Meeting by teleconference Friday (June 9), the state Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) elected Mike Garrison as its new chairman beginning July 1.

Garrison is an attorney with the firm of Spillman, Thomas and Battle with offices in Morgantown and Charleston . He’s a 1996 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and English literature from WVU in 1991. He also served his alma mater as student body president.

Garrison served as chief of staff to former Gov. Bob Wise, and was appointed to HEPC in 2003.

He replaces Mary Clare Eros of Shepherdstown.

Commissioners Friday also selected David Tyson of Huntington as vice chair and Richard Adams of Parkersburg as secretary.

In other business, the panel approved a request by WVU to transfer $5.9 million in bond proceeds from two capital improvements projects to two others under way on the Morgantown campus.

The University plans to move $5.5 million from the engineering sciences brick facade project and $400,000 from the downtown infrastructure project to renovation work being done on Allen, Percival and Brooks Halls.

University officials say costs for the engineering sciences and infrastructure work have been lower than original estimates, while expenses for the other projects have come in higher.

WVU ’s Board of Governors approved the transfer in April.

Also on Friday, HEPC :

  • ok’d the institutional capital assessments for FY 2007 . WVU’s total assessment to cover bond debt is nearly $10 million.

  • approved the FY 2007 allocation of state appropriations to institutions. New funding items include $100,000 for WVU ’s Center for Excellence in Disabilities.

  • approved appointments to the new Higher Education Student Financial Aid Advisory Board. Kay Widney, financial aid director at WVU , will serve a three-year term.

  • approved a bachelor of science degree in radiological sciences at Bluefield State .

  • authorized Lindsey Wilson College of Kentucky to offer a bachelor of arts degree in humans services and a master of education degree in counseling and human development at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College beginning in August.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the state Higher Education Policy Commission will be held Aug. 18.