Gee speaks on parking, tuition and mental health WVU News

The Daily Athenaeum staff sat down with WVU President E. Gordon Gee for an exclusive interview Monday. Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

DA: How long should students expect to pay for parking at the Coliseum? Is it just until the ongoing maintenance is finished, or is it a permanent expense?

G: You know, this is a difficult issue because we all know that we are limited economically, socially, culturally, but certainly financially. University, our goal is very low cost and very high quality. But there are some areas — athletics and parking — that don’t use any tuition dollars. We try to make sure they are self-sufficient, and parking is one of them. But we know parking is an incredibly important issue, and [the Coliseum] Just not well maintained. It was not well maintained; It was dangerous – light and other things. So, that’s why we did it. But it’s not about making money on it. It is a matter of keeping. And if and only if at the right time we can pull it off, we definitely will. But again, parking on this campus is a real challenge, you know, and we want to make sure that we have good places to park, safe places to park, and that we have enough places to park — which we’ll never have. no You may not be able to satisfy that, but of course we are trying to do that.

DA: Are rising tuition costs a trend that students should expect to see in the future?

G: First of all, I hope we get it [the state Legislature] Begin to realize that the best investment we can make is in higher education. But our goal is to remain very competitive in terms of tuition costs. I always joke about the fact that if we were on the New York Stock Exchange, given our quality and our cost, we would be a very hot stock. That’s where we want to be now. So, will there be some tuition increases? maybe Will they be polite? Absolutely. Do we do this with much thought? Are we going to try to make sure that as we increase tuition, we’re also increasing scholarship and financial aid support so that it’s not a zero sum game? That is important.

DA: It’s been a year since Healthy Minds University opened. What are the challenges facing the university in its development?

G: Fortunately, this is one thing where we were ahead of the curve. With the Carruth Center and others, we have really identified mental health challenges among students, faculty and staff. Then the pandemic hit, and we reviewed. We have many additional resources at Carruth, which is the Student Counseling Center. But Healthy Minds University is really about long-term mental health care for students because up until the point we started, we didn’t really have mental illness. So, that’s what it’s about. Now students don’t have to wait for an appointment. I mean, generally, there’s always an appointment available for people, so we’ve improved. But the challenge is making sure we’re meeting the needs of students where they want to be now. I feel good about the fact that we are thinking about this before the panel.

DA: How do Healthy Minds and the Carruth Center meet the mental health needs of every student from different backgrounds?

G: We strive to create healthy minds and diverse members of the Caruth Center population. I recently met a freshman who was completely focused on graduate education. And of course, you know, we have people in the building, who understand the nature of our Appalachian culture, the rural nature of our black and brown population. I think we understand that we all come from different places, and to be able to meet people where they are, we also find people who can meet them. So, we’ve really diversified the types of people we’re recruiting and the types of programs we’re developing.

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