The West Virginia University Board of Governors approved two new degree programs – one being a “Program of Excellence” – and also heard updates on the new Beckley campus at its Friday (April 15) meeting.
The Board gave final approval to repurpose an existing School of Pharmacy Ph.D. track into its own independent doctoral program, which will offer a new doctor of philosophy degree in health services and outcomes research. In fall 2015, the BOG designated the health services and outcomes research track as a “Program of Excellence,” meaning it has attained a high level of state or national distinction and successful career placement for graduates.
Over the years, it has maintained a 100 percent employment rate for its graduates in academia, pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and the federal government.
Among the program’s goals is for students to advance pharmaceutical and healthcare delivery research and provide leadership in the pharmacy profession. Out of 130 schools of pharmacy, only about 30 have similar Ph.D. programs.
The Board also approved the creation of a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation in the College of Business and Economics. The new major was proposed due to the unique nature of skill sets required by successful entrepreneurs. While the College currently offers majors in accounting, economics, finance and hospitality and tourism, among others, entrepreneurship and innovation requires specialized skills within each of those areas.
• To further prepare for the opening of the Beckley campus, the Board approved construction of a $2.3 million engineering lab building. The building will include space for welding and materials testing, engine testing and other labs. The project is scheduled for completion by May 2017 and will be funded by borrowing by the WVU Research Corp.
• WVU Tech President Carolyn Long said they’ve been busy providing tours of the Beckley campus three days a week for current Tech students. A full complement of freshman classes will be offered in fall 2016 at WVU Beckley while all WVU Tech academic programs, including its outstanding engineering program, will move to the Beckley campus in the fall of 2017.
• George Capel, outgoing Student Government Association president, touted the achievements of the SGA over the past academic year. Those include advocating for Mountie Bounty to off-campus establishments, hosting flu shot clinics in the Mountainlair, preparing care packages for families in intensive care units, promoting sexual assault prevention and advocating for LGBTQ and veteran students.
• Faculty leaders, including those from WVU Tech and Potomac State, also provided annual updates to the Board.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 17 in Morgantown.
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