West Virginia State University President’s Contract Extended Five Years

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
June 26, 2018
West Virginia State University President’s Contract Extended Five Years
INSTITUTE, W.Va. — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) has approved an extended five-year contract for West Virginia State University (WVSU) President Anthony L. Jenkins.

“We are delighted to be able to offer President Jenkins this extended contract, and we look forward to his continued leadership toward moving West Virginia State University into the forefront of higher education in the state and nation,” said L. Vincent Williams, chair of the WVSU Board of Governors (BOG). “The Board charged President Jenkins with the difficult task of leading the University with budgetary stabilization and efficiency during tough economic times for higher education. We commend his leadership through campus collaboration, which has led the way to achieving important and significant cost reductions while maintaining high service standards to our students.”

Vice Chair William Lipscomb echoed this sentiment, stating, “During his two years on campus, President Jenkins has taken the Yellow Jacket Nation to new heights in terms of national rankings, academic programs, quality expectations, as well as in the continued growth in all facets of the campus and community.” 

During a June meeting of the WVSU BOG, a unanimous vote by board members authorized Williams to complete the personnel matter including providing the HEPC with the contract and documents necessary on behalf of the Board.

Effective July 1, 2018, the new contract extends President Jenkins’ leadership at WVSU through 2023 and increases his annual base salary from $235,000 to $255,000. Furthermore, as approved by the HEPC, additional compensation based on performance measures is included in the contract and will be paid by the WVSU Foundation.

Since becoming the 11th President of WVSU, Dr. Jenkins has launched his vision of WVSU becoming a premier regional research University that is nationally recognized for its innovative teaching, quality education and experiential learning.

During his tenure at State, President Jenkins has led strategic efforts of the University’s academic, student support services and infrastructure needs, including facilities and technology, to ensure students, faculty and staff learn, live, teach and work at a state-of-the-art 21st century University.

President Jenkins has made significant progress in changing the campus culture and the University's connection to the greater Kanawha Valley by being more transparent, inclusive, attentive and engaging. His commitment to student access has resulted in the University’s largest total enrollment since the separation from its community and technical college.

Expanding academic offerings and improving student success have been another hallmark of Jenkins’ presidency. Under his leadership, the University raised its retention rate to its highest level in five years; was awarded its first engineering program and master’s programs in Sports Studies and Computer Science; increased graduate enrollment by 84 percent; developed six fully online programs, thus increasing online enrollment by 157 percent; developed international partnerships; led the Straight 2 STATE initiative to increase transfer student enrollment, ensuring all of their credits transfer and count toward a bachelor’s degree -- the first program of its kind in West Virginia; created the WVSU Yellow Jacket Loyalty Program, which freezes the tuition of high school students taking classes at WVSU through the Yellow Jacket Early Enrollment dual program; and received the coveted National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) accreditation, where WVSU is the first and only university in West Virginia to have earned this national accreditation.

President Jenkins also led the development of the Yellow Jacket Bridge to Success Program, a four-week residential program designed to better prepare students for the rigors of college; held the highest-grossing Black & Gold Gala fundraiser in the school's history; and debuted the University’s first-ever sports television show.

President Jenkins has been steadfast in his commitment to enhance the profile of WVSU. In doing so, the University has received state and national rankings. Over the past two years, WVSU has been ranked the No. 2 Best Public College or University in West Virginia, the No. 4 most affordable online Criminal Justice program in the country, the No. 14 best-ranked HBCU in the nation, and the No. 15 best online Technical Writing degree program in the nation. President Jenkins’ visionary leadership and zeal for WVSU inspires efforts toward the realization of the vision and fulfillment of its mission. We are encouraged by what is to come for the university.

Prior to President Jenkins’ arrival in July 2016, the University had depleted its financial reserves and was experiencing substantial budget overruns. In August 2017, President Jenkins developed the Budget Efficiency Task Force with a charge to strengthen the fiscal foundation of the University. The composition of the Task Force included students, faculty and staff. As a result, President Jenkins reduced purchase card spending by $741,000 and reduced payroll expenditures by $1 million. Further cost savings resulted from the elimination of low-performing academic programs, streamlining shared services and improving energy efficiency, all of which positioned the University to close the fiscal year for the first time since 2009 with a balanced budget and eliminated budget overruns.

WVSU has a nationwide alumni base. Throughout his tenure, President Jenkins has continued to develop relationships with alumni across the country, which has led them to invest in the University through giving and student recruitment.

“From the moment I was named President of WVSU, the Yellow Jacket Nation and the entire community have been extremely supportive of me and my family,” Jenkins said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role. My family and I have deeply enjoyed our time at WVSU and in West Virginia, and I thank everyone for helping us feel at home. What we are working to accomplish at WVSU cannot be done without the unwavering commitment and support from the campus community, community partners, elected officials and business leaders.”

“What we have achieved in the past two years has set WVSU on a more solid foundation that will allow us to be more competitive and relevant well into the future,” he added. “As I have said before, our pace is brisk and our trajectory is north. I am appreciative for the support of the WVSU Board of Governors, the WVSU Foundation, the WVSU National Alumni Association and my administration, as well as the students, faculty and staff who voiced their support of my Presidency and the direction in which the University is moving.”

President Jenkins came to WVSU following a four-year tenure as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Prior to joining UMES, he served as dean of students at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, associate dean of students at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and assistant dean of students at Northeastern Illinois University.

President Jenkins is a member of the Charleston Rotary Club and currently serves on the NCAA Division II President's Council, the Charleston Area Alliance Board of Directors, the MEC Board of Directors, the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) 1890 Executive President Council and chairs the West Virginia Regional President Council.

President Jenkins earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech University, a Master of Science degree in Criminology from North Carolina Central University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Fayetteville State University.

President Jenkins is married to Toinette Jenkins and has two daughters, Ashley and Alicia.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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