West Virginia University announced recommendations Wednesday (Sept. 20) aimed at creating a more focused and cost-efficient suite of academic support services to assist colleges and schools while better serving students’ needs.
“This process included self-studies, some very productive discussions with unit leaders and stakeholder surveys that allowed us to glean valuable input from our faculty, staff and students,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed.
Possible outcomes included:
· Continuance at the current level of activity
· Continuance at the current level of activity with specific action
· Continuance at a reduced level of activity
· Identification of the unit for further development
· Development of a cooperative unit
The ASU review process was not governed by Board of Governors Rule 2.2 so recommendations cannot be appealed. No units were recommended for discontinuance, development of a cooperative unit or identified for further development.
The following recommendations will be completed between now and May.
Units recommended to continue at reduced level of activity
WVU Libraries will develop a plan by Dec. 1 to reorganize operations so it can deliver services more efficiently.
“Library materials and services are critical to the success of our students, faculty, staff and community and we will not compromise them. That’s why I worked with the Provost’s Office to determine how we could realize up to $800,000 in savings without affecting our materials budget,” said Karen Diaz, dean of WVU Libraries. “While necessary as part of the Academic Transformation process, this was not an easy decision. It will mean that we must rethink how we are organized to deliver our ongoing and evolving services that support research and teaching for the campus and will result in personnel reductions. We have a lot of work to do in a short time.”
A reduction of up to $800,000 represents approximately 5.8% of Libraries' total budget.
Non-renewal notifications will be sent between Dec. 8-15. Libraries will also look for opportunities to condense physical spaces across locations on the Morgantown, Health Sciences and regional campuses, and to reduce space needs within its facilities, but changes will not result in any facility closures.
Teaching and Learning Commons will shift to a more focused mission around the development of instructional skills including mentoring faculty and instructors, providing training workshops and supporting the scholarship of teaching and learning.
As a result, TLC will shift to other units responsibilities for classroom technology, instructional design, badging and micro-credentialing, and Zoom and related functions.
Units recommended to continue at current level of activity with specific action
Career Services has been identified as an area which needs investment for student success. It is currently understaffed due to some vacancies that have not been filled. A task force will be established to look at better integration into college-level curriculum and experiences and to explore its relationship with the recently launched Purpose Center. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
WVU Online is another critical unit for enrollment growth, especially for non-traditional learners. Recommendations include developing a plan to address a comprehensive marketing strategy, technology infrastructure, programming and instructional design. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
Among the recommendations for the Center for Learning, Advising and Student Success is a need to develop a guiding strategy for CLASS student success coaching and tutoring. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
The Office of Accessibility Services must develop plans to expand MindFit and the Autism Support Program. Additionally, the unit will improve access to services, increase communication about those services to students and faculty, and improve responsiveness to faculty and student inquiries and issues, and improve communication with faculty regarding compliance with federally required student accommodations. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
The Honors College will determine if graduate teaching assistants and/or student worker staffing levels can be reduced and evaluate the need for staff positions that may be more appropriate for traditional colleges, among other recommendations. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
The Office of Global Affairs has already made significant personnel reductions and has been a strong institutional collaborator and partner, according to the Provost’s Office. Recommendations include a call to increase communication with the campus community about changes in federal policies and the resulting effects for faculty, students and programming. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
West Virginia University Press will develop metrics to aid assessment and operations. It will also work with the WVU Foundation to secure external funding to support the unit’s operations. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
The Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative will also develop a plan to pursue and secure external funding (grants, philanthropic, and/or state-specific) to ensure the continued viability of signature programs, including Science Adventure School and Science Behind the Sport. OEDC will also develop a plan to fully shift the unit’s salaries and operating expenses from University general funds by FY 2026. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
The Office of the University Registrar is tasked with evaluating whether particular functions and services could be improved by adjustments to in-person or remote work appointments. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
Graduate Education and Life should improve its responsiveness to faculty and student inquiries and concerns and provide consistent in-person support that aligns with graduate student schedules. Read the recommendation letter and stakeholder feedback.
Units recommended to continue at current level of activity
The following ASUs were recommended to continue at the current level of activity:
Community-based Testing Center
· Read the recommendation letter. No stakeholder feedback was submitted.
Recommendations for Institutional Research will be announced soon.
Non-academic unit reviews update
Efforts which began nearly a decade ago to evaluate and streamline operations in non-academic areas also continue. Strategic Initiatives and the General Counsel’s office provided results of a recent assessment of their respective units to the BOG on Friday, Sept. 15.
The WVU Faculty Senate also requested a review of areas such as the Division of Student Life where results will be announced soon. An evaluation of University Relations/Enrollment Management, among others, is also underway.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.