GLENVILLE, W.Va. — Friday was a monumental day for the community of Glenville and Glenville State College, as the institution’s 24th president, Dr. Tracy Pellett, was inaugurated.
Pellett has served as president of Glenville State College since July, filling the position after Dr. Peter Barr, and was thrilled to be recognized by staff, faculty and state leaders upon his inauguration.
“This is a great moment because this is a time, I think, of natural renewal for the college in the way of a new president taking the helm,” he said. “What’s great is, that it gives the campus and the community a chance to really see the vision in terms of where the president is trying to head the institution.”
Pellett previously served at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Georgia and at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. Since moving to West Virginia, he says he has fallen in love with the qualities that originally attracted him to Glenville State.
“This is a very close-knit family,” Pellett said. “This is a place that puts students first, and the faculty and the staff are just at another level that I have not seen in 30 years in higher education in terms of really going above and beyond to support the students that are here.
“It’s got beautiful, updated facilities, which is always a plus for the students and the faculty and us as administrators, but it’s got a direction and a heart that’s really focused, again, on students first and really helping them wherever they’re at in their educational journey to be able to be a success,” he said. “So we take students wherever they may be, wherever they might be defficient or really excelling and we take them to a whole nother level, and that’s the thing that I think I love most about Glenville.”
In addition to those qualities, Pellett said he thinks Glenville State is a great institution in the way that it serves the students in terms of rural, first-generation and needs-based students.
“We have a very unique mission in West Virginia,” he said. “We embrace that mission, and in fact, I think we’re going to be doing some things that lead the state, and in fact this region and country, in the way that higher education is supporting students and putting students first by being good stewards of the money that we receive from the state and the students themselves, and really holding the line on the cost of college so we can increase the accessibility of more students getting to college and finishing.
Pellett received recognition nearly immediately after taking his position of president at Glenville State College, upon announcing that the institution would not be raising the cost of tuition, as other colleges and universities throughout the state were doing.
“And Glenville State is going to continue down that road of lowering tuition, of lowering overall cost associated with going to college, just simply because we’ve gotten to a point in history where colleges have raised tuition, states have disinvested from higher education,” he said. “We need, I think, as an institution, as Glenville State, to take the lead of the state and say that we are going to continue to lower the tuition, particularly if the state will hold the line in terms of its appropriation, its investment in us, it will give us a chance to be able to lower that tuition for students, and that’s where we’re headed.
“We know we’re leading in that way, and we’re going to continue to lead, regardless of what our peers end up doing.”
However, keeping college tuition affordable isn’t Pellett’s only goal as the 24th president of Glenville State College.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to focus and continue to focus on academic quality and in providing degrees that are very career and employer focused. We’re adding new degrees, and also decreasing degrees that frankly aren’t as relevant, don’t have student demand and don’t have employer demand,” he said. “We’re really focusing those resources now on those degrees like nursing, that we’re hoping to start in the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019 in terms of being more responsive to what the state’s needs are and what the region’s needs are in terms of employer demand.”