Members of the Fairmont State University Board of Governors and Executive Leadership team convened in the Falcon Center for a full Board meeting on Thursday, August 18.
During the meeting, Vice President for Student Success, Ken Fettig, shared preliminary enrollment data for the fall semester. Fettig reported the University has experienced significant growth in first-time freshmen, crediting the work of the Admissions team throughout the 2022 enrollment cycle.
“The team is incredibly tenacious and resilient,” Fettig said. “They continue to think outside the box of how we have conversations with students to share the value of our unique and in-demand degree programs. The work we do transforms lives and communities, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
Fairmont State University Interim President, Dianna Phillips, echoed Fettig’s sentiments acknowledging the efforts of the Admissions team.
“In my 27 years in higher education, I’ve never seen an Admissions team go as far, and as fast, and as often as this Recruitment and Admissions team,” Phillips said. “This is an excellent team.”
Fettig noted the University’s official Fall 2022 enrollment census data will be reported in mid-October. Among other items announced during the Enrollment, Housing & Student Life updates, included stable retention rates and growth of student life programs to align with the vibrant campus culture.
Additionally, the University launched an initiative to assist with Housing insecurity in the Summer of 2022. The Housing Insecurity Initiative provided the opportunity for students to receive a significantly discounted room rate in Morrow Hall to address student financial needs. All rooms were transformed into Super Single spaces and rented for Fall 2022. Minor cosmetic upgrades were completed within the facility providing students an optimal housing experience.
Dialogue around methods of improving student success continued as Board members and the Executive Leadership team engaged in conversation discussing the importance of remaining nimble and seeking out strategies to continue meeting the needs of students, including realigning the University’s academic calendar for the upcoming year.
Following the remaining committee updates, the Board approved the Unrestricted, Auxiliary and Restricted budget reports for May and June. Fairmont State University Chief Financial Officer, Christa Kwiatkowski, presented the preliminary financial data for the month of July, indicating the University’s financial outlook remains stable. In addition, Kwiatkowski provided an update regarding the status of the University’s annual audit, noting further information will be shared with the Board and campus community as details become available.
“Despite continuously evolving higher education landscapes and national downward trends, Fairmont State has performed consistently well in recent years and remains financially stable,” said Fairmont State University Board of Governors Chairman, Rusty Hutson. “We applaud Christa and her teams for their vigilance and attention in securing the financial health of the University.”
Kwiatkowski announced the Institution has begun the process to execute the approved raises and will be dispersing appropriations received from the state for employee salary increases in the near future.
As financial discussions concluded, Phillips announced the University has reached an agreement with Pierpont Community & Technical College regarding extending the Memorandum of Understanding amongst the two institutions, allowing for Pierpont’s aviation maintenance technology program to continue to be housed in the Fairmont State University Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center for a minimum of one year.
Phillips noted leadership from both institutions have agreed upon a fee for service of $450,000 for the 2022 – 23 academic year, and Pierpont Community & Technical College will be required to notify the University by December of its intent for future usage of the shared space to determine negotiations moving forward.
Phillips explained the University is currently exploring articulation agreements with Pierpont Community & Technical College and other collaborative opportunities amongst the institutions.
The next full Board of Governors meeting will take place on Thursday, October 20. For more information, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/bog.