The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 20, 2014

FSU president’s contract extended

BOG chairman credits Maria Rose with doing ‘an exemplary job’

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont State University Board of Governors unanimously approved a recommendation to extend President Maria Rose’s contract for an additional two years during its meeting Thursday.

“She has done an exemplary job,” said chairman Ron Tucker. “She has met and/or exceeded all expectations that the board has expected of her.”

Members discussed Rose’s performance in several areas, and they believe Fairmont State is heading in the right direction for the 21st century with Rose’s leadership, he said.

Reduced state and federal funding for higher education puts the university under some tremendous disadvantages, Tucker said, and the administration and staff worked together as a team to make budget cuts to keep things afloat.

“It’s unfortunate that we had to do that,” he said. “However, we’ve done just a really magnificent job of keeping the institution at its present level, even with the budget cuts. That’s tough. ... We think that there are some brighter days ahead. Dr. Rose has a plan for getting us to those brighter days, and we as a board will work with her and help her to implement those plans.”

Fairmont State’s budget was approved by the Higher Education Policy Commission on Monday, the president reported.

Rose said her goal for the future is to continue to work toward making her vision for the university a reality and to strive to make it the best student-centered institution it can possibly be.

“I’m honored, and I feel privileged to serve this institution,” she said. “I’m thankful for the confidence the board has placed in me.”

Rose and the rest of the HEPC’s Council of Presidents met this week to determine the priorities for the upcoming year for all the universities in the state.

“We want to continue to work with the Legislature to try to minimize the budget cuts to higher education. ... We want to work with HEPC to manage Senate Bill 330 and focus on classified staff,” she said. “And we will be very proactive to promote the university has made curriculum changes to bring all of our programs within 120 hours of completion. This is a significant savings to our students. It saves most of the students about one semester in their academic career.”

Senate Bill 330 focuses on human resources in schools. Its two main objectives are to create an environment that promotes fairness, accountability, transparency and a systematic approach to progress and to achieve goals regarding the classification and compensation system affecting higher education employees.

The council also hopes to create a public relations campaign to promote college for all individuals in West Virginia, Rose said.

In other business:

• Incoming students are completing orientation and registration in smaller groups according to their schools this summer.

Students can meet with financial-aid counselors and get help with scheduling at these events, and they are able to do so without long waits.

This approach provides a more personal environment for those going through the registration process, said Kay Widney, vice president for student services.

“First of all, it allows them to have more one-on-one attention so that they’re not in large groups,” she said. “If they have questions, maybe they’re less intimidated about asking for some help or guidance.”

Up through this week, 441 students have registered, which is a slight increase from this point last year.

There are still 15 remaining registration dates scheduled before fall term.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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