MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University Thursday responded to a letter from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, in which the teacher’s union claimed that the proposed cuts “jeopardize the institution’s continued standing as an R1 university.”

In response, WVU said, in part:

While the University appreciates the perspective provided in the letter, we feel compelled to correct several inaccurate assertions.

West Virginia University is, and will remain, the flag ship, land-grant, R1 institution in West Virginia with an unmatched breadth of academic opportunities for learning in the Mountain State. 

We have carefully considered metrics related to the University’s research activity and land-grant mission in the Academic Transformation initiative. Our goals are to create a more focused academic program portfolio aligned with student demand, career opportunities and market trends that also serves our land-grant and research missions, while retaining our R1 classification; and to ensure that the programs in the portfolio are being delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible.

WVU is the only R1 university in West Virginia.

The university also noted that as of now, the proposed cuts are not final, and an appeals process where data, context, and feedback are considered is still underway before the Board of Governors (BOG) plans to vote on final recommendations on Friday, Sept. 15. There will be a BOG meeting on Thursday, Sept. 14 where WVU faculty, department chairs, deans and others can comment, the university said.

Students, faculty and staff held a walkout Monday that garnered national media attention. WVU said about two dozen people attended the BOG meeting the next day when it was announced that its Talent and Culture administrative unit will be restructured when Vice President Cris DeBord retires later this year.

“The recommendations, even if approved as they exist today, would have an impact on fewer than 2% of students, the majority of whom could graduate with the degree they are currently pursuing through teach out programs over the next two years,” the university said in its statement.

WVU also addressed the claim it has “engaged in foolhardy, debt-funded construction projects based on faulty enrollment projections,” saying it maintains an AA- rating from Fitch, an Aa3 rating from Moody’s and an A rating from Standard & Poor’s.

The university said it has shared data, processes, opportunities for feedback and updates on its website during its “transformation” process.