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Board of Governors approves new major, budget during annual meeting

ISSUED: 10 June 2024

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Board of Governors (BOG) held a productive June 6 meeting, from electing new leadership to revamping concentration offerings within major programs and approving the FY25 budget.

The board meeting began with the president’s report that informed board members of a possible collaboration between the Suzanne Shipley Wellness Center and the YMCA that would see significant investment in the facility.

Members offered comments about the potential impact on students and community members and directed Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix to continue exploring the possibility.

Six new concentrations and one new major also gained approval from the board. The concentrations include Cybersecurity and Network Security and Information Science within Computer and Information Sciences, B.S.; Environmental Science within Environmental Studies, B.S.; Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Management within Environmental Studies, B.S.; Performance within Music, B.A.; and Self-Design within Global Studies, B.A.

The newly approved major is Applied Mathematics and Data Science, B.S.

The meeting ended with a vote to appoint James Cherry, Ph.D. as chair, Austin Slater, Jr. as vice chair, and Susan Mentzer-Blair as secretary. Cherry said he is proud to be stepping into the role and wants to build on the hard work of Shepherd’s BOG, faculty, and staff.

“I’d like to see us get out of this time of assessment and prioritization so we can move forward to the future and ensure that the University is strong and stable for a long period.”

Last year, Cherry served as the vice-chair under the outgoing chair, Gat Caperton.

Board member Eric Lewis, the immediate past chair of the board, praised Caperton during the meeting.

“Shepherd owes Gat Caperton a debt of gratitude for a steady hand during a period of tough decisions,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t an easy time to be Chair of a university, and Gat led us with his usual calm demeanor and positive attitude.”

President Hendrix joined Lewis and other board members in recognizing and thanking Caperton for his leadership – with a resounding round of applause.

“The faculty, staff, and students are profoundly grateful for Mr. Caperton’s guidance and support,” she said.
The new leadership assumes their duties on July 1.

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