Meet the President

 

On July 1, 2007, Robin C. Capehart of Wheeling, Ohio County, became the 33rd President of West Liberty State College, now West Liberty University, in West Liberty, West Virginia.

During his tenure, West Liberty University has experienced tremendous growth in terms of enrollment, programs and prestige.

 

 

  • In August 2008, West Liberty State College became one of only 2.5% of all institutions of higher learning in the United States to provide incoming students with a laptop computer.
  • West Liberty University has experienced six consecutive years of growth in enrollment.
  • Summer school enrollment has increased 84%.
  • The number of students enrolled ages 25 and over has increased 12.1%.
  • West Liberty University’s private fundraising has increased by over 400%.
  • West Liberty University has increased its scholarship offerings from $1.7 million to $4.5 million – a 268% increase.
  • West Liberty University has added 15 new degrees and certifications.
  • The University’s graduation rate exceeds the rate of its national peers by 18% and, as a percent of total entering students, by 10%.
  • The University’s retention rate exceeds the rate of its national peers by 10.4% for full-time students and 32% for part-time students.
  • The number of online classes has increased by nearly 800%.
  • Total salaries and benefits for all full-time faculty members have increased 29%.
  • West Liberty University has increased funding for professional development 833%.
  • West Liberty University’s television station, WLU-TV Channel 14, has expanded into 100,000 homes in northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.
  • The campus at West Liberty University has undergone considerable changes including:
  • The current construction of Campbell Hall – a $22 million health science building;
  • The renovation of Shaw Hall;
  • The opening of the Highlands Center;
  • A $1.3 million renovation of the football field and locker rooms.
  • New soccer and lacrosse field;
  • Upgrades to the Student Union and Blatnik Hall.
  • In October 2008, West Liberty State College offered its first graduate level program – a Masters of Education.
  • In May 2009, West Liberty State College became West Liberty University.
  • In February 2012, West Liberty University opened The Community University, a series of noncredit courses designed for members of the community ages 55 and over who desire to pursue a lifetime learning experience.
  • In July 2012, West Liberty University became one of only nine public institutions in the country to offer a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.
  • In August 2012, West Liberty University became the first regional institution to establish an Honors College.
  • In August 2012, West Liberty University instituted the Advanced Academy of West Virginia – the state’s first dual enrollment program in which high achieving and motivated high school juniors and seniors take on-campus classes.

President Capehart currently serves as the Chair of the Council of Presidents and as a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council.

Background

Originally from Moundsville, Marshall County, President Capehart graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University in 1975 where he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1978, President Capehart received his law degree from WVU and returned to Moundsville to practice law.  He served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Marshall County until 1985 when he became Chief Administrative Law Judge for the State Tax Department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In 1989, President Capehart left state government to attend Georgetown University receiving his Masters of Law in Taxation Degree in 1991.  He served as committee counsel for the West Virginia House of Delegates during the 1991 Legislative Session until accepting a position at the Wheeling law firm of Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer.  He practiced law in Wheeling concentrating in the area of state and federal taxation and also served as an adjunct professor at West Virginia Northern Community College.

In February 1997, Governor Cecil H. Underwood appointed President Capehart as Secretary of Tax and Revenue for the State of West Virginia. As Revenue Secretary, he also chaired the Commission on Fair Taxation, which conducted the most comprehensive review of our tax structure in the state’s history. Both national and international economists and public policy experts have critically acclaimed the Commission’s tax reform process and the final recommendations presented to Governor Underwood in February 2000 as one of the country’s most outstanding state tax reform efforts in the recent history.

As a result of the national and international attention the Commission’s work received, President Capehart also served as a consultant to tax reform efforts in Colorado, Virginia and Tennessee and made substantial presentations to the Japan Local Government Center, the Ukrainian MBA Cohort and the Romanian Presidential Commission on Tax Reform.

President Capehart has delivered over 600 speeches and presentations to local, state, national and international organizations including the Federation of Tax Administrators, the National Tax Association and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He has authored a number of articles, which have appeared in such publications as the West Virginia Law Review, State Tax Notes, the Journal of State Taxation and the National Tax Journal.

In September 1998, The Council of State Governments selected President Capehart for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program, which each year recognizes 40 of the top leaders in state government from throughout the nation.

President Capehart also served as President of the Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators; Chairman of the Governor’s Committee on Government Reorganization and has represented West Virginia on a number of national public policy committees and projects.

Based upon his achievements and contributions to the State, Governor Underwood presented President Capehart with a Distinguished West Virginia Award in August 2000.

In August 2000, President Capehart left his cabinet position to begin teaching at Marshall University. In May 2001, President Capehart was honored to receive the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Lewis College of Business becoming the first professor to receive such an award in his first year of teaching.

In December 2000, President Capehart became Of Counsel to the statewide law firm of Steptoe and Johnson concentrating his practice in the area of federal, state and local tax.

President Capehart was a member of the Leadership West Virginia Class of 2000 and is actively involved in a number of civic organizations.

From 2001 through 2003, President Capehart hosted a statewide radio talk show

In May of 2006, President Capehart was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.  From August 2006 to January 2007, he taught Public Finance at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Moldova and conducted extensive research and provided consultation regarding the Moldovan property tax system.

In February 2007, President Capehart was named President of West Liberty State College, now West Liberty University, in West Liberty, West Virginia where he assumed office in July 1, 2007.

In November 2007, President Capehart was named the 2007 Outstanding Alumnus of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University. In September 2008, President Capehart was inducted into the John Marshall High School Hall of Fame.

President Capehart also serves on the Board of Directors of the Regional Economic Development partnership and is a member of the Wheeling Rotary Club.

President Capehart has authored two books: “Real Tax Reform” (2008); and “Entrepreneurialship Education” (2010).

President Capehart attends the Vineyard Church in Wheeling.  He and his wife, Saun, and their youngest child of four, Emily, live at the President’s Home on the campus of West Liberty University, West Liberty, West Virginia.

21 Responses to Meet the President

  1. J Cichon says:

    I will no longer support or recommend your University, having professors that selectively choose their “approval” for media that fits their agenda. This is disturbing on every level.
    I will be watching the Universities position moving forward. There is no good faith in the continuance of this professors employment, and await your action…
    thank you very much

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Mr. Cichon, Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective. Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News. This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment. Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern. In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall. While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

      • Wendy Laubach says:

        Thank you. This is a pleasant surprise. You’ve managed to turn a public relations disaster into a chance to show people how it ought to be done.

  2. Melissa says:

    President Capehart:
    I would like to thank you for appearing on Fox News with Megyn Kelly today (2/14/2013) regarding the Political Science Professor, Stephanie Wolf. I find it respectable that you addressed the questions presented to you without making excuses for Professor Wolf’s intolerance. After watching your interview, I find you to be a man of great integrity. As a Political Science professor, I hope that Stephanie Wolf will go back to the founding principles of our Constitution and acknowledge that freedom of speech is a non-threatening way for her students to express their beliefs and opinions. It behooves students to learn how to analyze information from many perspectives and form their own opinion based on the data. Again, I want to acknowledge that your appearance on Fox News is to be applauded. I respect men and women who do not “duck” from the issues at hand.

  3. Walter X. Williams says:

    http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/students-parents-concerned-seemingly-slanted-colle/nWMxY/

    Professor Wolfe:

    I just read the above news story that Professor Wolfe does not allow using Fox News as a reference. Professor Wolfe typifies the liberal bias in academia. Censorship of valid ideas that don’t suit a professor’s worldview – this does not belong at a university. For shame!

    President Capehart, isn’t there someone a bit more open-minded who could fill the position of Professor Wolfe?

    Walter X. Williams

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Dr. Williams, Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective. Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News. This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment. Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern. In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall. While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

  4. Farr says:

    Stephanie Wolfe recently required an assignment requiring that student’s not use Fox News as a source. Is this nonsense typical of the teachers, (I use that term grudgingly in her case), at your college? I hope you are taking appropriate action if you have not already done so.

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Mr. Farr, Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective. Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News. This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment. Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern. In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall. While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

  5. Christina J. Woods says:

    Thank you for standing up for you students in the area of Wolfe’s syllabus. She was wrong and I am grateful there is wise leadership such as you still head of our colleges.

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Miss Woods, I certainly appreciate your kind words. At West Liberty University, we continue to keep our students at the forefront of our efforts.

  6. Cindy Abernethy says:

    Obviously, more time during the interview process should be given in discussing a candidate’s philosophies and teaching styles regarding the field and subject they will be instructing. Stephanie Wolfe is not qualified to teach, period. Attempts by “left” leaning professors to impose their personal political views have become an epidemic in our institutions of higher learning. I had great teachers while growing up in the public school system, as well as, in college (early 60′s and 70′s). They taught the material and offered supplemental information and experiences without ever revealing their political convictions. These individuals who apply restrictions on their students based upon personal beliefs are as dangerous to a young mind as those within our government who are working to subvert our Constitution. Kudos to the students and parents who continue to fight for a return to sanity and responsible discernment in education.

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Ms. Abernathy, Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective. Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News. This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment. Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern. In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall. While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

  7. Michael Bryan, MD. says:

    I am an educated man and have no interest in political science as an academic pursuit. I find it filled with self interested, arrogant, self-perceived intellectuals who spend a significant portion of their time espousing their opinions and profess to know a great deal about how the world should work yet have rarely done anything more than spew their philosophical hot air while the rest of the bourgeois actually accomplish things. Nevertheless, I have recently followed with some interest the news story about Ms. Stephanie Wolfe, an employee of your institution and the tale of her judgmental behavior as a “professor” of supposed higher education. Her hypocrisy should be an embarrassment to you and your college. You should have the courage to censure her at best, and fire her at worst. Anything less is academic cowardice.

    • rcapehart says:

      Dr. Bryan, Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective. Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News. This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment. Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern. In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall. While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

  8. Dear Sir-
    I am contacting you with information pertaining to my twin daughters, who are in the midst of selecting colleges that they wish to apply. My wife and I were aware that West Liberty was among those being discussed. When the topic of Stephanie Wolfe’s assignment came up, we were proud that they had already informed their advisor to remove West Liberty from further consideration. In light of the decision to “allow her contract to lapse”, thereby allowing her to remain and head one of your institution’s classes, reaffirms this decision since your remedy falls well short of condemning her dangerous path of thought. It is unfortunate that Ms. Wolfe’s name will be forever linked to West Liberty’s reputation.
    Sincerely-
    Michael Williams

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Mr. Williams,

      Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective.

      Our full-time political science professor needed to take a sabbatical to attend to his father who is ill. The professor in question was hired on a one year contract to teach political science. This professor prepared an assignment for her class in which they were required to watch or read the news everyday and keep a journal. After a while, they were to use the journal to write an essay regarding an issue. The paper that was distributed to the students said not to use Fox News. The paper also contained derogatory remarks regarding Fox News.

      This paper was not the course syllabus as has been reported. This is important in that an instructor’s syllabus is reviewed and approved by the department chair. This paper was merely a class assignment.

      Several of the students told their parents about this restriction. In turn, these parents contacted a local radio host who addressed the issue on air. The radio host called my office. We told him that we were unaware of the restriction and that we were concerned since such a restriction would limit the academic freedom of the student to utilize any source they wish to watch the news as per the assignment. College is to be a place where students can investigate and inquire utilizing as many and as varied sources as they wish in order to draw their own conclusions and defend their positions and the credibility of their sources. Thus, the restriction placed on her students would violate the academic freedom of the student. We have been quite clear and consistent regarding our concern.

      In the mean time, the professor made the decision herself to withdraw the restriction without impetus from the administration or her peers. Our academic dean did speak to her following her decision as to the wisdom of her approach. Her contract will expire at the end of this academic year and our regular professor will return next fall.

      While you may not agree with our handling of this issue, we think it is important to present this perspective. Again, thank you for your interest.

      Robin C. Capehart
      President
      West Liberty University

      • Sir-
        Thank you for your reply. Heartfelt wishes to your full-time political science professor and his family.
        I think it is naive to believe Stephanie Wolfe would have decided to withdraw the restriction without outside impetus.
        Best wishes to you in future decisions.
        Michael Williams

  9. Julie McDonald says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am horrified at your decision to allow this biased “educator” to remain on your staff, even on a part time basis. I personally dislike Fox news, nor can I bear MSNBC, but for a teacher to so blatantly try to push her political agenda down the throats of her students is unforgivable, as is allowing her to stay on your staff. There is no need for you to send me your generic “cut and paste” reply that you have sent to everyone else who complained here (“Thank you very much for your comment and concern. If I may, please allow me to put this situation in perspective…”) I just wanted you to know how embarrassed and ashamed of you and your establishment I am. You, sir, are a coward. This woman should’ve lost her job…you know it, I know it and the rest of the world who read this story knows it. Shame on you for allowing the students attending your school to continue to be subjected to this woman! She has lost all credibility, so has your college and now so have you.

    • rcapehart says:

      Dear Miss McDonald,

      I will continue to appreciate and respect your opinion although I have a host of responses and comments that would contradict your assertion that “the rest of the world who reads [sic] this story knows it.” I’m sorry that you had to your response to name-calling.

      Would you be available to come on a local talk radio show and discuss this issue?

      Very truly yours,

      R. Capehart

      • Julie McDonald says:

        Mr. Capehart,

        I do sincerely apologize for calling you a coward. That was unkind of me, and I am not an unkind person. Upon further reflection, I realized that this story has me extremely upset because I feel that our society has taken “political correctness” to a ridiculous level. I feel very strongly that Ms. Wolfe should have lost her job, as her negative comments about Fox News clearly show her political bias. However, I know firsthand how difficult it is to fire someone these days, even if there is blatant cause, and I personally feel that there is blatant cause in this particular case. I question how Ms. Wolfe can effectively teach this particular class at this point? How can the students in her class rest assured that they will receive fair treatment/critique if they choose to cite Fox news now that she has made her disdain for them known? I understand that it must be very difficult to keep personal political beliefs out of the classroom when teaching a political science class, but there must be SOME effort made to at least appear to be objective, and she clearly did not do that. How must the students who don’t share her same political beliefs feel when they sit in her classroom now? I know that everyone makes mistakes, so I’m not saying she should be fired for making a mistake. I’m simply saying that it is evident (at least to me) that she can no longer be an effective teacher because of her mistake, and that is why I think she needs to go. Anyway, I apologize again for my previous comment and I’m sorry this response is so long! I would be happy to participate in a radio discussion of this issue (and I promise no name calling!) :)

  10. Bonnie L says:

    Dear President Capehart,

    Thank you for doing the right thing and protecting these students from forced indoctrination into a liberal agenda by this so-called “professor” (Stephanie Wolfe).

    For so many years, liberal faculty has relied on the support of administrators to push their own personal agendas. Most of the time, when this occurs, those administrators simply refer to “academic freedom” and allow it to continue. That is not an acceptable response, and I appreciate your recognition that balance is necessary.

    Personally, I would like to see this “professor” released from her position immediately. It would send a message that this type of indoctrination is not supported at Liberty.

    Regardless, I respectfully thank you for supporting your students and their balanced education!

    Bonnie L.

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