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Key Initiatives at West Virginia
State University

My vision is that West Virginia State University will become the most student-centered, research and teaching, land-grant university in the state of West Virginia and beyond.
Achieving this vision will require the entire University community to utilize the strategy of "One Message Many Voices" in a united effort toward the key areas listed below that will significantly impact the success of the University and its students.
The University's strategic plan, Vision 2020: State’s Roadmap to the Future will guide our efforts toward achieving each of these nine initiatives. Completed in February 2014, it is a document that expresses a bold vision and strategies addressing academic programs, research, faculty rewards, student enrollment, student experience, marketing, branding, facilities, technology, philanthropy and alumni engagement.You can read more about it here.


We must make student recruitment a priority at State. We need to reach out into our communities, our neighboring states and internationally to recruit the best and the brightest to WVSU.
Recruitment doesn't just happen through the Admissions Office. Everyone in the State family can impact the size and the makeup of our incoming class. WVSU has an internationally renowned faculty, is building and renovating student facilities and is the best four-year educational value in the State of West Virginia—I encourage you share these messages, and more, in your neighborhoods, your churches, civic and professional organizations, and at family gatherings.


The second and third areas critical to achieving our vision are improving student retention and degree completion. We can’t simply recruit our way to success; we must work hard to keep the students we currently have on campus. Our students’ future success, literally the personal, financial and social opportunities of these men and women, is at stake if we fail to help them complete their college education. We must intentionally insert ourselves into the paths of these students before they leave the university
Student retention is everyone's job at State. We work hard to get our students here, now it’s time to put into place and to execute new programs and strategies to help them succeed academically, grow personally, and graduate.


The fourth initiative key to our success at State is to rebrand and market this great University. If we don't tell our story, someone else will tell it for us.
Branding exercises are underway and will continue as we take steps to achieve our objectives of excellence, accountability and being student-centered in everything we do at State. Everyone has a role in helping to rebrand and market the University. Clear, concise and professional communication is critical to us achieving the lofty goals we’ve set.


Fifth, State’s future as an economic engine for the Kanawha Valley depends on the continued growth of our research infrastructure. I challenge each of us to continue to seek opportunities to grow our research portfolio by attaining additional grants and corporate partnerships in order to enhance student learning and the regional economy.
Every faculty member must become involved in our research portfolio. We have the momentum to take research at State to another level in ways that will greatly enhance the experiences and the employability of our students and our graduates.


We are not interested in maintaining the status quo at State. Decisions about our sixth initiative, new academic programs, are based closely on the future economic and employment trends of this region. State will educate men and women who will contribute to, and lead, industry in West Virginia.
WVSU is responding to the demand for qualified workers with plans to begin a number of new bachelor’s degree programs and several new 2+2 articulation agreements with surrounding Community and Technical Colleges that will allow students to transfer seamlessly from selected two-year programs into bachelor’s degree programs at State. Additionally, the University is in the approval process with its oversight agencies to establish two new master’s degree programs and is rapidly expanding its portfolio of online and its continuing education courses.


A sustainable university requires a strong alumni base, our seventh area of emphasis. West Virginia State University is here, 121 years later, in part, because of the engagement and success of its alumni. These amazing individuals have become educators, mathematicians, chemists, nurses, judges, pilots, activists, dentists, ministers, actors, athletes, lawyers, military generals, artists, musicians, NASA personnel, CEOs, biotechnologists, coaches, and one Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
The potential of this University rests heavily on our ability to reengage our alumni in the many meaningful ways in which they can so greatly impact the success of our current students, future students, and literally the future of West Virginia State University.


State and federal funding will not enable us to grow the University at the rate required for us to remain competitive. Therefore, we’ve identified philanthropic giving as our eighth initiative. The University will strategically reach out to its friends, to charitable foundations, and to partners who share our values and our vision for West Virginia State.
We’ve received some generous gifts during 2012-2013, but we cannot rest on our laurels in this critical area of emphasis. Student financial need is higher than it’s ever been and we are committed to helping those who show promise and commitment toward achieving their dreams of a college degree.


The ninth area of focus is the enhancement of the physical and technological campus infrastructures. To achieve the eight other initiatives, we must make improving our facilities and our computer-related services a priority. We expect the highest standards of achievement from our faculty, students and staff and we must provide them with the tools they need to succeed.
The campus is under construction with the current renovation of Fleming Hall and ground-breaking plans for a new residence hall and a new athletic facility coming over the next 12 months.
An analysis of the entire University technology infrastructure will be completed in February 2013 and work will begin shortly thereafter to upgrade equipment and systems.
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