Provost Says Opposing View Led to His Ouster
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The president of West Virginia State College stripped the provost for the school’s community college program of his duties late last month.
Dr. George Bilicic says it is because he backed a bill to create a new statewide community college system. Bilicic says his support for the two-year college system plan contradicted the position taken by his boss, Dr. Hazo W. Carter Jr., president of the 4,800-student school, and contributed to his ouster.
Bilicic, who presided over West Virginia State’s community college program for the past 10 years, says Carter did not give him a reason for his removal. But Bilicic adds that, “I made my opinion clear. I imagine that contributed to it.”
Bilicic says he discussed his support for a state-funded consultant’s study that recommended establishing a statewide community college system in part by turning several existing associate’s degree programs at four-year schools into independent colleges.
“We made some contacts with the Legislature when [the consultants’ study] was being developed and we thought highly of those consultants,” Bilicic told a local paper. “We think they touched on problems that have plagued West Virginia for decades.”
The provost says that after he submitted his resignation to Carter asking to retire in June, the president removed him as head of community college programs.
He is expected to assume another administrative post until his actual retirement date.
Carter, who strongly opposed yanking West Virginia State’s community college program from the rest of the institution, could not be reached for comment.
— Scott W. Wright
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