There is hereby created the “Higher Education Policy Commission”, hereinafter referred to as the “commission”. It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission be responsible to provide shared services in a cost-effective manner upon request by the state colleges and universities, the council, and the community and technical colleges; undertake certain statewide and regional initiatives as specifically designated in this code, including those related to the administration of grants and scholarships and including those in conjunction with the council; to review, confirm or approve certain actions undertaken by the governing boards, as delineated in this chapter; and develop and gain consensus around the public policy agenda for higher education and other statewide issues pursuant to section one-a, article one of this chapter under the following conditions:
(a) It is the responsibility of the commission to work collaboratively with the governing boards and the council to develop and gain consensus around the public policy agenda for higher education.
(b) It is the responsibility of the council to oversee the implementation of the public policy agenda for the institutions under its jurisdiction.
(c) All matters of governance not specifically assigned to the commission or council by law are the duty and responsibility of the governing boards.
(a) The commission is comprised of ten members, all of whom are entitled to vote. The membership of the commission is as follows:
(1) The Secretary of Education and the Arts, ex officio.
(2) The State Superintendent of Schools, ex officio;
(3) The chair of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, ex officio.
(4) Four at-large members who are citizens of the state, appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(5) Three at-large members who are designated as higher education representatives, appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; for each of the higher education representatives, the Governor shall choose from recommendations made by any state college and university or exempted school and the Governor may request additional recommendations from state colleges and universities or exempted schools if in the governor in his or her sole discretion determines that additional recommendations are necessary for appointments to the commission.
(b) Each of the at-large members appointed by the Governor shall represent the public interest and shall be committed to the legislative intent and goals set forth in state law and policy.
(c) The Governor may not appoint any person to be a member of the commission who is an officer, employee or member of the council or an advisory board of any state college or university or exempted school; an officer or member of any political party executive committee; the holder of any other public office or public employment under the government of this state or any of its political subdivisions; an appointee or employee of any governing board; or an immediate family member of any employee under the jurisdiction of the commission, the council or any governing board.
(d) Of the seven, at-large members appointed by the Governor:
(1) No more than four may belong to the same political party;
(2) At least two shall be appointed from each congressional district; and
(3) Effective July 1, 2008, no more than one member may serve from the same county.
(e) The at-large members appointed by the Governor serve overlapping terms of four years.
(f) The Governor shall appoint a member to fill any vacancy among the seven at-large members, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the unexpired term of the vacating member. The Governor shall fill the vacancy within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy.
(g) An at-large member appointed by the Governor may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
(h) Before exercising any authority or performing any duties as a member of the commission, each member shall qualify as such by taking and subscribing to the oath of office prescribed by section five, article IV of the Constitution of West Virginia and the certificate thereof shall be filed with the Secretary of State.
(i) A member of the commission appointed by the Governor may not be removed from office by the Governor except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality and then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal of the state elective officers by the Governor.
(a) The commission shall meet as needed at the time and place specified by the call of the chairperson.
(b) The commission shall hold an annual meeting at the final, regularly scheduled meeting of each fiscal year for the purpose of electing officers. At the annual meeting, the commission shall elect from its members appointed by the Governor a chairperson and other officers as it may consider necessary or desirable. All officers are elected from the citizen appointees. The chairperson and other officers are elected for a one-year term commencing on July 1, following the annual meeting and ending on June 30 of the following year. The chairperson of the commission may serve no more than four consecutive terms as chair.
(c) Members of the commission shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incident to the performance of their duties upon presentation of an itemized sworn statement thereof. The foregoing reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses shall be paid from appropriations made by the Legislature to the commission.
(d) A majority of the members constitutes a quorum for conducting the business of the commission.
(a) The primary responsibility of the commission is to provide shared services in a cost-effective manner upon request to the state colleges and universities, the council, and the community and technical colleges; undertake certain statewide and regional initiatives as specifically designated in this chapter, including those related to the administration of grants and scholarships and including those in conjunction with the council; to review, confirm or approve certain actions undertaken by governing boards, as delineated in this chapter; and assist in the development of policy that will achieve the goals, objectives and priorities found in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter. The commission shall exercise its authority and carry out its responsibilities in a manner that is consistent and not in conflict with the powers and duties assigned by law to the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and the powers and duties assigned to the governing boards. To that end, the commission has the following powers and duties relating to the governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(1) Develop and advance the public policy agenda pursuant to article one-d of this chapter to address major challenges facing the state, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The goals, objectives and priorities established in this chapter including specifically those goals, objectives and priorities pertaining to the compacts created pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter; and
(B) Development of the master plan described in section five, article one-d of this chapter for the purpose of accomplishing the mandates of this section;
(2) Develop, oversee and advance the promulgation and implementation of a financing rule for state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction except the exempted schools. The rule shall meet the following criteria:
(A) Provide for an adequate level of educational and general funding for institutions pursuant to section five, article one-a of this chapter;
(B) Serve to maintain institutional assets, including, but not limited to, human and physical resources and eliminating deferred maintenance; and
(C) Invest and provide incentives for achieving the priority goals in the public policy agenda, including, but not limited to, those found in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(3) In collaboration with the council and the governing boards:
(A) Building public consensus around and sustaining attention to a long-range public policy agenda. In developing the agenda, the commission and council shall seek input from the Legislature, the Governor, the governing boards, and specifically from the State Board of Education and local school districts in order to create the necessary linkages to assure smooth, effective and seamless movement of students through the public education and post-secondary education systems and to ensure that the needs of public school courses and programs can be fulfilled by the graduates produced and the programs offered;
(B) Assisting governing boards to carry out their duty effectively to govern the individual institutions of higher education;
(4) Except the exempted schools, review and comment on each compact for the governing boards under its jurisdiction, and final confirmation of each compact;
(5) Review and confirm the bi-annual updates of the institutional compacts, except the exempted schools;
(6) Serve as a point of contact to state policymakers:
(A) The Governor for the public policy agenda; and
(B) The Legislature by maintaining a close working relationship with the legislative leadership and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.
(7) Upon request, provide shared services to a state institution of higher education;
(8) Administer scholarship and grant programs as provided for in this code;
(9) Establish and implement the benchmarks and performance indicators for state colleges and universities necessary to measure institutional progress in achieving state policy priorities and institutional missions pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter;
(10) Establish a formal process for recommending capital investment needs and for determining priorities for state colleges and universities for these investments for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature as part of the appropriation request process pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter;
(11) Except the exempted schools, develop standards and evaluate governing board requests for capital project financing in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter;
(12) Except the exempted schools, ensure that governing boards manage capital projects and facilities needs effectively, including review and approval of capital projects, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter;
(13) Acquire legal services as considered necessary, including representation of the commission, the governing boards, employees and officers before any court or administrative body, notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary. The counsel may be employed either on a salaried basis or on a reasonable fee basis. In addition, the commission may, but is not required to, call upon the Attorney General for legal assistance and representation as provided by law;
(14) Employ a Chancellor for Higher Education pursuant to section five of this article;
(15) Employ other staff as necessary and appropriate to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the commission and the council, in accordance with article four of this chapter;
(16) Provide suitable offices in Kanawha County for the chancellor, vice chancellors and other staff;
(17) Advise and confirm in the appointment of the presidents of the institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction pursuant to section six of this article, except the exempted schools. The role of the commission in confirming an institutional president is to assure through personal interview that the person selected understands and is committed to achieving the goals, objectives and priorities set forth in the compact, in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(18) Approve the total compensation package from all sources for presidents of institutions under its jurisdiction, except the exempted schools, as proposed by the governing boards. The governing boards, except the exempted schools, must obtain approval from the commission of the total compensation package both when institutional presidents are employed initially and afterward when any change is made in the amount of the total compensation package: Provided, That the Commission will receive notice, but need not approve or confirm, an increase in the compensation of an institutional president that is exactly in the ratio of compensation increases allocated to all institutional employees and approved by the governing board to expressly include the president;
(19) Assist and facilitate the work of the institutions to implement the policy of the state to assure that parents and students have sufficient information at the earliest possible age on which to base academic decisions about what is required for students to be successful in college, other post-secondary education and careers related, as far as possible, to results from current assessment tools in use in West Virginia;
(20) Approve and implement a uniform standard jointly with the council to determine which students shall be placed in remedial or developmental courses. The standard shall be aligned with college admission tests and assessment tools used in West Virginia and shall be applied uniformly by the governing boards. The chancellors shall develop a clear, concise explanation of the standard which they shall communicate to the State Board of Education and the state superintendent of Schools;
(21) Jointly with the council, develop and implement an oversight plan to manage systemwide technology except the exempted schools, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Expanding distance learning and technology networks to enhance teaching and learning, promote access to quality educational offerings with minimum duplication of effort; and
(B) Increasing the delivery of instruction to nontraditional students, to provide services to business and industry and increase the management capabilities of the higher education system.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or this code to the contrary, the council, commission and governing boards are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Chief Technology Officer for any purpose;
(22) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a bachelor’s degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state community and technical college with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(23) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for any degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(24) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a master’s degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(25) Establish and implement policies and programs, in cooperation with the council and the governing boards, through which a student who has gained knowledge and skills through employment, participation in education and training at vocational schools or other education institutions, or Internet-based education programs, may demonstrate by competency-based assessment that he or she has the necessary knowledge and skills to be granted academic credit or advanced placement standing toward the requirements of an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree at a state institution of higher education;
(26) Seek out and attend regional, national and international meetings and forums on education and workforce development-related topics as, in the commission’s discretion, are critical for the performance of their duties as members, for the purpose of keeping abreast of education trends and policies to aid it in developing the policies for this state to meet the established education goals, objectives and priorities pursuant to section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(27) Promulgate and implement a rule for higher education governing boards and institutions, except the exempted schools, to follow when considering capital projects pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter, which rule shall provide for appropriate deference to the value judgments of governing boards under the jurisdiction of the commission;
(28) Submit to the appropriate agencies of the executive and legislative branches of state government an appropriation request that reflects recommended appropriations for the commission and the governing boards under its jurisdiction. The commission shall submit as part of its appropriation request the separate recommended appropriation request it received from the council, both for the council and for the governing boards under the council’s jurisdiction, including the exempted schools. The commission annually shall submit the proposed allocations based on each institution’s progress toward meeting the goals of its compact;
(29) The commission may assess institutions under its jurisdiction, including the exempted schools, for the payment of expenses of the commission or for the funding of statewide higher education services, obligations or initiatives related to the goals set forth for the provision of public higher education in the state: Provided, That the commission may not assess institutions pursuant to this subdivision on or after July 1, 2018;
(30) Promulgate rules allocating reimbursement of appropriations, if made available by the Legislature, to governing boards for qualifying noncapital expenditures incurred in providing services to students with physical, learning or severe sensory disabilities;
(31) Pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and section six, article one of this chapter, promulgate rules necessary or expedient to fulfill the purposes of this chapter;
(32) Determine when a joint rule among the governing boards under its jurisdiction is necessary or required by law and, in those instances, in consultation with the governing boards under its jurisdiction, promulgate the joint rule;
(33) Promulgate and implement a rule jointly with the council whereby course credit earned at a community and technical college transfers for program credit at any other state institution of higher education and is not limited to fulfilling a general education requirement;
(34) By October 1, 2011, promulgate a rule pursuant to section one, article ten of this chapter, establishing tuition and fee policy for all governing boards under the jurisdiction of the commission, except the exempted schools. The rule shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Differences among institutional missions;
(B) Strategies for promoting student access;
(C) Consideration of charges to out-of-state students; and
(D) Such other policies as the commission and council consider appropriate;
(35) Assist governing boards in actions to implement general disease awareness initiatives to educate parents and students, particularly dormitory residents, about meningococcal meningitis; the potentially life-threatening dangers of contracting the infection; behaviors and activities that can increase risks; measures that can be taken to prevent contact or infection; and potential benefits of vaccination. The commission shall encourage governing boards that provide medical care to students to provide access to the vaccine for those who wish to receive it; and
(36) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary sell, lease, convey or otherwise dispose of all or part of any real property that it owns, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter.
(37) Policy analysis and research focused on issues affecting institutions of higher education generally or a geographical region thereof;
(38) Development and approval of institutional mission definitions except the exempted schools, including use of incentive funds to influence institutional behavior in ways that are consistent with public priorities;
(39) Academic program review and approval for governing boards under its jurisdiction. The review and approval includes use of institutional missions as a template to judge the appropriateness of both new and existing programs and the authority to implement needed changes.
(A) The commission’s authority to review and approve academic programs for the exempted schools is limited to programs that are proposed to be offered at a new location not presently served by that institution: Provided, That West Virginia University and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology are subject to the commission’s authority as provided in section two, article one-c of this chapter;
(B) In reviewing and approving academic programs, the commission shall focus on the following policy concerns:
(1) New programs should not be implemented which change the institutional mission, unless the institution also receives approval for expanding the institutional mission;
(2) New programs which will require significant additional expense investments for implementation should not be implemented unless the institution demonstrates that:
(i) The expenses will be addressed by effective reallocations of existing institutional resources; or
(ii) The expenses can be legitimately spread out over future years and will be covered by reasonably anticipated additional net revenues from new enrollments;
(3) A new undergraduate program which is significantly similar to an existing program already in the geographic service area should not be implemented unless the institution requesting the new program demonstrates a compelling need in the service area that is not being met by the existing program: Provided, That the academic programs of the exempted schools are not to be taken into consideration except as it relates to academic programs offered at West Virginia University in Beckley and West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley.
(C) The commission shall approve or disapprove proposed academic degree programs in those instances where approval is required as soon as practicable. The commission shall maintain by rule a format model by which a new program approval shall be requested by an institution. When a request for approval of a new program is submitted to the commission, the chancellor shall provide notice within two weeks as to whether the submission meets the required format, and if it does not the chancellor shall identify each specific deficiency and return the request to the institution. The institution may re-file the request for approval with the commission to address any identified deficiencies. Within thirty days after the chancellor’s confirmation that the request meets the required format, the commission shall either approve or disapprove the request for the new program. The commission may not withhold approval unreasonably.
(40) Distribution of funds appropriated to the commission, including incentive and performance-based funds;
(41) Administration of state and federal student aid programs under the supervision of the vice chancellor for administration, including promulgation of rules necessary to administer those programs;
(42) Serving as the agent to receive and disburse public funds when a governmental entity requires designation of a statewide higher education agency for this purpose;
(43) Developing and distributing information, assessment, accountability and personnel systems for state colleges and universities, including maintaining statewide data systems that facilitate long-term planning and accurate measurement of strategic outcomes and performance indicators;
(44) Jointly with the council, promulgating and implementing rules for licensing and oversight for both public and private degree-granting and nondegree-granting institutions that provide post-secondary education courses or programs in the state. The council has authority and responsibility for approval of all post-secondary courses or programs providing community and technical college education as defined in section two, article one of this chapter;
(45) Developing, facilitating, and overseeing statewide and regional projects and initiatives related to providing post-secondary education at the baccalaureate level and above such as those using funds from federal categorical programs or those using incentive and performance-based funds from any source;
(46) (A) For all governing boards under its jurisdiction, except for the exempted schools, the commission shall review institutional operating budgets, review and approve capital budgets, and distribute incentive and performance-based funds;
(B) For the governing boards of, the exempted schools, the commission shall distribute incentive and performance-based funds and may review and comment upon the institutional operating budgets and capital budgets. The commission’s comments, if any, shall be made part of the governing board’s minute record and shall be filed with the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability;
(47) May provide information, research, and recommendations to state colleges and universities relating to programs and vocations with employment rates greater than ninety percent within six months post-graduation; and
(48) May provide information, research and recommendations to state colleges and universities on coordinating with the West Virginia State Board of Education about complimentary programs.
(b) In addition to the powers and duties provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and any other powers and duties assigned to it by law, the commission has other powers and duties necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes of this article: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to shift management authority from the governing boards to the commission.
(c) The commission may withdraw specific powers of a governing board under its jurisdiction for a period not to exceed two years, if the commission determines that any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The commission has received information, substantiated by independent audit, of significant mismanagement or failure to carry out the powers and duties of the governing board according to state law; or
(2) Other circumstances which, in the view of the commission, severely limit the capacity of the governing board to exercise its powers or carry out its duties and responsibilities.
The commission may not withdraw specific powers for a period exceeding two years. During the withdrawal period, the commission shall take all steps necessary to reestablish sound, stable and responsible institutional governance.
(d) The Higher Education Policy Commission shall examine the question of general revenue appropriations to individual higher education institutions per student, and per credit hour, and by other relevant measures at all higher education institutions, including four-year baccalaureate institutions and the community and technical colleges, and on or before January 1, 2018, the commission shall deliver its report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. This report shall include a recommendation to the Legislature on a formula for the allocation of general revenue to be appropriated to such institutions that provides for ratable funding across all four-year institutions and community and technical colleges on a ratable basis, by enrolled student, by credit hour or by other relevant measures. On such basis, the commission shall make a recommendation to the Legislature as to the amounts that each such institution should have appropriated to it in the general revenue budget for fiscal year 2019, based upon the total general revenue appropriations that such institutions receive in aggregate in the enacted budget for fiscal year 2018.
(a) The commission, created by section one of this article, shall employ a Chancellor for Higher Education who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission and who serves at its will and pleasure.
(b) The commission shall set the qualifications for the position of Chancellor and, when a vacancy occurs, shall conduct a thorough nationwide search for qualified candidates. A qualified candidate is one who meets at least the following criteria:
(1) Possesses an excellent academic and administrative background;
(2) Demonstrates strong communication skills;
(3) Has significant experience and an established national reputation as a professional in the field of higher education;
(4) Is free of institutional or regional biases; and
(5) Holds or retains no other administrative position within a system of higher education while employed as chancellor.
(c) The commission shall conduct written performance evaluations of the chancellor annually and may offer the chancellor a contract not to exceed three years. At the end of each contract period, the commission shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and compensation level.
(d) When filling a vacancy in the position of chancellor, the commission shall enter into an initial employment contract for one year with the candidate selected. At the end of the initial contract period, and each contract period thereafter, the commission shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and compensation level for the chancellor.
(e) The commission sets the chancellor’s salary. The salary may not exceed by more than twenty percent the average annual salary of chief executive officers of state systems of higher education in the states that comprise the membership of the Southern Regional Education Board.
(f) The commission may employ a Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences who serves at the will and pleasure of the commission. The Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences shall coordinate the West Virginia University School of Medicine, the Marshall University School of Medicine and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and also shall provide assistance to the governing boards on matters related to medical education and health sciences. The Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences shall perform all duties assigned by the chancellor, the commission and state law. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences, the duties assigned to this office by law are the responsibility of the chancellor or a designee.
(g) The commission shall employ a Vice Chancellor for Administration pursuant to section two, article four of this chapter.
(h) The commission may employ a Vice Chancellor for State Colleges who serves at the will and pleasure of the commission. At a minimum, the Vice Chancellor for State Colleges shall perform the following duties:
(1) Provide assistance to the commission, the chancellor and the state colleges on matters related to or of interest and concern to these institutions;
(2) Advise, assist and consult regularly with the presidents and governing boards of each state college;
(3) Serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the state colleges to represent them and to make their interests, views and issues known to the chancellor, the commission and governmental agencies;
(4) Perform all duties assigned by the chancellor, the commission and state law.
In addition, the Vice Chancellor for State Colleges shall provide staff assistance to the presidents and governing boards to the extent practicable.
(i) On behalf of the commission, the chancellor may enter into agreements with any state agency or political subdivision of the state, any state institution of higher education or any other person or entity to enlist staff assistance to implement the powers and duties assigned by the commission or by state law.
(j) The chancellor is responsible for the daily operations of the commission and has the following responsibilities relating to the commission and the governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(1) To carry out policy and program directives of the commission;
(2) To develop and submit annual reports on the implementation plan to achieve the goals and objectives set forth in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter, and in the compacts;
(3) To prepare and submit to the commission for its approval the proposed budget of the commission including the offices of the chancellor and the vice chancellors;
(4) To assist the governing boards in developing rules, subject to the provisions of section six, article one of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter requires the rules of the governing boards to be filed pursuant to the rule-making procedures provided in article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The commission and the council, either separately or jointly as appropriate, are responsible for ensuring that any policy which is required to be uniform across the institutions is applied in a uniform manner;
(5) To consult with institutions on human relations policies and rules;
(6) To perform all other duties and responsibilities assigned by the commission or by state law.
(k) The chancellor shall be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of all assigned duties and responsibilities.
(l) The chancellor, with the commission, advises the Legislature on matters of higher education in West Virginia. The chancellor shall work closely with the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and with the elected leadership of the state to ensure that they are fully informed about higher education issues and that the commission fully understands the goals, objectives and priorities for higher education that the Legislature has established by law.
(m) The chancellor may design and develop for consideration by the commission new statewide or region-wide initiatives in accordance with the goals set forth in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter, and the public policy agenda articulated by the commission. In those instances where the initiatives to be proposed have a direct and specific impact or connection to community and technical college education as well as to baccalaureate and graduate education, the Chancellor for Higher Education and the Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education shall design and develop the initiatives jointly for consideration by the commission and the council.
(n) To further the goals of cooperation and coordination between the commission and the State Board of Education, the chancellor serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the state board. The chancellor shall work closely with members of the State Board of Education and with the State Superintendent of Schools to assure that the following goals are met:
(1) Development and implementation of a seamless kindergarten-through-college system of education; and
(2) Appropriate coordination of missions and programs.
(a) Appointment of institutional presidents. — Appointment of presidents of the state institutions of higher education, except the exempted schools, shall be made as follows:
(1) The initial contract term for a president may not exceed two years. At the end of the initial contract period, and subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the governing board may offer the president a contract of longer duration, but not to exceed five years.
(2) The president of a state institution of higher education serves at the will and pleasure of the appointing governing board.
(3) Subject to the confirmation of the commission, the governing boards of the following institutions, appoint a president: Bluefield State College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Shepherd University, West Liberty University and West Virginia State University. The exempted schools may appoint a president without the confirmation or approval of the Commission.
(4) Subject to the approval of the council, the governing board of the community and technical college appoints a president for Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Bridge Valley Community and Technical College, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Mountwest Community and Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(b) Other appointments. — The President of West Virginia University appoints a campus president to be the administrative head of Potomac State College of West Virginia University and a campus president to be the administrative head of West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
(c) Evaluation of presidents. —
(1) The appointing governing board shall conduct written performance evaluations of the institution’s president. Evaluations shall be done at the end of the initial contract period and in every third year of employment as president thereafter, recognizing unique characteristics of the institution and using institutional personnel, boards of advisors as appropriate, staff of the appropriate governing board and persons knowledgeable in higher education matters who are not otherwise employed by a governing board. A part of the evaluation shall be a determination of the success of the institution in meeting the requirements of its institutional compact and in achieving the goals, objectives and priorities established in articles one and one-d of this chapter.
(2) After reviewing the evaluations, the governing board shall make a determination by majority vote of its members on continuing employment and the compensation level for the president in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.
(d) The legislative rules of the commission and council promulgated in accordance with section six, article one of this chapter and article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code which are in effect on January 1, 2014, continue in effect unless amended or repealed. The rules provide guidance for the governing boards, but are not applicable to the exempted schools, in filling vacancies in the office of president in accordance with this chapter and shall include, but are not limited to, clarifying the powers, duties and roles of the governing boards, commission, council and chancellors in the presidential appointment process.
(a) Each public and private institution of higher education shall develop and implement a policy to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs available on and off campus that includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Crisis intervention access, which includes information for national, state and local suicide prevention hotlines;
(2) Mental health program access, which provides information on the availability of local mental health clinics, student health services and counseling services;
(3) Multimedia application access, which includes crisis hotline contact information, suicide warning signs, resources offered and free-of-cost applications;
(4) Student communication plans, which consist of creating outreach plans regarding educational and outreach activities on suicide prevention; and
(5) Post intervention plans which include creating a strategic plan to communicate effectively with students, staff and parents after the loss of a student to suicide.
(b) Each public and private institution of higher education shall provide all incoming students with information about depression and suicide prevention resources available to students. The information provided to students shall include available mental health services and other support services, including student-run organizations for individuals at risk of or affected by suicide.
(c) The information prescribed by subsection (a), subdivisions (1) through (4) of this section shall be posted on the website of each institution of higher education in this state.
(d) Any applicable free-of-cost prevention materials or programs shall be posted on the websites of the public and private institutions of higher education, the Higher Education Policy Commission, and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 72.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 72.
Acts, 2017 Reg. Sess., Ch. .122.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 87.
(a) There is established in the State Treasury a special revenue fund known as the "research challenge fund." Moneys deposited in this fund shall be administered by the Higher Education Policy Commission.
The moneys deposited in this fund shall be used to fund coal research and development projects at institutions of higher education located in this state. Research includes, but is not limited to, carbon sequestration and carbon technology research and development projects. The moneys deposited in this fund shall also be used to fund other research and development projects at institutions of higher education in this state.
(b) The policy commission shall use the recommendations of the EPSCoR state advisory council in its allocation of appropriations made to the research challenge fund and in its development of procedures for competitive application and review of proposals for funding. The research challenge is a critical component in the state's strategic plan for economic development and the contribution of higher education in the economic health of the state and the EPSCoR state advisory council is well qualified, by virtue of its research-oriented mission and membership, to advise the policy commission in the allocation of research challenge funding.
The objectives of the research challenge are to:
(1) Increase the research capacity of institutions of higher education and the competitiveness of these institutions to apply for external funding;
(2) Stimulate the development of research and research products that are directly applicable in improving the economic competitiveness of existing West Virginia industries and the development of new business and jobs in the state;
(3) Leverage limited state resources with private and federal funds to support projects and activities directly related to economic development by requiring matching funds and cooperative agreements with external partners;
(4) Increase the production of undergraduate and graduate students of programs in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, with special attention to emerging disciplines such as biometrics; and
(5) Hold institutions more accountable for the success of research projects funded under this program with the expectation that state support will be phased out and the project or activity will be terminated if it is unable to generate ongoing external support.
(c) The priorities for the research challenge shall be:
(1) Research on energy generation, distribution and utilization that builds on the state's existing energy research strengths, related research products and technology transfer programs;
(2) Research, education and outreach conducted by the EPSCoR program. This federal program is recognized by the national science foundation as the state's primary entity for developing the research capacity that is so important to the state's economic and educational development;
(3) Research projects that are related to the economic development of the state and that have significant potential to attract participation and funding from industrial, federal or foundation partners;
(4) Collaborative projects between higher education and public education to improve science and mathematics education;
(5) Graduate education in science (including medical education), technology, engineering and mathematics. The allocation shall be used for the increase in doctoral students and programs at West Virginia University and Marshall university in these fields; and
(6) Recruitment of eminent scholars to strengthen research capacity and competitiveness for external funding.
(d) The policy commission shall report to the Legislative Oversight committee on educational accountability annually on the results of the projects and activities funded by the research challenge appropriation.
(e) The priorities established in subsection (c) of this section shall be reviewed biannually by the policy commission and the EPSCoR state advisory council beginning in two thousand six. The policy commission shall include any recommended adjustments in its budget request for the two thousand seven budget.
Acts, 2017 Reg. Sess., Ch. 122.