Radford University (RU) is a comprehensive state-supported liberal arts university with an enrollment of over 9,500 students; it is located 40 miles southwest of Roanoke in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The University is characterized by a solid base of rich tradition upon which progress and innovation have been built.
Incoming President Penelope W. Kyle
A period of transition in institutional leadership begins on June 1, 2005 when the people of Radford University welcome Penelope W. Kyle as their new President. She has a wide range of successful executive experience in state government, the corporate and legal arenas and in education. At the time of her selection Kyle stated, “Together, we will reaffirm our status as a strong teaching institution which is respected for the quality of our academic endeavor and service to society. Together, we will tell Radford’s success story far and wide.”
Radford University Athletics
The University sponsors a NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic program with 19 sports (11 for women and 8 for men) and is a founding member of the Big South Conference (1983). Throughout its history, RU has won 31 Big South Conference titles and has advanced to NCAA postseason play in five sports. The most recent teams to advance to postseason play were Women’s Soccer in 2002, Volleyball and Men’s Soccer in 2000.Greig Denny has served as Athletics Director since July 1996. In December 2004, RU Athletics issued a statement for its future entitled, “A Vision Plan for Athletics Excellence at Radford University”. The Plan succinctly describes the vision, mission, core values, assumptions, goals and objectives for the Athletics Program; it is shown as Exhibit 1.
B. PURPOSE Independent Analysis of Intercollegiate Athletics
The University is seeking an independent analysis of its intercollegiate athletics program that addresses several issues including, but not limited to: a comprehensive analysis of financial data of Radford and its peer institutions, an analysis of current and potential future conference affiliations, and an analysis of the level of University commitment necessary to successfully compete on an annual basis in the Big South or any other potential athletic conference.
Request For Proposal
In January 2005 Radford University issued a Request for Proposals calling for an “Independent Analysis of Radford University Intercollegiate Athletics”. In March 2005, Radford University engaged Carr Sports Associates, Inc. (CSA) as its Consultant to complete the Analysis addressing the following Statement of Needs, Contractor Requirements:
Review the RU athletic budget and how it compares to all institutions in the Big South, the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Colonial Athletic Association and any other relevant conferences.
What commitment of funds would be required by the University in order to successfully compete in the Big South or a more competitive conference on an annual basis? Prepare careful financial analysis contrasting and comparing existing and potential conferences and summarize findings.
Compare each potential conference, on a sport-by-sport basis to RU and develop recommendations based on that comparison.
What are the trends in intercollegiate athletics at institutions similar to RU? Are those trends sports specific? What impact does the size of the school, specifically schools under 15k students, have on its athletics program? Also, what impact does proximity to major media markets have on an athletics program?
How might a change in conference affiliation affect prospective students, students, alumni, faculty and friends of the university?
Which Division I conferences would be potentially good fits for RU? What would RU need to do in order to be attractive to each conference?
What is the relationship, if any, of the academic standing of a conference to a decision to move to that conference?
Recommendation of the Consultant: Based on your analysis, what do you believe to be in the best interest of the University? Should RU seek to change conferences? What future direction should Radford pursue, particularly in relation to conference affiliation? (The Consultants’ Conclusions and Recommendations are presented only in the Executive Summary).