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Priority 1

Priority 1

Identify current and new academic programs with growth potential

To attract new students to the University and further differentiate the institution, WVU must identify opportunities to grow existing programs and create new programs that are highly relevant and that address the needs of our students and the marketplace.

In order to see where those opportunities are, we must assess the overall “health” of our undergraduate, online and professional master’s programs and academic services.

Beginning with the Morgantown campus, we will review and analyze both internal and external quantitative data. We will also consider qualitative factors, such as the uniqueness of the program or its particular value to the University’s land-grant mission.

We will also utilize student interest data along with external benchmarking and industry data to help identify gaps in our academic portfolio that represent opportunities for new academic majors and programs that meet student and industry demand.

Programs that intentionally address issues of diversity and inclusion in their curriculum will receive special consideration, as well as those that enroll and retain higher numbers of under-represented students, minoritized students, first-generation students, and students who are financially disadvantaged.

This approach will enable us to make informed decisions regarding which programs the University should continue to offer and where to reinvest resources to support areas of growth and opportunity.

These efforts are focused initially on WVU’s Downtown and Evansdale campuses and will extend to regional campuses in the future. WVU Health Sciences is leading its own transformation process, although HSC faculty and leadership will participate in helping to identify shared areas of growth and opportunity.

Priority 1 Process & Timeline


  • First-level data is collected to determine “health” of each program - Gold Standard Measures
    • Headcount percentage growth in majors
    • Headcount in majors
    • Student credit hour generation
    • Percentage of first-time students
    • Retention rate
    • Degrees earned
    • Degrees conferred
  • Academic Advisory Committee/Deans review and provide feedback on measures and process


  • First-level data is reviewed internally by Provost’s Office
  • Gap analysis is underway to identify programs (both new and existing) that address market opportunities. Data collected to reflect:
    • Student interests
    • Employer needs
    • Competitive academic landscape
  • First list of programs for future action and further review is created (create, grow, sunset, reduce)
  • Second-level data gathering begins - Deeper Dive Measures
    • Cost analysis
    • Labor force needs
    • Retention by group category (e.g., first-generation student, under-represented minority students)
    • Accreditation implications
    • Faculty productivity
    • Growth capacity
    • Contribution to land-grant mission (program level)


  • Dean/chair/leader is notified of any programs identified for future action and further review (create, grow, sunset, reduce) 
    • Dean/chair/leader begins to develop a Program Review Report for any program identified for reduction or sunsetting – deadline is September 1
    • Discussions underway with dean/chair/leader to address gap analysis results and gain a better understanding of enrollment and revenue potential
  • Academic Advisory Committee and Deans Group review and provide feedback on gap analysis


Provost presents at the June 25 Board of Governors meeting:

  • Academic Transformation Program Review process and timeline update
  • Regular five-year BOG Program Review recommendations
    • Overview of all programs discontinued through past processes
  • Gap analysis and programs identified to grow or create
  • Academic mergers and restructuring recommendations
  • Instructional efficiencies
  • Results of advising audit
  • Faculty rewards and recognition update and implementation timeline
  • Student success initiatives and implementation timeline
  • Non-terminal master’s and PhD program review process update


  • Work continues on Program Review Reports and gap analysis discussions and implementation planning


  • September 1: Program Review Reports are due to Provost’s Office
  • Provost’s Office completes review of Program Review Reports and notifies deans/chairs/leaders of the preliminary recommendation to the Board of Governors*
  • Units may initiate appeals process
  • Provost presents recommendations to the Board of Governors
  • Board of Governors votes on list of program recommendations for action:
    • Continuation at reduced level (3.3.2)
    • Discontinuance (3.3.5)
    • Request additional information (3.4)
  • Work continues with dean/chair/leader to address and implement findings from gap analysis

Fall 2021 and Beyond

  • Work begins on implementation processes and timelines for creating, growing, sunsetting or reducing identified programs
  • Provost’s Office begins to identify second list of programs for possible action