Radford University selects next president

Brian Hemphill

Brian Hemphill

From Radford University: The Radford University Board of Visitors announced today the selection of Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., as Radford University’s 7th president, beginning July 1, 2016 when he will succeed Penelope W. Kyle, J.D. who is retiring after 11 years of service as Radford University’s president. Anthony R. Bedell, rector of the Board said, “Dr. Hemphill impressed the Board and the Presidential Search Committee as extremely well-qualified and experienced among a very strong field of candidates. He has the leadership, demeanor, vision and higher education credentials that the Board believes will serve Radford University and the Commonwealth of Virginia well. With a diverse background at a variety of universities across the nation, Dr. Hemphill has the energy and experience to build upon Radford University’s successes, to lead our campus community to exciting future possibilities, and to continue Radford’s tradition of education that is first and foremost student-focused.”

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The Board’s selection is the result of a comprehensive 8-month search process by the 20-member Presidential Search Committee that was led by Chair Michael A. Wray and Vice Chair Mary Waugh Campbell ’71, M.S. ’71, which considered and evaluated 76 candidates. Bedell added, “I want to also take this opportunity on behalf of the Board to thank the Presidential Search Committee for their hard work and diligence in this important undertaking. Each member is to be commended for their commitment and dedication to Radford University and our students.”

“It is both an honor and privilege to be named the 7th President of Radford University by the Board of Visitors,” said Hemphill. “My wife Marisela Rosas Hemphill and I are grateful for the trust the Board has placed in us as our family relocates in early summer 2016 and makes the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Radford our new home. We look forward to meeting the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, and witnessing first-hand what it means to be a Highlander. Without question, Radford University is a world-class institution with an inspiring history and important mission, and I look with great anticipation and excitement to serve as a driving force in its exciting and impactful future.”

Hemphill has served since July 2012 as the 10th president of West Virginia State University, a public land-grant university in Charleston, W.Va. At WVSU he established a renewed focus on excellence, accountability, and student-centered service, with a commitment to academic quality and student success. His tenure has seen success in increased fundraising, improved retention rates, increased degree completion and increased transfer and out-of-state student enrollments.

Dr. Hemphill is a published author, whose multitudes of writings cover topics related to gun violence and threat-preparedness on college campuses; emerging financial concerns affecting higher education; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and economic-related issues pertaining to education; and a myriad of additional scholarly perspectives pertinent to the higher education environment. Dr. Hemphill co-edited a book in fall 2015 titled College in the Crosshairs: An Administrative Perspective on Prevention of Gun Violence.

Throughout his career in higher education, he has served in a progression of student affairs and enrollment positions. From 2004 to 2012 he served at the 21,000-student Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, as vice president for student affairs & enrollment management and associate professor. Previously, he served as associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, from 2001 to 2004. From 1998 to 2001 he served as associate dean of students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Additionally, he served from 1995 to 1998 as assistant dean of students at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Hemphill began his career in higher education as coordinator of minority recruitment and retention (Education Services, College of Education) at Iowa State University in Ames from 1993 to 1995.

Hemphill earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication in 1992 at St. Augustine’s College, Raleigh, N.C. and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication in 1994 at Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames. He earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration and policy studies from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, in 1998.

Hemphill is married to Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill. He is the proud father of Jada (20), Jordan (16) and twins Catalina and Cruz (3).

Hemphill will be introduced to the Radford University community and media during a future opportunity to be held at Radford University in January at the start of the spring semester.

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