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New Funding Model

UPDATE 8/24/18: At the August 24, 2018 meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, a revised version of the Student-Focused Funding for West Virginia Public Higher Education was unveiled: http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/StudentFocusedFunding_Commission_24Aug2018.pdf.

Under this revised funding model, Shepherd’s budget increase would be $2.3 million, a DECREASE of $1.1 million from the March 23, 2018 funding model (see page 32 in the document link above).

Background

On March 23, 2018, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) presented the new funding model for state colleges and universities: http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FundingModelPresentation.pdf. Mandated by the West Virginia Legislature, the new funding model rewards schools that use the state taxpayers’ dollars to education residents of the state of West Virginia.

Under this new funding model, Shepherd, which has been the lowest funded state college/university for decades, would benefit with $3.4 million in reallocated funding. Also, under the new performance metrics, West Virginia University would lose $9.2 million and WVU Tech would lose $3.2 million.

The Blue Ribbon Commission, convened by the governor to examine higher education, and the subsequent sabbatical of Chancellor Paul Hill, the new funding model’s champion and architect, has delayed the implementation of the funding model that would reward Shepherd University. Additionally, WVU Tech’s president, Carolyn Long, has been installed as the interim chancellor, and WVU’s president, Gordon Gee, is a co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission, giving WVU disproportionate influence on the governance of the college/university system and on the Blue Ribbon Commission–an influence that could severely impact Shepherd’s autonomy and funding.