WVU Faculty Senate gets transformation update and basics on new budget model

Story by Mike Nolting, MetroNews

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University Faculty Senate members received an academic transformation and an introduction to the new budget model to be used moving forward in a meeting Monday on the Morgantown campus.

Maryanne Reed

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said the review of the WVU extension will be delayed until the merger with the Davis College of Agriculture is complete. Work also continues on the merger of the Reed College of Media and the College of Creative Arts. In January, new names and leadership will be made public.

In the next two weeks, Reed said they’ll release details about the transformation of academic support units and libraries.

“We have no intentions of doing a full-scale program review like we did this year,” Reed said. “There might be some additional cuts, but they will be happening in a more targeted way and not through the program review process.”

Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment at West Virginia University, Dr. Louis Slimak, has been in ongoing meetings with the leadership on campuses in Beckley and Keyser. Reed explained that the expected reforms will be refinements to improve the student experience.

Mark Gavin

“The process for the regionals will largely be focused on making program improvements that increase student success and strengthen academic rigor and quality,” Reed said.

WVU Associate Provost Mark Gavin said the new budget process decentralizes revenue collection and expenses and will be in place next year. Under the new model, tuition revenue is now allocated 80 percent to the student’s college of instruction and 20 percent to the college where the major is. Expenses are also pushed out to each college.

Additionally, the primary revenue-generating units must support the cost of campus operations. It also establishes a “subvention pool” that will be used to maintain operations that lose money or aspects of the university that do not collect revenue.

“There are some things that are not going to operate at a profit all of the time, and we have to have a way to carry the cost even where we’ve used the resources as best as possible,” Gavin said.

The budget also allows for cost pools from the colleges that will fund the operations of the university as well as provide resources for special projects.

“It would allow leadership to make targeted investments to stand up an initiative for a couple of years while it gets funding to secure sustainability,” Gavin said. “But this is what allows leadership to make directional moves.”

Reed told senate members that performance aspects of the new budget model will be available to staff and faculty. The information will be available to recognize and avert financial difficulties before they become similar to the most recent budget crisis.

“We can make changes in real time in response to trends, so we don’t have to make wholesale changes the way we did this year, which we knew was so disruptive,” Reed said. “The idea is we want to stay on top of trends.”