MORGANTOWN – As WVU proceeds with its Academic Transformation, faculty and alumni are planning to make their opposition known.
Faculty Senate has received a petition calling for a vote on a no-confidence resolution for President Gordon Gee and another resolution to freeze the current transformation. The senators will take up the resolutions at noon today – Wednesday, Sept. 6 – at the Creative Arts Center.
Later today, Create West Virginia, a statewide nonprofit “dedicated to accelerating West Virginia’s innovation economy,” will host the final of four sessions in its series for WVU alumni and stakeholders to meet and share their ideas and visions for a WVU of the future.
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church, 456 Spruce St., Morgantown.
The results of the four meetings will be aggregated and presented as a report to the WVU Board of Governors on Friday, September 8. Rebecca Kimmons, a founding member of Create West Virginia and Dan Page, the founding editor-in-chief of the State Journal, will facilitate the in-person meetings.
There also will be a Zoom element of the meeting, with link available at CreateWV.org. The session will open at 5:20 p.m.
“These meetings are open to anyone who has an interest in the future of West Virginia University,” Kimmons said. “We feel that the Board of Governors and the administration of WVU need to hear what graduates educated at West Virginia University want our flagship university to be.”
And on Saturday, WVU alumni will rally in support of WVU faculty and students’ call for the removal of President Gordon Gee and an immediate freeze of the Academic Transformation process.
The rally will take place at 1 p.m. outside the WVU Mountainlair. Participating alumni are asked to wear black.
In addition to the rally, alumni are pledging not to donate any money to WVU until Gee’s removal and the freezing of the academic transformation process.
An online pledge to this effect is available at https://forms.gle/LdzozKDQsqzvuQzJA.
It says, “The administration’s proposed cuts would weaken the university, both in reputation and in its ability to offer students a quality education. … We will not resume donations until an independent audit of the university’s finances has been completed so that we have an understanding of what led to this budget crisis and where our money is going.”
Create West Virginia has a variety of articles and information posted at https://createwv.org/wvu-future/wvu-budget-crisis-resources-2023.
Among them are an open letter and a petition alumni may sign by Sept. 13, before the BOG next meets. The letter says in part, “We as alumni are often targets of the university’s financial contribution campaigns that offer promises of continuing the mission of the land grant institution from which we graduated. … Now, the university is proposing to cut those very programs and faculty which enabled and empowered us to succeed in the first place. … We recognize that some cuts to existing programs are necessary, but we ask for a less drastic and more incremental set of reductions, including a focus on top-down cuts.”
It goes on to list some example, including Gee foregoing his salary.