Even as its State of Minds fund-raising campaign nears a successful conclusion, the need for continued financial support for West Virginia University continues, the Board of Governors was told Friday.
“Every day brings us new challenges,” Cindi Roth, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation said in her annual report to the Board. “They are profound, they are far-reaching social problems. Our state is the best petri dish in the country, and this university is positioned perfectly to solve the problems that are out there.”
She told the Board that at the Foundation, “we raise it, we invest it and we give it back.”
“Now more than ever, private funding, private philanthropy is essential,” she said. “We're not going to take our foot off the gas, even though the campaign has come to a close. We will continue to raise money for a lot of priorities.”
The Foundation announced previously that the State of Minds campaign had raised $1.13 billion through June 30, with 59 percent of the money, or $662 million, earmarked for student support. On Friday, she told the board that as of the end of the day Thursday, the total was $1.14 billion and that the numbers continue to progress. The campaign, which had an original goal of $750 million that was increased to $1 billion, continues through the end of the year.
She announced the Foundation would conduct a “Day of Giving,” a one-day initiative on Nov. 8 to encourage all Mountaineers, especially those who haven’t contributed and young alumni, to support the University.
President Gordon Gee praised the “robust and successful” campaign adding, “the difference between good and great is those private dollars.”
Roth’s presentation was the highlight of the Board’s first meeting of the academic year.
The board was also briefed on the full scale opening of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology on the Beckley campus, relocating from Montgomery.
“I'm just now getting to the point of looking around campus and thinking, we really did this,” said Campus President Carolyn Long.
“We moved 10 football fields worth of equipment in nine weeks; we packed it up, moved it, unpacked it, some cases we moved it again, and threw away a huge amount of stuff,” she said.
Long said enrollment had exceeded its 1,500-student target. Last year’s enrollment was 1,320 students. She also noted that Tech’s retention rate has increased from 54 percent to 67 percent, nine percentage points more than its current goal.
“I think we're doing great,” she said.
On the Morgantown campus, changes in the schedule for the first few days on campus have resulted in a better start to the year, Provost Joyce McConnell said.
“One of our goals was to really get our students engaged early on and to make sure they feel part of the campus as soon as they arrive on campus,” she said, outlining a new schedule that includes more opportunities to meet with fellow first-year students as well as academic advisors.
She reported a record first-year enrollment of 6,213 first-year students on all three campuses, including increased international, resident and non-resident enrollment and a 50-50 percent balance in gender.
Even while growing larger, the academic profile has improved as the average GPA increased from 3.53 to 3.56 and the average SAT score from 1039 to 1054.
“All of these predictors continue our upward trajectory,” she said.
In other business, the Board:
· Gave unanimous final approval to a revision of the University’s human resources rules, in accordance with legislation passed by this year’s Legislature. In July, the Board approved the rules for posting and comment. After the comment period, a handful of changes were made to clarify language, but no substantive revisions were made.
· Learned that the Foundation’s assets increased from $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30.
· Approved offering a civil and environmental engineering degree program from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at the Royal University for Women in Riffa, Bahrain. The students will be enrolled as WVU students and classes will be taught on RUW’s campus.
· Approved a committee structure and membership.
The next meeting will be Oct. 27 in Morgantown.
CONTACT: John A. Bolt; University Communications
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