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Appalachian program given reprieve by RU

RADFORD – An Appalachian Studies program that was recommended for elimination at Radford University has been given a reprieve.
Provost Wil Stanton opted to give the three-year-old program until 2011 to become viable. The announcement was made during a meeting of the Radford University Board of Visitors held Thursday.
The program was one of 29 that had been identified for review because of their failure to meet one of four RU criteria based on State Council of Higher Education for Virginia guidelines.
Five of the programs voluntarily discontinued, but the Appalachian Studies post-baccalaureate certificate was the only one of the remaining 24 that was to be discontinued because it has averaged fewer than three students each fall.
The board, Thursday, formally endorsed the administration’s handling of the expedited academic program review.
Questions about the administration’s motivation and concerns over the review committee’s objectivity led the Faculty Senate to recently create an investigative body to inspect the administration’s handling of the review.
Professor Steve Owen, president of Faculty Senate, told the board Thursday that, “This committee is not meant to be viewed as stemming from animosity but to restore confidence, communication and trust among the entire university community.”
Board member Randal J. Kirk of Pulaski County praised Owen and the Faculty Senate for their desire to improve relationships between faculty, staff and students.
In other action, the board of visitors approved an in-state undergraduate tuition increase of five percent, or $209, to $4,396 for the 2009-10 academic year.
The total cost for in-state undergraduates – including tuition, fees, room and board – will be $13,874 or a 4.7 percent increase. That currently keeps RU the second most affordable of the state’s 15 public four-year institutions.
“As much as we want to build for the future and fully fund new programs and initiatives to best prepare our students to venture forth into the workforce and the world, we must balance today’s economic climate and keep our tuition as low as possible to help Virginia’s struggling families,” said RU President Penelope W. Kyle.
In-state students account for almost 93 percent of RU’s undergraduate population.
Increases will support need-based student financial aid, rising costs for facility operation and maintenance, and a nearly $2.1 million budget shortfall – the result of state-mandated budget cuts imposed this year to balance the Commonwealth of Virginia’s $3.2 billion deficit.
Since fiscal year 2008, state support for Radford University operations has declined by $9.9 million or approximately 20 percent – $7.55 million this fiscal year alone. Part of this shortfall was offset by the influx of nearly $5.5 million in federal stimulus funds, which lessened the need for higher tuition increases. Many on the RU Board of Visitors expressed worry during their two-day session about 2011-12 when the flow of federal stimulus funds dries up.
For in-state graduate students, tuition also increased by five percent, or $241, to $5,086. Including fees, the cost for in-state graduates to attend RU will be $7,594 or 5.6 percent.
For the 2009-2010 academic year, out-of-state tuition for undergraduates will increase 6.5 percent to $14,060, and for graduates by 9.8 percent to $12,608. Total cost – including tuition, fees, room and board – will be $23,538, up 5.7 percent, for out-of-state undergraduates. Out-of-state graduates’ tuition and fees will be $15,116, up 9.3 percent.
For the university’s Masters of Occupational Therapy degree, which will welcome its first students in fall 2009, the board approved a per-credit hour fee of $290 for in-state students and $800 for out-of-state students.
The board also:
• Adopted a resolution conferring an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, on Gov. Tim Kaine, who will deliver the keynote address at RU’s spring commencement May 9.
• Approved the university’s intent to issue bonds to construct a new, state-of-the-art student fitness and wellness center.
• Received a report from representatives of RU’s Office of Emergency Preparedness about the university’s response to an off-campus shooting April 2, during which the alleged shooter came onto campus. The incident triggered a “Shelter in Place” order and the RU Alert system, which kept the campus community informed via text, voice mail and email messages, the university website and television channel while police tactical units performed a building-by-building search.

Appalachian program given reprieve by RU

RADFORD – An Appalachian Studies program that was recommended for elimination at Radford University has been given a reprieve.
Provost Wil Stanton opted to give the three-year-old program until 2011 to become viable. The announcement was made during a meeting of the Radford University Board of Visitors held Thursday.
The program was one of 29 that had been identified for review because of their failure to meet one of four RU criteria based on State Council of Higher Education for Virginia guidelines.
Five of the programs voluntarily discontinued, but the Appalachian Studies post-baccalaureate certificate was the only one of the remaining 24 that was to be discontinued because it has averaged fewer than three students each fall.
The board, Thursday, formally endorsed the administration’s handling of the expedited academic program review.
Questions about the administration’s motivation and concerns over the review committee’s objectivity led the Faculty Senate to recently create an investigative body to inspect the administration’s handling of the review.
Professor Steve Owen, president of Faculty Senate, told the board Thursday that, “This committee is not meant to be viewed as stemming from animosity but to restore confidence, communication and trust among the entire university community.”
Board member Randal J. Kirk of Pulaski County praised Owen and the Faculty Senate for their desire to improve relationships between faculty, staff and students.
In other action, the board of visitors approved an in-state undergraduate tuition increase of five percent, or $209, to $4,396 for the 2009-10 academic year.
The total cost for in-state undergraduates – including tuition, fees, room and board – will be $13,874 or a 4.7 percent increase. That currently keeps RU the second most affordable of the state’s 15 public four-year institutions.
“As much as we want to build for the future and fully fund new programs and initiatives to best prepare our students to venture forth into the workforce and the world, we must balance today’s economic climate and keep our tuition as low as possible to help Virginia’s struggling families,” said RU President Penelope W. Kyle.
In-state students account for almost 93 percent of RU’s undergraduate population.
Increases will support need-based student financial aid, rising costs for facility operation and maintenance, and a nearly $2.1 million budget shortfall – the result of state-mandated budget cuts imposed this year to balance the Commonwealth of Virginia’s $3.2 billion deficit.
Since fiscal year 2008, state support for Radford University operations has declined by $9.9 million or approximately 20 percent – $7.55 million this fiscal year alone. Part of this shortfall was offset by the influx of nearly $5.5 million in federal stimulus funds, which lessened the need for higher tuition increases. Many on the RU Board of Visitors expressed worry during their two-day session about 2011-12 when the flow of federal stimulus funds dries up.
For in-state graduate students, tuition also increased by five percent, or $241, to $5,086. Including fees, the cost for in-state graduates to attend RU will be $7,594 or 5.6 percent.
For the 2009-2010 academic year, out-of-state tuition for undergraduates will increase 6.5 percent to $14,060, and for graduates by 9.8 percent to $12,608. Total cost – including tuition, fees, room and board – will be $23,538, up 5.7 percent, for out-of-state undergraduates. Out-of-state graduates’ tuition and fees will be $15,116, up 9.3 percent.
For the university’s Masters of Occupational Therapy degree, which will welcome its first students in fall 2009, the board approved a per-credit hour fee of $290 for in-state students and $800 for out-of-state students.
The board also:
• Adopted a resolution conferring an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, on Gov. Tim Kaine, who will deliver the keynote address at RU’s spring commencement May 9.
• Approved the university’s intent to issue bonds to construct a new, state-of-the-art student fitness and wellness center.
• Received a report from representatives of RU’s Office of Emergency Preparedness about the university’s response to an off-campus shooting April 2, during which the alleged shooter came onto campus. The incident triggered a “Shelter in Place” order and the RU Alert system, which kept the campus community informed via text, voice mail and email messages, the university website and television channel while police tactical units performed a building-by-building search.