Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Planning To Retire At The End Of His Contract: As state officials planning to shake up how public colleges and universities are funding, the leader of a state agency that oversees four-year colleges recently announcing he intends to stepping down.
Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Planning To Retire At The End Of His Contract
Paul Hill, who is rounding out six years officially as the chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, plans to stick around until commissioners can find a new person to lead the agency.
The commission is renewing my contract in the year 2016, actually about six months before that, I say, you know, I want to do this for at least a couple more years, Hill says in an interview.
There were some things I want to do, but this was sorting of my plan all along.
And here we are time to gets away from you.
Hill is never expecting to be in the position he is now.
He jokes that none of the nation’s other higher education executives in similar positions every dreaming they would are.
In his younger years, much of his background focused on science.
He is previously chairman and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and held a handful of other similar prestigious scientific positions.
The year 2007 to 2012, he is serving as HEPC’s vice chancellor for science and research.
My love for science as the whole was more significant than my ability in any one area, Hill says.
I found myself promoting science, and that was natural for me.
Since Hill was appointed the chancellor in June of 2012, much has changed.
It is a rough time for higher education across the country, not just in West Virginia, Hill says.
We are in the midst of a lot of change, you know, with the advent of the internet and things moving to online learning.”
Another challenge Hill sees facing higher education is declining enrolment and demographic changes.
The state has seen years of steady declines in registration.
Perhaps the most significant change to higher education in the state during Hill’s tenure, though, centred on funds.
He is appointed to lead the agency shortly after Great Recession, and as lawmakers struggling to find places to trim state’s budget, colleges take a significant hit to their funding.
But for Hill, the state’s colleges have shown success, even during these difficult times.
He says graduation rates and retention rates have steadily risen across the system, meaning that although enrolment dropping, the institutions producing more people with the college degree than before.
We are actually starting to see the college-going rate in West Virginia start to tick up slightly,” Hill says.
It tells me our message is on target. So I am pretty proud of those things.
When he is appointing to the position as a chancellor, Hill says there was a strong focus on increasing access to college getting more students in the door to have the opportunity to continue learning.
But he was admitting that, for a while, colleges did not do an excellent job of making sure students had enough support to stick in college and finish their programs.
Not everything has sunshine and roses, though. Under Hill, the legislative auditor recommending in the year 2016.
Report that the HEPC be restructuring to take some of its power away and divesting it back into institution themselves.
The report finding that the commission, and another agency that oversees two-year community colleges, do not hold their institutions accountable, nor are they considering the affordability of tuition for resident students.
Hill argued at the time that his agency was just a coordinating board.
The year 2017’s legislative session, lawmakers enacted a sweeping piece of legislation that reducing the commission’s oversight of schools.
Among other things, the bill raising the bar for how much institutions could increase tuition without seeking the commission’s approval.
The HEPC is considering a proposal that would tie colleges’ funding to their performance.
Agency stopping accepting comments Friday on a proposal that can see at least three schools losing a significant chunk of the state funding.
The HEPC is recently naming a 13-member search committee to find Hill’s replacement. Hill said he would stay as the chancellor until the committee finds someone.
He will stick around with the agency to possibly help with special projects when a new chancellor is named.
The search committee is composed of a broad spectrum of higher education leaders from across the state and includes one student from West Virginia State University.
The HEPC is hiring a national searching firm to help recruit and screen possible candidates.
Although the commission’s next full meeting is not scheduled to take place until late June, Hill expects the search committee to find his replacement by summer.
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