(b) The Legislature further finds that this lack of scientific and technical capacity places the state at a competitive disadvantage to other states in terms of generating economic development and winning research grants, as evidenced by limited amounts of academic research and development funding, industrial research and development, small business innovation grant awards, technology-related start-up companies and the low number of high-tech jobs.
(c) To address these findings, there is created the Governor's Commission on Graduate Study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which may be cited as the STEM Commission, to address issues which include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Promoting coordination between higher education and K-12 education to create a seamless system of science and mathematics education and to improve science and mathematics education at all levels;
(2) Increasing the number of graduate students and post-doctorates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including the number of women and minority graduate students in these fields;
(3) Increasing the number of West Virginia undergraduate and graduate students who receive nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, such as Goldwater, Howard Hughes, National Science Foundation and Udall Fellowships;
(4) Improving the quality of graduate faculty and programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
(5) Aligning graduate programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the goals and objectives of the State EPSCoR Program, the State Science and Technology Advisory Council, the West Virginia Development Office and the Doctoral Scholars Program of the Southern Regional Education Board; and
(6) Increasing the quantity and enhancing the quality of academic research, as measured by federal and external expenditures for research and development.
(d) STEM Commission membership. --
(1) The Commission is comprised of fourteen members selected as follows:
(A) The Governor or designee, who serves as Chair;
(B) The Chancellor for the Higher Education Policy Commission; (C) The Director of Academic Affairs of the Higher Education Policy Commission;
(D) The Executive Director of the State EPSCoR Program;
(E) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Development Office or designee;
(F) The provosts of Marshall University and West Virginia University or their designees;
(G) Five members appointed by the Governor who represent academic, business and research interests; and
(H) The Chair of the House of Delegates Committee on Education and the Chair of the West Virginia Senate Committee on Education as ex officio, nonvoting members who serve in an advisory capacity.
(2) At least two of the Governor's appointees are state residents.
(3) The Governor shall make appointments to the Commission so that members may begin their deliberations no later than the first day of July, two thousand five.
(e) The Commission shall complete its work and report its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate the recommendations, to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the State EPSCoR Advisory Council by the first day of December, two thousand five.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session