The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 20, 2012

Students, faculty, staff support WVU Tech

By C.V. Moore
Register-Herald Reporter

— Faculty, students, and now staff of WVU Tech have all endorsed the work of the WVU Tech Revitalization Committee, which is tasked with implementing a plan for the school to turn a corner on aging facilities and declining enrollment.

“This is what we need to keep going,” says Barbara Boyd, chair of the Classified Staff Council. “We’re getting stronger by the day and we need to keep going after it.”

“It’s obvious that all factions are on the same side now."

Earlier this fall, a community member raised objections to the direction being taken by the committee’s efforts.

Dorothy Phillips, who is herself a member of the committee, alleged that the 2011 Revitalization Plan is being ignored by the committee and that they are focusing on facilities upgrades at the expense of academics. Phillips was a leader in the Take Back Tech group, which outspokenly advocated for revitalization and change at the institution.

But it appears that Phillips’s statements do not have the support of key groups within the university.

A statement released on Monday by the WVU Tech Classified Staff Council counters that the committee’s recommendations “are in the best interest of the institution, as well as in the best interest of the faculty, staff and our students, both present and future.”

Similar statements were released by both the school’s faculty and students.

On Oct. 9, the WVU Tech Student Government Association unanimously voted to support the committee’s work and endorsed a statement that said, in part:

“We all know Tech is on the verge of change, and we wholeheartedly support that change. We are thrilled to see money being requested to update facilities such as Orndorff Hall and Ratliff Residence Hall. We believe that along with the physical changes at Tech, an attitude change is coming as well. Students are optimistic and are looking to the future with excitement.”

Earlier that month, the Faculty Assembly of WVU Tech endorsed the committee’s work and cited the need for facilities upgrades.

“The Revitalization Committee, and in particular, the Facilities Subcommittee, has done a good job at prioritizing infrastructure needs at Tech in light of the reality of budget challenges facing the State of West Virginia,” they write. “As far as funding goes, we think any infusion of cash into WVU Tech at this point would best be put to use into our buildings, making this a more attractive campus for present and future students.”

The committee plans to ask the state legislature for $7.8 million in funding for facilities repairs and updates.

— E-mail: cmoore@