CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University Institute of Technology's survival requires a short-term infusion of $35 million and a long-term investment in the neighborhood of $100 million, a report released Tuesday shows.
The 37-page report by The Revitalization for WVU Tech Team found critical problems with finances, infrastructure, enrollment and student services at the Montgomery campus.
"This report is in depth, and sometimes hard to swallow," Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Brian Noland told the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.
Initial responses from committee members were not enthusiastic. Notably, committee members voted to accept the report, rather than approve its recommendations.
"This money is quite significant," said Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale, D-Wayne. "Every institution has contacted me and said they would love to have that same amount of money."
He added, "We've got problems at various institutions, and those problems have been exposed in various ways."
Asked by Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, if the Legislature could opt to do nothing with the recommendations, Noland responded, "The report is clear that action must be taken to assure there is a future for WVU Tech."
Key recommendations in the report, prepared by a team of nationally recognized academicians, include:
"If the governing bodies cannot commit to a $5 million to $7 million investment for each of the next five years, the revitalization legislation of 2011 will be seen as merely an exercise in futility," the report states, referring to SB486, which mandated that the HEPC develop a revitalization plan for WVU Tech.
Noland said buildings on campus not only pose life-safety issues, but also have outdated facilities and labs.
"The bottom line is that WVU Tech cannot recruit students without significant improvements," the report adds. "Without recruiting, enrollment losses will occur to the point where WVU Tech cannot operate unless WVU keeps providing additional support. That would and should be a completely unrealistic expectation."