Associated Press Published

College Policy Oversight Agency Chairman Counters Criticisms

(left to right) Jerry Gilbert, Pres. of Marshall; Gordon Gee, Pres. of WVU; Kendra Boggess, Pres. of Concord; Michael Farrell, Commissioner with the WV Higher Education Policy Commission; and Gov. Jim Justice. During a press conference on July 2, 2018.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s board chairman is defending the agency against criticisms from West Virginia University President Gordon Gee.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports board Chairman Michael Farrell sent members of the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education a letter this week defending the Policy Commission and countering Gee’s disapproval.

Farrell’s letter says the urgency and brevity of time the Policy Commission has to complete its mission, including implementing the state accountability system over colleges’ funding, has deprived the Blue Ribbon Commission the opportunity to objectively learn about the value the Policy Commission has added to schools.

West Virginia University News Director April Kaull said in an email Tuesday afternoon that Gee was still reviewing the letter. She didn’t say why Gee considers the Policy Commission burdensome.