Higher Education Policy Commission revokes Ohio Valley University’s authorization to confer degrees, approves master’s degree programs at Glenville State College and Bluefield State College
CHARLESTON, WV – During its meeting today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to revoke Ohio Valley University’s (OVU) authorization to confer degrees in the state beginning on June 30, 2022. This timeline will allow OVU to teach out students planning to graduate this spring. No enrollment of other students will be permitted in the spring. Ohio Valley University scheduled a transfer fair on campus today for students to support them in their next steps.
“Our foremost priority right now is to help these students, however we can, as they approach the end of this semester,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Staff at OVU have been incredibly dedicated to students throughout this process, and we are continuing to work closely with them to offer our support.”
As part of its responsibilities outlined in state law, the Commission is responsible for authorizing private institutions like OVU to offer degrees in the state. In today’s meeting, Commission staff reviewed several areas of concern regarding OVU’s operations. This included complaints from OVU students, parents, and employees about the institution’s inability to provide academic transcripts, financial aid records, and other essential student records, as well as its failure to compensate employees over the course of the past several months.
Commission staff have been working closely with OVU to monitor and, where possible, provide support in resolving these concerns. However, as a result of OVU’s inability to fulfill essential obligations to students and employees throughout the last year and its financial difficulties, staff made the recommendation to revoke OVU’s authorization.
In line with the issues scheduled to be considered today, OVU notified the Commission earlier this week that it plans not to offer classes in the spring 2022 semester. During today’s meeting, OVU provided Chancellor Tucker with a letter confirming that it will not confer degrees after the spring 2022 semester, and that it will teach out students planning to graduate in the spring.
Also today, the Commission approved a Master of Business Administration Program at Bluefield State College, as well as Master of Arts in Education and Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction at Glenville State College. The Commission further voted to approve university status for Glenville State College, pending successful implementation of its graduate academic programs by the fall 2022 semester.
The criteria for university status are: offering at least one master’s-level degree program; having an approved mission statement that provides for the offering of graduate programs; obtaining the approval of the Higher Learning Commission to offer any master’s degree program; and, having at least two-thirds of its faculty holding a terminal degree.