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  • Jeremy Hart, Real Estate Professional in Blacksburg


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September 10, 2008


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As a former resident of Radford and having many friends that were as well as currently employed by the university, yes it is changing. With change as usual comes resistance. I've never met the current president and I have yet to hear a positive comment about her or her actions. However, my sources of discontent regarding her performance are all university employees.

Radford University has been a large part of the City of Radford for 80 years. For years the university and city leaders have butted heads as they do quite often. RU is basically it's own small community which was expanded with the erection of Dalton Hall in the early 90's that brought a food court to campus and eliminating the need for reasons for students to venture off campus. Dalton Hall further brought about the wall that RU was putting around itself trying to separate from the city and not coexisting with it.

The campus is beautiful and very well maintained. The sports complex continues to grow and admission standards continue to be raised. The existence of RU and Virginia Tech greatly improves our quality of life and stability that most citizens benefit from everyday but do not understand. Yes, the students driving crazy and fast down main street are a nuisance and the occasional loud party but, I would rather have those scenarios than to hear the silence of empty factories and a lesser overall quality of living.

Sorry, I got off the point. As a whole if the president is able to deliver a solid education experience for students and a continued want for students wishing to come to Radford University to get their education than she has accomplished her duties as president. I think she brings a business sense to RU which it is in theory. The president and the university is not there to provide employment to the faculty and staff. The position is to provide higher standards and continue or increase enrollment and growth. With the continued growth of RU comes the improvement in all other aspects of life in Radford. If the university continues to do well then the rest of the components in the city will follow.

There is a glimmer of hope in new blood that has been elected to city council. One in particular that I'm familiar with is Bruce Brown. Luckily for the citizens of Radford he brings a university prospective with him since he's been in the state education system for almost 30 years. Radford is so very fortunate to have the university because without it Radford would be the equivalent of Pulaski without Volvo. Maybe one of these days local governments will see the holy grail of a four year university in their backyard and embrace it and strive to have a common goal rather than opposite visions of what should be done.

A former Radford resident of 40 years.

still employed at RU

Mussolini was also an agent of change.
It would be interesting to find an honest answer to the question of why there has been so much change in the makeup of the administration recently.
Two vice presidents have left, & quite a few employees with 20+ years experience have also recently left RU.
My experience has been that state employees don't walk away from that kind of time on the job without a real reason.

Jeremy Hart

Still Employed ...

Interesting analogy. Sometimes progress is met with resistance to change, and that's what I was under the assumption some of the negative feedback was. I certainly can't say; I'm not in the environment as you are, but from an outsider's perspective it appears to be very positive. You seem to feel otherwise, and I can respect that.

I'm putting words in your mouth, I know, but it seems you feel there's a cloak of secrecy among the administration. Any thoughts on what that might be about? From my seat, it looks as if the administration has been pretty forthright and transparent, but you're much closer to the field of play.

It should be noted that I'm FOR the administration, but I'm far removed from the situation. I'm for it simply because as a person who makes their living in the real estate market, and who actively invests in the Radford market specifically, I want to see the value of mine and my clients' investments grow. Blacksburg was a sleepy little Town decades ago, relying on the drive of small business and family owned-and-operated joints as the lifeblood of the Town. As the paradigm shifted and the University began to undertake a refocusing on research, the arts and the like, the dynamics of the Town and surrounding areas changed, as well. Now, admittedly the backbone of the Town is likely not a focus on small business (which could be argued as good or bad for another time - I vote bad) but the periphery of business and activity that have surrounded that shift has most certainly helped the Town. I can see that happening in Radford as well - less of a focus on industries and jobs that can be outsourced, and more of a hub and spoke approach with the University. Interested in your thoughts ...

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