There are items currently being discussed which relate to the CTC at WVUIT (i.e. a move to reunite this entity with the WVUIT four year school) and WVU at Parkersburg (i.e. a move to bring WVU-Parkersburg back to West Virginia University) but no legislation has been passed as of this week.
Mr. Miller has been working with the WVU Student Government Association this year on issues related to a “towing bill,” which did not pass.
Senate Bill 63 is good news for higher education. It approves money from the West Virginia Lottery proceeds for capital projects. This legislation is on its way to the House.
Senate Bill 638 will determine how the capital projects will be funded. 30% will go to WVU and Marshall, with the remainder divided among the balance of institutions in the state.
Senate Bill 373, which relates to the Promise Scholarship, sets the floor at $4,750.00; raised the amount from $27M to $29M taken from excess lottery proceeds; dissolved the Promise Board; and moved the administration of the PROMISE program under the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. This legislation is on its way to the House.
Senate Bill 464 gives the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) authority to charge $5.00 for each transaction processed on behalf of PEIA.
Senate Bill 695 relates to buying back unused sick leave from employees, but details are currently being revamped in this legislation to control costs.
House Bill 2961 relates to the reorganization of the WVU Board of Governors, and has passed the House of Delegates. This legislation would add a second faculty member to the board, either from health sciences or the university’s extension service. This bill is going to the Senate Finance Committee.
In reference to the current state budget, Mr. Miller advised that the Governor is going to send a letter today to the legislature, revealing new estimates on revenues. Mr. Miller added that since revenue estimates keep changing, and factoring in potential stimulus considerations, the legislature may have a special session in May and not have a budget until June.
Interim President Magrath thanked Mr. Miller for his diligent efforts, on behalf of West Virginia University, and added that we are well represented by having Dave Miller as our legislative liaison in Charleston.
DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
Interim President Magrath invited a discussion and question and answer session related to research universities. This topic was an expansion on the exposition by Dr. Curt Peterson of his Report/Presentation on the Research Enterprise during this morning’s Strategic Plans, Initiatives, and Accreditations Committee. Dr. Magrath noted that while West Virginia University is a 21st century engaged university with preeminent programs related to research, we are currently not as “intense” as we need to be in these efforts. He proposed that we need to: become more proficient in procuring federal fund-raising opportunities; become more entrepreneurial in developing partnerships with business and industry; and develop a strategic culture wherein research becomes a fundamental part of this university.
April 3, 2009