(a) West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a fully integrated division of West Virginia University. All administrative and academic units are consolidated with primary responsibility for direction and support assigned to West Virginia University. The campus president of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology shall appoint a board of visitors and the board of visitors shall provide guidance to the division in fulfilling its mission. The chairperson of the board of visitors serves as an ex-officio, voting member of the West Virginia University Board of Governors.
(b) The fully integrated division is named West Virginia University Institute of Technology. (c) The provisions of this section do not affect the independent accreditation or continued operation of The BridgeValley Community and Technical College. The BridgeValley Community and Technical College is an independent community and technical college administered by its own governing board under the jurisdiction and authority of the council and is subject to all applicable provisions of this chapter and chapter eighteen-c of this code.
(d) Auxiliary enterprises shall be incorporated into the West Virginia University auxiliary enterprise system. The West Virginia University Board of Governors shall determine if operations at West Virginia University Institute of Technology can be operated on a self-sufficient basis when establishing rates for auxiliary services and products.
(e) West Virginia University Institute of Technology has a strong reputation in engineering and other scientific disciplines. These programs shall be maintained, cultivated and emphasized further as its sustaining mission over the next decade.
(f) By the November 1, 2006, and annually thereafter for a period of four years, the West Virginia University Board of Governors shall prepare and submit a report to the commission and Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on progress being made to implement the provisions of this article.
(g)West Virginia University Institute of Technology shall develop or maintain baccalaureate degree programs as a permanent component of its curriculum.
(h) Until such time as West Virginia University no longer owns assets, other than assets of de minimis value, in Montgomery and the Upper Kanawha Valley, the university shall continue to collaborate with the County Commission of Kanawha County, the County Commission of Fayette County, the City of Smithers and the City of Montgomery, should it elect to do so, and each entity is authorized and encouraged to enter into agreements designed to foster economic and community redevelopment for Montgomery and the Upper Kanawha Valley.
(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph a, subdivision four, subsection b, section four, article one-b of this chapter, West Virginia University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, as it relates to providing academic programming at the Beckley campus, shall be subject to academic program review and approval of the commission pursuant to subdivision four, subsection b, section four, article one-b of this chapter, including complying with series eleven of title one hundred thirty-three of the rules of the Higher Education Policy Commission, relating to academic program review and approval, including, but not limited to, the provisions relating to offering new programming in Beckley or offering existing programming in Beckley that is already offered by West Virginia University at a location other than Beckley: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not apply to the programs that the Higher Education Policy Commission approved on or before December 31, 2015, for offerings by West Virginia University at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology at the Beckley campus.
(j) Prior to seeking approval with the Chancellor or Commission as required by the provisions of subsection (i) of this section, West Virginia University or the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, as appropriate, shall offer to meet with representatives of Bluefield State College and Concord University to determine whether collaborative opportunities exist relating to the proposed offering requiring approval.
(k) The presidents of Concord University, Bluefield State College, and West Virginia Institute of Technology shall meet at least quarterly to discuss the collaborative efforts contemplated by this article and the collaborative agreement, including assessing and reviewing the progress made on collaborative efforts, or at such other times as agreed to by all of the presidents of the referenced institutions.