Skip To Top Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer
Congressional investment and approval for new academic programs among Fairmont State’s Board of Governors highlights Impact
Fairmont State News

Congressional investment and approval for new academic programs among Fairmont State’s Board of Governors highlights

Students learning to canoe

During their April 18 meeting, Fairmont State University’s Board of Governors announced an award of nearly $7 million dollars in federal funding, approved a new degree program to support the recently announced Middle College, approved an intent to plan a new degree to aid tourism in West Virginia, and approved a modest tuition and fee increase.

Fairmont State’s newly inaugurated president, Dr. Mike Davis, began the meeting with his presidential update highlighting successful major events, from a record-breaking day of giving to numerous faculty promotions, from successful athletics teams to an inclusive strategic planning process. As he reflected on his April 4 Inauguration, Davis said, “I was telling (board member) Kevin Rogers that one of the things I really loved was the number of students who were there and the number of community members who have no formal ties to Fairmont State but still took the time to attend. More than 750 people celebrated with us and I think that shows how much people care for this Institution.”

Two academic items were placed before the Board for approval. The first was an Associate of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies that will be earned by students in the recently announced Middle College program. Middle College at Fairmont State University empowers youth ages 16-18 who have experienced foster care and is the only program of its kind in the nation. Participating students will earn their high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously while supported by Fairmont State and KVC professionals. Provost Dianna Phillips was joined by KVC West Virginia President Brent Lemon, and West Virginia Schools of Diversion and Transition Superintendent Jacob Green.

The second academic item answers a need in the state of West Virginia for undergraduate degrees focused on outdoor leadership. Academic Affairs Committee Chair Wendy Adkins explained that Chelsea Ruby, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism, expressed interest in a degree to support the type of tourism that thrives in West Virginia—the great outdoors. Adkins added “There are many tourism jobs currently available in West Virginia and employers are looking for graduates with this type of skill set.” The board voted unanimously in support of this program. Faculty will now move forward with planning the full B.A. in Outdoor Leadership degree program and going through an internal program review.

The Board also approved the University’s request for a modest increase in tuition, fees, room and board. The request equates to an increase of $127 per semester for undergraduates and $146 per semester for graduates. In addition, flight course fees and housing costs will see a 3% increase, and dining plans will increase 4%.

“We understand that people throughout the country are impacted by continued rising costs including our students,” said Finance Committee Chair Jennifer Kinty. “This modest increase keeps Fairmont State affordable and below the tuition midpoint of WV state public institutions.”

Kinty concluded her report announcing that the University received 100% of the Congressionally Directed Spending requests made for FY24, totaling nearly $7 million in funding. Funds will be directed to security upgrades, library renovations and nursing facility upgrades. More details will be announced by the University in the future.

The Board concluded their meeting by scheduling a special meeting of the by-laws committee on April 22 at 3:30 p.m. and a special full board meeting on April 29 at 1 p.m. The Board will discuss and vote whether to approve its policy related to the implementation of the West Virginia Campus Self-defense Act. The meeting will also include the establishment of a nominating committee for the Board. For meeting information please visit the Board of Governors webpage.