WV Higher Education Policy Commission approves funding formula rule, streamlines academic program review and institution authorization process

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has approved a new rule for state higher education institution funding and streamlined academic program review and approval rules during its regular meeting.

The Series 2 funding rule is the next major step in implementation of a formula for state appropriations for all state colleges and universities. The rule approval represents the culmination of more than three years of collaboration among the Commission, the colleges and universities, and the West Virginia Legislature to develop a funding model that provides a data-informed and objective rationale for annual state appropriations to the institutions.

The Commission also approved significant updates to two additional rules related to institution academic program review and approval. Those changes to Series 10 and Series 11 rules would eliminate unnecessary or outdated reporting and establish a more collaborative academic program review and development process with the state’s public colleges and universities, said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education.

“In the last couple years, we’ve really worked closely with our institutions to revisit the intended purpose and effectiveness of longstanding rules,” she said. “We’re gearing our efforts toward the best outcomes for West Virginia’s students, in terms of quality of education and job opportunities. These changes will enable our institutions to focus on the most important higher education offerings, ensuring the state’s workforce needs are met without saturating the market with unnecessary programs.”

The Commission also approved updating the Series 52 rule for annual reauthorization of degree-granting institutions. The changes will streamline reauthorization for public institutions and improve focus on consumer protection for students at private institutions, while continuing to provide transparency for performance of all institutions, Tucker said.

As part of the rule promulgation process, the proposed rules will be filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State for an official 30-day public comment period. 

The Commission also reauthorized all public and private baccalaureate institutions for another year, with provisional reauthorization for Wheeling University, Alderson Broaddus University and Bethany College, pending their submission of additional information for review before the Commission’s next regular meeting on October 7.