Dear WVU Faculty and Instructors:
I don’t have to tell you that it has been a challenging start to the Spring 2022 semester. Between the omicron variant and the winter weather, there has been a lot to contend with during these first two weeks. As always, we continue to persevere and push ahead, driven by our sense of purpose and our resilient Mountaineer spirit.
That sense of purpose continues to drive our transformation efforts as well. In a message to campus yesterday, the University communicated the new 2022 priorities for Academic Transformation. We are continuing this work to position the University for success, now and into the future, in a very competitive higher education environment.
The focus this year will be on campus-wide efforts, including graduate education and student success. In each case, the goal will be to identify what is working and which areas need to be improved upon, strengthened or completely transformed. We will need to prioritize where to align our limited resources to support of our R1, teaching and land-grant missions. We will also need to ensure we are in alignment with a new expected funding formula from the State that will place a high priority on improved retention and graduation rates.
Because this phase of work is complex and will impact our entire WVU community, we will need plenty of input from those who are working in these areas.
Multiple committees and workgroups (with large faculty representation) will be engaged in helping to shape the process and provide feedback at key decision points. We will also be working with colleges and departments to ensure we are considering both the impacts and unintended consequences of our transformation efforts.
Finally, we will be gathering input and feedback in a series of Campus Conversations focused entirely on Academic Transformation. The purpose of these conversations is to provide information and solicit feedback that can help further inform the process. The first conversation will be held on Zoom on Thursday, January 27, at 11 a.m. We hope to be able to hold future conversations in person to allow for even more engagement and dialogue.
Change can be difficult, but it is also necessary for our growth and development as individuals and as an institution. As we move more fully into the Spring semester, I hope each of you will embrace the opportunity to engage in the work of transforming our academic enterprise — both at the University level and within your academic units, research labs and classrooms.
Stay safe and well and know that you are appreciated. Thank you for your continued good work, patience and esprit de corps.