- West Virginia College will mix its agricultural school and its extension program starting July 2024, as part of its ongoing restructuring initiative amid a $45 million funds deficit.
- The Davis School of Agriculture, Pure Assets and Design and WVU Extension already share collectively appointed college, in addition to analysis and outreach tasks, based on a Wednesday college assertion.
- The announcement comes because the college is evaluating roughly half of its educational applications, with a watch towards chopping these with declining pupil curiosity.
The Davis-Extension merger — the results of which has but to be named — is a part of President E. Gordon Gee’s educational restructuring initiative.
Gee launched the mission in December 2020 to chop prices and remove redundancies between departments.
In Could 2021, the college introduced a separate merger of two of its schools to create the School of Utilized Human Sciences. And simply two months in the past, the college mentioned it could mix its School of Artistic Arts and Reed School of Media.
Gee described the newest merger for example of how WVU is trying to be “a mannequin for the trendy land-grant college in an evolving increased schooling panorama.”
“Whereas this resolution just isn’t solely targeted on saving cash, we do imagine that it’ll lead to administrative efficiencies and value financial savings over time,” a spokesperson for WVU mentioned in an electronic mail Thursday. “Financial savings alone are by no means a figuring out issue for tutorial and non-academic restructuring.”
The agriculture school at present enrolls about 1,600 degree-seeking college students, based on a college spokesperson. The extension program, which has an workplace in every of West Virginia’s 55 counties, has agriculture and pure assets initiatives and gives neighborhood engagement alternatives.
The merger will “lead to enhanced instruction each in lecture rooms and the neighborhood, elevated potential for trade and company partnerships, significant experiential studying alternatives for college students and elevated alternatives for college analysis collaborations,” Maryanne Reed, the college’s provost and vp for tutorial affairs, mentioned in a press release.
Leaders from WVU’s agricultural and extension applications will develop a framework for the brand new school this fall, with choices about its title and management construction anticipated within the coming months, the college mentioned.
They can even collect suggestions from working teams composed of school, workers, college students and alumni in the course of the upcoming educational 12 months.
It’s unclear if the Davis-Extension merger will result in college cuts.
“It’s too early to foretell any job losses,” a college spokesperson mentioned Thursday. “On account of the reorganization, the personnel wants of the brand new unit could change, and a few positions could also be eradicated and/or transitioned into different roles vital to its success.”
In July, college officers additionally mentioned they’re reviewing virtually 600 full-time college positions as a part of their audit of educational applications.
WVU management is anticipated to share the preliminary suggestions for tutorial program cuts with college Friday.
Amid this aggressive restructuring, Gee lately introduced he would step down from the presidency in June 2025.