WVU preps for campus carry, new budget model

Story by David Beard, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Campus Carry is coming to WVU on July 1, and Faculty Senate members learned on Monday on what will happen in the coming weeks as the university braces for legal concealed carry on campus.

The senators also got an update on how the new WVU budget model is taking shape for the next fiscal year.

Campus Carry

“We’re going to see a lot of action in the next month,” Faculty Senate chair-elect Diana Davis told her colleagues.

The Board of Governors issued a proposed rule for public comment in February – Rule 5.1.4 – for how the Campus Self Defense Act will be applied across campus. The comment period has closed and the comments will be posted this week on WVU’s Proposed Rules Under Review web page.

The BOG will review and vote on the rule during its April 14 meeting, Davis said. Following adoption of the rule, information on implementation of the rule will be shared across campus. The Campus Carry web page FAQ section will expanded.

Campus Carry meetings to take place after the rule adoption have been scheduled with stakeholder groups including Faculty Senate, Staff Council, frontline workers and the Student Government Association, she said. And a virtual Campus Conversation will take place in mid-April.

Policies and procedures will be released for faculty office signage for those who want to prohibit firearms in their space, if they have a sole occupancy office, she said. And Faculty Senate will also prepare a syllabus statement for faculty members to include in the course syllabus to inform students.

“We need the rule before we can do much more,” she said.

The Campus Self Defense Act, passed in 2023, sets the parameters for people with concealed handgun permits to carry on public college and university campuses and includes directives for weapons storage in dorms and other buildings, and exceptions where the schools may still prohibit weapons, such as the football stadium and the Coliseum.

New budget model

The university’s new budget model process has started for Fiscal Year 2025, which starts July 1 this year.

The current model is called an incremental model. That means with the exception of some revenue sources, such as college tuition that goes to the colleges, and where the colleges pay their own expenses, everything else is collected and allocated centrally each year.

The new model is called an incentive-based budget model, built on these elements: Direct revenues and expenses of the primary units (mostly the colleges) that generate WVU’s revenue; revenue allocation — with a move from collecting revenue centrally by the administration to moving the allocation out to the primary units; the primary units will then be responsible for paying the costs of the support units; and the units will contribute to a central funding pool, called a subvention pool, to support colleges that don’t operate in the black and to provide an investment fund — a seed fund, not long-term — to help leaders direct and fund university priorities.

On Monday, Lisa Sharpe, assistant vice president of Financial Operations, told the senators that the new model is a tool for financial planning and decision-making. If aims to offer transparency in net tuition collected, operational costs and the activities of academic units.

Associate Provost Mark Gavin emphasized, “The budget model is a tool. It doesn’t make decisions for us, it simply informs them.” The goal is to bring diverse stakeholders into the process. It will need to adapt over time. “Transparency and accountability are critical to this process.”

Gavin reviewed the various stakeholder groups that will have input, and pointed out a newly created group, called the University Budget Advisory Council. It will consist of faculty, staff and students, and provide an open forum for members to have a say in the budget process.

Other news

Provost Maryanne Reed told the senators that WVU’s freshman retention rate continues to improve. Fall 2023 to spring 2024 retention was 92.4%, up 1.2% from the same period last year, and the second-higher fall-to-spring retention rate ever.

They still don’t have figures for fall’s first-time freshman enrollment, she said.

That’s because WVU is experiencing a problem troubling colleges and universities across the nation.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education launched what was supposed to be a new and improved Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but it’s been plagued with technical difficulties and the DOE hasn’t completed processing applications.

Reed said this means there has been a delay in some students making their deposits, as they await word.

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