Students interested in the rapidly evolving world of robotics will now be able to enroll in a new robotics engineering major at West Virginia University following approval by the Board of Governors during a meeting Friday (Dec. 15).
The four-year degree program will officially launch in fall 2024 and builds on the globally recognized success of existing WVU robotics-related efforts.
“Robotics engineering is one of the fastest growing professions in the world,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. “This program will prepare students for a rewarding career in robotics engineering across well-established sectors such as aerospace, defense, transportation, health care and agriculture.”
The BOG has approved more than a dozen new majors and programs in the last 12 months, including 10 majors at the undergraduate level and two graduate programs.
The Country Roads Certificate Program gained approval to better prepare undergraduate students with disabilities for independence by providing academic courses, social engagement and real-world work experiences.
This year also saw the School of Medicine partner with the WVU Cancer Institute to provide oncology physical therapy training opportunities through a new residency program — the first such program in West Virginia and one of just seven in the United States.
“We have been listening to students and working closely with deans, department chairs, faculty, our enrollment and recruitment experts, and others to adapt to meet the changing needs of students,” Reed said. “With more than 300 majors across a vast array of disciplines, WVU is well positioned to prepare the next generation of leaders for exciting careers.”
Friday’s meeting preceded Commencement ceremonies planned Saturday (Dec. 16). In his report to the Board, President Gordon Gee acknowledged the hard work and dedication of nearly 2,700 students who will receive their degrees.
“Those of us taking part in the two ceremonies will once again enjoy honoring our graduates’ accomplishments and wishing them well for the future.” Gee said.
Gee also highlighted the recent collaboration of WVU Extension, the U.S. Forest Service and others to bring the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from West Virginia to Washington with an abundance of Mountain State cheer.
“As another year ends, this project symbolizes hope and renewal for West Virginia and our University,” Gee said.
In other action, members approved the annual Personal Rapid Transit Agency Safety Plan and a proposal from the November meeting to form a Governance Ad Hoc Committee which will be chaired by BOG member Dr. Patrice Harris. The committee will work with the University’s general counsel to map out and provide guidance to the Board related to several areas, including a presidential search, Board training and other functions. Harris will step down as chair of the Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee and be replaced by Charles Capito.
The next regular BOG meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2024.
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