Editorial - Clements charts path forward
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 07:10
Monday, West Virginia University President James P. Clements delivered his annual State of the University address to faculty members, in which he documented the University’s accomplishments throughout the past year.
President Clements highlighted progress toward a number of goals, many of which are a part of the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future. He touted the this year’s record enrollment, the fact that minority enrollment was up 17 percent and that nearly 40 percent of WVU’s degrees are awarded in STEM disciplines. Moreover, Clements announced a number of new faculty positions, including seven positions in shale gas utilization and four positions in in science, education and technology to advance the STEM disciplines at the University.
President Clements and the WVU Board of Governors should be applauded for the undeniable progress of the University in recent years. There is no question WVU’s stature is growing in every way. From the historic number of prestigious scholarship winners to the huge impact WVU is already having on the Big 12 athletic conference, the University is making a name for itself as a well-rounded public institution.
Moreover, Clements’ emphasis on the STEM disciplines was also refreshing. In this increasingly globalized and competitive economy, it’s more important than it’s ever been that our leaders make a strong commitment to these disciplines.
Unfortunately, the University’s progress was not the only topic Clements had to address during his speech.
Before he got into the University’s advancement throughout the past year, Clements had to express his anger and frustration at the hordes of students who chose to celebrate Saturday’s big win over Texas by rioting on High St. and in Sunnyside. Clements took a hard line on these rioters, stating the University plans to take "immediate action to identify and discipline any students involved."
It’s definitely a positive step for Clements to openly acknowledge the pattern of embarrassing and dangerous behavior by students taking their celebrations too far.
However, now Clements must follow through with these words and effectively deal with this problem, which threatens to cast a dark cloud over the University’s progress in all other areas.