West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission releases enrollment report, announces newly appointed members

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission releases enrollment report, announces newly appointed members

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) held its regularly scheduled Commission meeting. During the meeting, HEPC released the Fall 2017 Enrollment Report, which covers national enrollment trends as well as projections and statistics for West Virginia’s four-year public colleges.

The report indicates that public four-year institutions nationwide are continuing to experience slow enrollment growth, increasing by 0.2 percent in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. The headcount in West Virginia’s public four-year colleges has decreased by 0.2 percent since Fall 2016.

Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the HEPC, notes that the report offers some encouraging statistics.

“There was a slight drop in overall enrollment since Fall 2016, but a 0.2 percent drop in enrollment represents 100 students,” said Hill. “The college-going rate of our high school seniors increased by 0.3 percentage points in 2016. Also, dual enrollment numbers have more than doubled since 2012, suggesting that our high school students are being proactive in preparing for postsecondary education, a trend we hope to see continue.”

During the meeting, HEPC staff highlighted the progress of several statewide initiatives aimed at improving college access and success. One of the initiatives highlighted, the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV), hosted more than 55,000 active accounts in the 2016-17 academic year, and 150 classrooms across the state received training on how to utilize CFWV.com, the state’s free college- and career-planning portal. Additionally, the HEPC’s “Txt 4 Success” project, which offers college counseling via text message to more than 11,000 students, was another key item discussed. A working paper released by the University of Virginia regarding this initiative reports that students who opt-in to receive texts are more likely to attempt and complete a higher number of college courses than students who do not receive text messages, and that students who receive texts are more likely to persist throughout their first year of college.

HEPC Chairman Michael Farrell announced that Governor Jim Justice appointed three individuals as Commissioners. They are as follows:

  • James Dailey, a graduate of West Virginia University and Northeast Louisiana University with a degree in construction management. He resides in Martinsburg, WV, and is currently chairman and treasurer of W. Harley Miller Contractors, Inc., a company he has been with for nearly 50 years. He is a former chairman of the West Virginia University Board of Governors.
  • Diane Lewis Jackson, a graduate of Fairmont State University with degrees in accounting and banking. She is the Founder, President and CEO of Action Facilities Management, Inc. (AFM), located in Morgantown, WV. She also serves on the West Virginia University Hospital Board, the Visiting Committee for the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and is a former member of the West Virginia University Board of Governors.
  • Dale Lowther, a retired accountant who resides in Parkersburg, WV. He served two terms as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors.

The Commission’s Nominating Committee, chaired by Jenny Allen of Shepherdstown, offered recommendations to fill officer vacancies for 2017-2018. Jenny Allen was confirmed as Vice Chair and Andrew Payne as Secretary. Michael Farrell was confirmed as Chairman at the June meeting.

Also during the meeting, Chairman Farrell announced the appointment of several members to the West Virginia Regional Technology Park (WVRTP) Board. The new members include the individuals below.

Appointed for a term ending June 30, 2018:

  • Georgette George, Chief Executive Officer at Monarch Holdings
  • David Hendrickson, founding law partner of Hendrickson & Long, PLLC
  • Steve Hedrick, President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC)
  • Kevin DiGregorio, Director of the Chemical Alliance Zone and Manager of ChemCeption

Appointed for a term ending June 30, 2019:

  • Jack Rossi, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Summit Community Bank
  • Anne Cavalier, Business Consultant and Councilwoman for the City of Smithers, WV
  • Matt Ballard, President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance
  • Honorable Ronald G. Pearson, retired Bankruptcy Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Appointed for a term ending June 30, 2020:

  • Diane Lewis Jackson, HEPC Commissioner and Founder, President, and CEO of Action Facilities Management, Inc.
  • Michael J. Farrell, HEPC Chairman and Founding Member of Farrell, White & Legg, PLLC
  • Admiral Joe Lopez, retired United States Navy four-star admiral who served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe

The HEPC is responsible for developing, establishing and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state’s four-year colleges and universities and for managing the Regional Technology Park on behalf of the State of West Virginia. For more information, visit www.wvhepc.edu.