WVPA Sharing

WVU releases third set of final recommendations for programs under review

WV Press Release Sharing

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Office of the Provost announced five additional final recommendations on Friday (Sept. 1) from appeals hearings held as part of the Academic Transformation program portfolio review process. This is the next step following the announcement of the preliminary recommendations on Aug. 10.

Department of English

Future graduate students will continue to hone their skills in fiction, nonfiction and poetry as part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program under a final recommendation by the Program Review Appeal Committee.

The Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences successfully appealed a preliminary recommendation to discontinue the MFA in Creative Writing, as well as the number of positions recommended for reduction in the unit. The unit will now be asked to reduce the number of faculty in the unit from the current number to 28.

Despite sustained declines in undergraduate student enrollment, decreased student credit hour production and a low student-to-faculty ratio, the Committee recognized the unit’s need for sufficient faculty to teach service courses and plans to become more efficient in the delivery of its instruction. The unit presented a plan to merge the MA in English with the MA in Professional Writing, which also factored into the Committee’s Aug. 30 decision.

Maryanne Reed

“The English Department and its faculty made a strong case for maintaining its excellent MFA program by their willingness to improve instructional efficiencies and rethink their curriculum,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed.

School of Music

The Committee also granted the appeal presented by the School of Music to amend the preliminary recommendation to reduce the number of faculty positions in the unit. As a result, the final recommendation now calls for a reduction in the College of Creative Arts unit to 34.

The School appealed the number of faculty position reductions that would affect the BM Music Composition, BM Music Performance, MM Performance and DMA Performance programs citing its plan to adjust faculty workloads and improve instructional efficiency. The Committee also received data during the Aug. 30 hearing indicating the need to retain certain expertise for accreditation and to deliver the DMA programs.

The following preliminary recommendations were not appealed and will be presented to the WVU Board of Governors as listed below:

     ·      BA Music Business and Industry: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      BM Music Education: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      BM Music Therapy: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      BM Music Performance: Jazz and Commercial Music (formerly Jazz Studies): Discontinuance

                    ~  The unit has the Provost’s Office approval to begin the Intent to Plan process for a new degree in commercial music at the undergraduate level.

     ·      MM Conducting: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      MA Music Business and Industry: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      MM Music Education: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      MM Collaborative Piano: Discontinuance

     ·      MM Composition: Discontinuance

     ·      MM Jazz Pedagogy: Discontinuance

     ·      DMA Conducting: Continue at the Current Level of Activity

     ·      DMA Collaborative Piano: Discontinuance

     ·      DMA Composition: Discontinuance

Department of Communication Studies

The Eberly College’s Department of Communication Studies was unsuccessful in its Aug. 31 appeal of preliminary recommendations to reduce the number of faculty positions from the current number to 11.

Key considerations and concerns that led to the final recommendation include a sustained decrease in enrollment in the unit’s majors and in student credit hour production. The Committee also noted the unit delivers a large number of elective courses for non-majors.

The Department did not appeal recommendations for undergraduate or graduate programs in Communication Studies that focused largely on revising curriculum.

School of Education

The School of Education in the College of Applied Human Sciences made its case during an Aug. 31 hearing that the MA Special Education program has grown enrollment in each of the last two fall terms and is operating in a cost-effective manner. As a result, the Committee overturned a preliminary recommendation to discontinue the program.

The unit lost its appeals regarding recommendations to discontinue the MA Higher Education Administration and PhD Higher Education programs; both would need significant revisions.

A recommendation to reduce the number of faculty positions in the School from the current number to 18 will also remain unchanged. A decrease in student credit hour production and low student-to-faculty ratios factored into the Committee’s final recommendation. A plan to adjust the workload for some tenured and tenure-track faculty was also considered.

preliminary recommendation to discontinue the EdD Higher Education Administration program was not appealed.

The School also agreed with a recommendation to revise the BA Elementary Education program that includes a plan to participate in Ohio Reciprocity and an Expanded State Strategy by fall 2024.

“This is an opportunity to reinvent how West Virginia University supports K-12 education and the development of future educators in the state and region,” Reed said. “The conversations I’ve had with Dean Cyprès and the faculty in the College of Applied Human Sciences reinforce my optimism that the unit is committed to working with the state Department of Education to build a stronger pipeline of qualified K-12 teachers.”

Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

An appeal by the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering to reduce the number of faculty positions in the unit from the current number to five was unanimously denied during an Aug. 31 hearing.

The key components that led to the Committee’s final recommendation include significant and sustained enrollment declines across programs, a decrease in student credit hour production, low student-to-faculty ratios and a failure to reduce faculty positions in parallel with enrollment trends.

The unit in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources did not appeal a preliminary recommendation to explore developing a cooperative PhD program within a newly created program.

Separate from the program portfolio review process, a $4 million gift from Antero Midstream will provide support for undergraduate and graduate students in petroleum and natural gas engineering. The funding will also support upstream coursework for graduate programs and a newly developed online master’s degree and certificate program in midstream engineering, the first of its kind in the U.S.

Next steps

The BOG will hear public comments from those who have signed up or submitted their comments in writing in advance of Sept. 14 before a planned vote on the final recommendations during its regular meeting on Sept. 15.

The University will announce final recommendations on Sept. 5 for the remaining three units presenting appeals.

Learn more at transformation.wvu.edu.

Executive Director of Communications
University Relations
304-293-3990; [email protected]

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