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The WVU Budget Crisis

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May 24th, 2023

How did we get here and what should be done?

We are a group of concerned employees of WVU, affiliated with the West Virginia Campus Workers (join!). We wish to remain anonymous because we think management would retaliate against us if they knew our identities, even though all of the information below is publicly available. We think that the current administration has advanced a misleading narrative about the recent and long-term causes of the current financial crisis at the university and their role in it. Media coverage of the crisis has sometimes failed to fact-check this narrative, essentially repeating what WVU President Gordon Gee and Vice President Rob Alsop say about the situation. As a corrective, we offer below an extremely detailed, fact-based account of the history and causes of WVU’s crisis, as well as documenting some ways in which WVU administrators have not been truthful in their statements concerning this and surrounding issues.

The discussion is organized in 5 sections:

The main purpose of this account is to offer a more accurate and truthful source for reporters working on this story. We would also like to have some influence over how the rest of this crisis unfolds: WVU is currently posed for massive layoffs and program closures, senior administrators have refused to consider salary cuts or layoffs for executives, and they have recently announced a number of changes to Board of Governors rules that will make it easier to restructure academic programs and lay off faculty without due process (i.e., without approval by faculty-led bodies). We think the Board of Governors has a moral and fiduciary duty to the taxpayers of West Virginia to ensure that the WVU ‘leadership’ is held accountable for their failures, and that they are not given free rein to unilaterally restructure the university, change the BOG rules, and fire whoever they want. There is no way to achieve that goal without more public awareness of the dire state of WVU and the reckless decisions that have gotten us here. This resource is meant to help advance that discussion.

If you work at WVU and are also concerned about these issues, please get in touch with the West Virginia Campus Workers (here), and perhaps consider joining. If you are a West Virginia taxpayer and are concerned about the gutting of your flagship public university, tell your state delegates and senators what’s happening. Ask them to ensure that the Board of Governors fulfills its duty to oversee the university administration and its President, rather than rubber-stamping their decisions.

I. How did we get here (short-term)?

A timeline from the Faculty Senate:

  • September 2022: President Gordon Gee reports enrollment is healthy
    • In February 2023, CFO Paula Congelio says she ‘came out right away in Fall of 2022 and said that our enrollment had fallen short of the number that we used in our budget that was approved in June of 2022’ (source: 32:45 here)
  • October: Gee’s State of the University (SOTU) address mentions ‘great dropout’, but says nothing of short-term budget issues; emphasizes excellent fundraising, sponsored research, financial numbers (transcript here)
  • November: No report from Gee, Provost Maryanne Reed says nothing of budget; Director of Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop gives detailed presentation on new budget model, says nothing about current financial difficulties
  • December: In response to questioning, Reed discloses that enrollment is worse than expected and college budgets have been reduced for FY 2023 (starting Fall 2022, i.e., already underway). Gee subsequently describes cuts as anticipatory and expresses confidence in overall budget
  • January: no update
  • February: Reed projects that enrollment will be a challenge for several years to come; Congelio reveals that they discovered a $14 million deficit in for FY 2023 (again, currently underway), projects that it will continue to be a problem in FY 2024 (starting Fall 2023), declines to estimate how large.
  • March: Gee doesn’t mention budget; Reed says Fall 2023 budget to be completed by April
  • Mar 27: SOTU address announces $35 million deficit for FY 2024
  • April: Alsop and Reed announce that the estimated FY 2024 budget deficit is now $55 million, expected to grow to more than $70 million annually by 2028

What are the factors driving the deficit?

Increased graduation rate
In April, after revealing that her projections had grossly underestimated the number of graduating students, Congelio declined to explain how they missed the mark so badly, said they have formed a committee to keep it from happening again, and suggested that the problem was with the projections given to them by Deans (see 43:25 here).

DegreeWorks is a centralized software system that faculty and advisors are required to use in order to track which degree requirements every student has satisfied. Public records show that WVU paid about $150k to the company that makes this software in 2022 (source), yet Congelio’s comments reveal that the central finance office is relying on projections from individual colleges rather than using the software they’ve paid for. [Update, 5/27: An administrative staffer points out that the colleges are using the software. This paragraph probably could have been clearer. The problems appear to us to be that (1) the colleges are not using the software in a way that produces accurate estimates of who’s graduating; and (2) the central office responsible for projecting the budget is aggregating multiple projections from individual colleges, with different administrative and data structures, rather than producing a single estimate with a single methodology using their centralized software. That said, because Congelio didn’t really answer the question, it’s hard to say exactly what went wrong here.]

Pandemic aid ‘masked’ structural problems
Slides 25-26 here show that WVU had an extremely detailed accounting of both the costs/lost revenues that COVID imposed on the university and the amount of federal aid they had received to offset those losses. Given that the interaction between the two is a matter of simple arithmetic, as shown in Alsop’s slides, there is no ‘masking’ that can occur here. The only way for this accounting to be wrong is if either the costs or the aid are calculated incorrectly.

This is a problem for WVU, as it is for every other university in the US.

Effects of Covid 19 on enrollment
Around 9:50 here , Alsop claims that this is affecting universities ‘across the country’. Which may be true, but as detailed below, WVU’s enrollment was dropping long before Covid, and it faces a much more severe budget crisis than most other universities.

Increased debt service
Around 14:00 here, Alsop mentions issuing an additional $40m of debt to get through Covid, reveals that there is extra cost pressure over the next 5-7 years from the debt service for capital improvements, and gives a figure of a $6.7m increase in debt service from FY23-FY24.

PEIA cuts
The WV state legislature recently slashed their funding of PEIA, the public employees’ insurance agency. Around 14:40 here , Alsop explains that these cuts have suddenly increased the university’s deficit by $10m. Around 16:00, he explains that they knew this reduction in state funding was coming, but failed to accurately estimate how large it would be.

Demographic cliff
Administrators have repeatedly suggested this is a factor in the current budget crisis, while being careful not to say so outright. Gee’s SOTU address says it will be a problem ‘over the next five years’. Around 26:10 here, Gee says that due to the demographic cliff they’re expecting 20% fewer students ‘over the next period of time’, before claiming that ‘about 18 years ago, people stopped having children’ and this has had ‘a dramatic impact upon higher education’ (both claims are false). Around 6:00 here, Alsop says that revenues will decrease over the next 4-5 years ‘given the demographic cliff’. Later (around 9:00), he discusses the demographic cliff immediately after asking ‘How did we get here? What factors contributed to such a sizable budget deficit in what seems to be a relatively short period of time?’ His explanation continually shifts the timing, suggesting at various times that the effects will be felt in 10 years, in 8 years, and in 5 years. He then specifies that there will be fewer high school graduates in ‘the next 5 years’, before specifying that it ‘really’ begins in 2025.

Here is an interactive plot of the US birth rate by year: . It remains roughly steady from 2001-2005, when most current undergraduates were born. It then rises slightly before coming back down to the same level in 2008 (children who are now 14-15 years old). The precipitous drop in the birth rate associated with the ‘demographic cliff’ begins in 2009 and the rate remains low through the most recent data in the chart (2021). These children are a maximum of 14 years old right now. This is not a driver of our current crisis, and is not likely to have a large effect for at least 4 more years.

The causes of the current budget crisis do include some broad factors, like inflation and the ‘great dropout’ associated with the pandemic, that are hard to foresee and not the fault of administrators. It also includes numerous factors that administrators are paid (handsomely) to track, including graduation rates, political developments in Charleston, increases in debt service, and the cessation of Covid-related aid. Administrators have insinuated that the ‘demographic cliff’ also has something to do with the current crisis, although they have carefully avoided saying so outright: it does not in fact have anything to do with the current crisis. It will be a big problem in about 4 years, but administrators have already had over a decade to prepare for that. So one big question here is whether the current crisis is mostly caused by broad, general factors outside the control of our financial and strategic leadership, or whether it is mostly caused by deficiencies specific to those executives and their teams. The answer, detailed below, is that this crisis is highly specific to WVU and our administration has performed poorly in comparison to peer institutions.

II. Is this a general problem for US universities?


A minority of public universities in the US are experiencing sizable budget deficits; even amongst that minority, WVU’s crisis stands out for its size, its rapid onset, and the failure of administrators to anticipate it. Below are summaries of ‘peer’ public institutions from the Big XII, to which WVU belongs. There is a mix of outlooks and financial situations here, as one would expect. But few institutions are facing serious budget challenges, and none are as large as WVU’s.

Big XII ‘peers’ (public only):

  • Iowa State: $11m deficit, projected to grow to $15m by 2025; cuts being considered; largely due to COVID reductions in state appropriations that have become permanent: source
  • Kansas and Kansas State went through massive budget cuts in 2021, due to cuts in state funding; currently no plans for RIFs/major reductions; state funding increased this year: source
  • Oklahoma State: Slight funding increase, slight enrollment increase, no crisis: source
  • Oklahoma: operating budgets shows a large rise in tuition and other revenues from FY2022-FY2023: compare 2022 here and 2023 here f
  • Texas Tech: state funding increasing, no talk of cuts or reductions (news article); budget shows slight increase in tuition revenue (see page 10)
  • Texas: Budget appears mostly flat (summary); news reports they hope for a funding increase (see here); no suggestion of cuts or layoffs

To summarize: a minority of these schools are undergoing or have undergone cuts and reductions in the past few years; these were due to cuts in state support, not the other problems Gee and Alsop have singled out as affecting WVU. Most of these schools have minor or no budget deficits, and cuts and reductions are not being considered. None of these schools has suddenly discovered a massive budget deficit in the middle of a fiscal year. The type of budget crisis that WVU is undergoing is specific to WVU, not part of a broader trend.

III. What are administrators and consultants doing?

In December 2020, Gee issued a charge for ‘academic transformation’. The Provost’s office responded by hiring an external consultancy, the Educational Advisory Board, to ‘gather and analyze data’ in ‘priority areas’ (source). As of March 2023, the Provost’s office reports that this is finished. Results include ‘Identified and collected key performance metrics for undergraduate majors/programs, as well as terminal master’s and professional master’s programs’ (source). Public records show WVU paid EAB and EAB Global about $1 million in 2021-22 (source).

On March 27, 2023, Gee announced in his SOTU address that, “To evaluate the health of our institution, we will be partnering with the fresh eyes of consultants. We will define the needs of our constituents, discover where we excel and create a model that is sustainable. It is critical that we ascertain an accurate assessment of our administrative and academic portfolios and how they relate to the needs of our students. This assessment – and the data we will glean – will lead to the development of an investment plan that establishes immediate, short-term and long-term goals, and measures for the growth of West Virginia University.” (transcript)

In other words, he publicly stated that, contrary to the claims of the Provost’s office, WVU does not currently have ‘an accurate assessment of our… academic portfolios’ or the necessary data to carry out such an assessment. On May 8th, Reed publicly admitted that they do not have data on the cost of delivering academic programs or on enrollment or revenue trends over time, starting at 37:55 in this video. Reed announces that they are hiring an external consultant, the RPK group, to help with the process of gathering and acting on the data.

To summarize: From December 2020 to May 2023, a period of 29 months, the university has been unable to generate data on the costs of running academic programs and the revenues generated by those programs, even with the help of outside consultants. The Provost’s office publicly mischaracterized its activity in this regard on their Academic Transformation website. They have now hired a second external consultant to help them with this.

Starting around 1:14:55 here, Alsop is unable to estimate how much they are spending on consultants. Starting around 1:27:00 in the same video, he declines to give any cost-benefit rationale for hiring consultants instead of using in-house expertise. He suggests that they did it in consultation with other provosts’ offices from other universities and based on what they’ve seen at other universities. Around 1:31:00, Reed confirms that the consultant was hired on the basis of speaking to other Big XII provosts.

The question about in-house expertise is important because there are a large number of highly paid administrators at the university whose jobs involve gathering and analyzing institutional data, making ‘strategic’ decisions about finances, and assessing the success of academic programs. It is therefore surprising that the Provost and the university more generally are unable to carry out basic data-gathering and analytical functions without the help (at unspecified expense) of external consultants. Here is a list of just those senior personnel in the Provost’s office (‘leadership’ page) whose jobs involve this kind of analysis, along with their 2022 compensation (from public records):

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: $436k
  • Vice Provost: $353k
  • Associate Vice President, Institutional Data and Analytics: $241k
  • Assistant VP for Academic Planning and Implementation: $143k
  • Ass. Prov. for Academic, Budget, Facilities & Strategic Initiatives: $270k
  • Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment: $190k
  • Dir. of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics: compensation not found

Beyond this, WVU has an entire ‘Strategic Initiatives’ branch whose ‘leadership’ page lists the following executives involved with data, finance, and analytics (among many other executives):

  • Vice President for Strategic Initiatives: $427k
  • Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: $431k
  • Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer: $252k
  • Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives: $141k
  • Senior Associate Vice President of Finance: compensation not found

But wait… there’s more!

The university also has a division of Institutional Accounting, Reporting and Analysis ( Their director received $141k in compensation in 2022. There is a division of Institutional Research; they don’t list personnel. Many of the executives mentioned above have their own staffs of lower-level executives, each of whom may be paid six-figure salaries; for instance, here is the Finance Division. In addition, most colleges at the University duplicate these functions. For instance, the College of Arts & Sciences ‘leadership’ page includes an associate dean for financial planning and management ($217k in 2022), an assistant dean for curriculum and assessment ($160k), and an associate dean for academic affairs ($227k), all of whom duplicate jobs listed above in the Provost’s office.

Let us conservatively focus on just those executives from the Provost’s office and Strategic Initiatives listed above, whose job descriptions involve data, analytics, finance, and assessing academic programs, ignoring the multiple other layers of bureaucracy just outlined. Their compensation totals nearly $3 million a year (and that’s with two people’s figures missing). That is 5-10% of WVU’s current budget deficit. Yet Reed and Alsop have both admitted that their offices are unable to produce basic data about the costs or revenues generated by academic programs on campus.

IV. How did we get here (long-term)?

At the May meeting of the Faculty Senate (around 30:40 here), Gee claimed that in 2014 he said WVU should be a ‘leaner’ and ‘more agile’ institution. If he was implying that he tried to prepare the university to become smaller, that implication is categorically untrue. In fact, Gee very publicly set a goal of growing the university to 40,000 students, an increase of roughly 10,000 over what was already its historic high in 2014 (news story). Two years later, he doubled down on this ‘vision’, using his platform as university president to object in this editorial to a claim from local landlords that WVU was not on track to meet the goal of 40,000 students. Gee objected to the landlords claim ‘…that our enrollment numbers have fallen and that we are not on target to reach 40,000 students. That could not be further from the truth.’ He followed up by saying ‘I am even more confident that we will reach our goal of 40,000 students system-wide by 2020’.

The landlords were in fact correct, and it was Gee’s statements that were untrue and/or inaccurate, as shown by the university’s own data (see slide 18 here). By 2016, enrollment had dropped by what appears to be 5-7% from 2014. That trend has continued through today, and it shows every sign of becoming worse in the future, as Alsop’s projections show. Gee’s prediction of 40,000 students by 2020 was off by about 30%, and by 2030 the university projects enrollment will be about half of Gee’s target.

Part of his plan to grow the university system appears to have been the transfer of WVU Tech from the town of Montgomery to nearby Beckley, which was supposed to dramatically increase enrollment. That did not work out how Gee envisioned (source). The former WVU Tech faculty member who wrote the piece linked above reports that Gee set a goal of 5,000 students enrolled there by 2020; current enrollment is about 1,600 students according to WVU Tech (source).

The finances of a university system are complex and we are not forensic accountants. We don’t claim to understand every aspect of these issues, but one thing is clear: the growth, real or imagined, in the university’s profile has involved massive new building projects and renovations financed by debt and private-public partnerships. Fitch’s latest commentary on the institution lists over $550 million of bonds just from the period 2019-21 (source). As detailed above, Alsop has projected extra cost pressure over the next 5-7 years from the debt service for capital improvements, with an increase of $6.7m in debt service from FY23-FY24. The FY 2021-22 budget gives a figure of about $33 million for debt service. Assuming that number is growing as Alsop says, the university’s debt service is roughly the size of its budget deficit. Given that the university has gotten smaller rather than larger over the past 10 years, one can question whether this development, and the debt that financed it, were the product of sound financial planning.

Another enormous source of physical growth over the past 10 years has been the university’s use of public-private partnerships for building new commercial and residential facilities. In these arrangements, the university buys land, then leases it to a private developer for 40-50 years, who builds a revenue-generating business on the land. Sometimes there are more complicated re-leasings and revenue splits. This article gives an overview with examples from WVU. The institution has made use of this financial device to construct housing for thousands of students over the last 10 years in large apartment complexes near campus, as well as commercial developments, an aquatic center, and even a minor-league baseball stadium. The most important aspect of these deals for the university community to understand is that it is more or less impossible for the university to divest from them, as Rob Alsop explains around 1:55:30 here: WVU can’t sell the land, because it is leased to commercial entities for decades to come.

One thing we hear frequently about Gordon Gee (mostly from his own mouth or his media team) is that he is politically connected in West Virginia and extremely good at making money for the university. In response to a scandal surrounding his multi-million dollar travel expenses, he notoriously referred to himself as a ‘rainmaker’ (source). This argument apparently was not convincing to the WV state legislature, which has continually cut appropriations for the university since Gee took over as president, as detailed on slide 19 here. Alsop and Gee have not presented this as the primary cause of the current budget crisis and we have no reason to think it is. It is, however, another failure in one of the few major tasks they are responsible for. Alsop, before coming to WVU, had numerous high-level appointments in the gubernatorial administrations of Earl Ray Tomblin and Joe Manchin, two powerful figures from West Virginia political dynasties. Like Gee, his political connections do not appear to have helped WVU secure more funding from the state, nor to have helped him accurately understand the financial implications for the university of changes to public-employee insurance.

Alsop and Gee have been preparing the institution for radical growth, with all of the investment and debt that entails, but it has instead experienced steady population decline, which will become worse in the years to come. State funding has declined, despite the much-hyped political connections and fundraising prowess of Gee and Alsop. Their growth strategy has been a failure, and their projections wildly inaccurate. The unprecedented financial crisis in which the university now finds itself must be viewed as at least partially due to poor decisions made by the university’s administration.

V. Who is managing the managers?

In April 2019, the WVU Board of Governors (BOG) announced its intention to extend Gordon Gee’s contract as president (source). This is despite the fact that, according to the university’s data, enrollment had fallen by about 10% since Gee’s appointment (slide 18 here). As part of the contract-extension process, the BOG is required to solicit feedback and commentary from the faculty and university community. They chose to do so in a 40-minute session on the first day of final exams, which was announced 4 days beforehand (announcement). That is, the over 5,000 faculty and staff affected by this decision were given the opportunity to comment on Gee’s renewal during a single live session of less than an hour, scheduled during vital university activities.

Beyond the irregular manner in which his contract was extended, the compensation granted to Gee was also highly unusual. He recently stated that in terms of executive pay, ‘we do not have bloated salaries here compared with most places’ (around 1:44:40 here). This is not true for Gee and it is not true for the executives he’s appointed, as we show below.

Gordon Gee’s 2022 compensation was roughly $801k (source). The average salary in 2021-22 for the president of a public US doctoral institution like WVU was about $557k (see page 32 here). Gee is thus paid 44% more than average, at a university with below-average funding, where he has presided over a shrinking student population and a deteriorating financial situation. A survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which includes some non-salary payments and benefits excluded from the figures above, finds that Gee is paid far more than the presidents of much larger, better-resourced, and better-performing universities both in the region and in its ‘peer’ athletic conference, the Big XII. Gee is paid more than the presidents of Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Penn State, University of Kentucky, and Ohio University in neighboring states (the survey was unable to find a salary for Ohio State). Amongst public schools in the Big XII, he is paid more than the presidents of Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Texas Tech University (the chancellor of the entire Texas Tech system is paid more). In this group, only the president of the University of Texas, which is twice as large, and far wealthier and more successful than WVU, is paid more than Gee. Many of the schools just listed (e.g. Maryland, Texas Tech) are also larger and better funded than WVU, yet pay their presidents much less, roughly in line with the national average.

Gee has unilaterally appointed most of the high-level executives who report to him. In the case of Rob Alsop, his position and office appear to have been created in 2017, a few years after Gee appointed him as ‘vice president for legal and governmental affairs and entrepreneurial engagement’, a position that as far as we can tell did not exist before Alsop was appointed. In the case of Provost Maryanne Reed, Gee’s unilateral appointment was much more unusual and publicly documented: Gee appointed Reed without a competitive search process and without any formal involvement from faculty. It is hard to find data on how searches for Provosts generally proceed, but none of the faculty we have consulted have ever worked at another university where a permanent provost was hired without a competitive search. Beyond the irregular manner in which she was hired, the most unusual thing about Maryanne Reed as a Provost is that she does not hold a doctorate in her field (or any other). The Provost is responsible for overseeing graduate education, assessment of Faculty research, and the administration of tenure, which is normally based on research and limited to faculty with doctorates (Reed herself was a rare exception to this pattern as a professor of journalism). A Provost with no experience in any of these areas is highly unusual. Again, no faculty we have spoken to are aware of any Provost at a major research university who does not have a doctorate. The Provosts of the other 7 public universities in the Big XII all have doctorates and all list substantial research achievements in their biographies. We have not bothered checking at every other university that could be considered a peer institution, which would take a long time: it is vanishingly rare for someone without a doctorate to serve as the permanent Provost of a large research university.

In May 2017, after being questioned about the irregular nature of his appointment of Reed, Gee responded in a way that would be hard to believe if it weren’t documented on video (starting around 1:15:35 here). Among other things, Gee says that he’s 75 years old and doesn’t have time to do a search right now, that he talked to ‘a number of folks’ about the appointment, and that Reed is very well qualified. He also asserts that the question is ‘unfair’ to Reed, that he has unilaterally appointed Provosts before, and that universities like Brown and Vanderbilt never have search committees. The last statement may have been true when Gordon Gee was president of those universities, but it is untrue with competent leaders: Vanderbilt (news story) and Brown (statement) have both initiated competitive, external searches for Provosts recently.

Because Reed lacks the normal qualifications of a Provost, and was not hired through a competitive or open process, one might expect that she should be paid less than her more qualified counterparts at peer universities. One would be wrong. The average Provost at a public doctoral university in 2021-22 was paid about $380k (p. 33 here). Reed was paid about 10% more than this in 2021, and 15% more in 2022 (source). This about the same as her counterparts at universities like Kansas (source) and Texas Tech (source), who have doctorates, extensive experience and achievements in research, and who work at larger universities with more funding than WVU. Both of these Provosts were hired through formal, competitive search processes, per contemporary news reports (KansasTexas Tech, last paragraph).

The discussion above has established that Gordon Gee and Maryanne Reed are overpaid even relative to the exorbitant baseline set by national averages for university executives. The only other executive position tracked by the AAUP survey is for Chief Financial Officers. At WVU, that is Paula Congelio. Recall, her office was unable to accurately project how many students were graduating in 2022, which resulted in a $14 million deficit. Congelio’s total compensation in 2022 was about $431k (source), which is 32% more than the national average (p. 33 here).

What about Rob Alsop, who has figured so prominently in the developments detailed here? His position is not tracked by the national survey because it did not exist at most institutions until fairly recently, and can go under a number of different labels. Kansas State, for instance, created a ‘Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, University Engagement and Partnerships, and Chief of Staff’ just a few months ago. Alsop’s position was created in 2017. Texas Tech, a much larger and richer university than WVU, has a ‘Chief of Staff and Vice President for Administration’ who received total compensation of $211k in 2021 (see p. 2 here). Kansas has a ‘Chief of Staff and Associate Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives’ who was paid $134k in 2022 (source). Alsop was paid far more than either of them, $386k in 2021 and $427k in 2022 (source). Again, even by the profligate standards of executive pay at other large research universities, WVU stands out for its excessive practices. Gordon Gee’s contention that ‘we do not have bloated [administrative] salaries here compared with most places’ is inaccurate.

We detailed in section III the count and compensation of executives for academics, analytics, and program assessment. Recall, these executives haven’t been able to pull together basic data on program costs or enrollments during the 2-year-long academic transformation exercise, even with the help of external consultants. Archived versions of the WVU website reveal that the number of such executives is also growing over time, even as the university’s enrollment declines. We focus here on the offices mentioned in connection with data failures earlier: the Provost’s office, the office of Strategic Initiatives, and the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

In April 2014, the Provost’s office listed 12 executives below the Provost (archive). In May 2023, the website lists 17 executives (current page). As noted above, each of the current executives for whom we have recovered compensation data receives between $140k and $360k a year. The Dean’s office for the college of arts & sciences, also mentioned above, showed 7 executives under the Dean in 2014 (archive). As of May 2023, there are 9 (current). The office of strategic initiatives did not exist in 2014, so executives in that office are either new positions, positions that used to be lower-level staff, or positions that didn’t previously report to an executive for strategic initiatives. The closest executive we could find from 2014 was the Vice President for Finance and Administration, who appears to fulfill both Alsop’s and Congelio’s roles, and whose website reported no additional executives in his office (archive). That said, some of the 14 executive positions (excluding Alsop and Congelio) listed there now (source) may have existed in some form in 2014.

Gordon Gee was hired and extended by the WVU Board of Governors without proper faculty consultation. His pay is far out of step with peer institutions, even those with more money and better leadership. He has in turn hired executives underneath him without proper faculty consultation, and paid them far more than their market salaries, even compared to larger and more successful universities. Those executives, in turn, each have a team of executives underneath them, most of whom are paid in the $140-$360k range. The number of such ‘sub-executives’ has steadily increased since 2014, including the creation of an entire new division of ‘Strategic Initiatives’, even as the University’s enrollment has declined significantly and its finances have deteriorated under current leadership.

Reprinted (without permission) from here:
in case the original page becomes “lost”.

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