In delivering his second State of the University address on Tuesday, November 12, Alderson Broaddus University President Dr. James “Tim” Barry expressed his most optimistic view of the University’s future since becoming the president in 2018. Dr. Barry spoke to students, faculty, and staff about the University’s challenges and opportunities, highlighting AB’s social and economic impact on the community.
President Barry explained that despite the challenges facing West Virginia and higher education, AB continues to move forward to provide the highest quality education and deliver innovative programs to meet students where they are in contemporary society. He reinforced the importance of continuing to shape the University’s critical messaging, offering students transformative opportunities to learn the principles of civic engagement, communication, critical thinking, diversity, and ethics.
“Last year, we were experiencing a great many changes in higher education and as an institution. Higher education is very diverse and ever-changing in the contemporary world,” said Dr. Barry. “By assessing where we have been, where we are, and where we are going, we practice what we preach.”
Dr. Barry spoke confidently about the future and acknowledged the fact that higher education institutions are significant employers and economic drivers in many states. Alderson Broaddus is a more than $50 million economic engine for Barbour County and the surrounding areas—its most substantial economic impact to date.
“Each year, we have grown, and we are on an upward trend. The University has continued to impact the growth of jobs in the community significantly and celebrated a 10 percent increase in incoming student enrollment,” said Dr. Barry. “We are attracting a great deal of talent; the key is keeping that talent in West Virginia.”
Working alongside faculty, staff, and the Board of Trustees, Dr. Barry is working on expanding AB’s footprint outside of Barbour County by growing partnerships and fostering program initiatives in the surrounding areas. Dr. Barry explained that AB will continue to further relationships and establish educational partnerships. The University spent the better part of the year entering into agreements with Pierpont Community Technical College in Fairmont, New River Community and Technical College in Beckley, and BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston.
Dr. Barry closed the State of the University by thanking his Alderson Broaddus family for their continued support of the legacy, the history, and the mission of the Battler community.
About Alderson Broaddus University
Alderson Broaddus (AB) University is a private, four-year institution of higher education located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. AB stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate Physician Assistant program of its kind in 1968, the first post-baccalaureate Physician Assistant Master’s degree program in 1990, and West Virginia’s first four-year Nursing program in 1945.