WVU Board adopts smaller budget for upcoming fiscal year

The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Friday (June 21) adopted a $1.1 billion budget for the next fiscal year, some $17 million less than the previous year.

The budget, approved unanimously, is in line with parameters adopted in April and reflects a 1.36 percent increase for in-state tuition and 1.44 percent for out-of-state – the smallest tuition increases in at least two decades. The budget also contains a nearly $15 million reduction in salaries, benefits and supplies, the result primarily of a voluntary separation incentive plan also announced in April.

“WVU remains committed to strengthening the cash position and financial performance of the University,” said Paula Congelio, vice president for finance and chief financial officer. “The University is planning for a positive adjusted operating margin for FY 2020. The FY 2020 budget includes $1.088 billion of revenues and $1.106 billion of operating and nonoperating expenses.”

The budget discussion topped a busy agenda for the board, meeting on the campus of West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, one of the University’s three campuses.

The board also authorized the University to negotiate with Learfield IMG College and to reach agreement to amend a 2013 revenue-generating contract which had granted then-named IMG College certain multi-media and sponsorship rights involving WVU athletics.

Shane Lyons, director of intercollegiate athletics and associate vice president, told the board the negotiation was needed because of recent moves by the Big 12 athletic conference to expand rights on conference members’ games to ESPN in advance of the launch of the network’s direct-to-consumer service.

He said the negotiations will seek to solidify the partnership with Learfield/IMG College through 2035, and would bring additional financial resources to the University, which would be used to replace and upgrade major scoreboards at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum.

The agreement locks in the the relationship with Learfield/IMG College which already had options for two five-year extensions, which if exercised, would also have lasted until 2035. Lyons said a final agreement is not expected before July at the earliest.

Other business included:

The final adoption of new rules in accordance with legislation passed two years ago as part of providing the University flexibility in self-governance without oversight from the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

The rules approved Friday covered such areas as intellectual property; freedom of expression; facility use; sale of alcoholic beverages; credit card solicitation; parking; and textbook affordability. The new rules are available by going to https://policies.wvu.edu/finalized-bog-rules.

Approval of changing the name of WVU Tech’s Department of Sport Studies to the Department of Sports and Recreation Management.

Changing the names of two additional WVU Tech departments into one. The Department of Accounting/Finance and the Department of Management/Computer Information Systems will become the Department of Accounting and Management.

Approving a lower, unified charge for early access college courses taught in high schools around the state.

Approving a new major in health and wellbeing within WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences.

Approving the purchase of White Day Golf Course for up to $1.25 million as the location of the WVU Golf Complex. The money will be raised privately.

Elected board member David Alvarez as the incoming chair, Thomas Jones as vice chair and re-elected Taunja Willis Miller as secretary.
The next meeting is set for Sept. 13 in Morgantown.

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