On July 2, 2018, Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia signed an executive order creating the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Four Year Higher Education. The primary charge to the Commission was to recommend policies, structure and organization to improve our system of four-year higher education in West Virginia. The Governor further charged the panel to submit a report on their findings to the Governor by December 10, 2018.
There are certain realities in today’s academic environment that the blue-ribbon panel must recognize, understand and confront in order to not only improve the system, but (1) to provide the opportunity for our institutions to compete, both nationally and globally; and (2) pursue and achieve critical public policy goals.
The following special report sets forth these realities and offers a proposal for the reform of our state level higher education structure that is cognizant of these realities and reflects the changes necessary to create competitive colleges and universities while achieving certain defined public policy goals.