Story by Mike Nolting, MetroNews

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Board of Governors is working to establish the search process and timeline for the selection of the university’s next president.

WVU President Gordon Gee is currently under contract through June 30, 2025. He previously announced he won’t be seeking a renewal of his contract.

Patrice Harris

During a special meeting on Monday, the chairwoman of the BOG Ad Hoc Governance Committee Dr. Patrice Harris, which has been advising the BOG on the matter since November, said she had begun the process to evaluate search firms.

“This is an exciting time for West Virginia University, and we look forward to working collaboratively in the months ahead,” Harris said.

As part of the process, the BOG approved a proposed procedure for the selection, contract process and evaluation. The 30-day public comment period on the new rule begins Tuesday and runs through April 18.

WVU Associate General Counsel Kylie Barnhart said the final selection and contract must be approved by the full BOG.

Kylie Barnhart

“The rule also outlines the requirements for the president’s contract and provides that any contract and any renewal or termination must be approved by a majority of the BOG,” Barnhart said.

The changes in the rule also spell out how and at what frequency the evaluation process will be conducted at all levels.

“The board chair must provide the president with a written evaluation each year, and the board must conduct a formal written evaluation at the end of the initial contract period and in every third year of employment,” Barnhart said.

Search committee members will include BOG members, faculty, staff and students. The BOG may reject or add candidates during the search process. Candidates’ identities will remain confidential unless the candidate consents to disclosure.

The rule also spells out the terms for the BOG negotiating and renewing a presidential contract, including compensation – which may be based on presidential performance, peer institution salaries and relevant market data, and any other relevant information.

While the BOG works to identify and select a search firm, the Ad Hoc Committee will provide an update on the timeline during the next regular meeting scheduled for April 12.

“We look forward to reviewing the submissions as we identify and select the search firm that will help us find our next president,” Harris said. “In addition, the committee continues to work on the timeline for the search.”

There’s work to do, Harris said.

“This is a responsibility we take very seriously,” Harris said. “We will engage with campus communities, university stakeholders, and other interested parties as we move through this process.

Dominion Post reporter David Beard contributed to this story.