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Today, WLU advertised for a new Criminal Justice (CJ) professor (see full text of advertisement below).  This is astonishing given that WLU claims it is under financial duress, as we have noted in this series.  WLU has further contended that it needs to get rid of full time faculty because it needs to save money.  Things are supposedly so bad, WLU also cannot afford to keep some buildings open.  But this new development seems to state otherwise.  What the CJ program is doing, under the guidance of the provost and interim dean, is fiscally irresponsible.

Why should this matter?  Because as already noted, WLU’s CJ program is losing students.  But the cost to WLU will be devastating.  As noted in the WVHEPC minutes, the new Master’s in Criminal Justice Program will require accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

In its agenda before the HEPC on 13 March 2015 (when WLU was in the throes of the faculty senate’s attempted ousting of Capehart), WLU made several claims that deserve scrutiny.

On page 22, WLU claims this:

It is projected that all start up costs for the program, not covered by tuition and fees, will be derived from existing budget allocations. Since the program will be part of the existing Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, most of the required infrastructure and resources are already in place.

This is unbelievable, because I was told by the interim Dean that the reason the college was doing away with political science in total, was because they needed money to “pay for” the new CJ Master’s program.  This is important, because the official statement of WLU before a state agency made clear, funding was already in place, and that the program would NOT require any more funds from WLU.  As usual, with WLU since Capehart’s ousting, there’s something rotten in Denmark.

Assuming that the new CJ professor will “cost” the university $70,000, there is no cost savings but a cost without revenue offset.  But, wait, there’s more!

The cost of accreditation is not cheap.  The HLCs own accreditation fee schedule demonstrates that WLU will be bleeding more money than it takes in.

If the HLC charges $4,000 for base dues, ads another near $1000 for undergrad FTE, and then another $175 for part-time, and then another 180 (at least) for locations, the annual dues to HLC is $5375/yr.  Not much right?  That’s not what WLU is going to pay out to start a new program because that’s just to be a member of the HLC, the new program is going to cost WLU and cost it handsomely.

Let us count the ways.  According to the HLC, the accreditation process consists of many levels:

HLC Visits1

Initial Accreditation, Initial Candidacy, Change of Control, Notice, Probation, Show-Cause, Fact-Finding Visits $6,200 + expenses
Focused, Change, Advisory, Campus Evaluation, Biennial Evaluation (Candidacy) Visits $3,100 + expenses
Pre-Visit (per location) $575 + expenses
Staff Campus Visit $575 + expenses
Location Confirmation Visit $575 + expenses
Multi-Campus Visit (per campus) $575 + expenses
Non-Comprehensive Multi-Location Visit (per location) $575 + expenses

1 Expenses are typically travel, lodging, meals, and honoraria for team members.

Each one of these steps, WLU will have to pay for.  So, on just the first entry, the Initial candidacy and visit, show cause, fact finding, etc., WLU will pay $6,200 + expenses–and that’s meals, lodging, travel (plane tickets) and honoraria for every member of the accreditation team.  So add on top of that a team of, say 3 (a conservative estimate) each person will likely be paid $2,000+, plus hotel, plus meals, plus plane tickets.  So, for each member we can project about $5,000 at the low end.  That’s $15,000 for the people, + $6200 + $3100, + $575×5, and not counting ALL the expenses WLU will have to pay the person or persons each time.  That’s $12,175.  Adding in the initial expenses, of $15,000=$27,175.  Adding in the other expenses above for each visit, plus honoraria per visit, we are into $50,000.  And we do not have accreditation yet.  We have only begin the process.  And I still have not counted the extra salary WLU will have to shell out for the new professor.

Look at ALL these fees WLU is going to piss away in their troubled fiscal time:

Eligibility Process Fees

Step One – Submit Letter of Inquiry $5,500
Step Two – Pre-Application Interview $2,750
Step Three – Submit Letter of Intent $5,500
Step Four – Submit Eligibility Filing $5,500
Step Four (a) – Submit Eligibility Filing Revision $1,000
Step Five – Submit Letter of Intent to Pursue Candidacy $5,500

$50,000 + those fees = $75,750 in fees.  And we still don’t have a program.  Any change or revision, or appeal, costs more, and tens of thousands more.  But let’s be generous and assume WLU will only be in the tank for what we have noted.  The process of accreditation is over $150,000, including new professor, and including a nice little addendum at the end of the HEPC agenda (page 105).  That’s at least the yearly pay for more than 2 professors at WLU.  We have not even accounted for the special marketing they plan, nor other costs that CJ will be undertaking to try to lure students into its program.

The CJ proposal also notes on page 66, that the Master’s program will only serve 12 students the first year, and then 24 every year thereafter.  They bank on these figures.  With a program that has lost a lot of students and now serves only 91 in the undergraduate program, it is unlikely the number is reached.

Even if we grant their numbers, the taxpayers of WV will be shelling out money for a program that only serves 24 students at a college with only 1800 FTE.  This is fiscal irresponsibility.  This is a boondoggle and what we might call a very expensive incumbent protection act for professors who have want of employment.

WLU is creating an expensive new major when there is declining demand.  This is like the Blackberry offering the Storm in the present market.  It’s nothing but an example of incompetence at WLU.

***

Criminal Justice

Faculty

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at West Liberty University (WLU) is seeking to fill a full-time, non-tenure track faculty position, with possible conversion to tenure-track in the future, for the Criminal Justice Program.

The candidate should be able to teach courses in the area of Criminal Justice. The position requires a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Criminology or a related field. ABD candidates with degree to be awarded will be considered if degree is completed prior to starting date. A JD is not equivalent. Preferred candidates are those who demonstrate commitment to scholarly and professional activities, the instruction and mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students, a readiness to participate in departmental, college, and university service, a commitment to collegiality, innovation in teaching and learning, as well as an ability to contribute to distance learning opportunities. The position is open to all, however, candidates with skills and experience in Law Enforcement, White Collar Crime, Research Methods, and previous administrative responsibilities will be given priority.  Salary will be commensurate with experience.  This position includes a comprehensive benefit package.

West Liberty University (http://www.westliberty.edu) is a small comprehensive institution under the auspices of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Interested individuals are to apply and submit a cover letter, current curriculum vita, three references with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, and copies of transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work to:

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/westlibertyedu/default.cfm

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  The anticipated start date is August 16, 2016.

West Liberty University is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from all interested individuals.  Individuals who need assistance in the application process may contact Sue Garrison at 304-336-8029 or sgarrison@westliberty.edu.  (Do Not Apply To This Email)

SUCCESSFULLY PASSING A BACKGROUND SCREENING REPORT IS REQUIRED FOR FINAL EMPLOYMENT

WEST LIBERTY UNIVERSITY IS A TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS

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