(a) The Higher Education Student Financial Aid Advisory Board is established.
(b) The purpose of the board is to provide financial aid expertise and policy guidance to the commission, the council and the Vice Chancellor for Administration on all matters related to federal, state and private student financial aid resources and programs.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the advisory board:
(1) Recommend methods to balance the needs of state students from all levels of financial need and academic ability;
(2) Recommend methods for achieving a comprehensive system of student financial aid to maximize the return on the state's investment in student financial aid programs by increasing the skills, qualifications and education achievement of the citizens receiving the benefits;
(3) Recommend methods to coordinate state-funded student financial aid programs so that the state achieves the appropriate blend of programs to expand the range of economic opportunities available to state citizens;
(4) Recommend ways to improve state-level administration of financial aid programs for the benefit of students and institutions;
(5) Recommend ways to improve financial aid outreach activities;
(6) Make recommendations, consistent with the nature of the PROMISE scholarship program as a merit-based student financial aid program;
(7) Study feasibility of including for-profit institutions as eligible institutions for PROMISE scholarship awards and requirements, if any, for inclusion; and
(8) Recommend rules that align with the goals, objectives and priorities set forth in section one-a, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code and article one-d of said chapter and with other state and system public policy goals, objectives and priorities.
(d) Advisory board membership. --
(1) The advisory board shall consist of seven members selected as follows:
(A) Three members appointed by the commission;
(B) Two members appointed by the council;
(C) One member appointed by the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities; and
(D) One member appointed by the West Virginia School Counselor Association.
(2) Members appointed by the commission and the council shall possess a broad knowledge of state and federal higher education student financial aid programs and have experience in administering these programs, preferably at the campus or system level.
(3) The initial appointments of members shall be made as follows:
(A) The commission shall appoint one member to a one-year term, one member to a two-year term and one member to a three-year term;
(B) The council shall appoint one member to a one-year term and one member to a three-year term;
(C) The West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities shall appoint one member to a one-year term; and
(D) The West Virginia School Counselor Association shall appoint one member to a two-year term.
(4) After the initial terms are completed, appointments shall be made as follows:
(A) Members shall be appointed for three-year terms; and
(B) Members are eligible to succeed themselves for one additional consecutive term.
(5) The term of each member begins on July 1 of the year in which the appointment is made and ends on June 30 of the year in which the appointment expires.
(e) The first meeting of the advisory board shall be called by the Vice Chancellor for Administration, at which time the members shall elect a chairperson for an initial term ending on July 31, 2010. The chairperson may succeed himself or herself for an additional one-year term as chairperson. Thereafter, the term of the chairperson is for one year beginning on August 1 of the year in which elected and ending on July 31 of the following year. A member may not serve more than two consecutive terms as chairperson.
(f) In the event of a vacancy, a successor shall be appointed by the entity which appointed the vacating member for the unexpired term of the vacating member. A person appointed to fill a vacancy is eligible for reappointment for one additional consecutive term unless the time remaining in the unexpired term is less than six months in which case the person filling the vacancy is eligible for reappointment for two additional terms.
(g) Members of the advisory board serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement by the commission for expenses, including travel expenses, which are actually incurred by the member in the official conduct of the business of the advisory board.