The following letter was sent on Monday (Nov. 14, 2011), to the West Virginia University Institute of Technology community:
Nov. 14, 2011
To Members of the WVUIT Community:
Following the adoption of the long-term report for the WVU Institute of Technology by the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability, WVU and HEPC officials today agreed to implement several of the recommendations in that October report.
As we all know, the independent study team laid out some significant issues and challenges that need to be addressed at WVUIT – low enrollment, a decline in retention of first-year students, an aging physical plant, technology infrastructure needs, athletic financial concerns (particularly around football), student life needs and others.
As a result, we will take the following action steps as we await further guidance from LOCEA and the Legislature regarding the Montgomery campus:
- WVU Provost Michele Wheatly will appoint a transitional leader, outside the immediate Tech community, no later than Dec. 15. That individual will serve until a long-term plan is developed. Campus Provost Scott Hurst will take on a new assignment, to be determined.
- The co-ed residence hall will be demolished this summer and replaced with much-needed green recreational space for students. This facility is beyond renovation; however, if the need arises in the future for more student housing, additional space will be developed.
- The football program will be discontinued. The high cost of operating this program, coupled with low fan attendance and support, makes this decision necessary. It is important to note that all student scholarships and all employee contracts related to the football program will be honored.
- In the coming weeks, we will be forming a transitional committee, comprising members of the WVU Board of Governors and the Higher Education Policy Commission, to devise a plan of action to rejuvenate WVUIT.
We will rely on direction from LOCEA and the Legislature, leaders in the executive branch of government, members of the Tech community and others in developing this plan. That committee will be announced following the appointment of a transitional leader.
In the meantime, WVU officials want to assure the students, faculty, staff, alumni – and all those who care so much about WVUIT – that we have the school’s best interest at heart. It will take all of us working together in the coming weeks, months, years to be successful.
Russ Dean, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Provost
West Virginia University
(On behalf of Provost Michele Wheatly)