Following two decades of being the lowest funded baccalaureate institution in the state, Shepherd University finally received an appropriations increase of $3,012,287 and additional authorization for a one-time supplement of $500,000, effective July 1, 2019. This critical funding represents a 31 percent increase in annual state appropriations and advances Shepherd from the 10th out of 10 ranking to fourth out of 10, based on funding per fully weighted in-state, full-time equivalent student.
Our local delegation in the House and the Senate worked very hard to secure this funding. Shepherd University is deeply appreciative for their deliberative efforts on our behalf. The Eastern Panhandle has several senators and delegates in important leadership roles in this year’s Legislature, and all played persuasive roles in assuring Shepherd received this additional funding, and in particular the one-time $500K (which not every college received).
After two years of diligent discussions involving Shepherd’s Board of Governors and leadership with our legislators – focused on the noteworthy disparity in funding – we have witnessed the most successful legislative session in Shepherd’s history. We are grateful to our legislators, the Board of Governors, our students, staff, faculty, alumni and other supporters, who collectively advocated for the importance of investing in Shepherd University.
Data from a 2016 report by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research and data from a 2017 story by MetroNews show that Shepherd University has a return on investment of $9.73 for every dollar invested by the state. According to this analysis, Shepherd’s ROI is better than that of Marshall ($8.94) and Fairmont State ($5.66), while WVU leads the list with an ROI of $13.60 for each dollar invested. Shepherd is very proud to rank as No. 2 on the ROI roster among distinguished colleagues, and the state will benefit from this wise investment based on Shepherd’s record of ROI.
During the FY 2019 academic year, while we strongly advocated for a fair funding model to guide current – and future – state appropriations, we also underwent academic restructuring. We are delighted to share our reorganization as follows: College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with a Division of Arts and Humanities and a Division of Social Behavioral Sciences; College of Business; College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; College of Nursing, Education, and Health Sciences with a School of Nursing, a School of Education, and a School of Recreation, Sport, and Exercise Sciences; School of Graduate and Professional Studies; and the Ruth Scarborough Library and Center for Teaching, Learning and Instructional Resources.
Personally, I feel that Shepherd University is emerging from the adverse effects of two decades of underfunding – and is starting to embrace the “reversal of misfortune.” Our loyal faculty and staff are once again optimistic about the future and our ability to train the next generation of leaders, professionals, and model citizens at this very special institution I remember attending. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this extraordinary milestone.
– Mary J.C. Hendrix of Shepherdstown has served as Shepherd University’s president since 2016. She’s the first Shepherd graduate to hold