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WVU BOG to consider ‘academic transition timeline’


A timeline and some procedures regarding West Virginia University’s proposed $45 million budget cut and transition to a leaner institution will be voted on by the WVU Board of Governors in a special meeting set for today.

WVU Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Rob Alsop said during an appearance Monday on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town” the university hopes to use the process to reverse the rising trend of high school seniors passing on post-secondary education for other opportunities.

“That’s something that’s not just a WVU issue but a state of West Virginia issue,” Alsop said. “Whether it’s a two-year, four-year, or whatever it will be, we need to get more of our high school graduates into a college, a community college, because it will help them from an income perspective.”

WVU announced in March that it’s going to cut $45 million from its fiscal year 2024 budget. The number represents about 3% of the university’s overall budget. The cuts will be deeper if student enrollment continues to decline. That number has grown larger when considering premium increases for the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Through the summer and fall, academic programs will be evaluated based on enrollment, cost of delivery, revenue generated and what programs best suit the land grant university mission. Also, Alsop said, he hopes a product of the process will be more programs that serve current students better and attract a new group of degree seekers.

“What I would consider to be a working-class, moving-forward institution,” Alsop said. “The provost office, the president and our board of governors will look at a list of all those factors in determining what remains a program that will stay at WVU.”

Consideration is being given to students in programs that will be cut. Alsop said they want to keep students on track by either allowing them to finish the program or continuing on a similar degree path within the institution.

“It’s called a ‘teach out’ how we continue that program so they can finish at WVU, or if there’s a similar program or something else they would be interested in here at WVU we can work through that,” Alsop said.

The proposed timeline identifies “programs of concern” to be reviewed by July 10. By Aug. 11, faculty would be notified of the “programs of concern” to be reduced or cut and would have until Aug. 18 to file an appeal. Appeal hearings are scheduled for Aug. 22-Sept. 8, and the campus community will be notified on Sept. 18 of what programs the WVU BOG has elected to cut or reduce.

“Toward the end of summer or early fall, there will be an announcement as it relates to those programs,” Alsop said. “Then a board of governors meeting is scheduled for September to make a decision on those reductions or discontinuations.”

If the timeline is approved during today’s special meeting, personnel cuts and non-renewals would be announced during the week of Oct. 16.

“They’ll go through a process in late September and October of identifying which employees we will notify that their job will end,” Alsop said.