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Introduced Version Senate Bill 386 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia Legislature

2016 regular session

Introduced

Senate Bill 386

By Senators Mullins, Beach, Blair, Gaunch, Hall, Kessler, Prezioso, Trump and Williams

[Introduced January 25, 2016;
Referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.
]


A BILL to repeal §18B-1E-1, §18B-1E-2, §18B-1E-3 and §18B-1E-4  of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18B-1C-1 and §18B-1C-2 of said code, all relating to the West Virginia University Institute of Technology; finding that there is a need to maintain the valuable educational services provided by West Virginia University Institute of Technology; finding that there are continued enrollment and facilities issues facing West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, West Virginia; finding that West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Concord University, Bluefield State College and other private partners should collaborate; eliminating requirement that the headquarters of West Virginia University Institute of Technology remain in Montgomery, West Virginia; clarifying provisions relating to West Virginia University Institute of Technology Board of Visitors; eliminating outdated provisions; and repealing provisions relating to West Virginia University Institute of Technology Revitalization Project.


Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §18B-1E-1, §18B-1E-2, §18B-1E-3 and §18B-1E-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; and that §18B-1C-1 and §18B-1C-2 of said code be amended and reenacted, to read as follows:


ARTICLE 1C. WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

§18B-1C-1. Legislative findings and intent.

(a) The Legislature recognizes that:

(1) West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a vital part of higher education in West Virginia and has a rich and distinguished history of more than one hundred and twenty years of providing important educational opportunities that needs to continue;

(2) The engineering program at West Virginia University Institute of Technology plays a significant role in the continued success of the students at the institution and of the state as a whole;

(3) The average salaries of faculty at West Virginia University Institute of Technology are significantly lower than the average salaries of faculty at West Virginia University;

(4) (3) Facilities at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery are in greater disrepair and in greater need of overall capital investment than are facilities at West Virginia University; and

(4) In 2009, the Legislative Auditor completed a report stating that the facilities in Montgomery included a number of aging buildings with significant structural, heating, and cooling problems, and that the location of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology offered few enhancements to the quality of student life;

(5) In 2011, the Legislature commissioned a study and report seeking to revitalize the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and the report concluded that the West Virginia Institute of Technology needed to increase its enrollment from 1,100 to 1,800 and concluded that unless the State of West Virginia, West Virginia University, or other sources could commit to “a five to seven million dollar investment for each of the next five years, the revitalization legislation of 2011 will be seen merely as an exercise in futility;” 

(6) West Virginia University has for many years deployed revenues generated from its campus in Morgantown to subsidize the operations and capital improvements needed for its campus in Montgomery;

(7) Although the state, the Higher Education Policy Commission, and West Virginia University have made investments in the operations and facilities of the West Virginia University of Technology in Montgomery, the facilities in Montgomery need significant additional capital investment to be suitable to attract a sufficient number of students seeking a world-class, four-year higher education;

(8) The State lacks sufficient resources to address the issues facing the facilities and enrollment issues in Montgomery, and in recent years has reduced appropriations for all institutions of higher education;

(9) In 2014, Mountain State University decided to sell its assets, including its campus in Beckley, West Virginia and West Virginia University was offered the opportunity to negotiate for and ultimately purchased the campus in Beckley, West Virginia in the summer of 2015;

(10) To help ensure the continued viability and vitality of West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University has proposed relocating the institution to the newly-acquired campus in Beckley, West Virginia;

(11) The Higher Education Policy Commission has approved a proposal by West Virginia University and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Beckley Campus; and

(12)  West Virginia University, the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Bluefield State College, and Concord University have entered into an agreement to collaborate.  

(5) Collaboration between the engineering program of   West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Marshall University, and other private partners as appropriate would:

(A) Lead to a greater understanding and knowledge of engineering research;

(B) Lead to greater opportunities for students to engage in research; and

(C) Result in greater opportunities for participating students to find gainful employment in future research or to continue graduate level research and study.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage collaboration between among West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Concord University, Bluefield State College, and appropriate private entities to provide significant education opportunities to students.

(c) It is specifically the intent of the Legislature that:

(1) The baccalaureate engineering program offered at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology be and remain a permanent component of its curriculum;

(2) Collaboration in engineering and other appropriate programs occur between occurs among West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Concord University, and Bluefield State College and appropriate private entities; pursuant to section three of this article; and

(3) The West Virginia University Board of Governors develop a plan and take appropriate steps to continue to monitor and take appropriate steps necessary to address faculty average salary levels. In developing the plan In considering the issue of faculty salary levels, the board may consider the unique mission of the division and the performance expectations for faculty in meeting the goals of the institution. The plan also shall include recommendations for addressing the capital improvement needs at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.


§18B-1C-2. West Virginia University Institute of Technology; division of West Virginia University.

(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 advisory board previously appointed for campus president of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology is known as the 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. The headquarters of West Virginia University Institute of Technology remains in Montgomery, West Virginia. 

(c) The provisions of this section do not affect the independent accreditation or continued operation of The BridgeValley Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. Effective the first day of July, two thousand eight, the institution becomes 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 first day of April, two thousand seven, the West Virginia University Board of Governors shall develop and approve a plan to implement the provisions of this article. Beginning the first day of July, two thousand six, the board of Governors may begin implementing appropriate changes in the operations of West Virginia University Institute of Technology to further the purposes of this article.

(g)  (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.

(h) (g) West Virginia University Institute of Technology shall develop or maintain baccalaureate degree programs as a permanent component of its curriculum.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to help ensure the continuing viability and vitality of West Virginia University Institute of Technology by providing flexibility to West Virginia University and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology to relocate the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and to facilitate collaboration between four-year institutions serving southern West Virginia.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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