WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 5, 2023 — West Liberty University began January 2023 with a Faculty-Staff Institute held at 9 a.m. today, offering new leadership and a fresh start to the spring semester. WLU students return to the classroom on Monday, Jan. 9.
The gathering took place in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC) and was planned by the Office of the Provost. It offered important information sharing, followed by breakout sessions that address all areas of campus. Employees could then enjoy a free lunch in the Bear’s Den (cafeteria).
Interim President Cathy Monteroso, who began her tenure on Jan. 1, delivered the State of the University address, opening with a welcome and an overview of campus achievements to celebrate in the New Year.
- Inaugural Doctoral Degree is on the horizon, the Doctor of Education degree;
- Bachelor of Data Science program is now up and running, offering a much-needed degree;
- Undergraduate Tuition Freeze for 2022 – 2023 was just announced to keep a quality education affordable for our students;
- Community Partnerships are strong and continuing;
- End of COVID-19 along with the end of the official West Virginia State of Emergency;
- Student Athletes scored a remarkable 3.21 GPA average this past fall; 105 Hilltopper athletes achieved a 4.0 GPA this fall
- Two major athletic championships are coming up, the Jan. 28 Mountain East Wrestling Tournament and the April 27 – 29 National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association National Championship.
Monteroso went on to describe the “West Liberty Advantage.” This consists of initiatives now in place to move the university forward. Some of these include the work of planning an aviation program to begin in the near future. This program is being looked at due to the proximity of the Wheeling – Ohio County Airport and the student and community need for the new program.
Other important initiatives for students are the use of year-long scheduling as a convenience for students as the university continues its effort to foster student success.
Following the State of the University address, Dean Dr. Ann Saurbier introduced three international faculty now on campus and sharing their skills with our faculty and students.
- Manami Kawazoe of Japan, representing Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator, a joint program of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships Department, located in Japan, and the Laurasian Institution, located in the United States.
- Nodirakhon Kamilova and Dilmurod Akhmadaliev arrived on campus yesterday and are visiting professors with the Gary E. West College of Business for the Spring 2023 semester through the Faculty Enrichment Program with Uzbekistan. The Faculty Enrichment Program (FEP) is administered by the American Councils for International Education.
Several members of the President’s Cabinet spoke next and updated campus on their departments.
Lori Hudson, Vice President of Fiscal Affairs shared budget information, reporting a clean audit and a strategic planning session starting soon.
New employee Bill Sliwa, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, introduced himself and shared his thoughts on enrollment. He was hired recently through The Registry, an interim placement service for higher education.
Dr. Karen Kettler, Dean of the College of Sciences and Katie Cooper, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, both of whom serve on the WLU Presidential Search Committee, then provided an update on the 2023 Presidential Search, currently being conducted by AGB Search, a professional search firm.
They explained the AGB process and elaborated on the upcoming Listening Sessions planned for Jan. 10 and 11. These sessions engage all stakeholders to inform and finalize the Leadership Profile.
The resulting Leadership Position Profile will outline the position qualifications and allow AGB to recruit a strong group of candidates. AGB hopes to meet with trustees, campus administrators, faculty and staff members, students, alumni and community members. Employees are encouraged, but not required to attend.
Chief Human Resources Officer and cabinet member Diana Harto next spoke and shared years of service awards with employees. She took time to congratulate employees marking 15, 20, 25, 35 and above years of service (there are no 30 year).
One of the major announcements made during the Institute was the announcement of the Faculty Excellence Awards 2022 – 2023. Eligible faculty are nominated by their peers based on a prescribed list of criteria and a formal committee then votes on the nominees.
The 2022 – 2023 awards, presented by Interim President Monteroso are:
- Excellence in Professional Activity: Professor of Biology Dr. Zachary Loughman
- Excellence in Teaching: Professor of Art Brian Fencl and Instructor of Marketing Ingrid Loy
- Excellence in Service: Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Felipe Rojas
To view the entire Faculty-Staff Institute, please visit Topperstation.com.