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WVU Board of Governors begins process of increased self-governance

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The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Monday (July 10) began the process of enacting new policies and procedures in the wake of the state Legislature’s adoption of laws permitting more independence from the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

In a special meeting, the Board unanimously approved posting for public comment revised and updated human resources policies, including changing the terminology from “policy” to “rules.”

“The new legislation gives us the freedom to work directly with our faculty and staff to develop progressive policies and practices that are specifically aligned with the needs of the University,” said Cris Debord, vice president for talent and culture.

DeBord said hundreds of faculty and staff provided input to developing the rules through workshops and numerous Campus Conversations.

“The proposed BOG Talent and Culture Rules support our ongoing efforts to mitigate bureaucracy and develop a strong culture that positions the University as an employer of choice,” he said.

While few of the changes are substantive, there are four significant new rules.

Those changes include:

· Providing guiding principles for establishing a University classification and compensation program for classified and non-classified employees, as well as for performance management.

· Outlining what compensation elements can be considered for individual employee’s pay.

· Eliminating point factor method for job change adjustments.

· Establishing new factors to evaluate when a job change adjustment is appropriate, which shifts focus on growing individual compensation toward performance and away from re-evaluation of individual job descriptions.

· Requiring written performance evaluations, as well as requiring supervisors to take training in how to prepare the evaluations.

· Setting detailed procedures on how to proceed should the University need to go through a reduction in force.

The revisions will be posted for public comment for 30 days beginning July 18 and ending on Aug. 17. All public comments received will be posted on the University’s policy website. The rules may be changed, subject to comments received. The comments, or summary there of, and final proposed rules will be posted for 10 days prior to the Board taking final action on Sept. 8.

“This is the first step toward enacting the ‘freedom agenda’ we have been seeking for the last two years,” President Gordon Gee said. “We deeply appreciate the state Legislature understanding the need for West Virginia University and others to be able to govern itself, especially as budgets become more challenging.

“This move will allow the University to be more nimble and responsive,” he said. “However, I want to reassure everyone that we do not take this responsibility lightly and will continue to be good stewards of the trust and resources entrusted to us.” 

The human resources rules are the first of several the Board will consider in the coming months. Others include administration and finance, student conduct and academic affairs.

The Board’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also released for a 30-day public comment period an amended version of the University’s rule outlining the procedures the BOG must follow to approve, amend, or repeal any rule. This proposed amended version is re-named BOG Governance Rule 1.1 (formerly BOG Policy 45) and is being amended to align with changes to the statutory rulemaking provisions. The Board also approved reconstituting its previous operating procedures as by-laws, incorporating changes required as a result of legislation passed earlier this year.

-WVU-

jb/07/10/17

CONTACT: John A. Bolt; University Relations/Communications
304.293.5520; john.bolt@mail.wvu.edu

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