Sat. Oct 19th, 2019

Walthers chosen as vice chancellor in West Virginia

College of Eastern Utah’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, Kevin Walthers Ph.D., has been selected as the vice chancellor for administration for West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System.
The Higher Education Policy Commission is a coordinating board for 11 four-year schools and the community and technical college system oversees 10 community colleges.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Image

College of Eastern Utah’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, Kevin Walthers Ph.D., has been selected as the vice chancellor for administration for West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System.
The Higher Education Policy Commission is a coordinating board for 11 four-year schools and the community and technical college system oversees 10 community colleges.
Walthers said he will have two bosses – each system has a chancellor. His role will be to coordinate statewide initiatives between the boards and among the institutions. “It’s an interesting arrangement. I report to two bosses, and our staff support both boards. However, we serve as the face of higher education in general to the governor and legislature.”
He plans to take many of the accomplishments from CEU to apply to a statewide level. “West Virginia has a lot of colleges for its population, so that means that the colleges are smaller and don’t have large staffs to address many issues. I hope to be able to help schools with the things that take time away from serving students.”
Time spent at CEU was a critical factor in Walther’s landing the job.”The CTCS Chancellor really wanted someone who understood the role and mission of community colleges. I’m sure my experience at CEU was a big factor in their decision.”
Walthers has cleared his office at the college and is looking forward to the new challenge. “It’s a little scary. We’re moving across the country to a place where we don’t know anyone. On the other hand, the people I met there were energetic and clearly committed to helping students succeed. That’s going to be a fun environment.”
Although only at CEU under three years, Walthers listed many accomplishments he was proud of that would help students.
Some of his accomplishments that most effected students included the elimination of student fees to support residence hall loans, the expansion of wireless access to all students, an increased access for students served by San Juan County and the strengthening of athletic programs to compete for regional championships (first ever appearance for men in SWAC title game).
He listed as his top institutional accomplishment as balancing CEU’s budget, restoring financial reporting, helped get the largest appropriation in the college’s history, completed a new campus master plan, complete revised the campus policy manual and received a commendation for financial turnaround from regional accrediting agency.
One of his coolest achievements, he admits is getting the CEU logo on license plates. “Nate [Wilson] and I designed it and I worked it through the bureaucracy. At last count we had sold more than either SLCC or Dixie.”
On leaving the community, Walthers said, “I love the community. The people here really value the college, they may not all have the same vision for the college, but they love it.”
On financial matters, he said, “I’m really proud of what we did. For years CEU was known as the school in financial distress and disarray. The staff in the business office really stepped up to address the problem. No one in Salt Lake thought we could do it.”
On the USU/CEU merger, he said, “I see two ironies: first, it’s our success restoring financial credibility that likely made the college a target for merger.
“Second, I am moving to work in a system where the state of West Virginia recently went the other way, splitting community colleges out from four-year institutions. The state found that joined institutions resulted in onerous tuition rates for community college students and that the community college mission often was lost in the shuffle.”
And finally, on CEU’s enrollment issues, he said, “That was next on the list. I think we could get students to come to CEU. We have a lot to offer; student leadership is great, the residence halls are pretty good and our faculties are amazing.
“The folks on the San Juan Campus have shown that you can recruit and retain students in remote parts of the state. I’d like to see some of what they are doing put in place on the Price campus.”
“College Senate was able to get a lot of long overdue work done because of Kevin’s leadership. He recognized that CEU’s policies were out-of-date, some hadn’t been revised in 30 years, and he worked with staff, administration, and faculty to modernize and clarify the policy manual,” Dr. Susan Neel said.
“We had some tough debates, but Kevin was good at getting everyone to focus on the essential issues and to find effective compromises. His own dedication and hard work encouraged all of us to put in our best effort. That’s the quality of leadership he will bring to the challenge of helping to administer a system of more than 20 colleges and universities in West Virginia,” she added.
Dean of Students Alex Herzog added, “I only worked with Kevin a short time at CEU, but in that small window of time I saw a colleague passionate about educating students and preparing them for the world. West Virginia will be a better place because of Dr. Walthers just like Eastern Utah is now a better place because of his tireless dedication and service to CEU.”
Human resources director Jay Stephens said, “I learned so many great things from working under Kevin, it’s hard to put down a few but here are the ones that stand out for me. Here are a few: 1) He had an amazing work ethic and was always doing things for CEU. At basketball games if things got busy at the snack bar he would go down and help work the counter. 2) He was great at engaging and getting to know the community. I think you would be hard pressed to find a business or community leader that he didn’t know. 3) He was always looking for ways to improve himself, his staff and most importantly CEU. 4) He embraced CEU completely and really believed in its mission. 5) He is incredibly generous and gave to many causes in the local community.
“Working with Kevin was like working with a whirlwind of energy. He seamlessly worked within the college community for the betterment of all involved. He fixed a lot that needed to be fixed and was one of CEU’s most adamant supporters,” Dr. Susan Polster said.
“On a personnel note, he kept the newspaper staff apprised of news that needed to be covered and encouraged each staffer to seek better researched and quality stories. He always had time to joke with members of the staff and make them feel they were an integral part for the betterment of CEU and themselves. We will truly miss him,” she said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email