University a Role Model for Progress
While many recipients of taxpayers’ money in the Mountain State are preparing arguments why legislators should not reduce their funding, West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee is taking another approach.
He’s volunteering for WVU to make a sacrifice.
During his State of the University speech last week, Gee said WVU is planning to cut spending by $45 million a year, by 2020.
Like most state colleges and universities, WVU once relied on the Legislature for most of its funding. But during recent years, state support has been cut to the point it provides only about 14 percent of the university’s budget.
Clearly, Gee sees the handwriting on the wall. Unless legislators can find ways to reduce state spending for all purposes, they will have to increase taxes. Again, many in higher education, as well as state agencies, will fight spending cuts, tooth and nail.
WVU will play an increasingly important role in molding the state’s future, as Gee recognizes. Progress will rely on finding ways to do things better and yes, less expensively. Gee’s decision makes WVU a role model in that process.