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WVU provides transformation, budget updates

Woodburn Circle Campus

President Gee answered a charge in March from the University’s Board of Governors to lead a strategic repositioning of the entire WVU System to be a responsive, relevant university system of the future, and to navigate the challenges of a structural budget deficit.

He outlined a plan in his State of the University address to focus on our “First Principles” — programs that support students, that differentiate us and that fulfill the University’s land-grant mission.

Efforts began nearly a decade ago to reimagine and streamline various University operations and services, and two years ago, an academic transformation initiative launched. The estimated $45 million structural budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2024 has accelerated the urgency of the process already underway.

This message includes information about:

  • an academic program review timeline,

  • proposed changes to BOG Rule 4.7,

  • approach to faculty severance packages,

  • operational initiatives,

  • support for faculty and staff,

  • future updates.



The Academic Transformation initiative is undertaking a more extensive review of the University’s academic programs portfolio. The RPK group, a higher education consultant with expertise in this area, has been retained to help with analysis and to ensure that we are being thorough and following the best practices.

The University is also assessing restructuring opportunities which will likely result in additional college and department mergers to be announced in the next several months. It will take up to a year, working with leaders, faculty and staff in those units, to fully implement the changes.

Academic Transformation also will seek to identify additional instructional efficiencies across the academic support units.

Reduction in Force and severance

Some faculty will be affected by Reduction in Force or contract non-renewals as academic programs are identified and ultimately approved for reduction or discontinuation.

Those subject to RIF will be assessed on performance, knowledge, qualifications and seniority. A RIF review committee will review and approve each RIF Plan before it is implemented.

The University is proposing several amendments to clarify parts of BOG Rule 4.7, which details the RIF process.

The University has created a timeline for the program portfolio review process and for potential personnel reductions. The proposed timeline also includes anticipated BOG meetings, Faculty Senate meetings, Campus Conversations and other messages.

The Board of Governors will vote on the timeline during its May 17 meeting, in addition to a notice of proposed rulemaking for changes to BOG Rule 4.7 and BOG Rule 3.9 and to place suggested faculty and classified staff severance package schedules out for public comment.



A Campus Conversation focused on recent changes to the Public Employees Insurance Agency was held April 26. If you missed the virtual session, you can watch the archived Conversation at this link.

*NOTE: Open Enrollment for Plan Year 2024 has been extended through May 31.

Employees are now able to easily access their base salary information in the Applaud HR system. Benefits-eligible employees are encouraged to review their salary information as it relates to the updated Public Employees Insurance Agency salary ranges for Plan Year 2024 (effective Aug. 1). View the PEIA Shopper’s Guide for more information.

Voluntary work-time reduction program

Talent and Culture is currently reviewing expressed interest in the voluntary work-time reduction program. To assist in assessing potential cost savings for FY2024, staff and faculty interested in the program were asked to initiate the process by completing an expression of interest form by April 28; however, this program will continue beyond the expression of interest period. 

Staff and faculty who expressed interest by the April 28 deadline and are approved to participate in the program will be notified by May 26, and the effective date for the work-time reduction can be as soon as June 4.

ITS merger

Information Technology Services held a Town Hall event in April to discuss next steps in the planned merger of Central and Health Sciences ITS. The goal is to have the overall structure of the new, combined organization completed by late May and then finalize remaining details by July so the process can move into the next phase.

Indoor space temperature policy

As part of efforts to operate our campus as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, West Virginia University has adopted an indoor space temperature policy for WVU-owned or operated facilities.

The policy, outlined in the May 11 edition of MOUNTAINEER E-News, is effective immediately and provides formalized standards for interior space temperatures in all facilities where the temperature can reasonably be controlled.

Modernization update

It is imperative that we remain future-focused and continue to invest in programs and initiatives that will be differentiators for the University, enhance the student experience and help us to work smarter. The Modernization Program will continue to move forward, although the implementation timeline may be adjusted. 

Support, communications and future updates

Faculty and staff supports

The University recognizes that faculty and staff may be feeling a broad range of emotions amid the ongoing conversations regarding the structural budget deficit and academic transformation process.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a resource available to employees who reach out for help. FSAP providers create a safe space and offer a compassionate, listening ear to help you carry the emotional load. FSAP is a confidential, free resource available to WVU employees and their families. Each employee may participate in up to three free counseling sessions annually.

The University’s Faculty Ombudsperson, Dr. Christine Schimmel, will offer summer hours to faculty seeking confidential and informal assistance. The Faculty Ombudsperson can provide information about University policies, procedures and resources; coach faculty through tough conversations and circumstances, facilitate conflict resolution; or just listen and serve as a resource for evaluating options and making decisions. You can find more information at:

Campus Conversations

In addition to the PEIA-focused Campus Conversation in April, the University has also hosted two Campus Conversations to discuss budget-related topics. The first was shortly after President Gee’s State of the University address in March. If you missed that virtual session on March 30, you can watch the archived Conversation at this link.

A second event titled “Budget 101” was held May 3. You can watch the archived Conversation at this link.

These videos are also available at the Campus Conversations website.

Future updates

Look for information about upcoming Campus Conversations, as well as other important updates, via MOUNTAINEER E-News.

A new website will also launch soon to serve as a hub for resources and information about the University’s transformation efforts.

Additional questions and feedback may be emailed to