West Virginia amends personnel laws for higher ed layoffs
- West Virginia legislators have passed a new law that will allow for its public colleges and universities to set salary standards for hiring, and to create policy on staff and faculty terminations — a point that has drawn criticism from higher ed advocates in the state, The Register Herald reported.
- House Bill 2542 allows for schools to dismiss personnel without consideration for seniority, or requirements for terminated employees to be recalled for other positions that may become available in the future.
- Supporters say the legislation will eliminate costs at state levels and make campuses more competitive in offering the best services to students, but opponents say it reduces employee dignity and could harm confidence in seeking work in the higher education system.
Colleges facing similar legislation may have to consider innovative ways to implement performance evaluation and improvement plans to help in recruiting executive and mid-management talent to public institutions with these rules in place. Additionally, campus leaders may be the first point of contact for media, faculty unions and opposing stakeholders who may demand to know the institutional stance on these kinds of laws.
General counsel, human resources and faculty representatives will be valuable partners in understanding and preparing for how to implement such guidelines, while positioning the institution as a desirable setting within which employees can build a career.
- The Register-Herald House passes bill dealing with higher education personnel