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WVU Provost’s Office announces next steps in academic transformation efforts and new series of Campus Conversations

return to campus conversation

Since President Gee gave his charge in December 2020, WVU’s Office of the Provost has been leading the transformation of the institution’s academic programming and practices to position the University to thrive in a challenging higher education landscape. This week, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed announced the next set of priorities moving forward as well as opportunities for the campus community to learn more about these efforts.

“In January 2021, my team began mapping out what we expected to be a three-year effort,” Reed said. “Our first year was focused on reviewing the success of our undergraduate and professional master’s degree programs, identifying opportunities for growth and restructuring, and improving our instructional efficiencies. This second year of transformation will include an enhanced focus on student success, a new focus on graduate education, and continued efforts to revise and improve our faculty rewards and recognition structure.”

In addition to implementing recommendations from the first year’s priorities, specific efforts during this second year will include the following:

• A strong focus on student success that will enable WVU to significantly increase its retention, persistence and graduation rates. Areas to be addressed will include undergraduate advising, tutoring and other academic support services. 

• A review of graduate education that identifies institutional priorities and aligns resources to support further growth and excellence.

• The creation of a new intercollegiate innovation hub designed to incubate, incentivize and support interdisciplinary academic programs and eliminate barriers that prevent collaboration. 

• A review of our online program portfolio and organizational structure to determine how we can grow our online programs to better reach and engage with current and new audiences.

• Continued efforts to address instructional efficiencies and the University’s faculty rewards and recognition structure, with the goal of improving guidelines for promotion and tenure and for faculty workloads.

• A review of the academic budget model as part of a larger University effort to streamline and modernize its budget practices.

Provost Reed also emphasized that faculty and appropriate staff members will continue to be engaged in the process through a variety of committees and working groups, including the Academic Transformation Advisory Council

“As we move into the next phase of academic transformation, it’s important to recognize the work these groups have been doing all along,” said Reed. “They have provided valuable feedback, guidance and input on how to shape and improve the process. We’ve learned a lot together on how to move quickly and collaboratively to address the challenges and opportunities we face as an institution.”

In addition, Reed is also launching a new series of Campus Conversations to engage the wider University community in dialogue about academic transformation.

“Starting this month, we will be hosting monthly opportunities for faculty, staff and students to participate in a new series of Campus Conversations focused on identified academic transformation initiatives,” said Reed. “These events will be aimed at helping our community members better understand what we are doing – but more importantly why we are doing it.”

The first Academic Transformation Campus Conversation is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m. to noon. Additional dates include: 

• Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to noon

• March 10, 11 a.m. to noon

• April 14, 11 a.m. to noon

• May 12, 11 a.m. to noon

Complete details will be shared ahead of each event through MOUNTAINEER E-NEWS  and on the Academic Transformation, Campus Conversation and Current Students websites. 

Due to the current risk of COVID-19 spread on campus, the first event will be held in a virtual-only format. Reed said she hopes future conversations can be conducted in a hybrid or face-to-face format.

“Ultimately, we want to engage with our faculty, staff and students in a highly interactive environment – but we also want to be safe,” Reed said. “My hope is that we can hold future conversations in person. We want our campus community to feel engaged with and excited by the opportunities transformation presents.”

Campus community members are also encouraged to submit their questions, ideas and suggestions to 

Details about these new focus areas, along with updated timelines and results to date for each academic transformation priority, are available on the Office of the Provost’s Academic Transformation website