West Virginia University Funds Safe Haven Baby Boxes; Cuts 28 Programs from the Curriculum

Wheeling, West Virginia. South Island in the foreground

No, this is not a headline from The Onion. This is dystopian America: a major public university financing and advocating newborn baby abandonment. Stick that on your Bingo card.

According to WTRF-TV, West Virginia University, has agreed to donate $16,000 to cover the partial cost of two Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Wheeling. $8,000 each with the rest covered by other donors. I did a quick web search this afternoon to verify this claim, but have found nothing yet. Verification will appear here if I get it.

That the state’s flagship institution of higher education–a public land-grant research university– is throwing money at such an ugly discriminatory misogynistic adopteephobic social experiment ( whew!) is so disgusting that I hardly know how to respond except with a big Barf You. Words fail. Perhaps you can give me some.

And why Wheeling–or any city in West Virginia for that matter? Reported newborn discard/neonaticide in the state is practically zero. Are they hoping desperate Bridgeport moms, far way from NW Ohio depositories, babies latched to backs, will dog paddle across the Ohio River to make a box deposit? Did no one at the budget office (or whatever) at WVU or President Gordon Gee’s office bother to check the number of newborn discards or the controversy surrounding baby boxes or did they just take the word of abandonment box fangirl Ciarra Beaver, owner of Meraki, A Hair Salon in Wheeling, the daughter of an adoptee, who seems to be the one pushing this through? As fate would have it, I casually know Dr. Gee, and abandonment boxes sound just soooo Geeish. A neat feel-good publicity stunt. A photo-op, Folklsy.


Now bear with me here for a moment.

While WVU is funding Safe Haven Baby Boxes, this is also going on: WVU President Gee  (Ohio State’s 2-time job-hoppng president with stops along the way at Colorado, Brown, and Vanderbullt before he hit WVU)  and designated university Big Shots noticed that the university was stuck with a $45 million and growing deficit due to a flopped Gee-instigated initiative at student recruitment for 2020, a Big Shot/Gee-supported new state funding formula that prizes degrees that are designated as state priorities for workforce development over the arts and humanities; along with major construction projects that shall we say…(ahem!) …served special interests.

The Big Shots deflected, of course,  and laid the blame for their irresponsibility on decreased enrollment and tuition due to Covid, not their pie-in-the-sky schemes that only academic managerials can dream up.

The remedy ( here, and here) for this fiscal irresponsibility, Bigshots determined, was to toss at least 28 academic programs (about 9% of majors) along with at least 142 faculty (7% of the faculty) in the WVU corporate trash can. Programs defuncted are generally humanities and include but are not limited to undergrad studies in biometric engineering, art history, Russian, Chinese Spanish, French, and German, and various pre-professional programs; MA programs in higher education administration, linguistics, and various music studies, and doctoral programs in higher ed and math. Math! President Gee was given a contract extension to 2025 despite a 797-100 vote of no confidence by the faculty and campus protests.

That’s how The Academy rolls! 

There is much more to say about this mess, but this isn’t the forum for that discussion.


Now $16,000 isn’t even a tiny drop in the bucket compared to a $45 million+ deficit, but what in the hell is the justification for a university, public or private, under any circumstance, to donate funds to lease and install Safe Haven Baby Boxes, to encourage and facilitate baby abandonment, to promote bad child welfare and adoption practice, to wipe out identities and families…and  to promote the services of an evangelical Christian organization?

Can you think of any? I can’t.

What budget line is this coming out of? Whois doing whom a favor? Is someone laundering money through the university? (Believe me. I worked at Ohio State for 17 years, and I’ve seen plenty.)

As I wrote earlier this month, advocates are pushing baby boxes in Murray, Kentucky because the town is the home of Murray State University–the blatant message, spoken aloud there : oh, those college girls! Now West Virginia University is putting its imprimatur on boxes and abandonment. Can we expect to see other colleges and universities implicate themselves in baby and mother erasure?

The New York Times has a good guest opinion piece about what’s happening at WVU. It has nothing directly to do with baby boxes, but it’s a good read and a warning of what is happening and what is to come as once-revered institutions crawl into the muckhole of management consultant corporatism and moral bankruptcy. WVU’s funding of Baby Boxes and its failure to serve the state and its students certainly fall into both.

Moundsville recently opened a baby box, and another is planned for St Albans. 

There is something rotten in West Virginia.


*The SHBB statistical chart, which has been on the SHBB website for years, has been removed from the new updated design.

Moundsville recently opened a baby box, and another is planned for St Albans. 

Reposted on Stop Safe Haven Baby Boxes Now! website



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One Reply to “West Virginia University Funds Safe Haven Baby Boxes; Cuts 28 Programs from the Curriculum”

  1. This institution is no longer a university in the academic sense because the programs and courses it has cut; that is the arts and science, speak directly to the enlightenment of the whole person that historically has been the line of demarkation between education and training.

    In short, training creates mind-numbing autotomic manufacturing that turns out cookie cutter widgets of questionable or little value, while education creates critical thinkers that are capable of addressing philo-cultural problems on a macro scale for the betterment of humanity.

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