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Old 04-27-2014, 07:56 AM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,371,707 times
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Major improvements to existing classroom infrastructure, additional academic and facilities buildings, and additions to student beds that by themselves amount to more student housing capacity than exists at any other school in our state, ... all of this being done without the use of any significant state funding, are positioning WVU for a period of significant growth.

No efforts are being made to grow enrollment right now. More faculty and staff would have to be hired, and additional community resources would be needed, but it is clear this is where we are headed down the road and Dr. Gee is committed to that end and to bringing the community on board in a logical way as it takes place. It is amazing to watch the things going on around our city as all of these things take shape.

Article - 3 facilities to add beds at WVU

Article - To increase enrollment, infrastructure must grow

Article - Report shows WVU’s programs improving

Article - Journalism school changes to fit niche
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:07 PM
 
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Enrollment for this year appears to have plateau'd down 300 between Fall 2013 and the year before and likely to stay there for the time being. That's not good because WVU relies on tuition from the middle/rich class out of state parents from NY, NJ, Philly, NoVa, MD, etc. to keep it afloat.

State support for WVU has dwindled sharply from 10 years ago. Because of that WVU is forced to raise tuition at least 5 percent each year to keep up with rising expenses.

My understanding is that there is a hiring freeze going on at WVU with job openings going to employees from the reassignment pool (i.e. Student Health which has been taken over by WVU healthcare). Add to that ALL students are required to have insurance. Housing prices are going up sharply. More and more students are feeling the pinch.

It may be OK if the enrollment is growing in leaps and bounds but it's not. There's also a study coming up in which classified staff may have to be paid the market rate (and they should they've been grossly underpaid for a long time). WVU is forced into a precarious position in which a lot of tough decisions may be made sooner than later. It will take a solid effort between the university and city (improving but a long ways to go) to make this progressive growth work without any backlash.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:13 PM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,371,707 times
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Originally Posted by abwvu1 View Post
Enrollment for this year appears to have plateau'd down 300 between Fall 2013 and the year before and likely to stay there for the time being. That's not good because WVU relies on tuition from the middle/rich class out of state parents from NY, NJ, Philly, NoVa, MD, etc. to keep it afloat.

State support for WVU has dwindled sharply from 10 years ago. Because of that WVU is forced to raise tuition at least 5 percent each year to keep up with rising expenses.

My understanding is that there is a hiring freeze going on at WVU with job openings going to employees from the reassignment pool (i.e. Student Health which has been taken over by WVU healthcare). Add to that ALL students are required to have insurance. Housing prices are going up sharply. More and more students are feeling the pinch.

It may be OK if the enrollment is growing in leaps and bounds but it's not. There's also a study coming up in which classified staff may have to be paid the market rate (and they should they've been grossly underpaid for a long time). WVU is forced into a precarious position in which a lot of tough decisions may be made sooner than later. It will take a solid effort between the university and city (improving but a long ways to go) to make this progressive growth work without any backlash.
As I said, they have not made an attempt to grow enrollment at this point. In fact, they have intentionally suppressed undergrad enrollment slightly in order to be able to devote more resources to graduate studies and research. My point is that the school is positioning itself to grow in the future, and Gee has stated that growth to around the 40,000 student level will be his goal when the time is right. He feels the school needs to be there to compete effectively with peer institutions.

Classified staff is a whole different category than the academic personnel needed to grow student count.

I agree with you about state support, which is beyond pathetic. But it seems the school is prepared to make the best of that while growing in spite of the idiocy that permeates our state government in terms of their higher education policies and priorities.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
As I said, they have not made an attempt to grow enrollment at this point. In fact, they have intentionally suppressed undergrad enrollment slightly in order to be able to devote more resources to graduate studies and research. My point is that the school is positioning itself to grow in the future, and Gee has stated that growth to around the 40,000 student level will be his goal when the time is right. He feels the school needs to be there to compete effectively with peer institutions.

Classified staff is a whole different category than the academic personnel needed to grow student count.

I agree with you about state support, which is beyond pathetic. But it seems the school is prepared to make the best of that while growing in spite of the idiocy that permeates our state government in terms of their higher education policies and priorities.
Hahahah. No. Absolutely not. They provide no support to graduate studies at this university. In fact, the admin continues to try to cover their annual budget cuts by doubling the increases of student fees to graduate students of the Eberly College. They offer no better funding opportunities than half a decade ago, and have annually reduced the amounts given out as doctoral travel grants. This university has not put more effort into research - only into advertising (falsely, you might say).
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:56 PM
 
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Hahahah. No. Absolutely not. They provide no support to graduate studies at this university. In fact, the admin continues to try to cover their annual budget cuts by doubling the increases of student fees to graduate students of the Eberly College. They offer no better funding opportunities than half a decade ago, and have annually reduced the amounts given out as doctoral travel grants. This university has not put more effort into research - only into advertising (falsely, you might say).
Well I was well-funded by the University (fellowship), but I can see where you're coming from. Honestly, the University is still nascent in its support for graduate students. My experience, however, is that they're making strides. Mind you, I'm about to graduate from the Statler College, so it might be an apples/oranges comparison.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by adam36 View Post
Hahahah. No. Absolutely not. They provide no support to graduate studies at this university. In fact, the admin continues to try to cover their annual budget cuts by doubling the increases of student fees to graduate students of the Eberly College. They offer no better funding opportunities than half a decade ago, and have annually reduced the amounts given out as doctoral travel grants. This university has not put more effort into research - only into advertising (falsely, you might say).
Don't know how you are coming up with that. Research has consistently been growing on campus in spite of a scarcity of funding from the state, which recently is intent on pork waste in higher education spending. Also, graduate enrollment is growing, even though students are having to pay more of their own way ... same as with other institutions across the country given the current political environment. Public support for education has never been lower, that is true, but that does not reflect the school's commitment to furthering research and graduate studies.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
Well I was well-funded by the University (fellowship), but I can see where you're coming from. Honestly, the University is still nascent in its support for graduate students. My experience, however, is that they're making strides. Mind you, I'm about to graduate from the Statler College, so it might be an apples/oranges comparison.
Eberly only provides substantial funding to incoming students. I can't complain - I always have a TA available when needed, but the work requirements continue to grow with those... I never should have joined Eberly - the school is too weak to get good NIH money, unlike those at Health Sciences. I'm sure Statler is more professionally run and research focused given its relative payout to staff.

CT - the world of university research is based on external funding and output (publication) -- nothing else. The new buildings mean very little when the administration continues to fill them with middle of the road staff. I can't speak for other schools, but Eberly operates under the out-of-date "if you build it, they will come" approach. However, the reality of creating a top research institute in life sciences is more of a "if you poach the leading researchers from elsewhere, they will make you great".
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:37 AM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,371,707 times
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Originally Posted by adam36 View Post
Eberly only provides substantial funding to incoming students. I can't complain - I always have a TA available when needed, but the work requirements continue to grow with those... I never should have joined Eberly - the school is too weak to get good NIH money, unlike those at Health Sciences. I'm sure Statler is more professionally run and research focused given its relative payout to staff.

CT - the world of university research is based on external funding and output (publication) -- nothing else. The new buildings mean very little when the administration continues to fill them with middle of the road staff. I can't speak for other schools, but Eberly operates under the out-of-date "if you build it, they will come" approach. However, the reality of creating a top research institute in life sciences is more of a "if you poach the leading researchers from elsewhere, they will make you great".
I think what I'm hearing both of you saying is that schools have more emphasis in some areas of research than others. That makes sense. Pitt, for example, is a giant in the medical field but not so much in other areas. Statler is a strength for WVU. I think what we see happening is a matter of prioritizing points of emphasis. There is great interest, for example, in improving the US News "rankings" for undergraduate study. That would require hiring (from what I've read) hiring an additional hundred or so faculty members to bump up to the next category. That identified need conflicts with Adam's goal of hiring the very best researcher in a given discipline, who would undoubtedly come at a cost of more than one ordinary faculty member.

I believe they have decided on a balanced approach, which will hopefully result in overall growth both in the graduate and undergraduate sectors over time but nothing dramatic in either sector right away. They also seem to be putting more focus on areas with quicker profit turn around times such as engineering. There are a lot of wonderful things that come out of Eberly, but maybe it is time for a change at the top there to bring the approach more up to date?

We know that as an institution, the school can not count of adequate funding from state government which in reality is like an albatross around the neck. They have their expectations, but do not provide funding commensurate to those expectations. They are more concerned with political expediency and higher education in general suffers greatly because of that.

WVU is the state's only institution with the infrastructure and faculty on site to conduct serious research endeavors, but every part of the state has a certain amount of political capital, and if Morgantown has to spend theirs on highway infrastructure, for example, they have to give up a certain amount of support for The University to the idiots who would throw money intended for serious research down the drain on hair brained schemes elsewhere that only result in the preening of local egos, and some buildings that carry research names, but in reality are used for athletics or other purposes, or on redundant and unnecessary educational programs intended primarily to put butts in the seats of schools that are losing student head count overall.
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