MonDems Denounce WVU Cuts, Call for Action - Mon Dems

MonDems Denounce WVU Cuts, Call for Action


Sept. 15, 2023

(Morgantown, WV) The Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee is extremely troubled by the vote from West Virginia University Board of Governors to cut 28 academic programs and 143 faculty positions as part of the “academic transformation” process. We know these cuts are only the beginning, as further staff layoffs and student services cuts are yet to come. We denounce the actions of WVU’s Board of Governors and administration, and the inaction by Republican leadership in the face of this crisis.

These cuts are not WVU getting its “house in order,” as Governor Jim Justice would like West Virginians to believe. Republican inaction in the face of drastic economic, education upheaval is nothing short of shameful. This inaction by Republican leaders local and statewide is yet another way to gut liberal arts public education from pre-K to higher ed. The result: More families and young professionals will leave our state when we can least afford to lose them.

The situation at WVU is only one symptom in a chronic illness that put children in West Virginia at risk of falling academically and economically even further behind other children in America. Yet again, we call on our Legislature and Governor to call a special session using budget surplus to solve key underlying causes of this economic illness:

  • Reprioritize WVU for higher, more appropriate yearly funding levels
  • Dedicate permanent funding for PEIA & long-term cost stability
  • Strengthen educational pathways by addressing teacher shortages & increasing Promise Scholarship
  • Diversify state energy portfolio to reduce energy costs in public buildings
  • Administrative spending accountability at WVU

Furthermore, this “academic transformation” process has led to highly concerning questions about freedom of speech, transparency in governance and education, administrative spending, and disregard for labor voices. Drastic cuts to programs like plant and soil sciences, the arts, English, foreign languages, mathematics, parks and recreation, and more are contrary to the solemn mission of a land-grant, liberal arts, flagship, R1 research university. Decisions made today by the WVU BOG will limit opportunities for generations to come.

We remain very concerned about how this will affect our community, our neighbors, and higher education as a whole. As Democrats, we will continue our steadfast support of labor unions, higher education funding, free speech, and economic opportunity for ALL West Virginians. The GOP remains the party of inaction. West Virginians must elect more Democrats to public office who will stand up for the needs of our community.

-Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee