WVU Stewards speak out ahead of Board of Governors meeting

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:21 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia University Board of Governors is meeting this week.

The past few months have been challenging for WVU as they undergo an extensive transformation plan.

However, an unaffiliated organization is proposing potential alternatives to help the school.

WVU’s academic transformation has been met with a lot of criticism from students and faculty over the past several months. The university opted to cut around 140 faculty jobs, impacting multiple programs and majors.

However, in recent weeks a non-university affiliated organization calling themselves the “Stewards of WVU” is proposing an alternative solution to reach the desired $45-million budget cut.

WVU finance professor, Frank DeGeorge says the university’s initial plan left the board of governors in a difficult situation.

“They didn’t have a choice, the board and the university had to come up with a plan to cut $45-million, or we go into a really bad situation -- our bond rating drops, a lot of bad things happen if we don’t cut $45-million,” said DeGeorge.

DeGeorge says the Steward’s solution would cut money out of the General Institutional Support (GIS) Fund. According to the Stewards’ investigation into the school’s financial statements, it’s one of the largest non-revenue generating expenses at around $140-million. The Stewards say cutting money from here could avoid cuts in academics.

The Stewards have been attempting to get the board to consider their solution.

“We’ve been in contact with a few we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to reach the whole board because they’re meeting this week and it’s not too late, they’re starting to roll out the transformation plan, but it’s not going to be fully in effect until next year,” said Dr. Vincent DeGeorge.

A statement from a WVU official says the university’s recent actions to make cuts in this GIS fund are, “unrelated to any outside organization and any assertion to the contrary is false.”

Nonetheless, the Stewards say their alternative is gaining popularity on their website.