The West Virginia University Board of Governors today (Sept. 30) approved pay raises for the schools faculty and staff and endorsed a strategic plan that underscores academic quality as the centerpiece for growth through 2010.

The board also unanimously approved a pay raise for WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and extended his 2007 contract three more yearsto lead the University through this important period.

In other business, Charleston attorney Stephen P. Goodwin was elected vice chairman of the board, and a preliminary design for a new WVU Alumni Association building was approved.

Faculty-Staff Salary Plan

Provost Gerald Lang told the board WVU has $9.6 millionor what amounts to 3.5 percent of the total faculty and staff payrollto distribute for pay raises among the Universitys approximately 5,600 full-time faculty and staff, including the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and Potomac State College.

Approximately $1.2 million was allocated by the state following a special session of the Legislature earlier this month, Lang noted. The remaining funds, or $8.4 million, are being provided from WVU resources, including student fees, auxiliary accounts and monies from grants and contracts.

The funds for this pay raise, Lang said, are reflective of the growth in enrollment due to high-quality degree programs and the aggressive research activity of faculty.

WVU is fortunate that we can draw from these sources to supplement what the state provided,he said.Salary increases are vital to retaining our outstanding faculty and staff and to recruit outstanding new talent to WVU .

The money for raises will be distributed in accordance with BOG -approved salary policies.

Faculty and nonclassified staff will receive raises under a performance-based salary program; classified staff will receive raises based on 20.5 percent toward an individuals target on the Mercer compensation salary schedule. The amount of raise classified employees receive will depend on where they are on the schedule. A link to the online classified staff raise calculator can be accessed at: http://www.hr.wvu.edu/calculator_2005.cfm. This calculator will work for employees of the WVU -Main Campus, HSC and Potomac State.

Lang noted that WVU s main campus has given raises to employees nine of the last 10 years, despite dwindling state resources, and has afirm commitmentto continuing that trend in July 2006 as long as growth projections are on target.

The raises go into effect Nov. 1.

Lang said WVU at Parkersburg will work with a 3 percent pool of funds to distribute to faculty and staff in accordance with their policies. WVU Institute of Technology and WVU Technical and Community College will work with a 2.5 percent pool of funds to distribute to faculty and staff in accordance with their policies. Some 600 employees work at WVU s regional campuses.

After hearing the presentation, the board approved the salary increase for faculty and staff at all campuses.

Chairman Doug Leech said the panel was pleased to endorse plans set forth by the campuses and noted thateach institution has responded as well as its budget allows.

Leech said the board is taking thefirst steptoday, but hopes to continue progress toward fully funding the salary schedule in the future.

Following the meeting, Hardesty thanked the Legislature and Gov. Joe Manchin for their support.

Their commitment to our faculty and staff is recognition of our dedication to educate students, deliver needed health care and improve the states economy,he said.We work hard for West Virginia, and its nice to be recognized.

Five-Year Vision

The BOG unanimously endorsed a strategic plan for the next five years.

WVUs 2010 Plan: Building the Foundation for Academic Excellencerepresents a years work by board members and the University community, Lang said.

The plan uses the academic mission as a centerpiece for growth in other areas of the Universityfrom enrollment to research dollarsand identifies five goals. Those goals are: to attract and graduate high-quality students; recruit and retain high-quality faculty; enhance the educational environment for student learning; promote discovery and exchange of knowledge and ideas; and improve West Virginias health, economy and quality of life.

Key indicators for measuring WVU s success range from improving the undergraduate graduation rate and increasing the number of endowed professorships and chairs to improving faculty salaries and rewarding best practices in teaching and strengthening the Universitys role in economic development with such projects as the WVU Research Park.

Some of the goals are already being met, Lang noted, with enrollment and retention statistics on target, the infrastructure for the research park about to be put in place, a new teaching professorship just announced, and a redesigned Honors Program accommodating an increase in high-quality students.

Lang and past Faculty Senate Chair Larry Hornak will co-chair the implementation effort.

Goals Set, Contract Extended

Hardesty introduced his goals and objectives through 2006, which include advancing the Universitys strategic plan through 2010; maintaining a sound financial condition; facilitating state leadership; and providing leadership for capital construction, among other priorities.

The board endorsed the presidents goals, noting anambitious visionto advance the Universitys stature on many fronts, including increasing enrollment to 30,000 students in Morgantown and its division in Keyser and growing research funding by another $50 millionto more than $200 millionover the next five years.

The panel also approved a three-year extension of Hardestys contract from 2007 to 2010 and a salary increase for the presidentfrom $250,008 to $275,000. The panel will ask the WVU Foundation to pay one-half of the salary increase from private funds.

This is a reflection of the boards endorsement of the outstanding and consistent performance of David Hardesty,Leech said.It also underscores our commitment to the Universitys strategic plan and the presidents goals through 2010.

Leech noted that Hardestys performance has been rated outstanding in every formal review period and, in spite of the Universitys tremendous growth under his leadership, he has not received a pay raise in five years because of statutory restrictions placing a cap on his salary.

That cap was removed this past legislative session with the passage of Senate Bill 603, which tied the chancellors salary to the highest salary paid to a college or university president.

In this day and age when many institutions are finding it especially difficult to recruit university presidents due to the demands on the individuals time, public scrutiny, depletion of state funds and the challenges of overseeing a highly complex organization, we are especially fortunate to have a president of the caliber of David Hardesty at the helm of West Virginia University,Leech said.

The board also gave permission for the University president to serve on an outside corporate board.

I am deeply appreciative to all those who made this contract extension possible and look forward to working with the men and women of this great University for several more years,Hardesty said.

The executive action will now be taken to the Oct. 25 Higher Education Policy Commission meeting for final approval.

New Alumni Center Takes Shape

Steve Douglas, executive director and president of the WVU Alumni Association, and James C. Gardill, alumni board president, unveiled a preliminary design for aNew Home for Mountaineerson University land above the intersection of University Avenue and Van Voorhis Road, less than 400 yards from Mountaineer Field.

Gardill said the current facility has served alumni well, but as the University has grown, so has the alumni base. With more than 165,000 graduates worldwide, the new facility will better serve the needs of the association and the University.

The new 48,000-square-foot facility will more than triple the size of the current Erickson Alumni Center, he noted, and will feature an outdoor fireplace, terraces, courtyards and meeting facilities.

The architecture and design along with a bell towerreminiscent of historic Woodburn Hallwill serve as landmark features. IKM Architects of Pittsburgh designed the new facility.

The projected cost of the building is $12 million, with private contributions to be used to finance construction. Charles F. Ericksonwhose late father, Charles O. Erickson, is the buildings namesakewill serve as honorary building chair. Morgantown businessman Glenn Adrian will serve as building campaign chair.

The board unanimously approved the project. Ground will be broken next year with an expected completion date of fall 2007.

Once the new center is completed, the current alumni center will likely be used for academic purposes, officials say.

Gardill called it agatewaysite to the Evansdale Campus, and praised the cooperation between WVU , the Association and the Morgantown Utility Board on site development that will assist with surface water runoff in the area.

For more on the facility, go to:http://alumni.wvu.edu/

Board Restructuring

Hardesty introduced a new committee structure to the board consisting of four core groups: planning and policy; finance and operations; audit and compliance; and community and technical college/regional campuses.

All members would belong to one of the first two committees, and these groups would meet prior to board meetings. Membership on the remaining two committees would be small and based on expertise and experience of board members, and would meet at the call of the committee or board chair.

The structure also calls for greater use of the committee as a whole, the appointment of ad hoc committees when necessary and executive committee meetings for emergency action only.

Engaging the board in strategic policy discussions will also be a priority, with topics ranging from the construction of parking garages to the future expansion of nonresident student enrollment, Hardesty added.

The board approved the new committee structure, effective immediately, with the following appointed chairs: Robert Wells, planning and policy; Parry Petroplus, finance and operations; Russ Isaacs, audit and compliance; and Joe Campbell, CTC /regional campuses.

The BOG s three new board members, Tom Clark, Mark Manchin and Ted Mattern, attended their first full board meeting on campus. Resolutions were introduced honoring past members.

Financial Picture

Vice President for Finance, Administration and Human Resources Gary Rogers

reviewed the Universitys combined 2005 financial statements, sayinga solid foundation exists as the University embarks on the strategic plan for 2010.

Operating revenues increased $38 million, primarily from tuition and fees and grant revenues, Rogers said. Revenue sources will likely continue to shift from appropriations to tuition and fees, so continued enrollment growth is important to the institutions financial health, he added.

Staff Report

In his report to the board,staff representative Paul Martinelli said 60 percent, or 3,050, of the classified staff at West Virginia colleges and universities work at WVU or one of its regional campuses, pointing out that WVU is underrepresented on classified staff advisory councils around the state in proportion to size.

Figures from last year indicate 360 less staff than five years ago, he noted, adding that employees arecontinuing to do more with less.

He endorsed the raise plan passed by the board, saying it would helpboost moralewhile work continues on trying to get the salary schedule fully funded.

More Action Items

In other business, the panel approved:

  • an undergraduate major in management information systems in the College of Business and Economics effective this fall
  • a Ph.D. in communication studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, pending HEPC approval
  • a name change of the degree named bachelor of science in forensic investigation to bachelor of science with a major in forensic investigation (BSFI)
  • student housing projects for Morgantowns Downtown Campus and Potomac State College
  • an increase to the budget for the wrestling training addition at the Natatorium and an adjustment to a fall 2006 completion date
  • acquisition of property on Beechurst Avenue for future campus expansion
  • disposition of a small parcel of land in the Core Arboretum to the Morgantown Utility Board for waste- and storm-water treatment facility expansion, along with other consent agenda items.