(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.