WVU Board approves close to a billion dollar budget, amends policy to allow campus to go tobacco free in July 2013
West Virginia University’s Board of Governors today (June 7) unanimously approved a 2013 fiscal year budget of $917 million, including an approximately $10 million, or 2 percent, pool of funds for faculty and staff salary increases.
Since the classified staff salary schedule was fully funded last year, officials say a new compensation model will be introduced for staff, while a merit-driven system will continue to be used for faculty and non-classified employee increases. Raises will go into effect in October.
The budget also includes a 5-percent tuition and fee increase for students on the Morgantown campus, or $145 increase per semester for resident undergraduate students, and a $449 increase for non-resident undergraduate students. A one-time fee of $63 per semester is also being implemented to replace all the individual course fees that were once charged, bringing undergraduate tuition and fees for resident students from $2,837 to $3,045 a semester, and undergraduate tuition and fees for non-resident from $8,922 to $9,434 a semester – still among the lowest in the country. Graduate and professional students will also see modest increases.
Dining and housing plans will also increase by 4.5 percent, or around $100 a semester.
“These modest increases will provide additional revenue for our campus in order to continue to offer our students the classes, the facilities and the academic excellence they deserve,” said WVU Provost Michele Wheatly. “While other states have realized drastic cuts to state funding, our Legislature has continued to keep our state’s higher education commitment steady. We are truly appreciative of that support; however, we still must deal with rising costs and a competitive market place to keep WVU’s programs and facilities competitive with our peer flagships across the country.”
Tobacco Free Campus
The Board also approved a policy prohibiting tobacco use by employees, students and visitors on the main campus beginning July 1, 2013. The change amends an earlier decision by the Board to approve a similar policy on the Health Sciences Center campus.
The policy extends to the premises owned, operated, leased or occupied by WVU.
However, an exemption can be made for events that attract a large number of off-campus visitors, with the approval of the vice president for administration and finance, provided smoking is restricted to designated outdoor smoking areas. That could include concerts and athletic events.
The current policy does not extend to the divisional campuses; however, the president has the authority to extend it once appropriate input and comment has been obtained.
Cessation programs and resources will also be available to employees and students.
Also approved was an amendment to WVU’s sexual harassment policy, now a sexual misconduct policy. The change to the policy will broaden it to cover all types of sexual discrimination and misconduct, not just sexual harassment.
Several WVU-Parkersburg policies were also repealed because the Board no longer has jurisdiction over that institution.
The acquisition of the Suncrest Center and Plaza from Glenmark Holding for $26.3 million was also approved at the meeting.
The property sits on 5.5 acres on Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown and includes the Suncrest Center, Suncrest Executive Plaza II, Applebee’s Restaurant and additional office space and parking, including a garage and surface lots.
The property will be jointly owned by WVU and WVU Hospitals, and the financing will come from revenue bonds and a money loan agreement between the two entities.
Income, rents, profits and management and maintenance of the facility will be shared – and the existing tenants’ leases will be honored, officials say.
“We’re pleased with this acquisition. It’s a sound business decision, based on a fair appraisal price, location and a business model that will repay the debt service,” said Narvel Weese, vice president for administration and finance.
Weese said the acquisition is subject to the approval of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Health Care Authority.
Law Center Addition
The Board also approved a 22,000-square-foot, $12.8 million addition to the WVU College of Law to modernize classrooms, offices, clinic space and other areas critical to the school’s programming.
The law center has not had any significant renovations since its initial construction in 1971.
Funds for the addition will come from approximately $4 million generated by private sources as well as bond proceeds. Construction will begin this summer with an expected completion in January 2014.
In his report to the Board, WVU President Jim Clements recapped last weekend’s public launch of a State of Minds campaign to raise $750 million in private gifts to support the goals of the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan.
It’s the largest fund-raising campaign in WVU’s history, Clements said, tripling the goal set 10 years ago, and already raising to date $538 million during the silent phase.
“This State of Minds — and hearts — campaign is about building on the pride we all feel for our land-grant, research, flagship University – West Virginia’s University,” Clements said.
Other matters approved by the BOG at Thursday’s meeting:
- Creation of three new departments in the School of Medicine: department of radiation oncology, department of clinical translational science and department of medical education
- Dissolution of the School of Applied Social Sciences within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and approval of a change in academic titles of those programs
- New degree program in general business
- Change in name of Center for Women’s Studies to Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
BOG members also held elections, re-electing the current slate for another term: Drew Payne, chair; Jim Dailey, vice chair; and Tom Flaherty, secretary.
They thanked Jason Bailey, student representative, for his service on the Board and welcomed Student Government Association President Zach Redding as his replacement.
Retiring Potomac State College Provost Kerry O’Dell was also honored.
The BOG will meet again Sept. 28 in Morgantown.
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