Monday, March 23, 2009

New WVU President Looks Ahead

The new president of West Virginia University says he will spend the next few months learning from faculty members and others about the school's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. James Clements will take the helm at WVU June 30th. He says he's already identified a couple opportunities for the school: first, it has several vacancies in high-level positions like provost and the chancellor of WVU's Health Sciences Center. Clements says he hopes to bring in leaders who have a long-term vision for the school and can work collaboratively. A second opportunity for the school is to become a better economic development engine for the state, Clements says. He says he thinks WVU contributes more to its home state than any other public university in the country.

Clements takes over following a scandal over an MBA degree that led to the departure of his predecessor, Mike Garrison. Clements says all schools go through bumps, and he thinks WVU will recover from this one. Towson University, where Clements now works as provost, had its own scandal that resulted in the departure of its president after only nine months. Mark Perkins left that job in 2002 after a controversy over spending on renovations at his state-owned home.

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