in her career, she served as Associate Director in the Office of Student Conduct at North Carolina State University and Assistant Director of Student Affairs at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Trageser holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Fielding Graduate University. She earned a Master of Education degree in counselor education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Arts in middle grades education from Elon University.

Division Organizational Structure

Reporting to Trageser are the following members of her senior leadership team and units directly overseen:

Angela Mitchell, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

  • Dean of Students Office
  • Center for Accessibility Services
  • Student Standards and Conduct
  • Housing and Residential Life
  • Student Health Services
  • Student Counseling Services
  • Substance Abuse Violence Education Services (SAVES)
  • Student Government Association

Tricia Smith, Associate Vice President for Student Life

  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Student Recreation and Wellness
  • Student Center
  • Student Involvement
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life

James Penven, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention

In total, there are 83 professional and administration staff, as well as 300 student staff members who actively contribute to the work of the Division of Student Affairs.

Angela Mitchell – Leadership Profile

Angela Mitchell is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Radford University and the immediate supervisor to whom the new Director of Housing and Residential Life will report. Mitchell has over 17 years of experience in student affairs. She began her career in residence life and that experience provided a solid professional foundation that launched opportunities to work in multiple areas of the field. Throughout her career, she has worked with student success and retention, orientation and first year experience, career services, conduct, transfer student services, student activities, leadership, fraternity and sorority life, commuter and non-traditional student services, testing services, and enrollment management.

Within housing and residential life, Mitchell has served as a hall director for first year student communities and has been responsible for upper-class, non-traditional, graduate, and family student housing in both traditional residence halls and institutionally operated apartments. Further, she has also had experience with public-private partnerships. Her experience working within or overseeing housing has spanned more than a decade.

Mitchell has worked at five public institutions for higher education including medium and large universities, and medium and large community colleges. Prior to coming to Radford University, Mitchell served at Illinois Central College as the Director of Enrollment Services and Student Life (2012-2014) and as the Dean of Student Success until 2017. She has also served at Northern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Heartland Community College, and as a public school teacher.

Mitchell has a passion for leadership, student success, and staff development. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences Secondary Education and her Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Foundations, College Student Personnel sequence from Illinois State University.

Office of Housing and Residential Life

Housing and Residential Life has operated as a single, comprehensive organization since 2016. Prior to that for several years, the functional units of housing and residential life operated more autonomously. Starting in 2014, the University began integrating professional resident directors into live-in residential positions. Two years ago, the office adopted a residential curriculum model that is detailed below. At present, Housing and Residential Life supports a two-year live-on requirement for students not already residing with family members in the immediate area.


The mission of Housing and Residential Life is to provide an inclusive living and learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging where students can pursue academic success and cultivate meaningful relationships within well-maintained facilities.  Our student centered approach promotes student learning and development while preparing residents to engage in a diverse and changing society.


Providing an exemplary residential experience where students are inspired and prepared to become the leaders of tomorrow.


  • Student Learning:At the heart of our work is providing experiences that promote student learning.
  • Inclusion:We work to ensure that all residents are heard and have a place in our communities.
  • Exceptional service:In all aspects we strive to provide excellent service to students, parents, and university partners.
  • Responsible Stewardship:We appropriately manage our resources in a way that reflects responsibility.

Residential Curriculum

Radford’s educational priority is for students to develop personally, academically, and socially so they become positive citizens in their local and global communities. The current residential curriculum has four main components:

  • Global Citizenship: Students who demonstrate Global Citizenship will respect, celebrate, and advocate for the needs, ideas and values of others by appreciating and understanding our differences and recognizing our personal responsibility in creating positive communities.
  • Personal Development: Students who grow in their Personal Development are working toward becoming the best version of themselves.
  • Community Engagement: Students who participate in Community Engagement encourage meaningful interactions by building relationships and understanding their role in a community.
  • Academic Engagement: Students who achieve Academic Engagement possess the knowledge and skills to ensure they fully participate in their academic experiences at Radford

Residential Facilities

Housing and Residential Life oversees a portfolio of 15 residence halls and a growing number of apartment options (owned and leased) that house undergraduates and graduate students. Total bed capacity is approximately 3,600, including 780 apartment beds as of AY 2020.

Six of the residence halls offer suite-style rooms and nine halls are coed by room. Residence halls at Radford are divided into four main quads:

  • Muse: contains five residential communities within the same building, making it a popular location for housing approximately 900 new students
  • Main: Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Tyler, and Norwood Halls
  • Moffett: Bolling, Draper, Ingles, Moffett, and Pocahontas Halls
  • Governor’s: Floyd, Peery, Trinkle, and Stuart Halls

Additional information regarding Radford residential facilities is available here: https://www.radford.edu/content/residence-life/home/residence-halls.html

Living-learning Communities

Living-learning communities bridge academics, residence hall living, and being part of the Radford community, ensuring students’ connection to campus is deep and immediate. Participation is optional, though encouraged for all first-year students.

Learning communities are small groups of students that typically take one or more courses together focusing on a common theme or discipline. Faculty and peer instructor teams work together to assign readings, create assignments, and coordinate activities that connect the courses. Students engaged in a learning community are able to build both intellectual and social relationships with classmates and faculty through shared experiences and increased time together.

Students participating in living-learning communities also benefit from the coordination of residence hall teams with their academic partners to create additional programming in their living environment. Currently, Radford University offers seven unique freshman learning communities that provide students opportunities to deeply engage with faculty, academics, and peers with similar interests:

Honors College also has a home on campus in Floyd Hall. Honors students are selected through a competitive application process and those selected have the benefit of being eligible to live in honors housing within Floyd Hall.

Mentoring Academically Successful Highlanders (MASH)

Housing and Residential Life partners with Student Success and Retention in supporting and overseeing the MASH mentoring program that provides provisionally admitted new students with an upper class Peer Academic Leader (PAL) who provides guidance, helping new students through the academic and social challenges associated with college. PALs encourage first year students to embrace college life while recognizing the importance of overcoming many demands in order to successfully pursue their academic goals.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

The institution that became Radford University has leaned toward a future based on innovation, excellence, and response to student and public needs since its charter in 1910. Founding president John Preston McConnell’s advocacy for women’s education set him apart from his scholarly peers. He dedicated more than two decades to building and growing a school charged initially with preparing women to teach in Virginia’s emerging public school system.

In 1913, the first students who entered the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford enrolled in a two-year degree program. At a time when teacher certification required only six weeks of study and passing a state exam, the Radford school established the highest qualification for a Virginia teacher. One of McConnell’s first innovations was a partnership with Radford City, allowing students to practice-teach in the schools, a way of lifting them even higher.

Within five years of opening, Radford began offering four-year programs. In 1921, the first bachelor’s degrees were awarded. The normal school became Radford State Teacher’s College in 1924. This status paved the way to offer four-year programs in any field.

In 1944, in an efficiency move for the war, Radford College consolidated with Virginia Tech and became known as Radford College, the Women’s Division of VPI. Both institutions maintained their own identities and governance. This merger helped President Peters obtain funds for a $3 million, long-range expansion plan, including a new administration building, gym and residence halls. Construction moved outward from the original campus, where the central green space has been protected for more than 100 years.

The merger lasted until 1964, when, under the tenure of Charles Martin, the two schools quietly separated. Martin presided over a time of unprecedented growth, between 1952 and 1972, when enrollment grew from 800 to 4,000. During the same time, 19 new buildings went up and faculty multiplied by a factor of five. Radford became the largest women’s school on the east coast. Admission standards were raised, and Martin lifted faculty credentials by encouraging his teachers to pursue doctoral degrees and granting them leave to do so.

By the end of Martin’s presidency, however, enrollment was declining. With the arrival of President Donald Dedmon in 1972, the College moved to reverse this trend by admitting male undergraduates. Dedmon instituted a groundbreaking university governance system that included student representation. The Foundation was established to steward funds raised for student scholarships and institutional initiatives. Over the next two decades, enrollment went from 3,600 to more than 9,000, and faculty doubled to 500.

In 1979, Radford College became Radford University, an achievement celebrated by all constituencies. This status marked a new chapter in Radford’s history—one that was marked by many achievements from across the campus and the community.

Radford’s faculty-led Writing Across the Curriculum program became a national model. The program encouraged a culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration and a tradition of peer-to-peer faculty development. A new Distinguished Visiting Professor program and Scholarly Lecture Series brought former Egyptian First Lady Jehan Sadat, legendary poet Maya Angelou, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, and other prestigious visitors to the campus and classrooms.

Radford claimed a leading edge in technology, from its music technology program to its website, among the state’s first. In response to an increasingly interconnected world, the university developed new international education opportunities. Curricular offerings expanded in response to students’ interests, public need, and the changing world. Before Dedmon stepped down in 1994, degree programs had increased from 83 to more than 100.

Douglas Covington became the fifth president and first African-American leader of the institution in 1995. Students, faculty, and staff soon became familiar with Covington’s soft-spoken manner as he greeted—and listened to—all he met.

Early in Covington’s presidency, the university undertook its first capital campaign, a three-year effort that exceeded its goal. It was followed by a second successful campaign, with a combined result of $71 million raised in just 10 years. In 1993, the Radford University Foundation had been capable of supporting 123 scholarships; by 2004, the number was 600.

As the campus has grown and expanded, the institution’s academic status has also risen. In 2008, the University introduced its first doctoral offering, the Doctor of Psychology program. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program opened in 2010, and the next year students entered the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

In January 2018, officials from the Carilion Clinic, Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Radford University announced their intention to merge Jefferson College into the Radford University family of colleges and departments, a process that will be complete as of AY 2020. Jefferson College brings 35 years of history as an accredited institution and has grown from 200 to about 1,150 students. It has been one of the top producers of nursing and allied health professionals in the region and is in the top 10 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information about the merger, visit: https://www.radford.edu/content/JCHS-RU-merger/home.html.

A remarkable change in student diversity has occurred in recent years. Approximately 30 percent of full-time freshmen who enrolled in fall 2016 and fall 2017 identified as part of an ethnic minority group—a leap from the 12 percent who did so in fall 2005. The fastest-growing populations are Black/African American and Hispanic.

Radford University’s seventh president, Brian O. Hemphill, began his tenure in 2016 by inviting student, faculty, staff, alumni, and community reflection on how to embrace the best of Radford’s past, while contemplating the future of a great institution that has never stopped changing.

Radford University is ranked #47 in Regional Universities South. Other notable distinctions include:

A Division I member of the NCAA and Big South Athletic Conference, Radford University competes in 16 men’s and women’s varsity sports. With over 250 clubs and organizations, Radford University offers many opportunities for student engagement, leadership development, and community service.

Radford, Virginia

Radford University is located in the city of Radford (population 15,859), 36 miles southwest of Roanoke on Route 11 and I-81 in the New River Valley, close to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The city of Radford covers approximately 9.63 square miles and contains commercial, residential, and numerous recreational areas.

Downtown Radford is home to a variety of locally owned shops and restaurants. Meanwhile, a retail hub providing a regional mall and major chain stores and restaurants is less than 10 miles from campus.

The city of Radford and the surrounding region provide a rich variety of cultural, recreational, and leisure activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will find the university’s location along the New River provides opportunities to hike, kayak, fish, swim, and camp. Dozens of bicycling and hiking trails are accessible within less than a 30-minute drive, including access points to the Appalachian Trail and Jefferson National Forest.

There are 14 parks open to the public within the city. Sports enthusiasts can experience the thrill of being a spectator at university, public school, and city athletic events, or participate in the sport of their choice on city ball fields, tennis courts, golf courses, and recreational clubs. Claytor Lake, with its 108 miles of shoreline, is only 15 miles from the city and offers additional swimming, fishing, and water skiing opportunities for area residents. Golf enthusiasts will find nine golf courses at public and private facilities, all within a 30-minute drive.

For more information about Radford, visit the Chamber of Commerce at http://www.radfordchamber.com/.

Institutional Vision, Mission, and Values


Radford University will be among the top 50 master’s universities in the nation and will become increasingly known as a model for student-centered learning, transforming its students into graduates who will be among the most sought after by the nation’s best employers and who will become leaders in their communities and chosen careers in the arts, business, education, health and human services, medical professions, the humanities, the sciences, and technology.


Radford University serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service, and research programs. First and foremost, the university emphasizes teaching and learning and the process of learning in its commitment to the development of mature, responsible, well-educated citizens. RU develops students’ creative and critical-thinking skills, teaches students to analyze problems and implement solutions, helps students discover their leadership styles, and fosters their growth as leaders. Toward these ends, the university is student-focused and promotes a sense of caring and of meaningful interaction among all members of the university community. Research is viewed as a vital corollary to the teaching and learning transaction as it sustains and enhances the ability to teach effectively. Radford University believes in the dynamics of change and has a strong commitment to continual review, evaluation, and improvement in the curriculum and all aspects of the university, so as to meet the changing needs of society.


The following core values drive the vision and mission of our student-centered community of learners:

  • academic excellence;
  • collegial working relationships among students, faculty, administrators, and staff;
  • diversity and the richness it adds to our university;
  • ethical behavior of all members of our university community;
  • fiduciary responsibility by everyone who is part of our university family;
  • a challenging academic environment;
  • intellectual and artistic curiosity and creativity;
  • education as a lifelong pursuit;
  • academic freedom and debate;
  • a global perspective in all faculty, staff, and students;
  • a caring and nurturing faculty and staff;
  • freedom of thought and expression;
  • being an active partner in the viability of our region; and
  • shared governance and participation at all levels within the university community.

Strategic Plan

Through the work of a committed task force and various subgroups, Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future—Radford University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan—was developed by a broad-based group of on- and off-campus constituents and subsequently approved by the Radford University Board of Visitors. Key themes addressed by the strategic plan include:

  • Academic Excellence and Research
  • Brand Identity
  • Economic Development and Community Partnerships
  • Philanthropic Giving and Alumni Engagement
  • Strategic Enrollment Growth
  • Student Success

A copy of the full strategic plan is available here: https://www.radford.edu/content/dam/departments/administrative/strategic-planning/UR-Strategic-Plan-121517.pdf

University Leadership

Dr. Brian O. Hemphill, President

Brian O. Hemphill, PhD, joined Radford University as its seventh president on July 1, 2016. He is an unwavering champion for positive change and a true advocate of shared governance. With strong support from students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, the local community, the New River Valley, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, President Hemphill has pledged to lead the Highlander family with a steadfast commitment to excellence, accountability, transparency, and student-centeredness. President Hemphill’s vision is to transform Radford University into an innovative, premier university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research, and service.

A devoted public servant and steward of Radford University, President Hemphill proudly serves on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees. He faithfully represents Radford University on the national scale with active involvement in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), including the Committee on Policies and Purpose, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

President Hemphill’s road to Radford University has taken him from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, a flagship university, where he served as associate vice chancellor and dean of students; to Northern Illinois University, a large, public research university, where he served as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management and associate professor for eight years; and to West Virginia State University, a public, land-grant research university, where he served as the 10th president and a professor for four years.

President Hemphill earned a PhD in higher education administration and policy studies from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communication from Saint Augustine’s University.

President Hemphill is a published author, with writings covering topics related to gun violence and threat preparedness on college campuses; emerging financial concerns affecting the collegiate sphere; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and economic-related issues pertaining to education; and numerous scholarly perspectives pertinent to the higher education environment. President Hemphill recently co-edited a book, titled College in the Crosshairs: An Administrative Perspective on Prevention of Gun Violence. He is a highly-sought-after keynote speaker, guest presenter, and panelist, with frequent appearances across the country.

President Hemphill and his family reside on campus in the Tyler House. The president and university first lady, Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, are active on- and off-campus attending a variety of activities and events in support of the Highlander family.

The Academic Program and Faculty

At present, Radford University is composed of seven colleges:

  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • Waldron College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences
  • Artis College of Science and Technology
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • College of Graduate Studies and Research

Radford offers 67 degree programs in 38 disciplines and two certificates at the undergraduate level; 22 master’s programs in 17 disciplines; three doctoral programs at the graduate level; 13 post-baccalaureate certificates; and one post-master’s certificate.

The undergraduate University Core (e.g., core curriculum) is a series of four interdisciplinary courses. These courses synthesize skills in critical thinking, oral and written communications, technology and information literacy, and ethical reasoning.

The student-faculty ratio at Radford University is 16:1, and the school has 31.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. Biology, criminal justice, education, exercise science, information technology, management, nursing, psychology, and social work are among the most popular majors. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 76 percent.

Radford University faculty members are student-focused and believe in engaging students in their learning. Eighty-two percent of faculty hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their fields. Fewer than 3 percent of classes are taught by graduate assistants. The university employs 455 full-time and 273 part-time faculty members.

The Student Body

Total enrollment: 9,418

  • Undergraduate enrollment: 8,418;
  • Graduate enrollment: 1,000;
  • 59 percent female, 41 percent male;
  • 43 states (including Washington, D.C.), 69 foreign countries;
  • 41 percent of new freshmen are first-generation college students;
  • 34.3 percent of new freshmen are from ethnically diverse backgrounds;
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1;
  • Average freshman class size: 30 students.

Approximately 3,100 students live in one of the university’s 15 residence halls; 100 students occupy leased residential facilities; and the remainder of the student population reside in private accommodations within walking distance of the university. This lends a distinctively residential vibe to the campus.

Benefits Overview

Radford University offers a comprehensive benefits package. Highlights include:

  • Retirement Plans
  • Health Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Tuition Waiver (for employee)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Cash Match Plan (for employees who make a contribution to an eligible 403(b) tax deferred annuity or 457 deferred compensation plan)

For complete benefits information, please see the benefits website at https://www.radford.edu/content/human-resources/home/benefits.html

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at vbs@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Radford University website at www.radford.edu

Radford University is an EO/AA employer committed to diversity. Women, minorities and veterans are encouraged to apply. This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.