Meeting in Montgomery at West Virginia Universitys divisional campus, the WVU Institute of Technology (WVUIT), Board of Governors members approved a 4 percent increase in student tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year. The vote was not unanimous, with two board members voting against the proposal.
Interim Provost E. Jane Martin said the modest increases are essential in addressing ongoing operating costs such as last years pay raises that are critical to the recruitment and retention of quality faculty and staff, enhancement of the WVU Libraries , support for the new Child Care Center and increases in PEIA premiums and utilities, among other basic operating costs.
Even in these tough economic times, WVU cannot afford to slip in quality,Martin said.I think most students and their families realize this and know that we are a very good valueand one of the most affordable of the nations public land-grant universities.
Student representative Jason Parsons voted against the proposal in order to send a message to the state thatinvestments must be made in higher education.
The increase amounts to $102 for resident undergraduates per semesterfrom $2,550 to $2,652and $316 for non-residentsfrom $7,885 to $8,201. Graduate student fees, in general, will also increase by 4 percent$113 for in-state students and $325 for out-of-state students per semester. Some program-specific graduate programs such as law, business, pharmD and nursing will experience higher increases.
Similar 4.5 percent increases in room and board costs were also approved.
Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese also detailed a total interim operating budget of $855.3 million, which includes projected growth in operating revenues from tuition and fees, grants and contracts and auxiliary enterprises and flat state appropriations and revenues. The budget does not include salary increases.
State appropriations are down $6 million, Weese said, but federal stimulus funding is expected to backfill the reduction. In these uncertain and changing economic conditions, there needs to be a more strategic focus on identifying new sources of revenue and operating efficiencies, he added. The board will revisit the budget in November, but approved the interim plan.
Interim President C. Peter Magrath, attending his final Board meeting before President-elect Jim Clements takes over June 30, said WVU officials arecautiously optimisticthat overall enrollment will hold steady at approximately 28,500 students and a targeted freshman class of between 4,500-4,700. He reminded the panel that WVU exceeded its 2010 enrollment goal of 28,500 two years early.
It is still a bit early to know for sure, but we appear to be on track with the enrollment goals we set back in 2005, even in the face of a severe economic downturn,he said.The growth we experienced these past several years exceeded our original targets, so we are essentially where we want to be in terms of institutional capacitythe number of students we can handle in our residence halls, labs and classrooms.
Some current enrollment trends include the continuation of a strong freshman academic profile, increased registration for returning students over this time last year, an increase in Honors College applicants and a surge in graduate student enrollmenta testament to WVU s strong reputation and quality academics, he noted.
WVU ’s 4 percent tuition increase, he said, remains modest on a national scale and will help maintain WVU ’s high quality. In addition, WVU and the state continue to provide need-based and merit scholarship assistance to help students and families with college costs.
The Board surprised Magrath Thursday evening with a lectureship, established in his name. The C. Peter Magrath Lectureship in Advancing the Public Land-Grant Mission will bring a prominent leader to campus for an educational and informational presentation on the redefinition of the land-grant university.
Magrath said it has been his honor and a pleasure to servethis great American land-grant University.
During the meeting, the Board also gave the go-ahead to a modified trademark licensing agreement and a service agreement with WVU at Parkersburg, and accepted modified agreements with Bridgemont Community and Technical College, formerly the Community and Technical College at WVU Institute of Technology, also reflecting that schools name change.
Legislation in 2008 designated community and technical colleges as independent state institutions of higher education and removed the administrative link to former sponsoring institutions. The legislation did, however, allow WVU to continue an association with these campuses through the establishment of formal agreements. The deadline for these agreements is July 1.
The service agreement between WVU and WVU at Parkersburg calls for certain administrative and support services to continue for a reasonable, customary fee which considered the customary market value of services that WVU at Parkersburg also provides to WVU , such as facilities usage, staff and other services.
The modified trademark document with Parkersburg allows the school to use WVU -owned and registered designs, names, trademarks, service marks and official colors on merchandise and in marketing/advertising with approval of WVU s Office of Trademark Licensing, pursuant to specific terms.
In agreements between WVU and Bridgemont, the community college agrees to pay appropriate fees for WVU administrative and support services such as student housing, dining services, career services, library services, facilities usage and more. WVU previously transferred certain assets includingDavis and Westmoreland halls and certain vehicles to the community college.
WVU Parkersburgs Board meets June 10 to consider the two agreements; a Memorandum of Understanding has already been approved by both boards. Bridgemonts Board meets June 12 to consider those modified agreements.
In his report to the Board, Senior Associate Provost Russ Dean defined the way WVU s divisional campuses WVUIT and Potomac State College of WVU operate. Geographic distance differentiates them from a main campus college or school, Dean said, as well as separate state funding and day-to-day oversight of operations and personnel. Each maintains a distinction in the marketplace it serves, but also works in concert with the Universitys mission and strategic plan.
Integration with equivalent offices on the main campus supports collaborative work, he noted.
One of those providing support and guidance in the areas of marketing, communication and public relations is WVU s Office of University Relations. This work includes traditional and social media relations; student and faculty recruitment; alumni relations and development; Web site development; crisis communications; video production; design and photography and other areas.
Vice President Chris Martin said Techs redesigned home page on the Web and Potomac States retooled trademarks and new recruiting video and view book are examples of integrated marketing initiatives that foster mutual success.
The Board also approved naming WVU s intermodal transportation facility and parking garage, Mountaineer Station. The station is set to open in September near the Health Sciences Center Personal Rapid Transit Station, and features 500 parking spaces, a bus station, bike racks, lockers, showers and space for the WVU parking office.
They learned that WVU s Child Learning Center, owned by WVU and operated by Hildebrandt Learning Centers, is slated for an August opening. Its licensed for 184 childrenages 6 weeks to school age. As of mid-May, 153 pre-enrollment applications had been received.
In other business, the Board approved:
-creation of the Doctor of Business Administration in global management and applied leadership in the College of Business and Economics
-$5 million greenhouse project for agricultural sciences
-$1.2million in renovations to the former Erickson Building for an art museum
-a $1.3 million simulated coal mine project at the Dolls Run Mining Extension facility, pending funding from state legislation
-a name change for the animal and nutritional sciences degree to animal physiology and nutrition and food sciences
-a reimbursement resolution for costs incurred for the design and renovation of the Summit Hall dining facility
-County Extension committee appointments
The BOG also re-elected Carolyn Long, chair, AndrewDrewPayne, vice chair and Ted Mattern, secretary.
Attending their last meeting were student representative, Jason Parsons; faculty member, Steve Kite; and staff representative, Paul Martinelli. Joining the Board at the September meeting will be Jason Zuccari, Nigel Clark and Jo Morrow. An additional faculty appointment is also forthcoming as a result of recent legislation, expanding the Board to 17 members.
The next meeting will be held in Morgantown Sept. 11.