West Virginia University President Gordon Gee sent the following letter today (April 4) urging the University community to contact Republican state senators after a Senate Finance Committee decision Monday reducing the institution's budget by 15 percent:
April 4, 2017
Dear Friends of West Virginia University:
Yesterday, the Finance Committee of the West Virginia Senate distributed a budget bill that reduces the appropriations to West Virginia University by 15 percent. In addition, the proposed budget bill makes reductions to other programs, such as the CARDIAC Project that supports efforts conducted by West Virginia University.
West Virginia University is THE economic engine of our state. Our leaders should be investing in higher education to ensure a prosperous future for all 1.8 million West Virginians. Our University has already lost nearly $29 million in base reductions compared to 2011. This additional reduction will be devastating to West Virginia University and all of the other four-year institutions in this state. Now is the time that West Virginia should be investing in West Virginia University — not cutting.
Let me be clear: Reductions of this magnitude will have a severe, negative impact to our institution. It will mean significant layoffs for our staff, increased tuition for our students, a fundamental change to WVU Extension Service and the reduction of academic programs. We cannot let this happen.
Therefore, I am asking you to immediately start calling the Republican members of the West Virginia Senate. Let them know the proposed budget bill is wrong for West Virginia University and wrong for the state of West Virginia.
Share this message and encourage all of your loyal Mountaineer friends to fight for their University. I ask each of you to call and email Republican members of the West Virginia Senate. A list is attached for your convenience. Urge them to either restore the budget for West Virginia University or start over.
This is a pivotal moment in our institution – and our state’s – history. We must come together to carry the message to our state’s leaders: An investment in West Virginia University is an investment in the state of West Virginia.
E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University