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Board of Governors proposes tightening of tobacco-free campus policy

man vaping on college campus
WVU will clarify and amend its tobacco-free campus rules to include vaping and e-cigarettes.
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A clarification and tightening of West Virginia University’s tobacco-free campus rules was approved for comment Friday by the Board of Governors.

The move is part of an ongoing revision of University governance stemming from the state Legislature’s adoption last year of laws permitting more independence from the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

The proposed new rules, which will be available for public comment from Monday (Dec. 17) through Jan. 21, clarify that the ban includes not only the use of tobacco products, but any form of smoking, including electronic smoking devices and vapor products.

The Board will consider any comments at its Feb. 8, 2019 meeting before adopting a final rule.

The proposed rule would strengthen the University’s hand in enforcing the ban, requiring that a process be developed for identifying and reporting violations, as well as locations where it is repeatedly violated.

Students who violate the ban are subject to Student Conduct proceedings; faculty and staff are subject to appropriate disciplinary proceedings which may have a negative impact on performance evaluations; visitors refusing to comply will be asked to leave campus which if ignored may result in additional sanctions; and employees of vendors or contractors will be reported to their employer for appropriate remedial action.

The rule also requires the University to develop and maintain a comprehensive communication strategy regarding these prohibitions.

The rule would create a Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus Steering Committee to advise the president and senior leadership regarding its effectiveness and to oversee implementation and ongoing evaluations of relevant policies, promote compliance and assist with related events.

As is currently the case, the rule permits, with prior approval, the use of tobacco products and smoking for academic or research purposes, or for large gatherings on campus, provided smoking is only allowed in designated outdoor areas.

The Board also sent out for comment a rule governing information technology security which would outline guiding principles for using, securing, and maintaining information technology resources.

Comments should be submitted using the online submission form which can be found by clicking on the link located at: http://policies.wvu.edu/.

In other business, the Board:

  • • Approved the next phase of its ongoing contract with Siemans Building Systems to modernize university energy usage in the coming years. So far, the contract has saved the University $22.33 million, savings which will grow over time.
  • • Approved the leasing of office, event and storage space in Charleston for use by multiple units, including the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and the College of Law. The space will also allow the University to consolidate current offices in the state’s capital city.
  • • Extended the lease of White Day Golf Course in Marion County.
  • • Approved a future expansion and relocation, pending the raising of private funds, of the visiting team locker room and updating of concessions and media space at Milan Puskar Center.
  • • Approved the purchase of a house adjacent to the Potomac State College campus in Keyser to be used as alternative housing for faculty or staff.
  • • Approved a new graduate certificate in leadership and a new doctoral degree in learning sciences and human development.


-WVU-

jb/12/14/18

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

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