By Jordyn Henthorn
Earlier this year, Alderson Broadus University made the decision to close their doors just weeks before the Fall semester was set to start. This decision came after the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission voted to take away the university’s ability to award degrees amid the school’s worsening financial situation. Just days later, it was reported that WVU planned to cut nearly three dozen academic programs and over a hundred faculty positions. With all of this happening in such a short span of time, many may be wondering, what is Glenville State University doing to be different?
One of the major reasons that both of these unfortunate situations happened is that enrollment levels across many different higher education institutions in the state have gone down. Fortunately, GSU seems to be the odd one out, as our enrollment levels have gone up over the past few years and continue to meet new highs. Also, part of the enrollment issue is that fewer high school seniors are deciding to go to college. To combat this, GSU has been putting effort into attracting students from other states and other countries to keep our enrollment levels high. This is why the idea of customer service and personability has become so important.
To make our school more competitive in the world of higher education, the administration is working to improve campus in three major ways: health and safety, quality of education, and the college experience. GSU plans to heighten safety around campus and ease the concerns of students, faculty, and staff by installing new lighting and cameras in the major buildings on campus so that everyone feels safe and secure at all times. GSU President, Dr. Mark Manchin, commented on the improvements around campus by saying, "The health and safety of our campus community is the top priority for us."
Additionally, the university is committed to giving a good quality education to all students by offering degrees that students are likely to have job opportunities in (teacher education, criminal justice, health sciences). There are also plans to expand GSU’s master’s programs so that incoming students have more options when it comes to furthering their education. Lastly, GSU is working to improve the campus so that students can have as much fun as possible while they’re here. These three elements work together to attract students so that GSU doesn’t head down the same path as Alderson Broadus and WVU.
With the state of higher education today, many may be worried that the events that happened at AB and WVU may spread and become a trend with other colleges and universities across the state. Higher ed. does seem to have hit a rough patch, and it is completely possible that AB and WVU could set a trend for other institutions, but the GSU campus community is working very hard to ensure that our university survives long into the future.
When it comes to future financial decisions and planning, GSU is mindful of the recent events at AB and WVU and seems to be eager to learn from their mistakes. "It is something we must be cognisant of," said Dr. Manchin when talking about how AB and WVU have impacted the financial decisions being made at GSU.