The decision came after Board members reviewed Gee’s performance as mandated by state code in areas such as student success, research, health and welfare, and WVU’s role in the state’s economic development.
“We noted that the University also is in a state of transformation. We must continue to act boldly. President Gee has shown time and again he is not afraid to do the difficult work required,” BOG Chair Taunja Willis-Miller said.
In March, the Board directed Gee to lead a strategic repositioning of the entire WVU System. A number of written comments were submitted to Faculty Senate related to the repositioning and budget shortfall which were shared with the Board members at the beginning of the meeting.
“We believe he deserves additional time to see that through,” Willis-Miller said. “I understand there is criticism of the transformation actions being taken, but as a board, we must focus on the larger vision and future of the University. We do not have to agree, but we do need to move forward.”
The extension approved Monday adds one more year to the contract, at no increase in Gee’s base salary.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Board of Governors for their faith in me and in the vision we share for this great University. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to continuing the important work we are doing,” Gee said. “I love this University and the people of this state. And I will continue to work hard to reposition West Virginia University to be the national model for the modern land-grant university.”
In other action, the Board approved several amendments following a public comment period to clarify parts of BOG Rules 3.9 and 4.7 which detail the Reduction in Force process, as well as a Faculty and Classified Staff Severance Package Schedule. However, the Board’s approval included a request to review clinical track and library track faculty inclusion.
The self study of programs identified for further review in early July as part of the Academic Program Portfolio Review is currently underway. Additional details are available at Academic Transformation website. And an in-depth timeline of the larger efforts, including FAQ and other resources, are available at transformation.wvu.edu.
The University’s Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Plan is also available, along with a report on Housing Public-Private Partnerships and a Debt Service and Debt Portfolio which details on public/private bonds and private debt, including details on interest, balance, original amount and lender.
The Board also set its committee assignments and other appointments. And this was the first meeting for new members Bob Reynolds, alumnus, longtime University supporter and namesake for Reynolds Hall, and Michael D’Annunzio, president of Beverage Distributors Inc. in Clarksburg. Also joining the BOG as the student representative is Student Government Association President Madison Santmyer. Staff Council Chair Shirley Robinson will serve as the classified staff representative, and Faculty Senate Chair Frankie Tack is the new faculty representative.
The next BOG meeting is scheduled for Aug. 22.
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