(a) It is the responsibility of the commission to work collaboratively with the council to develop and gain consensus around the public policy agenda for community and technical colleges.
(b) It is the responsibility of the council to oversee the implementation of the public policy agenda for the institutions under its jurisdiction.
(c) All matters of governance not specifically assigned to the commission or council by law are the duty and responsibility of the governing boards.
(1) The Secretary of Education and the Arts, ex officio.
(2) The State Superintendent of Schools, ex officio;
(3) The chair of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, ex officio.
(4) Seven at-large members who are citizens of the state, appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate: Provided, That prior to appointment, the Governor shall interview each candidate to assure that the person selected understands and is committed to achieving the goals and objectives as set forth in the institutional compacts and in section one-a, article one of this chapter. The Governor shall invite the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates Committees on Finance and Education and such other legislative leaders as the Governor may determine to participate in interviewing potential candidates.
(b) Each of the at-large members appointed by the Governor shall represent the public interest and shall be committed to the legislative intent and goals set forth in state law and policy.
(c) The Governor may not appoint any person to be a member of the commission who is an officer, employee or member of the council or an advisory board of any state college or university; an officer or member of any political party executive committee; the holder of any other public office or public employment under the government of this state or any of its political subdivisions; an appointee or employee of any governing board; or an immediate family member of any employee under the jurisdiction of the commission, the council or any governing board.
(d) Of the seven, at-large members appointed by the Governor:
(1) No more than four may belong to the same political party;
(2) At least two shall be appointed from each congressional district; and
(3) Effective the first day of July, two thousand eight, no more than one member may serve from the same county.
(e) The at-large members appointed by the Governor serve overlapping terms of four years.
(f) The Governor shall appoint a member to fill any vacancy among the seven at-large members, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the unexpired term of the vacating member. The Governor shall fill the vacancy within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy.
(g) An at-large member appointed by the Governor may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
(h) Before exercising any authority or performing any duties as a member of the commission, each member shall qualify as such by taking and subscribing to the oath of office prescribed by section five, article IV of the Constitution of West Virginia and the certificate thereof shall be filed with the Secretary of State.
(i) A member of the commission appointed by the Governor may not be removed from office by the Governor except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality and then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal of the state elective officers by the Governor.
(b) The commission shall hold an annual meeting at the final, regularly scheduled meeting of each fiscal year for the purpose of electing officers. At the annual meeting, the commission shall elect from its members appointed by the Governor a chairperson and other officers as it may consider necessary or desirable. All officers are elected from the citizen appointees. The chairperson and other officers are elected for a one-year term commencing on the first day of July following the annual meeting and ending on the thirtieth day of June of the following year. The chairperson of the commission may serve no more than four consecutive terms as chair.
(c) Members of the commission shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incident to the performance of their duties upon presentation of an itemized sworn statement thereof. The foregoing reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses shall be paid from appropriations made by the Legislature to the commission.
(d) A majority of the members constitutes a quorum for conducting the business of the commission.
§18B-1B-4. Powers and duties of Higher Education Policy Commission.
(a) The primary responsibility of the commission is to develop, establish and implement policy that will achieve the goals, objectives and priorities found in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter. The commission shall exercise its authority and carry out its responsibilities in a manner that is consistent and not in conflict with the powers and duties assigned by law to the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and the powers and duties assigned to the governing boards. To that end, the commission has the following powers and duties relating to the governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(1) Develop, oversee and advance the public policy agenda pursuant to article one-d of this chapter to address major challenges facing the state, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The goals, objectives and priorities established in this chapter including specifically those goals, objectives and priorities pertaining to the compacts created pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter; and
(B) Development and implementation of the master plan described in section five, article one-d of this chapter for the purpose of accomplishing the mandates of this section;
(2) Develop, oversee and advance the promulgation and implementation of a financing rule for state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction. The rule shall meet the following criteria:
(A) Provide for an adequate level of educational and general funding for institutions pursuant to section five, article one-a of this chapter;
(B) Serve to maintain institutional assets, including, but not limited to, human and physical resources and eliminating deferred maintenance; and
(C) Invest and provide incentives for achieving the priority goals in the public policy agenda, including, but not limited to, those found in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(3) In collaboration with the council, create a policy leadership structure capable of the following actions:
(A) Developing, building public consensus around and sustaining attention to a long-range public policy agenda. In developing the agenda, the commission and council shall seek input from the Legislature and the Governor and specifically from the state Board of Education and local school districts in order to create the necessary linkages to assure smooth, effective and seamless movement of students through the public education and post-secondary education systems and to ensure that the needs of public school courses and programs can be fulfilled by the graduates produced and the programs offered;
(B) Ensuring that the governing boards carry out their duty effectively to govern the individual institutions of higher education; and
(C) Holding the governing boards and the higher education systems as a whole accountable for accomplishing their missions and implementing their compacts;
(4) Develop and adopt each compact for the governing boards under its jurisdiction;
(5) Review and adopt the annual updates of the institutional compacts;
(6) Serve as the accountability point to state policymakers:
(A) The Governor for implementation of the public policy agenda; and
(B) The Legislature by maintaining a close working relationship with the legislative leadership and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability;
(7) Jointly with the council, promulgate legislative rules pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to fulfill the purposes of section five, article one-a of this chapter;
(8) Establish and implement a peer group for each institution as described in section three, article one-a of this chapter;
(9) Establish and implement the benchmarks and performance indicators necessary to measure institutional progress in achieving state policy priorities and institutional missions pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter;
(10) Establish a formal process for identifying capital investment needs and for determining priorities for these investments for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature as part of the appropriation request process pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter;
(11) Develop standards and evaluate governing board requests for capital project financing in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter;
(12) Ensure that governing boards manage capital projects and facilities needs effectively, including review and approval or disapproval of capital projects, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter;
(13) Acquire legal services as considered necessary, including representation of the commission, its governing boards, employees and officers before any court or administrative body, notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary. The counsel may be employed either on a salaried basis or on a reasonable fee basis. In addition, the commission may, but is not required to, call upon the Attorney General for legal assistance and representation as provided by law;
(14) Employ a Chancellor for Higher Education pursuant to section five of this article;
(15) Employ other staff as necessary and appropriate to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the commission and the council, in accordance with article four of this chapter;
(16) Provide suitable offices in Kanawha County for the chancellor, vice chancellors and other staff;
(17) Advise and consent in the appointment of the presidents of the institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction pursuant to section six of this article. The role of the commission in approving an institutional president is to assure through personal interview that the person selected understands and is committed to achieving the goals, objectives and priorities set forth in the compact, in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(18) Approve the total compensation package from all sources for presidents of institutions under its jurisdiction, as proposed by the governing boards. The governing boards must obtain approval from the commission of the total compensation package both when institutional presidents are employed initially and afterward when any change is made in the amount of the total compensation package;
(19) Establish and implement the policy of the state to assure that parents and students have sufficient information at the earliest possible age on which to base academic decisions about what is required for students to be successful in college, other post-secondary education and careers related, as far as possible, to results from current assessment tools in use in West Virginia;
(20) Approve and implement a uniform standard jointly with the council to determine which students shall be placed in remedial or developmental courses. The standard shall be aligned with college admission tests and assessment tools used in West Virginia and shall be applied uniformly by the governing boards throughout the public higher education system. The chancellors shall develop a clear, concise explanation of the standard which they shall communicate to the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools;
(21) Jointly with the council, develop and implement an oversight plan to manage systemwide technology including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Expanding distance learning and technology networks to enhance teaching and learning, promote access to quality educational offerings with minimum duplication of effort; and
(B) Increasing the delivery of instruction to nontraditional students, to provide services to business and industry and increase the management capabilities of the higher education system.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or this code to the contrary, the council, commission and governing boards are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Chief Technology Officer for any purpose;
(22) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a bachelor’s degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state community and technical college with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(23) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(24) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a master’s degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(25) Establish and implement policies and programs, in cooperation with the council and the governing boards, through which a student who has gained knowledge and skills through employment, participation in education and training at vocational schools or other education institutions, or Internet-based education programs, may demonstrate by competency-based assessment that he or she has the necessary knowledge and skills to be granted academic credit or advanced placement standing toward the requirements of an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree at a state institution of higher education;
(26) Seek out and attend regional, national and international meetings and forums on education and workforce development-related topics as, in the commission’s discretion, are critical for the performance of their duties as members, for the purpose of keeping abreast of education trends and policies to aid it in developing the policies for this state to meet the established education goals, objectives and priorities pursuant to section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(27) Promulgate and implement a rule for higher education governing boards and institutions to follow when considering capital projects pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter;
(28) Consider and submit to the appropriate agencies of the executive and legislative branches of state government an appropriation request that reflects recommended appropriations for the commission and the governing boards under its jurisdiction. The commission shall submit as part of its appropriation request the separate recommended appropriation request it received from the council, both for the council and for the governing boards under the council’s jurisdiction. The commission annually shall submit the proposed allocations based on each institution’s progress toward meeting the goals of its compact;
(29) The commission may assess institutions under its jurisdiction, including Marshall University and West Virginia University, for the payment of expenses of the commission or for the funding of statewide higher education services, obligations or initiatives related to the goals set forth for the provision of public higher education in the state;
(30) Promulgate rules allocating reimbursement of appropriations, if made available by the Legislature, to governing boards for qualifying noncapital expenditures incurred in providing services to students with physical, learning or severe sensory disabilities;
(31) Make appointments to boards and commissions where this code requires appointments from the State College System Board of Directors or the University of West Virginia System Board of Trustees which were abolished effective June 30, 2000, except in those cases where the required appointment has a specific and direct connection to the provision of community and technical college education, the appointment shall be made by the council. Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, the commission or the council may appoint one of its own members or any other citizen of the state as its designee. The commission and council shall appoint the total number of persons in the aggregate required to be appointed by these previous governing boards;
(32) Pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and section six, article one of this chapter, promulgate rules necessary or expedient to fulfill the purposes of this chapter. The commission and the council shall promulgate a uniform joint legislative rule for the purposes of standardizing, as much as possible, the administration of personnel matters among the state institutions of higher education and implementing the provisions of articles seven, eight, nine and nine-a of this chapter;
(33) Determine when a joint rule among the governing boards under its jurisdiction is necessary or required by law and, in those instances, in consultation with the governing boards under its jurisdiction, promulgate the joint rule;
(34) Promulgate and implement a rule jointly with the council whereby course credit earned at a community and technical college transfers for program credit at any other state institution of higher education and is not limited to fulfilling a general education requirement;
(35) By October 1, 2011, promulgate a rule pursuant to section one, article ten of this chapter, establishing tuition and fee policy for all governing boards under the jurisdiction of the commission, including Marshall University and West Virginia University. The rule shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Comparisons with peer institutions;
(B) Differences among institutional missions;
(C) Strategies for promoting student access;
(D) Consideration of charges to out-of-state students; and
(E) Such other policies as the commission and council consider appropriate;
(36) Implement general disease awareness initiatives to educate parents and students, particularly dormitory residents, about meningococcal meningitis; the potentially life-threatening dangers of contracting the infection; behaviors and activities that can increase risks; measures that can be taken to prevent contact or infection; and potential benefits of vaccination. The commission shall encourage governing boards that provide medical care to students to provide access to the vaccine for those who wish to receive it; and
(37) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary sell, lease, convey or otherwise dispose of all or part of any real property that it owns, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter.
(b) In addition to the powers and duties listed in subsection (a) of this section, the commission has the following general powers and duties related to its role in developing, articulating and overseeing the implementation of the public policy agenda:
(1) Planning and policy leadership, including a distinct and visible role in setting the state’s policy agenda and in serving as an agent of change;
(2) Policy analysis and research focused on issues affecting the system as a whole or a geographical region thereof;
(3) Development and implementation of institutional mission definitions, including use of incentive funds to influence institutional behavior in ways that are consistent with public priorities;
(4) Academic program review and approval for governing boards under its jurisdiction. The review and approval includes use of institutional missions as a template to judge the appropriateness of both new and existing programs and the authority to implement needed changes.
(A) The commission’s authority to review and approve academic programs for either Marshall University or West Virginia University is limited to programs that are proposed to be offered at a new location not presently served by that institution;
(B) The commission shall approve or disapprove proposed academic degree programs in those instances where approval is required as soon as practicable, but in any case not later than six months from the date the governing board makes an official request. The commission may not withhold approval unreasonably
(5) Distribution of funds appropriated to the commission, including incentive and performance-based funds;
(6) Administration of state and federal student aid programs under the supervision of the vice chancellor for administration, including promulgation of rules necessary to administer those programs;
(7) Serving as the agent to receive and disburse public funds when a governmental entity requires designation of a statewide higher education agency for this purpose;
(8) Developing, establishing and implementing information, assessment, accountability and personnel systems, including maintaining statewide data systems that facilitate long-term planning and accurate measurement of strategic outcomes and performance indicators;
(9) Jointly with the council, promulgating and implementing rules for licensing and oversight for both public and private degree-granting and nondegree-granting institutions that provide post-secondary education courses or programs in the state. The council has authority and responsibility for approval of all post-secondary courses or programs providing community and technical college education as defined in section two, article one of this chapter;
(10) Developing, implementing and overseeing statewide and regional projects and initiatives related to providing post-secondary education at the baccalaureate level and above such as those using funds from federal categorical programs or those using incentive and performance-based funds from any source;
(11) Quality assurance that intersects with all other duties of the commission particularly in the areas of research, data collection and analysis, personnel administration, planning, policy analysis, program review and approval, budgeting and information and accountability systems; and
(12) Developing budgets and allocating resources for governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(A) For all governing boards under its jurisdiction, except the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University, the commission shall review institutional operating budgets, review and approve capital budgets, and distribute incentive and performance-based funds;
(B) For the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University, the commission shall distribute incentive and performance-based funds and may review and comment upon the institutional operating budgets and capital budgets. The commission’s comments, if any, shall be made part of the governing board’s minute record.
(c) In addition to the powers and duties provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and any other powers and duties assigned to it by law, the commission has other powers and duties necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(d) The commission may withdraw specific powers of a governing board under its jurisdiction for a period not to exceed two years, if the commission determines that any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The governing board has failed for two consecutive years to develop or implement an institutional compact as required in article one-d of this chapter;
(2) The commission has received information, substantiated by independent audit, of significant mismanagement or failure to carry out the powers and duties of the governing board according to state law; or
(3) Other circumstances which, in the view of the commission, severely limit the capacity of the governing board to exercise its powers or carry out its duties and responsibilities.
The commission may not withdraw specific powers for a period exceeding two years. During the withdrawal period, the commission shall take all steps necessary to reestablish sound, stable and responsible institutional governance.
(b) The commission shall set the qualifications for the position of Chancellor and, when a vacancy occurs, shall conduct a thorough nationwide search for qualified candidates. A qualified candidate is one who meets at least the following criteria:
(1) Possesses an excellent academic and administrative background;
(2) Demonstrates strong communication skills;
(3) Has significant experience and an established national reputation as a professional in the field of higher education;
(4) Is free of institutional or regional biases; and
(5) Holds or retains no other administrative position within a system of higher education while employed as chancellor.
(c) The commission shall conduct written performance evaluations of the chancellor annually and may offer the chancellor a contract not to exceed three years. At the end of each contract period, the commission shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and compensation level.
(d) When filling a vacancy in the position of chancellor, the commission shall enter into an initial employment contract for one year with the candidate selected. At the end of the initial contract period, and each contract period thereafter, the commission shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and compensation level for the chancellor.
(e) The commission sets the chancellor's salary. The salary may not exceed by more than twenty percent the average annual salary of chief executive officers of state systems of higher education in the states that comprise the membership of the Southern Regional Education Board.
(f) The commission may employ a Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences who serves at the will and pleasure of the commission. The Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences shall coordinate the West Virginia University School of Medicine, the Marshall University School of Medicine and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and also shall provide assistance to the governing boards on matters related to medical education and health sciences. The Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences shall perform all duties assigned by the chancellor, the commission and state law. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences, the duties assigned to this office by law are the responsibility of the chancellor or a designee.
(g) The commission shall employ a Vice Chancellor for Administration pursuant to section two, article four of this chapter.
(h) The commission shall employ a Vice Chancellor for Human Resources pursuant to section two-a, article four of this chapter. The person serving as senior director of human resources by the commission on January 1, 2011, is Vice Chancellor for Human Resources on the effective date of this section. Additionally, the commission shall employ a qualified generalist in the field of human resources pursuant to section two-a, article four of this chapter. The human resources generalist shall report to the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.
(i) The commission may employ a Vice Chancellor for State Colleges who serves at the will and pleasure of the commission. At a minimum, the Vice Chancellor for State Colleges shall perform the following duties:
(1) Provide assistance to the commission, the chancellor and the state colleges on matters related to or of interest and concern to these institutions;
(2) Advise, assist and consult regularly with the presidents and governing boards of each state college;
(3) Serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the state colleges to represent them and to make their interests, views and issues known to the chancellor, the commission and governmental agencies;
(4) Perform all duties assigned by the chancellor, the commission and state law.
In addition, the Vice Chancellor for State Colleges shall provide staff assistance to the presidents and governing boards to the extent practicable.
(j) On behalf of the commission, the chancellor may enter into agreements with any state agency or political subdivision of the state, any state institution of higher education or any other person or entity to enlist staff assistance to implement the powers and duties assigned by the commission or by state law.
(k) The chancellor is responsible for the daily operations of the commission and has the following responsibilities relating to the commission and the governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(1) To carry out policy and program directives of the commission;
(2) To develop and submit annual reports on the implementation plan to achieve the goals and objectives set forth in section one- a, article one and article one-d of this chapter, and in the compacts;
(3) To prepare and submit to the commission for its approval the proposed budget of the commission including the offices of the chancellor and the vice chancellors;
(4) To assist the governing boards in developing rules, subject to the provisions of section six, article one of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter requires the rules of the governing boards to be filed pursuant to the rule-making procedures provided in article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The commission and the council, either separately or jointly as appropriate, are responsible for ensuring that any policy which is required to be uniform across the institutions is applied in a uniform manner;
(5) To perform all other duties and responsibilities assigned by the commission or by state law.
(l) The chancellor shall be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of all assigned duties and responsibilities.
(m) The chancellor, with the commission, advises the Legislature on matters of higher education in West Virginia. The chancellor shall work closely with the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and with the elected leadership of the state to ensure that they are fully informed about higher education issues and that the commission fully understands the goals, objectives and priorities for higher education that the Legislature has established by law.
(n) The chancellor may design and develop for consideration by the commission new statewide or region-wide initiatives in accordance with the goals set forth in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter, and the public policy agenda articulated by the commission. In those instances where the initiatives to be proposed have a direct and specific impact or connection to community and technical college education as well as to baccalaureate and graduate education, the Chancellor for Higher Education and the Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education shall design and develop the initiatives jointly for consideration by the commission and the council.
(o) To further the goals of cooperation and coordination between the commission and the state Board of Education, the chancellor serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the state board. The chancellor shall work closely with members of the state Board of Education and with the State Superintendent of Schools to assure that the following goals are met:
(1) Development and implementation of a seamless kindergarten- through-college system of education; and
(a) Appointment of institutional presidents. -- Appointment of presidents of the state institutions of higher education shall be made as follows:
(1) The initial contract term for a president of a state institution of higher education may not exceed two years. At the end of the initial contract period, and subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the governing board may offer the president a contract of longer duration, but not to exceed five years.
(2) The president of a state institution of higher education serves at the will and pleasure of the appointing governing board.
(3) Subject to the approval of the commission, the governing board of the institution appoints a president for Bluefield State College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, Shepherd University, West Liberty University, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University.
(4) Subject to the approval of the council, the governing board of the community and technical college appoints a president for Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Mountwest Community and Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(b) Other appointments. -- The President of West Virginia University appoints a campus president to be the administrative head of Potomac State College of West Virginia University and a campus president to be the administrative head of West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
(c) Evaluation of presidents. --
(1) The appointing governing board shall conduct written performance evaluations of the institution's president. Evaluations shall be done at the end of the initial contract period and in every third year of employment as president thereafter, recognizing unique characteristics of the institution and using institutional personnel, boards of advisors as appropriate, staff of the appropriate governing board and persons knowledgeable in higher education matters who are not otherwise employed by a governing board. A part of the evaluation shall be a determination of the success of the institution in meeting the requirements of its institutional compact and in achieving the goals, objectives and priorities established in articles one and one-d of this chapter.
(2) After reviewing the evaluations, the governing board shall make a determination by majority vote of its members on continuing employment and the compensation level for the president in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.
(d) The legislative rules of the commission and council promulgated in accordance with section six, article one of this chapter and article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code which are in effect on January 1, 2014, continue in effect unless amended or repealed. The rules provide guidance for the governing boards in filling vacancies in the office of president in accordance with this chapter and shall include, but are not limited to, clarifying the powers, duties and roles of the governing boards, commission, council and chancellors in the presidential appointment process.
(a) Each public and private institution of higher education shall develop and implement a policy to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs available on and off campus that includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Crisis intervention access, which includes information for national, state and local suicide prevention hotlines;
(2) Mental health program access, which provides information on the availability of local mental health clinics, student health services and counseling services;
(3) Multimedia application access, which includes crisis hotline contact information, suicide warning signs, resources offered and free-of-cost applications;
(4) Student communication plans, which consist of creating outreach plans regarding educational and outreach activities on suicide prevention; and
(5) Post intervention plans which include creating a strategic plan to communicate effectively with students, staff and parents after the loss of a student to suicide.
(b) Each public and private institution of higher education shall provide all incoming students with information about depression and suicide prevention resources available to students. The information provided to students shall include available mental health services and other support services, including student-run organizations for individuals at risk of or affected by suicide.
(c) The information prescribed by subsection (a), subdivisions (1) through (4) of this section shall be posted on the website of each institution of higher education in this state.
(d) Any applicable free-of-cost prevention materials or programs shall be posted on the websites of the public and private institutions of higher education, the Higher Education Policy Commission, and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 72.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 72.
(b) To further these goals of cooperation and coordination, to avoid unnecessary duplication of program development and delivery, and to ensure that programs and services address the public policy agenda established by the Legislature and the commission, compact elements and goals for post-secondary education, by the first day of September, two thousand three, Concord college and Bluefield state college jointly shall complete a comprehensive study of the degree to which these institutions are making progress toward meeting the goals for post-secondary education, their institutional compacts and the public policy agenda and shall report their finding to the commission. The report shall address specific examples of collaboration, cooperation or brokering in academic programs, administrative services or any joint efforts which aim to avoid unnecessary duplication and to ensure delivery of high quality education services.
(c) The commission shall analyze the report prepared by Concord college and Bluefield state college, together with any other relevant data, and report to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability by the first day of November, two thousand three. The report shall contain findings and recommendations to address at least the following areas relevant to the two institutions:
(1) The fiscal status;
(2) The progress in meeting the goals for post-secondary education, the institutional compact, and the public policy agenda;
(3) Possible academic and fiscal advantages that might be derived from an administrative link between the two institutions; and
(4) Any changes to the programs or services of either institution required by the commission based on their findings or those of the institutions.
(d) If the commission determines that either institution has made insufficient progress toward the goals established in this chapter, in the institutional compacts, in the public policy agenda established by the commission, or has not complied with the changes required by the commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the commission immediately shall take any action necessary to further the goals and requirements of this section.
(e) The commission shall continue to monitor and review each institution's compliance with this section.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch. 87.
The moneys deposited in this fund shall be used to fund coal research and development projects at institutions of higher education located in this state. Research includes, but is not limited to, carbon sequestration and carbon technology research and development projects. The moneys deposited in this fund shall also be used to fund other research and development projects at institutions of higher education in this state.
(b) The policy commission shall use the recommendations of the EPSCoR state advisory council in its allocation of appropriations made to the research challenge fund and in its development of procedures for competitive application and review of proposals for funding. The research challenge is a critical component in the state's strategic plan for economic development and the contribution of higher education in the economic health of the state and the EPSCoR state advisory council is well qualified, by virtue of its research-oriented mission and membership, to advise the policy commission in the allocation of research challenge funding.
The objectives of the research challenge are to:
(1) Increase the research capacity of institutions of higher education and the competitiveness of these institutions to apply for external funding;
(2) Stimulate the development of research and research products that are directly applicable in improving the economic competitiveness of existing West Virginia industries and the development of new business and jobs in the state;
(3) Leverage limited state resources with private and federal funds to support projects and activities directly related to economic development by requiring matching funds and cooperative agreements with external partners;
(4) Increase the production of undergraduate and graduate students of programs in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, with special attention to emerging disciplines such as biometrics; and
(5) Hold institutions more accountable for the success of research projects funded under this program with the expectation that state support will be phased out and the project or activity will be terminated if it is unable to generate ongoing external support.
(c) The priorities for the research challenge shall be:
(1) Research on energy generation, distribution and utilization that builds on the state's existing energy research strengths, related research products and technology transfer programs;
(2) Research, education and outreach conducted by the EPSCoR program. This federal program is recognized by the national science foundation as the state's primary entity for developing the research capacity that is so important to the state's economic and educational development;
(3) Research projects that are related to the economic development of the state and that have significant potential to attract participation and funding from industrial, federal or foundation partners;
(4) Collaborative projects between higher education and public education to improve science and mathematics education;
(5) Graduate education in science (including medical education), technology, engineering and mathematics. The allocation shall be used for the increase in doctoral students and programs at West Virginia university and Marshall university in these fields; and
(6) Recruitment of eminent scholars to strengthen research capacity and competitiveness for external funding.
(d) The policy commission shall report to the legislative oversight committee on educational accountability annually on the results of the projects and activities funded by the research challenge appropriation.
(e) The priorities established in subsection (c) of this section shall be reviewed biannually by the policy commission and the EPSCoR state advisory council beginning in two thousand six. The policy commission shall include any recommended adjustments in its budget request for the two thousand seven budget.
(b) The study includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Reviewing statutes, rules, guidelines, interpretations and other statements of policy;
(2) Surveying the capacity, professional training and practices of human resources staff by institution, including the number of staff employed in each institutional human resources office, their job titles and responsibilities;
(3) Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the statewide classification and compensation system and examining alternatives;
(4) Reviewing job titles and responsibilities to determine if certain families of jobs should be classified or nonclassified;
(5) Evaluating and recommending best practices and methods to establish salary rates for faculty, classified employees, nonclassified employees and administrators, including:
(A) Developing measurable indicators of "merit" and "performance" if these terms are to be used in a system for determining benefits;
(B) Developing reliable instruments of performance evaluation for all classes of employees; and
(C) Exploring the feasibility of authorizing employee bonuses under a merit or performance-based system;
(6) Determining the most effective and efficient method to train administrators who perform employee evaluations and assuring that they use these instruments appropriately;
(7) Exploring justifications for maintaining or removing the internal preference for hiring, promoting and transferring classified employees pursuant to article seven of this chapter;
(8) Developing recommendations for a fair and rational policy covering reductions in force;
(9) Identifying unnecessary state-level paperwork requirements related to personnel and recommending methods to eliminate them while maintaining strict fiscal accountability;
(10) Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of statewide tenure and promotion policies for faculty and examining alternatives;
(11) Evaluating the feasibility of implementing differential salary rates based on cost of living or other relevant factors;
(12) Determining whether employees whose salaries are derived from funds other than state appropriations should be subject to the provisions of article seven of this chapter and how such employees should be treated in any policy on reductions in force; and
(13) Determining the true costs or benefits as well as the advantages and disadvantages that may accrue as a result of decisions to outsource certain institutional functions. In order to perform a cost/benefit analysis, the Commission must first develop an accurate database of institutional practices including the number of positions being outsourced or filled by temporary employees and the true amount of cost savings, if any.
(c) The Commission shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by the first day of October, two thousand five, and every six months thereafter on the progress of the study.
(d) 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 by the first day of December, two thousand eight.
(1) In making its recommendations, the Commission shall take into account the impact of proposed changes on employees and the communities in which state institutions of higher education are located; and
(2) The Commission shall include documentation to support any conclusion or recommendation included as a part of their findings and shall attach estimates of cost or savings to each recommendation, if that recommendation has a fiscal impact on any public agency or institution.