Protests breaks out as WVU Board of Governors officially votes to cut staff, programs

Protests break out during WVU BOG meeting
Protests break out during WVU BOG meeting(WDTV)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:35 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - STORY UPDATE: After multiple stops and starts, clarifications, and interruptions -- West Virginia University Board of Governors has voted in favor of the Academic Transformation.

ORIGINAL STORY: A group of student activists began protesting in the board room as the votes for West Virginia University’s Academic Transformation began.

This -- in response to the University’s $45 million budget deficit. More than one hundred staff members would lose their jobs, and multiple programs would no longer exist if the vote is approved.

The protestors left the meeting amidst the chaos, with one university official heard yelling at them “You were not asked to leave. I want to make it clear you were not asked to leave.”

The students did eventually come back to the meeting.

The Transformation has not been with controversy. Earlier this month, the WVU Faculty Senate held a vote of no confidence in President E. Gordon Gee and to freeze the Transformation. The vote against Gee’s leadership was overwhelming -- 797 in favor of the vote of no confidence, 100 opposed. Still, the move was largely symbolic and has no barring on the BOG’s final decision.

State leaders are split on the issue, as well. Some delegates were calling for a special session to address WVU’s budget deficit. Governor Jim Justice shot that idea down, instead saying the university needs to get its “house in order.”

The final program recommendations are:

  • 28 majors will be discontinued. 10 are Undergraduate majors, 18 are Graduate/Professional majors.
  • 147 faculty members will be let go.