News Details

WVUP’s BOG approves update to Faculty Compensation Structure

WVUP’s BOG approves update to Faculty Compensation Structure

Parkersburg, W.Va. (September 19, 2023) — WVUP President Dr. Torie Jackson and Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Alice Harris introduced a policy change to the Board of Governors that would update the Faculty Compensation Structure, allowing WVUP to help retain and recruit better faculty candidates.

Jackson said the original Answer Book Policy for Faculty Salaries and Performance-Based Increases, which was outlined in 2015, is no longer adequate for hiring new employees. Jackson and Harris gathered payroll information from four other community colleges, including Bridge Valley Community & Technical College and compared starting salaries for faculty. Harris found that based on a nine-month salary, that WVUP is paying faculty less than comparable schools.

The new hiring policy will include more competitive salaries for faculty and the ability to evaluate employment candidates based on experience and provide them with a salary that matches that experience. This will, in turn, help retain employees and help recruit the best candidates possible.

BOG Faculty Representative Andrew Walker said he has received good feedback about the policy update. He said the faculty views the policy as a hiring policy and are interested in learning how they can be evaluated in order to move up in the pay scale in the future.

Harris said the policy change is affordable due to the conservative budgeting for interest income and the “significant” savings the college made by Jackson continuing her role, in addition to the presidency, as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement instead of opening the position.

“What I will say is, I don’t think we can afford not to,” said Harris about updating the policy. “It is so difficult right now to hire people, and it’s important for our existing faculty to know that we truly appreciate them and that we’re going to be taking steps to make sure that we can be as fair as we can possibly be with everyone with the funds that we have available to spend.”

Jackson said the policy would go into effect starting in October. Harris added that eligible faculty would receive the entire amount of their annual increase over a prorated period through the end of their contract. Harris added that they plan to revise the staff salary policy in the future.

The board voted and unanimously approved the compensation structure policy change for faculty.

During President Jackson’s report, she discussed policy and procedure updates, an update on the WVUP Technology Center and what’s next for the college. Jackson said there would be a bankruptcy hearing, as well as a receivership hearing this week, which will decide whether the Foundation can proceed with taking possession of the property that will become the WVUP Technology Center. The next phase of the project is to renovate the facility.

“I will be directly leading this project from start to finish, along with an amazing team of employees from WVUP and with a group of community leaders who want to see the economic impact this educational facility joined with business incubation will have on the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Jackson. “We are planning, we are preparing, we are visioning and we are moving forward – and it’s a true team effort.”

Joe Oliverio, board chair, discussed College 101 and student enrollment during his Executive Committee Report. Oliverio said it was exciting to see the number of students, staff and faculty present and active during College 101. He said there were 54 students deregistered, with a total headcount of 2,514 students enrolled in college. Even with the deregistered students, WVUP still met its goal to increase enrollment by 150 students from the fall 2022 semester.

Donna Smith, board member, presented the Academic and Student Services Committee report. That committee met with Program Coordinators Martha Leeson and Abby Campbell to learn about Short-Term Programs, Dean of Early College Olivia Reeder to learn about the Early College Program, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Lancaster to learn more about the Deans and their specific roles in the college and Division of Arts & Sciences Dean Dr. Mary Hetrick to learn how they are redesigning the division to build cohesiveness within it.

Savannah Morgan, board member, gave an update from the Administrative Services Committee. This included an update on the Jackson County Center’s renovation and the recruitment of future students. She said the renovations are going smoothly. The JCC office includes a new front desk area that has been renovated to be more welcoming for students. Morgan shared a message from Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator Nicole Shutts, including excitement about Riverhawk Fridays.

“Nicole said she found that a lot of counselors and teachers have a lot of downtime on Fridays, and of course we have less students here on Friday, so we’re inviting them (high school students) on campus on Fridays with options to have fun games, lunch, meeting with the President, and meeting with admissions teams and teachers,” said Morgan.

She added that multiple local high schools, like Belpre High School, have signed up to bring students to tour the campus.

In other news:

  • The board unanimously approved the updated BOG policies to reflect Affirmative Action compliance and the updated BOG policies to reflect the salary policy.
  • The board unanimously approved to utilize unrestricted reserve funds for the replacement of flooring and seating in the WVUP Theatre to make it ADA compliant.
  • The board unanimously approved to review the Transferability of Credits and Grades Policy. The board will review the current policies and vote to approve any changes during the next BOG meeting.
  • The board unanimously approved the Delegation of Powers to President Dr. Torie Jackson.

The next Board of Governors meeting is scheduled to take place October 17, 2023.