The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Friday adopted a $901.4 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The budget includes funding for 20 new faculty lines, moving the University halfway to President James P. Clements’ goal of hiring 100 new faculty members in his first three years. The first 30 faculty lines were added in FY2010.

“While this budget is lean, and includes some cuts and realignments to prepare for even tighter budgets in the future, it remains crucial that we add faculty so we can increase research and reduce the faculty-student ratio, two things we must do to take WVU to the next level,” Clements said after the meeting, held in Charleston.

Even with the additions, Clements noted, WVU still has far fewer faculty than its peers.

Almost half of the budget, $423.4 million, will go to salaries and wages, including about $5 million set aside for faculty and staff raises that will be allocated later. The majority of the salary increase expense is anticipated to be for one-time, non-recurring increases. The budget also includes a $7.5 million increase in the cost of benefits due to the higher salary expense and WVU’s share of insurance costs.

The budget includes a $14.2 million cut from FY2010 in state support. The reduction is offset by a matching infusion of federal stimulus funds.

However Narvel Weese, vice president for administration and finance, noted that since those funds will not be available in future years, the budget also includes $10 million in a combination of revenue growth and internal budget reallocations to support the salary increase pools and balance the budget. These dollars will be used in future years to deal with further state allocation reductions anticipated in FY2012.

The budget includes a $6 million increase in tuition and fees as a result of the Board’s decision on May 5 to freeze in-state tuition while increasing non-resident tuition by 3 percent.

Other revenue increases include:

  • $8 million in grants and contracts;
  • $6.6 million from auxiliary enterprises such as housing, dining and athletics;
  • $3.5 million in sales of educational activities.

Weese also reported on the financial performance of the fiscal year ending June 30, telling the Board that revenues have increased more than expenses and should leave the University with a better-than-anticipated margin at year’s end.

Also at Friday’s Board meeting, Chancellor for Health Sciences Christopher C. Colenda reported that enrollment in health professional programs continues to climb – with 106 more students than in 2009.

“The School of Nursing, in particular, has stepped up enrollment at locations across the state and online to help students prepare for careers in nursing, or move from entry-level to advanced nursing positions,” Colenda said.

He also noted that HSC faculty members have stepped up their engagement with communities around West Virginia. The CARDIAC Program recently screened the 100,000th student since it was established in 1998; WVU physicians see patients in 30 outreach clinics; and researchers have formed a partnership with hospitals in Wheeling, Charleston, Clarksburg and Martinsburg to make sure every West Virginia cancer patient has access to the latest clinical trials.

These are among the reasons the WVU School of Medicine was named in the Top 10 for Rural Medicine by U.S, News & World Report, he said.

Goals for the next year include combining the management of faculty medical practices and hospitals; focusing efforts on improving the health status of West Virginians; and recruiting key research and clinical faculty.

The Board also voted to reappoint its current officers for another one-year term, beginning July 1.

“Carolyn Long and her leadership team have done a wonderful job for the past two years,” said nominating committee chair Ed Robinson. “She’s provided stability and solid leadership through an interim presidency as well as President’s Clements’ successful first year. We want to build on that momentum with our current officers as this University charts its future and strategic plan.”

In addition to Long, Andrew “Drew” Payne will continue as vice chair and Ted Mattern as secretary.

“I am deeply honored that my colleagues asked me to continue serving WVU as Board chair,” Long said. “These past four years on the Board—two as chair—have been so fulfilling, from the people I have met to the important decisions we have made. All my experiences in serving WVU have made my love for this university grow even stronger. It truly changes lives; it changed mine—and I continue to see the power of the tangible and intangible benefits of WVU at work every day.”

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved $536,300 in new Research Trust Fund contributions for submission to the Higher Education Policy Commission’s vice chancellor for science and research for state matching funds, bringing to $13.34 million the total of private and state dollars combined in investments in key research areas. The Research Trust Fund was created in 2008 to leverage public and private investments that will help transform West Virginia’s economy by supporting expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth. Those areas include energy, nanotechnology, biosciences and biometrics.
  • Approved a policy prohibiting “use of tobacco products, in any form” on the Health Sciences Center campus. Violation of the policy can result in disciplinary action against students or employees, up to and including expulsion and/or dismissal. Others may be asked to leave the campus.
  • Heard reports on improvements planned both in student wellness and recreation programs designed to help recruitment and retention of students. Specific plans will be ready by June 30.
  • Heard results of a study showing that WVU, and its affiliates, returns $40 to the state economy for every $1 in state tax money it receives.
  • Approved a new Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Science in Design and Merchandising.
  • Accepted recommendations from the reviews of 18 undergraduate academic programs at WVU’s main campus and at Potomac State College. Recommended for continuation without any further action were: associate degrees in arts and sciences, agriculture, journalism, education and engineering technology from Potomac State in Keyser; and bachelor’s degrees in landscape architecture, journalism, communications studies, English, speech pathology and audiology, dental hygiene, nursing and philosophy in Morgantown. Potomac State’s associate degree programs in forestry and business and economics, along with Morgantown’s bachelor’s degrees in foreign language, religious studies and psychology were continued, with recommendations for action, mostly involving mid-term reporting and reviews.
  • Accepted recommendations from the reviews of 22 graduate degrees in 16 programs and one graduate certificate, all on WVU’s main campus. Recommended for continuation without action were master’s programs in communication studies, English, speech pathology, journalism, integrated marketing communications and nursing; a master’s certificate in integrated marketing communications; and doctoral programs in communication studies, English, psychology and the interdisciplinary graduate program in biomedical sciences. Also recommended for continuation without action were the medical, dental, audiology and pharmacy programs. Recommended for some action, mostly interim reports, were the masters of fine arts in creative writing as masters programs in foreign languages, psychology, counseling, dental hygiene and dental specialties along with doctoral programs in nursing and pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences.

In addition, Chair Long announced a plan to schedule individual meetings in the coming year with faculty, student and staff constituent groups. The meetings will be held the day before regularly scheduled board meetings and include reports and an open forum.


Contact: John A. Bolt, News and Information

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