Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
West Virginia University (WVU) has recently announced recommendations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of academic support services. The recommendations, which were the result of an evaluation of the 20 Academic Support Units (ASUs) in the Provost’s Office, aim to better serve students’ needs and support the colleges and schools.
The evaluation process, which began in May, included self-studies, discussions with unit leaders, and stakeholder surveys that collected input from faculty, staff, and students. The possible outcomes of the evaluation process ranged from continuing at the current level of activity to identifying areas for development or discontinuation.
Fortunately, no units were recommended for discontinuation or development, which is good news for the employees and students relying on these services. However, there were specific recommendations for each unit to enhance their effectiveness.
The WVU Libraries, for example, will be reorganizing their operations to deliver services more efficiently. This will result in up to $800,000 in savings, but unfortunately, there will be personnel reductions. While no facilities will be closed, this reorganization aims to make the library services more cost-effective.
The Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) will also be shifting its mission to focus on the development of instructional skills. As part of this shift, responsibilities for classroom technology, instructional design, badging and micro-credentialing, and Zoom and related functions will be transferred to other units. This realignment will better support faculty in their instructional efforts.
Another area of focus is Career Services, which has been identified as needing investment for student success. A task force will be established to integrate Career Services into college-level curriculum and experiences, exploring its relationship with the Purpose Center. This integration will provide students with better support and guidance in terms of their career paths.
WVU Online, which provides online courses and programs, will continue at the current level of activity but with specific actions recommended. This includes developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, addressing technology infrastructure, programming, and instructional design. These actions will enhance the quality and accessibility of online education provided by WVU.
Other units, including the Center for Learning, Advising and Student Success, the Honors College, and the Office of Global Affairs, among others, were also recommended to continue at the current level of activity with specific actions. This demonstrates WVU’s commitment to optimizing and improving academic support services.
Efforts to evaluate and streamline non-academic operations at WVU are ongoing, with recent assessments provided by Strategic Initiatives and the General Counsel’s office. Evaluations of other areas, such as the Division of Student Life and University Relations/Enrollment Management, are also underway.
Overall, these recommendations reflect WVU’s commitment to providing quality academic support services while considering budgetary constraints. By streamlining and optimizing operations, WVU aims to better serve its students and ensure their academic success.