West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission elects new officers

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has elected officers for next year.

Michael J. Farrell was elected chairman for a third consecutive term. Also re-elected was Andrew “Drew” Payne as vice chairman and Diana Lewis Jackson as secretary. The commission provides analytical and support services to the administration, Legislature and four-year universities and colleges and to the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and its two-year institutions.

Farrell, a Huntington lawyer and founding member of Farrell, White & Legg PLLC law firm, was interim president of Marshall University and served 11 years on its board of governors. He has served seven years on the commission and has been its chairman since 2016.

Payne, a financial services businessman from White Sulphur Springs, became vice chairman of the commission last year after serving on the panel since 2013. Jackson, an entrepreneur based in Morgantown, has served on the commission for two years.

Payne and Lewis Jackson previously served on the West Virginia University Board of Governors with Payne having served as its chairman for two years.

“It’s an exciting time for the commission and we have our work cut out for us during the next year,” Farrell said. “This includes the hiring of a permanent chancellor in the spring of 2020 and keeping the momentum going for the case for higher education in West Virginia.”

Other Commission members include James Dailey of Martinsburg, Dale Lowther of Parkersburg, Donna L. Schulte of Princeton and ex-officio members Steven L. Paine of Charleston and Bob Brown of Charleston.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is responsible for developing, establishing and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state’s four-year colleges and universities.