Carolyn Long, former chairwoman of the West Virginia University Board of Governors and retired superintendent of Braxton County Schools, will become the transitional executive leader at the WVU Institute of Technology effective Jan. 1, WVU Provost Michele Wheatly announced Friday (Dec. 16).
“Carolyn Long is an experienced leader with a keen knowledge of K-12 and higher education issues in our state,” Wheatly said. “She is familiar with Tech’s proud history and current challenges, and I feel confident she is the right person at the right time to lead this transitional and important effort to revitalize this campus.”
Long began her career in 1970 as an elementary teacher and progressed to principal, then superintendent of schools, before retiring from the public school system in 2009. She was appointed to the WVU BOG in 2006 and served as chair from 2008-July 2011. She held the office of Board chair during a transitional time at WVU.
She resigned from the Board last week prior to applying for the Tech position. She will also step down from her part-time position with the WV Department of Education and WV Association of School Administrators.
“My life and career in education have been dedicated to creating opportunities for students of all ages and all levels to have academic and personal success,” she said. “I believe my blend of executive leadership experience in complex organizations in K-12 and higher education and my love for this state and its youth will serve me well in this transitional role. I am excited to get started.”
She added, “WVU Tech is a special place, with a great tradition of academic excellence, and I pledge to dedicate myself to work tirelessly and collaboratively with the campus leadership, the faculty, staff, students and alumni, the community, the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Morgantown campus, the WVU Board, the state Legislature and executive branch of government to secure a better future for the Montgomery campus.”
Last month, the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability adopted a revitalization report for the campus, without funding at this time, that included a number of recommendations, including appointing new leadership, establishing enrollment goals, making improvements to infrastructure and technology, shoring up athletic finances and attending to student life needs.
An independent study team developed the recommendations as a result of WV Senate Bill 486, which mandated the study and recommendations for potential remedies for WVU Tech.
Long, 63, says she plans to live in the campus residence in Montgomery so she can work closely with the Tech community. She will also visit the campus as soon as possible to meet with constituents.
Long began her education at WVU and graduated in elementary education from Fairmont State University. She received her master’s degree in education administration from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.
With this appointment, Campus Provost Scott Hurst will assume responsibilities for some targeted projects through June, and Long in cooperation with WVU and Tech academic officials will identify a campus academic officer prior to the start of the spring semester.
Wheatly said approximately one dozen individuals were either nominated or applied for the temporary leadership position. The Provost’s Office assessed nominees’ interest and reviewed all application materials. Two candidates met the requirements and were interviewed for the position.