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Gee offers vision for WVU moving forward during State of the University Address; students, faculty counter at downtown campus rally

By David Beard, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU President Gordon Gee outlined his vision on Monday of moving beyond the current turmoil to forge a “modern land grant university.”

Right after his State of the University Address, held at the Erickson Alumni Center, a rebuttal of sorts took place in front of the Mountainlair, organized by the West Virginia United Students’ Union.

The first portion of Gee’s address trod familiar ground: Academic Transformation, the program cuts and faculty layoffs.

“The past few months have had a deep impact on our campus community,” he said. “We have experienced intense emotions ranging from anger to great sadness. … I am keenly aware of the cost this process has come to bear. … Collectively, I know and trust we will find a way to move forward together.”

Gee moved on to review some of WVU’s accomplishments. Among them, more school of dentistry students have chosen to stay and work in the state: 41% in 2023 compared to 19% in 2022. And WVU was the driver in the successful selection of the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub as one of seven national hubs.

WVU must move beyond the current nationwide lack of confidence in the value of higher education, he said. Becoming “the modern land grant university” means respecting WVU’s origins while recognizing that needs have changed, new external forces are bearing down and society has evolved.

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