Latest News, WVU News

WVU programs review details released


During a Campus Conversation Tuesday, West Virginia University officials laid out more program review details in connection with efforts to slice millions of dollars from current operations.

WVU Associate Provost Mark Gavin said program reviews will include data from self-surveys from academic units, financial performance, and student enrollment. The review process will also include input from students, faculty, and any internal data collected by the academic unit. Gavin said the review will also include 20 Academic Service Units (ASU).

Gavin said potential changes range from the elimination, consolidation, or downsizing of programs and ASUs.

“We expect to start implementing any proposed changes as early as the coming fall and to realize associated savings possibly as early as the second half of 2024 and into FY 25,” Gavin said.

WVU will combine two IT efforts beginning next Monday when Information Technology Services and Health Sciences ITS will officially begin operating as one unit.

WVU Vice President Rob Alsop said they have completely revamped the department in an effort to prepare for the future of the institution.

“We are creating an entirely new team, not just aggregating two existing teams,” Alsop said. “ITS has been reimagined from top-to-bottom for the future.”

Alsop did not have exact numbers for the estimated savings but said the units had to cut “several hundred thousand dollars” from their budgets for next year to cut expenses by $10 million, of which 70% are estimated to come from reductions in force.

“We do think as time goes on and we get into FY ’25 and beyond, we’ll continue to look for efficiencies for ITS, but there have already been some immediate savings we are working through,” Alsop said.

Due to the sweeping nature of the ITS merger, Alsop said they developed new job descriptions to meet the expanded mission of the new department. As a result of that transition process, nine employee contracts were not renewed.

“We determined the only fair thing to do for these newer, revamped positions was to go through a competitive interview process,” Alsop said. “While it created some uncertainty, we thought it was the fair solution to address duplicative positions in both places doing similar work.”

From the CFO WVU Chief Financial Officer Paula Congelio also provided an update Tuesday.

Congelio told participants that a degree from WVU is cost-effective compared to other major universities nationwide. The WVU Board of Governors recently approved a tuition increase of about three percent last Friday and Congelio said they will dedicate $134 million in financial aid to students in the 2024 academic year.

“The average student debt for a four-year degree in the United States is $37,000,” Congelio said. “At WVU, that same average for a four-year degree is just under $12,000.”