The West Virginia University Board of Governors, meeting today (July 17) by conference call, voted to move up by three weeksto Sept. 1the date on which President David C. Hardesty Jr.s retirement will become effective and Mike Garrison will assume the office of WVU president.

Mike came in with a lot of momentum, and his transition group is fully up to speed with the Universitys operations,said Hardesty, noting that the incoming president has picked a leadership team that includes members of the current administrative group.

Hardestys retirement was originally scheduled to become effective Sept. 21. Even with stepping down three weeks earlier than planned, Hardesty will still have served as the longest permanently appointed president in WVU history.

The fact that Mike was already living in Morgantown allowed him to skip a step or two that someone coming from outside the area would need, and move directly into working with faculty, staff and students on transition issues,Hardesty said.He is well along into the process and more than ready to assume the office.

Garrison echoed Hardesty, saying the transition has gone smoothly.

President Hardesty has been facilitating the transition since the day the board of governors announced its decision,Garrison said.He and Susan have been generous with their time, and accommodating to me and to my family during this period.

As a further part of the transition, Hardesty will delegate operation duties to the president-elect on or before Aug. 1, allowing Garrison the opportunity to officially conduct university business, including greeting members of the Class of 2011 when they arrive in Morgantown for fall classes which begin Aug. 20.

In other board action, four new members were sworn in. They are Charleston attorney Ellen Cappellanti, student representative David Kirkpatrick, faculty representative Steve Kite and Ed Robinson, chairman of the board of visitors for West Virginia Institute of Technology. Two other new board membersMartinsburg businessman James Dailey and Wheeling newspaper executive Bill Nuttingwere not able to take part in Tuesdays meeting. They will be sworn in at the next meeting of the panel scheduled for Sept. 6-7 in Morgantown.