West Virginia University continues to move forward with initiatives designed to transform academics and operations across its campuses in Morgantown, Beckley, Keyser, Martinsburg and Charleston.
This update includes information about:
- Research Office institutes,
- graduate program portfolio review,
- proposed BOG Rules and severance package schedules and
- retirement notifications.
A new website, transformation.wvu.edu, launched this week and will serve as a hub for resources, information, feedback and new ideas related to the University’s transformation efforts.
The Research Office has announced a transformation of its Energy Institute to adapt to the ongoing diversification of energy the energy industry and increased Federal funding emphasis on sustainability.
The Energy Institute will be renamed the WVU Institute for Sustainability and Energy Research, effective July 1, with Sam Taylor as its director. Taylor will build the new Institute on the foundation of the Energy Institute laid by James Wood.
In another restructuring move, the West Virginia Water Research Institute will shift from the Energy Institute and operate as its own entity reporting directly to the Research Office, also effective July 1.
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.
The Office of the Provost has published preliminary recommendations resulting from the Fall 2022 Graduate Program Portfolio Review, which examined non-terminal masters degrees and doctoral programs. Program recommendations are organized by the following categories (program count indicated):
- Continuance at the Current Level of Activity (3)
- Continuance at the Currently Level of Activity with Specific Action (21)
- Development of a Cooperative Program (1)
- Discontinuance (12)
As part of Academic Transformation, the Office of the Provost is reviewing the activities and services provided by the University’s Academic Support Units on the Morgantown campus. Employees and students on the Morgantown campus are encouraged to participate in a survey which will be used to better understand the impact of the work done by these units and to identify opportunities for improvements and efficiencies. The survey will remain open until the close of business on May 31.
The Board of Governors has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to potentially amend:
- Proposed BOG Faculty Rule 4.7 - Reduction in Force
- Proposed BOG Talent and Culture Rule 3.9 - Reduction in Force
In addition, the Proposed Faculty and Classified Staff Severance Package Schedule, which relates to both BOG Faculty Rule 4.7 and Talent and Culture Rule 3.9, has been posted online for public comment.
Summaries of the proposed Rules can be found on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking website.
The Rule revisions and associated documentation were posted for public comment for 30 days beginning May 22 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21.
Additional information about submitting a comment was included in MOUNTAINEER E-News.
The Division of Talent and Culture is encouraging all faculty and staff who are planning to retire soon to consider making their intentions known.
While not required, voluntarily sharing plans to retire will help University leadership with budget forecasting and other transformational efforts, as well as potential succession planning within a college, division or unit.
Those who plan to retire from WVU between now and Dec. 31, 2024, are encouraged to contact WVU Benefits Strategy at 304-293-8405 or CentralBA@mail.wvu.edu to discuss retirement options and receive assistance with retirement planning.
Voluntary work-time reduction program
Talent and Culture is currently reviewing expressed interest in the voluntary work-time reduction program.
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.
Indoor space temperature policy
The 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.
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 in the next phase.
Support, communications and updates
Faculty and staff supports
The WVU Faculty and Staff Assistance Program has launched Brief Emotional Support Team sessions, offering employees immediate support during times of need. BEST Listening Space groups, co-lead by Janie Howsare, FSAP director, T. Anne Hawkins, director of the Carruth Center, and Mike Andrew, FSAP provider, are offered twice a week. Find more information on the BEST sessions.
The University has held several transformation-related Campus Conversations since March.
A video archive of the May 24 Conversation is available at this link.
Videos of other recent Conversations are also available at transformation.wvu.edu.
Timeline, website and future updates
Look for information about upcoming Campus Conversations, as well as other important updates, via MOUNTAINEER E-News.
The University has also created a timeline for the academic program portfolio review process and for potential personnel reductions. It also outlines upcoming BOG meetings, Faculty Senate meetings, Campus Conversations and other timelines related to Operations initiatives.
The timeline, Campus Conversations and other resources related to academics, operations, finance and more are available at transformation.wvu.edu. The website also includes forms to submit new ideas or provide comments.
Additional questions and feedback may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org