Chris Schulz Published

WVU Identifies Dozens Of Programs For Review, Possible Discontinuation

A West Virginia University logo, known as the "Flying WV" can be seen on the facade of a building. The letters are lit up by sunlight.
The West Virginia University logo on a building.
Brian Persinger/WVU Photo

During a Campus Conversation over Zoom Monday morning, West Virginia University identified 25 programs that will be subject to the program review process with the possibility of discontinuation. 

Earlier this year WVU announced an estimated budget deficit of $45 million. The school’s recently approved financial plan for 2024 requires reduced expenses totaling nearly $10 million, $7 million of which comes from a reduction in the number of employees.

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences had the most programs flagged for review at eight, including the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Chemistry and English.

The School of Public Health, the School of Pharmacy, and the College of Law will all be reviewed. The complete list of programs under review can be found here.

WVU Provost Maryanne Reed said the reviews are part of an academic transformation due to budget shortfalls at the university.

“Our goals for this work are as follows: To develop a more focused set of academic programs that align with student demand, career opportunities and market trends, while also supporting our land grant and research missions, and to ensure that the programs in our portfolio are being delivered in the most effective and efficient way possible” she said.

Reed also identified RPK Group, a national higher education consulting firm, that has helped the university validate the data and analysis used to select programs as well as helped develop a framework for decision making.

WVU President Gordon Gee said the review process was not an administrative effort, but a community effort that the entire university was engaged in together.

“This is a difficult damn process,” he said. “It involves the notion that we are engaged in making some very difficult decisions and people will be affected by those.” 

Mark Gavin is the associate provost for academic, budget, facilities and strategic initiatives. He clarified that just because a program is under review does not automatically mean it will be discontinued.

“Being on the list simply means that we need to take a closer look at the unit’s operations and programs to determine if, and I do emphasize if, some changes need to be made,” Gavin said. “There might be opportunities to achieve greater efficiency through personnel reductions.”

Gavin identified several reasons why programs and units such as departments were selected for review.

“The unit and its programs can be identified for formal review for one or more of several reasons, including concerning enrollment metrics for one or more of its programs, and/or for concerning unit-level metrics around (student credit hour) production, faculty resources, instructional efficiency or financial performance,” he said. 

Deans and chairs of the identified programs will now seek input from faculty and staff to create a Program Review Self-Study Form to be submitted to the provost’s office.

Recommendations for Program Reduction or Discontinuation will be made the week of August 11.

This is a developing story and may be updated.