At todays (Feb. 6) West Virginia University Board of Governors meeting, Chairwoman Carolyn Long said the presidential search committee is expected to complete its work and present candidatesnames to the Board following a Feb. 14 meeting. Those names will not be made public consistent with state Higher Education Policy Commission rules.
All will be capable of being the next president of WVU ,Long said, describing the candidate pool asextremely high qualityhigh caliberandmen and women who have made it known that theyd like to be president of WVU .
Long said the committee remains committed to making an announcement regarding the next president on April 3. However, in all probability, the original timeline of mid-March for campus interviews and public meetings will not occur until later. The public and the University community will be informed of the dates and times as those forums are finalized.
To keep abreast of the search committees progress, visit http://presidentialsearch.wvu.edu/ .
In his report to the Board, interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath told the panel that fundraising activity continues to move forward on the Bucks for Brainsor Research Trust Fundinitiative, with just under $2 million secured.
Im very optimistic well meet our target,he said.
In the business portion of the meeting, the Board approved a request for matching funds from the states Research Trust Fund in the amount of $918,453. This was certified by the WVU Foundation.
The Research Trust Fund was created by the state Legislature to stimulate the states economy by providing $50 million in matching state funds for research at WVU and Marshall University. Lawmakers appropriated $35 million for WVU and $15 million for Marshall University. To access the funding, each school must raise the money required to draw down an equal amount of state funding.
Magrath also addressed the federal stimulus package, noting there will be items in there for West Virginia, WVU and higher education. Projecting that the governor will unveil his budget priorities in next weeks State of the State address, he also expressed confidence that higher education will getthe best possible budget from the governorthat it can.
In other business, the Board approved:
construction of a $3.2 million womens soccer practice field and locker room facility, off Monongahela Boulevard across from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, including the lease of 2 acres of land from Morgantown with the understanding that the field will be available for public recreational activities when not in use by the womens soccer team (Completion: September 2009)
a $3.5 million Summit Hall dining renovation project to accommodate modernization of the facility and the additional 320 students who will live next door in the new honors residence hall (Completion: August 2009)
honorary degree candidates (for announcement at a later date)
four remaining voting members of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute: George Spirou, Ph.D., professor, director, Center for Neuroscience, and director, Sensory Neuroscience Research Center, WVU ; Uma Sundaram, M.D., assistant vice president/assistant dean, WVU School of Medicine; Robert Beto, M.D., interventional cardiologist, chief of cardiology, WVU ; and Louis DeFelice, Ph.D., professor of physiology and biophysics, Virginia Commonwealth University.
a degree name changefrom Bachelor of Science Family and Consumer Sciences to Bachelor of Science in Design and Merchandising
The Board also heard a report from Deputy Director of Athletics Mike Parsons on the Mountaineer Sports Network (MSN). Parsons said MSN has connected the Universitys athletic teams to fans for some 50 years, through, in part, the late legendaryvoice of the MountaineersJack Fleming and current announcer Tony Caridi.
MSN originated in the 1960s as a radio network operated by the University, and today each football and basketball game is heard on 45-50 stations blanketing West Virginia. A newly formed womens basketball network can be heard on eight radio stations throughout the state. MSN television programming features two studio shows and a variety of live events, includingMountaineer Magazine,a weekly football show, andMountaineer Jammin,a weekly basketball showeach with the potential to reach 30 million households.
In addition, MSN s Internet presence has experienced rapid growth, with all these programs allowing WVU to connect with alumni, fans and recruits nationally and internationally.
Parsons said MSN s operation,while common in professional sports, is unique to universities,noting that advertising and sponsorships are sold by Athletics and supported through a mix of statewide and national sponsors and advertisers. For the current year, the Athletic Departments various propertiesincluding MSN , game programs, scoreboard signage, suites and other sponsorshipsproduce approximately $7.5 million in revenues. Specific to MSN , Parsons said WVU s revenue is approximately $2.8 million with $750,000 in direct operating expenses.
In conclusion, he stressed that WVU suniquemodel allows the University benefits other than serving as a revenue source. Its also a powerful medium to promote WVU s academic messages and other important initiatives, while strengthening WVU s athletic exposure.
WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong spoke to the Board about the departments self-sustaining statusone of the few university athletic departments in the country to operate that way.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Long read the following statement:The West Virginia University Board of Governors today received a letter and other materials from former student Heather Bresch. We have referred those materials to the Office of the Provost.