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Shepherd University begins new school year

August 25, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • The new turf soccer field at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., will host its first game on Sept. 5.
By Richard F. Belisle

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — A hike in tuition, some new professors, one new administrator and a new $2.2 million soccer field on the west campus will greet new and returning Shepherd University students Monday, the first day of classes of the new academic year.

Valerie Owens, executive director of community relations, said in an email that the 2013-14 school year opens with 142 full-time and tenure-track faculty members, including six new positions. Also, 184 adjunct professors will teach courses this year.

Enrollment figures for the new year won’t be available until mid-October, Owens said.

All students will pay more for their Shepherd education beginning this year. Owens blamed the increase on state budget cuts.

Tuition for in-state students jumps $211 per semester, from $2,917 to $3,128. Those who live outside the state will see their tuition go up $352, from $7,568 to $7,920.

A new strategic communication course opens this year in the Department of Communications, according to Owens.

Martin Huber has been hired as director of admissions. He comes to Shepherd from Upper Iowa University, where he served as associate director of freshman admissions. Huber earned a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Classes also begin Monday at Shepherd University’s new Martinsburg Center at 261 Aikens Court off Edwin Miller Boulevard in Martinsburg, W.Va. Shepherd has a long-term lease for more than 16,000 square feet of renovated space on two floors of the building.

The 268-seat center is geared to adult and nontraditional students in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania who didn’t go to or finish college.

The center offers four Master of Business Administration degrees and one other master’s degree.

Owens was asked about any plans to build a parking deck, a facility that has been on the minds of Shepherdstown officials and residents for some years as a way to improve downtown parking during the school year.

She said a $12 million (estimated at today’s costs) parking deck is included in the university’s 10-year master plan that was recently approved by the Shepherd University Board of Governors, “to be built at the end of the 10-year plan.”

Owens said if the university comes up with funds earlier, the deck could be built sooner.

Dan Yanna, director of facilities management at Shepherd, has been keeping a close watch since May 1 on the construction of two new soccer fields, one with of state-of-the-art artificial turf, the other of grass. Both are on the west campus near the tennis courts.

Construction was expected to be finished on the artificial turf field in time for Monday’s semester opening, Yanna said. Fencing and some landscaping remains to be done.

Both fields are NCAA-regulation size.

“Not many colleges have a field like this,” Yanna said of the new turf field.

He said it will improve Shepherd’s position in the competitive collegiate sports landscape.

The first game is scheduled for Sept. 5.

The grass field, adjacent to and west of the turf field, will be used for intramural games and as a practice field, and will be open to the public.

Shepherd’s first soccer field opened in 2002, Yanna said. Interest in the sport has taken off in recent years among men and women, he said.

Yanna said construction of the new field required the contractor to fill in an 8-foot-deep hole across its length and width. The material to fill it in came from a stockpile that was collected over five years of university construction projects, including buildings and the student underpass on W.Va. 480 that opened last fall to link both campuses.

Shepherd’s current footprint covers 125 acres, including 25 acres on the east campus and 100 more on the west campus. The university has another 150 undeveloped acres contiguous to the west campus, he said.

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