On June 28, 2018, Governor Jim Justice announced a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine four-year public higher education. The commission, co-chaired by WVU’s President Gordon Gee, Marshall’s President Jerome Gilbert, and Concord’s President Kendra Boggess, is to submit its report to the governor by December 10, 2018. Thirty-six percent of the commission’s membership is made up of WVU partisans. Shepherd’s representative is Board of Governors chair and alumnus Eric Lewis.
The governor’s charge, issued July 27, 2018, states:
Governor Jim Justice sent this charge to the Chairs of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Four Year Higher Education this morning in advance of their first meeting today. The Governor hopes this charge will guide the Commission as they undertake the task of examining West Virginia’s four year higher education system.
The Governor charges the Blue Ribbon Commission on Four Year Higher Education to recommend policies, structure, and organization to improve four-year higher education. The Report will be submitted to the Governor by December 10, 2018.
Structure and organization
The Commission will recommend policies that support keeping schools in communities with institutional local governing boards, and that support mission differentiation, particularly, service, research, and innovation. In forming recommendations, the Commission will do the following:
- Examine policies and governance structures to provide institutions the ability to streamline administrative services to increase quality, create potential economies of scale and scope, including provision of services by a central service-providing entity.
- Examine policies that facilitate compatibility and alignment among the institutions and any central service-providing body.
- Examine policies that enhance the value and ability of four-year institutions to provide high-quality instruction, community outreach, economic development, as well as research and creative discovery within the scope of each institution’s mission.
- Examine methods used in other states to restructure higher education.
The Commission will recommend policies that provide all four-year institutions the opportunity to meet goals to increase access, retention and degree attainment. The Commission will do the following:
- Identify bureaucratic barriers and inefficiencies that interfere with the efficient delivery of education.
- Identify means to optimize access to instruction.
- Identify all technological breakthroughs to deliver world-class educational opportunities.
- Identify best practices to enroll, retain and graduate at-risk students.
- Identify incentives for graduates to remain in West Virginia’s workforce and leaders of West Virginia’s communities.
Blue Ribbon Commission Membership and Sub-Committees
- E. Gordon Gee Ed.D, West Virginia University
- Jerome Gilbert Ph.D, Marshall University
- Kendra Boggess Ph.D, Concord University
- Dr. Mirta Martin, Fairmont State University
- Anthony Jenkins Ph.D, West Virginia State University
- Michael J. Farrell, Esq., Higher Education Policy Commission
- Andrew A. Payne III, Higher Education Policy Commission
- Steven L. Paine Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools
- Dale Lee
- Marty Becker
- Eric Lewis
- Dr. Amelia Courts
- Gary G. White
- Ellen S. Cappellanti
- The Honorable Paul Espinosa, West Virginia House of Delegates
- The Honorable Martin Atkinson III, West Virginia House of Delegates
- The Honorable Brent Boggs, West Virginia House of Delegates
- The Honorable Mitch Carmichael, West Virginia State Senate
- The Honorable Roman W. Prezioso, Jr., West Virginia State Senate
- The Honorable Kenny W. Mann, West Virginia State Senate
Blue Ribbon Commission sub-committee list
Updated: September 6, 2018
Governance: Drew Payne, Chair
Gordon Gee will act as resource person
Finance: Gary White, Chair
Jerry Gilbert will act as resource person
Collaboration: Mike Farrell, Chair
Kendra Boggess will act as resource person