(1) Each chancellor serves at the will and pleasure of the hiring body.
(2) Neither chancellor may hold or retain any other administrative position within the system of higher education while employed as chancellor.
(3) Each chancellor shall carry out the directives of the body by whom employed and shall collaborate with that body in developing policy options.
(4) The commission is responsible to the council and the Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education for providing services in areas essential to exercising the powers and duties assigned to the council by law. The commission may not charge the council any fee for the provision of these essential services. The service areas include, but are not limited to, legal services, research, technology, computing, finance and facilities, academic affairs, telecommunications, human resources, student services and any other general areas the council considers to be essential to the exercise of its legal authority. The services are provided under the general supervision of the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
(5) For the purpose of developing or evaluating policy options, the chancellors may request the assistance of the presidents and staff employed by the governing boards under their respective jurisdictions.
(b) In addition to the staff positions designated in subdivision (4), subsection (a) of this section, and section five, article one-b of this chapter, the Vice Chancellor for Administration, employed pursuant to section two of this article, serves the offices of the chancellors to discharge jointly the duties and responsibilities of the council and commission.
(1) The individual serving as vice chancellor for administration on the effective date of this section may continue to serve on an interim basis until the commission and the council have agreed, jointly, on a candidate to fill the position;
(2) The interim vice chancellor for administration may be considered as a candidate for the position;
(3) The position shall be filled on a permanent basis no later than the first day of October, two thousand four; and
(4) Any vacancy occurring in this position shall be filled pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(b) Any reference in this chapter or chapter eighteen-c of this code to the senior administrator means the vice chancellor for administration.
(c) The vice chancellor for administration has a ministerial duty, in consultation with and under direction of the chancellors, to perform such functions, tasks and duties as may be necessary to carry out the policy directives of the council and commission and such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
(d) The vice chancellor for administration shall supervise such professional, administrative, clerical and other employees as may be necessary to these duties and shall delineate staff responsibilities as considered desirable and appropriate. It is the responsibility of the vice chancellor for administration, within the parameters of the total resources available, to supervise and direct the staff in such a way that the staff and resource needs of the council, the commission and the offices of the chancellors are met.
(e) Any employee of the commission or the council whose job duties meet criteria listed in the system of job classifications as stated in article nine of this chapter is accorded the job title, compensation and rights established in the article as well as all other rights and privileges accorded classified employees by the provisions of this code.
(f) The office of the vice chancellor for administration and all personnel, except for the chancellor for community and technical college education and staff transferred to the jurisdiction of the council pursuant to subsection (a), section seven, article two-b of this chapter, who are employed on the first day of January, two thousand four, within the higher education central office and the West Virginia network for educational telecomputing remain under the jurisdiction of the commission. Prior to the first day of October, two thousand four, any such employee may not be terminated or have his or her salary and benefit levels reduced as the result of the higher education reorganization that occurs on the effective date of this section.
(g) The vice chancellor for administration shall follow state and national education trends and gather data on higher education needs.
(h) The vice chancellor for administration, in accordance with established guidelines and in consultation with and under the direction of the chancellors, shall administer, oversee or monitor all state and federal student assistance and support programs administered on the state level, including those provided for in chapter eighteen-c of this code.
(i) The vice chancellor for administration has a fiduciary responsibility to administer the tuition and registration fee capital improvement revenue bond accounts of the governing boards.
(j) The vice chancellor for administration shall administer the purchasing system or systems of the council and commission, the offices of the chancellors and the governing boards. By mutual agreement, the commission and the council may delegate authority for the purchasing systems or portions thereof to the institution presidents.
(k) The vice chancellor for administration is responsible for the management of the West Virginia network for educational telecomputing (WVNET). The vice chancellor for administration shall establish a computer advisory board, which shall be representative of higher education and other users of the West Virginia network for educational telecomputing as the commission and council determine appropriate. It is the responsibility of the computer advisory board to recommend to the commission and the council policies for a statewide shared computer system.
(l) The central office, under the direction of the vice chancellor for administration, shall provide necessary staff support to the commission, the council and offices of the chancellors.
(m) The vice chancellor for administration may administer any program or service authorized or required to be performed by the board of trustees or the board of directors on the thirtieth day of June, two thousand, and not specifically assigned to another agency. In addition, the vice chancellor for administration may administer any program or service authorized or required to be performed by the commission, council or chancellors, but not assigned specifically to the commission, council or chancellors. Any such program or service may include, but is not limited to, telecommunications activities and other programs and services provided for under grants and contracts from federal and other external funding sources.
(a) By and with the advice and consent of the Council for Community and Technical College Education, the commission shall employ a Vice Chancellor for Human Resources who may not be dismissed without the consent of the council. Any vacancy occurring in this position shall be filled in accordance with this section.
(b) The successful candidate for the position of vice chancellor provides vision, leadership and direction to ensure the human resources system for employees of the commission, council and governing boards is effective, efficient and aligned with industry best practices. The successful candidate possesses the following minimum qualifications:
(1) A master's degree in human resources or a related field; and
(2) Thorough knowledge of and experience administering employment laws and regulations, recruiting and selection techniques, employee relations techniques and methodologies, legal reporting and compliance requirements.
(c) The vice chancellor, in consultation with the chancellors, performs functions, tasks and responsibilities necessary to carry out the policy directives of the council and commission and any other duties prescribed by law. The vice chancellor oversees and monitors all issues related to the personnel system for higher education employees and provides advice and technical support to organizations as directed or requested on all issues related to the design, development, implementation and administration of the personnel system established by this chapter and by duly promulgated rules.
(d) The vice chancellor supervises employees at the commission offices involved in human resources functions, including the professional, administrative, clerical and other employees necessary to carry out assigned powers and duties. In consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Administration and the chancellors, the vice chancellor shall delineate staff responsibilities as considered desirable and appropriate.
(e) The vice chancellor provides support to the chancellors and organizations on a highly diverse range of issues, including assisting them to develop a culture of constant improvement in a rapidly changing, complex market. Duties of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Developing and implementing business-related initiatives involving organizational design, labor cost management, executive recruitment and compensation, leadership and management development, human resources data and technology, and compensation and benefits programs;
(2) Chairing, or designating a qualified designee to chair the Job Classification Committee and the Compensation Planning and Review Committee established by sections four and five, article nine-a of this chapter.
(3) Assuming responsibility for coordinating benefits programs for all employees, including designing these programs, and for supporting each higher education organization in implementing the programs;
(4) Assuming responsibility for coordinating classification and compensation programs for classified employees, including designing these programs, and for supporting each higher education organization in implementing the programs;
(5) Assisting, as directed or requested, organizations with classification and/or compensation programs for faculty and/or nonclassified employees, including, as appropriate, design and implementation of the programs;
(6) Maintaining consistent human resources information systems and selecting and supervising benefits consultants, brokers, trustees and necessary legal assistants;
(7) Maintaining the classified employee classification system by providing for regular review of jobs to determine whether the current job description accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities and whether the job is properly classified or needs to be modified or deleted. Every job shall be reviewed at least once within each five-year period;
(8) Ensuring that market comparison studies are conducted for classified employees and providing a report annually from data collected from each organization on the status of compensation among the employee classifications.
(9) As requested by organizations, assist with carrying out the following duties related to training and development:
(A) Analyzing and determining training needs of organization employees and formulating and developing plans, procedures and programs to meet specific training needs and problems.
(B) Developing, constructing, maintaining and revising training manuals and training aids or supervising development of these materials by outside suppliers;
(C) Planning, conducting and coordinating management inventories, appraisals, placement, counseling and training;
(D) Coordinating participation by all employees in training programs developed internally or provided by outside contractors; and
(E) Administering and analyzing annual training and development needs surveys. The survey may coincide with the completion of the annual performance review process.
(10) As requested, assisting boards of governors and/or presidents in conducting performance reviews of personnel who administer human resources functions at each organization in relation to best practices pursuant to articles seven, eight, nine and nine-a of this chapter and rules of the commission and council. Human resources personnel at each organization shall be evaluated at least once within each three-year period. Copies of evaluations will be submitted to the Vice Chancellor who shall analyze the results of these evaluations and target training and professional development to identified areas of deficiency.
(f) To assist in performing the duties of vice chancellor, the commission, with the consent of the council, shall create the following positions, and fill the positions beginning July 1, 2016, with well qualified and appropriately credentialed individuals who will report to the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and work collaboratively with governing boards and their employees at all levels:
(1) A Generalist/Manager who is responsible for a wide range of human resources management, the Human Resources Information System, reporting and program development activities;
(2) A Director of Classification and Compensation who is responsible for maintaining job classification systems, assisting organizations with classification and compensation matters, coordinating compensation studies with the compensation planning and review committee and external vendors, and conducting annual compensation program updates or market reviews;
(3) A Training and Development Specialist who is responsible for assessing training needs, and for planning, designing, developing, implementing and/or coordinating delivery of training and development programs and activities as required in subdivision (9), subsection (e) of this section and section six, article seven of this chapter.
The governing boards, on behalf of the state of West Virginia, are authorized and empowered to apply for, to accept and administer and expend for the purpose or purposes designated, any funds which now are, or may be made, available to the governing boards or to any institution under their jurisdiction from federal or private grants, appropriations, allocations and programs.
The governing boards have the power:
(1) To receive and disburse funds appropriated by the federal government for the construction, equipment, and improvement of academic facilities of institutions of higher education as required by the federal Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963, and any and all subsequent acts of Congress relating to the same subject;
(2) To apply for, receive, and administer, subject to any applicable regulations or laws of the federal government or any agency thereof, any federal grants, appropriations, allocations, and programs for the development of academic facilities on behalf of the state of West Virginia, or any institution of higher education, public or private, within the state;
(3) To develop, alter, amend, and submit to the federal government state plans for participation in federal grants, appropriations, allocations, and programs for the development of academic facilities and to formulate rules, criteria, methods, forms, procedures, and to do all other things which may be necessary to make possible the participation of the state in such federal grants, appropriations, allocations, and programs for the development of academic facilities;
(4) To hold hearings, and render decisions as to the priority assigned to any project, or as to any other matter or determination affecting any applicant for federal grants, appropriations, allocations and programs for the development of academic facilities;
(5) To hire personnel, purchase materials, make studies and reports, enter into contracts, and do all other things necessary to accomplish the duties as set forth in this section within the limits of the funds available.
(a) The governing boards may appoint bona fide residents of this state to serve as campus police officers upon any premises owned or leased by the State of West Virginia and under the jurisdiction of the governing boards, subject to the conditions and restrictions established in this section.
(1) A person who previously was qualified for employment as a law-enforcement officer for a state agency or political subdivision of the state is considered certified for appointment as a campus police officer at the state institutions of higher education under the jurisdiction of the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University.
(2) Before performing duties as a campus police officer in any county, a person shall qualify as is required of county police officers by:
(A) Taking and filing an oath of office as required by article one, chapter six of this code; and
(B) Posting an official bond as required by article two, chapter six of this code.
(b) A campus police officer may carry a gun and any other dangerous weapon while on duty if the officer fulfills the certification requirement for law-enforcement officers under section five, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code or meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) It is the duty of a campus police officer to preserve law and order:
(1) On the premises under the jurisdiction of the governing board; and
(2) On any street, road or thoroughfare, except controlled access and open country highways, immediately adjacent to or passing through premises, to which the officer is assigned by the president of the institution.
(A) For the purpose of this subdivision, the campus police officer is a law-enforcement officer pursuant to the provisions of section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.
(B) The officer has and may exercise all the powers and authority of a law-enforcement officer as to offenses committed within the area assigned;
(C) The officer is subject to all the requirements and responsibilities of a law-enforcement officer;
(D) Authority assigned pursuant to this subdivision does not supersede in any way the authority or duty of other law-enforcement officers to preserve law and order on such premises.
(E) Campus police officers may assist a local law-enforcement agency on public highways. The assistance may be provided to control traffic in and around premises owned by the state when:
(i) Traffic is generated as a result of athletic or other activities conducted or sponsored by the institution; and
(ii) The assistance has been requested by the local law-enforcement agency; and
(F) Campus police officers may assist a local law-enforcement agency in any location under the agency's jurisdiction at the request of the agency.
(d) The salary of a campus police officer is paid by the employing governing board. A state institution may furnish each campus police officer with a firearm and an official uniform to be worn while on duty. The institution shall furnish and require each officer while on duty to wear a shield with an appropriate inscription and to carry credentials certifying the person's identity and authority as a campus police officer.
(e) A governing board may at its pleasure revoke the authority of any campus police officer and such officers serve at the will and pleasure of the governing board. The president of the state institution shall report the termination of employment of a campus police officer by filing a notice to that effect in the office of the clerk of each county in which the campus police officer's oath of office was filed.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, and for purposes of enhancing the ability of campus police officers to perform their duties, a governing board may apply for and receive any public or private grant or other financial award that is available to other law-enforcement agencies in the state.
(1) A crime is considered reported when:
(A) A campus police officer or other officer of the institution determines that the report is credible;
(B) The report is submitted in writing and attested to by the victim on forms at the institution for such purpose; or
(C) The institution is notified by a law-enforcement agency of the reporting of a crime alleged to have occurred on the institution's property.
(2) Such reports are referred within twenty-four hours to the appropriate law-enforcement agencies, as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code, for further investigation.
(b) For the state institutions of higher education under the jurisdiction of the Governing Board of Marshall University and for the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, the campus police shall investigate a crime within their respective jurisdictions for up to thirty days if the county prosecuting attorney does not reassign the case to another agency sooner.
(c) The information required to be made available to the public regarding the crime report shall be available within ten days of the report. The information shall include the nature of the criminal offense, the date of the offense, the general location of the offense (such as a designation of a specific building or area of the campus) and the time of day when the offense occurred.
(1) This subsection does not require the release of any information which may disclose the identity of the victim.
(2) The institution shall withhold the information required to be made available to the public for a longer period upon certification of investigative need that the information be withheld from the public.
(A) The certification shall be filed by an officer of one of the investigating law-enforcement agencies with the president of the institution or the designee to whom the duties required by this section have been delegated.
(B) The required information may not be withheld after an arrest has been made in connection with the crime report.
(d) For purposes of this section, "crime" is defined as those offenses required to be reported under the federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended. "Crime" includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arrests for liquor, drug or weapons laws violations.
(e) The Council and Commission shall provide crime reporting forms to institutions under their respective jurisdictions and promulgate a rule pursuant to the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as necessary to implement this section.
(1) Rules for this purpose shall be promulgated by the governing boards in the manner prescribed in section six, article one of this chapter.
(2) When so promulgated, the rules have the force and effect of law.
(3) The governing board shall post in a conspicuous location in each parking facility or area, a summary of the rules governing the use of the facility or area including, but not limited to, the availability of temporary parking permits and where these permits may be obtained and the penalties which may be imposed for violations of the rules.
(4) The governing board shall post in a conspicuous location along each campus road and driveway notice signs pertaining to the speed of vehicles, spaces available for parking, directional flow of traffic and penalties which may be imposed for violations of the rules.
(b) Any person parking or operating a vehicle in violation of the rules shall be issued a citation:
(1) Describing the offense charged; and
(2) Ordering an appearance:
(A) Within ten days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays observed by the state institution, before a designated official of the institution;
(B) Before a magistrate located in the county if the person cited fails to appear within the ten days; or
(C) Before the judge of the municipal court, if the state institution is located within a municipality having such an official and the person cited fails to appear within the ten days.
(c) The designated official of the state institution has exclusive jurisdiction of the offense during the ten-day period until the citation is forwarded to a magistrate. For the state institutions of higher education under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University and for the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, the designated official of the institution has exclusive jurisdiction of the offense for thirty days following the violation. After thirty days the official shall forward the citation to a magistrate. Any person cited may plead no contest to the offense and, by so pleading, is subject to a civil penalty to be determined uniformly by the designated official and commensurate with the severity of the offense. For the state institutions under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University and for the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, the amount imposed may not exceed $20. For all other institutions the amount may not exceed $10, for each offense as partial reimbursement to the state institution of higher education for the cost of regulating traffic and parking. In the case of the state institutions under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University and in the case of the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, the designated official shall determine the penalty uniformly, commensurate with the severity of the offense, and may apply academic restrictions in lieu of requiring a student to appear in court and receive penalties otherwise provided in this section. Moneys derived from civil penalties imposed in this subsection shall be deposited in the institution's auxiliary and auxiliary capital fees fund.
(d) Upon expiration of the ten-day or thirty-day period, as applicable, or upon a pleading of not guilty before the designated official of the state institution within the applicable period, the magistrate or judge of the municipal court has jurisdiction of the offense. Any person cited under this section, upon a finding of guilty by the magistrate or municipal judge, is subject to a fine for each offense by the state institutions under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University and for the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, of up to $40, and at all other state institutions not less than $10 nor more than $20, the amount to be commensurate with the severity of the offense.
(e) Each designated official of a state institution presiding over a case under this section shall keep a record of every citation which alleges a violation of the provisions, or the rules promulgated in accordance with this section, and shall keep a record of every official action in reference to the citation including, but not limited to, a record of every plea of no contest, conviction or acquittal, of the offense charged, and the amount of the fine or civil penalty resulting from each citation.
(f) Whenever a vehicle is parked on any state institution campus road, driveway or parking facility or area in a manner which violates posted rules and substantially impedes the flow of traffic or endangers the health and safety, in addition to issuing a citation and any procedures set forth in this section, the institution may remove the vehicle, by towing or otherwise, to an area owned by the institution or areas designated for this purpose. The vehicle, having been towed to the designated area or areas, may be rendered immovable by use of locking wheel blocks or other device not damaging to the vehicle. The state institution of higher education shall maintain any vehicle towed in the same condition as it was immediately prior to being towed, but is not liable for any damage to a vehicle towed to, or kept in, a designated area pursuant to this section. The state institution of higher education shall pay for the cost of removing the vehicle and has a right to reimbursement from the owner for this cost and for the reasonable cost of keeping the vehicle in the designated area. Until payment of these costs, the state institution of higher education may retain possession of the vehicle and the institution shall have a lien on the vehicle for the amount due. The state institution of higher education may enforce this lien in the manner provided in section fourteen, article eleven, chapter thirty-eight of this code for the enforcement of other liens. For the state institutions of higher education under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University and for the state institution of higher education known as West Virginia University only, this subsection also apply when a vehicle is subject to three or more unpaid citations.
(g) If, at any time, Mountwest Community and Technical College ceases to share a physical campus location with Marshall University, it may not be included as an institution under the jurisdiction of the governing board of Marshall University for the purposes of subsections (c), (d) and (f) of this section.
(b) An institution of higher education may not confer a degree on any basis of work or merit below the minimum standards prescribed by the council or commission. (c) With the approval of the commission and subject to subsections (e), (f) and (g) of this section, governing boards of institutions which currently offer substantial undergraduate course offerings and a master's degree in a discipline are authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees in that discipline.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a charter or other instrument containing the right to confer degrees of higher education status may not be granted by the State of West Virginia to an institution, association or organization within the state, nor may a degree be awarded, until the condition of conferring the degree first has been approved in writing by the council or commission, as appropriate, or by the institution's governing board in the case of Marshall University or West Virginia University.
(e) To retain the authority to confer degrees pursuant to this section, each institution shall provide annually to the commission or council, as requested, all information the commission or council considers necessary to assess the performance of the institution and to determine whether the institution continues to meet the minimum standards for conferring degrees. This information includes, but is not limited to, the following data:
(1) All information current and future federal or state laws and regulations require the institution to report to the public, to students, to employees or to federal or state agencies;
(2) Other consumer information the commission or council considers necessary, including, but not limited to, graduation and retention rates, transfers, post-graduation placements, loan defaults and numbers and types of student complaints;
(3) A detailed explanation of financial operations including, but not limited to, policies, formulas and procedures related to calculation, payment and refund for all tuition and fees; and
(4) An assessment of the adequacy of the institution's curriculum, personnel, facilities, materials and equipment to meet the minimum standards for conferring degrees.
(f) The commission and council may conduct on-site reviews to evaluate an institution's academic standards, may conduct financial audits, or may require the institution to perform these audits and provide detailed data to the commission or council.
(g) The commission or council shall revoke an institution's authority to confer degrees when the institution's governing body, chief executive officer, or both, have done any one or more of the following:
(1) Failed to maintain the minimum standards for conferring degrees;
(2) Refused or willfully failed to provide information to the commission or council pursuant to this subsection in a manner and within a reasonable time frame as established by the commission or council, as appropriate; or
(3) Willfully provided false, misleading or incomplete information to the commission or council.
(h) The commission and council each shall compile the information collected pursuant to subdivisions (e), (f) and (g) of this section and submit a report on the information to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability annually beginning December 1, 2012. The commission and council each shall make the information and report available to the public in a form and manner that is accessible to the general public, including, but not limited to, posting on its website.
(b) The board shall have authority to appoint such officers, employees and agents as may be necessary to carry out the purposes for which the board is organized. It shall keep a full and complete record of its transactions, showing, among other things, every dead human body coming under its authority, giving name, sex, age, date of death, place from which received and when and from whom received, which record shall be open at all times to the inspection of the attorney general and any prosecuting attorney in the state.
(c) The board shall be responsible for making requisition for, receiving and making disposition of the dead human bodies for the scientific uses and purposes of reputable education institutions, within the state and elsewhere, having medical, osteopathy, dentistry or nursing schools. The board shall have full power to establish rules for its own government and for the requisition, use, disposition and control of such bodies as may come under its authority by way of gift, pursuant to this section or pursuant to section four, article nineteen, chapter sixteen of this code.
(d) All dead human bodies which may come under the charge or control of any mortician, any officer or agent of the department of welfare or of any county commission or municipality, or any superintendent, officer or agent having the supervision of any prison, morgue, hospital or other public institution in this state and which may be required to be buried at public expense, shall be subject to the requisition of the board as provided in this section. No such body shall be delivered to the board if any person related to the deceased by blood or marriage shall make a statement in writing to that effect and shall claim such body for burial or shall make affidavit that the relative is unable to bear the expense of burial and desires that the deceased be buried at public expense. This statement and affidavit may be filed by any such relative with the person having charge and control of the body of the person so claimed, either before or after the death of such person.
(e) No autopsy shall be performed on any unclaimed body without the written permission of the board, except upon the proper order of a duly authorized law-enforcement officer.
(f) It shall be the duty of any person who has charge or control of any unclaimed body, subject to requisition by the board, to give notice to the board of that fact by telephone or telegraph within twenty-four hours after such body comes under that person's control. Thereafter, such person shall hold the body subject to the order of the board for at least twenty-four hours after the sending of such notice. If the board makes requisition for the body within the twenty-four hour period, it shall be delivered, pursuant to the order of the board, to the board or its authorized agent for transportation to any education institution which the board considers to be in bona fide need of the body and able to adequately control, use and dispose of the body. The board shall make suitable arrangements for the transportation of any body, or part or parts of any body, which may come under its authority to the education institution. All expenses incurred in connection with the preservation, delivery and transportation of any body delivered pursuant to the order of the board shall be paid by the education institution receiving the body.
(g) No dead body shall be received or requisitioned by the board until the members of the board have filed a bond with the clerk of the circuit court of Kanawha County in a penalty of one thousand dollars, with good security, signed by a responsible person or persons, or by some surety company authorized to do business in this state, or have proved to the clerk that they are covered by a suitable bond in at least that amount, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties.
(h) Any person who shall neglect, refuse or fail to perform any duty required by this section relating to the board shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county or regional jail for not more than ten days or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any person who fails to give the required notice that that person has charge of an unclaimed body subject to requisition by the board shall also be personally liable for all burial expenses, if such body was buried at public expense, to the public agency that paid for the burial.
(a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds that veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States that attend institutions of higher education in this state have many unique needs, issues and concerns that most traditional students do not have. Many of these veterans have had or will be subject to multiple deployments to active duty, including overseas deployment, resulting in challenges to their pursuit of higher education.
(b) Legislative intent. -- It is the intent of the Legislature that state institutions of higher education provide adequate services and facilities for student veterans in order to better serve their unique needs and to make West Virginia's state institutions of higher education veteran-friendly.
(c) The commission, council and each state institution of higher education shall establish and implement measures to assure that veterans enrolled in the institutions receive services and are provided facilities appropriate for their needs, that student veterans complete programs of study and earn degrees, and that the institutions become veteran-friendly by actively and effectively providing academic and social support and assistance to student veterans. The measures shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Establishing veteran-friendly community and technical college degree programs which recognize and award academic credit toward degrees for various types of technical and vocational military training and experience;
(2) Developing policies for each state institution of higher education to grant academic credit for Armed Forces experiences;
(3) Developing programs to encourage student veterans to share their specialized experience and knowledge gained through military service by making presentations in class, public school programs and local community organizations;
(4) Establishing and sponsoring an organization for student veterans on campus and encouraging other veteran-friendly organizations;
(5) Appointing and training specific faculty within each degree program or major as liaisons and contacts for student veterans;
(6) Providing information about programs that grant credit for prior learning to student veterans and potential student veterans;
(7) Coordinating existing disability services on campus with veteran disability services available from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, other federal and state agencies, and private resources;
(8) Designating individuals to provide financial and psychological counseling services on each campus who are trained to effectively respond to the needs of veterans and to provide services or referrals to services to fulfill these needs for student veterans, and to the extent practicable, providing those services and programs in one location;
(9) Developing training materials on responding to student veteran needs to be available for continued professional development of counselors to student veterans;
(10) Facilitating regular statewide meetings for all personnel at state institutions of higher education who regularly provide specific services to student veterans to discuss and develop best practices, exchange ideas and experiences, and hear presentations by individuals with generally accepted expertise in areas of the various needs of student veterans;
(11) Gathering data on the status of student veterans, including their graduation rates, comparing that rate with the graduation rate of other students in the institution, and reporting those results to appropriate state and federal agencies, including the West Virginia Legislature;
(12) Establishing a program to create a collaborative relationship between student veterans and alumni of the institution, and with prospective employers to facilitate and provide employment as well as social opportunities to graduating student veterans;
(13) Developing and facilitating communications between state institutions of higher education and various veteran organizations in the state to advance veteran causes that benefit student veterans; and
(14) Coordinating among all relevant departments within each state institution of higher education including but not limited to admissions, the registrar, the bursar, the veterans advocate and financial aid to ensure that relevant deadlines or time-lines are met for certifying veterans' enrollment as early as practicable to ensure that assistance is received from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) in a timely fashion. Measures to achieve greater coordination shall include but are not limited to:
(A) Identifying applicants who are veterans as early as possible;
(B) Taking affirmative steps to reach out to veteran applicants to inform them of relevant policies, time-lines or deadlines for receiving veterans assistance;
(C) Developing a communications plan between departments, applicants and students to ensure that deadlines or time-lines are being met;
(D) Developing plans to assist students when U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits are not received in a timely fashion. Such plans could include forbearance of payment deadlines, short- term loans, grants, or a revolving fund.
(E) Making every effort to provide sufficient class sections to meet the needs of students for classes which are required for graduation, including where appropriate, giving student veterans priority registration.
(d) Veterans Advocates. -- Each state institution of higher education shall appoint or designate and train a person, preferably a veteran, to serve as a veterans advocate on its campus. The commission and council shall also provide training for veterans advocates at each of the institutions under their respective jurisdictions. The veterans advocate shall serve as the primary point of contact and campus advocate for current and prospective students who are veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States or are current members of the Armed Forces of the United States, including reserve components of the National Guard of this state or any other state. The duties and responsibilities of the veterans advocate include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) Assist and facilitate student veterans in utilizing services, resources and facilities available at the institution; and
(2) To the extent resources are available for such purposes, provide services, programs and assistance to current and prospective student veterans designed to encourage, promote and facilitate the recruitment, retention and academic success of such students.
(a) As used in this section, "called to military duty" means called or ordered to state or federal active service, inactive-duty training or annual training in any active duty or reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard of this state or any other state.
(b) In accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the commission and council jointly shall propose and implement a rule providing for uniform course completion for students who are enrolled at the state institutions of higher education under their respective jurisdictions when those students are called to military duty.
(1) The rule shall be as uniform among the institutions as is practicable and shall take into consideration the unique conditions or circumstances of each institution.
(2) The intent of the rule is to ensure that enrolled students who are called to military duty are afforded a fair and efficient procedure of withdrawing from classes, completing course work or securing a leave of absence from course attendance, when feasible. The rule also shall provide for maintaining the academic integrity of the course work in a manner that is reasonably accommodating to the student under the circumstances.
(3) The commission and council shall consider and include the following elements when developing the rule:
(A) Discipline appropriate options which allow a student to withdraw from courses without penalty; earn credit for work completed in a course; receive an incomplete grade and make up the course work at a later time; or secure a leave of absence from course attendance;
(B) For students who withdraw from classes during an academic term and who do not receive full credit for completing classes in which they are enrolled, provision for obtaining a full or partial refund of tuition, fees and room and board fees paid to the institution; and
(C) Other measures as the commission and council consider necessary or effective to support, accommodate and encourage the students to continue and successfully complete their education programs.
(c) The rule required by this section is superceded by and may not conflict in any way with the following provisions:
(1) Educational leave of absence for active duty National Guard or other reserve components of the Armed Forces as set forth in section one-a, article one-f, chapter fifteen of this code for students who are subject to these provisions; and
(2) Applicable federal laws, rules or regulations.