As WVU Tech kicked off a weekend of Homecoming festivities, students, faculty, staff and community members gathered for the annual State of the University address from Campus President Carolyn Long on Friday, November 14. Her message outlined the institution’s growth over the last few years and a long-term future set to continue the trend.
In the last two-and-a-half years, WVU Tech has seen a 14.1 percent increase in enrollment and decreased the budget deficit from $5.7 million to less than $1 million. The university has also seen an increase in student-focused and academic initiatives, with the launch of a new nursing training center in Montgomery General Hospital, successful accreditation visits with the Higher Learning Commission and ABET, a 4+1 MBA pathway agreement with WVU, and a successful first year for the Student Success Center, which saw 10,000 visits in the 2013-2014 academic year.
The steadily growing student body has been busy, enjoying increased entertainment and sporting events, forming active student organizations like the Association for Women Engineers, Scientists Or Mathematicians Empowerment (AWESOME), and reaching out to K-12 students to share the joys of STEM fields and space sciences.
Long said these stories share a common thread of progress and reinforce WVU Tech’s identity as a civic-minded, community-oriented and academically innovative institution.
“We must talk about what a special place WVU Tech is to receive an education. Our high-ranked academics, along with our very personal style of education is not the norm, and we must continue to foster our unique ability to educate the whole person,” said Long.
Through a detailed revitalization plan and support from WVU, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia State Legislature, WVU Tech has also updated the Montgomery campus. Long detailed an impressive year of on-campus physical projects ranging from paving and sidewalk work to residence hall renovations and the addition of a new dining facility, the Tech Spot.
President Long ended her address with a challenge to the WVU Tech community to think big.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us. Institutions and organizations do not grow if they only plan and worry about tomorrow. Instead of only worrying about tomorrow, we need to start planning for what we want to be, what we want to be known for and what we look like in 10, 15 or even 20 years. We must start to plan, dream and work for the future of WVU Tech.”