Expertise

Biography

Dennis C. Taylor, owner and manager of DCT Advisors LLC, has extensive higher education, public policy, leadership and management, finance, human resources, and technology experience.

Dennis also is Of Counsel to the law firm of Talcott Franklin P.C. and a Partner in the law firm of Taylor and Price PLLC and licensed to practice law in West Virginia.

Dennis previously served as Vice Chancellor for Administration for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System where he oversaw administrative services, finance and facilities, financial aid, student services, legal services, human resources, WVNET and academic affairs. In addition, he served as public higher education’s primary contact with the West Virginia Legislature.

Dennis also has served as chief of staff for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, general counsel and director of human resources for Tyler Mountain Water Company, Inc., an associate with the law firm of Goodwin and Goodwin, LLP, and a judicial law clerk for United States District Court Judges Joseph R. Goodwin and Robert C. Chambers.

Dennis Taylor graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif with a juris doctor degree from Washington and Lee University.  He also earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in speech communication and a master’s degree in communication studies from Marshall University.

Higher Education

Experience

  • Oversaw higher education finance and facilities, financial aid, academic affairs, research, legal services, human resources and technology.
  • Led project to develop WV Community and Technical College System 2010-2015 master plan.
  • Teach communication-related undergraduate and graduate courses at Marshall University, including leadership and group communication, legal communication and rhetoric and American political life .

Accomplishments

  • Worked with legislators to establish goals and objectives and a new accountability system for higher education, to give greater operational flexibility to West Virginia University and Marshall University, and to restructure state-level financial aid programs to better fulfill state policy goals.
  • Implemented legislation – SB 448 (2004) and HB 3215 (2008) – that created independent community and technical colleges. Facilitated institutional agreements on divisions of assets and liabilities, sharing of services and separation of databases.

Public Policy

Experience

  • Assisted Chancellors in developing and implementing agendas for WV Higher Education Policy Commission and WV Community and Technical College System.
  • Served as legislative liaison for WV higher education system, including coordinating activities during legislative session and for legislative interim meetings.

Accomplishments

  • Assisted legislators to draft numerous major pieces of legislation, including SB 603 (2005) (higher education flexibility), HB 4049 (2006) (financial aid), SB 273 (2008) (research trust fund), SB 638 (2008) (Vision 2020), HB 3215 (2008) (community and technical college independence), SB 373 (2009) (PROMISE scholarship) and HB 3340 (2009) (data-sharing compact).
  • Drafted rules to address various public policy issues, including higher education accountability, rule-making; presidential selection, evaluation and compensation; community and technical college finance; and need-based financial aid.

Leadership and Management

Experience

  • As Vice Chancellor for Administration, managed day-to-day operations for WV Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System, with about 100 employees and an overall operating budget of $120 million.
  • As Chief of Staff, coordinated activities for agencies with about 1,000 employees and $100 million in annual expenditures within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.
  • Directed legal and human resources department for corporation.
  • Former managing editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review.

Accomplishments

  • Teach leadership and group communication to undergraduate and graduate students at Marshall University.
  • Implemented legislation to create two new state agencies: the Coal Heritage Highway Authority and the Center for Nursing.
  • Reduced workforce while avoiding layoffs at two agencies over a four-year period when state appropriations decreased.
  • Created weekly series of hour-long training programs for higher education central office employees.

Finance

Experience

  • Oversaw budgeting process for West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Community and Technical College System and the Department of Education and the Arts. Worked with various constituency groups to develop spending priorities.
  • Served as acting chief financial officer for higher education system, including oversight of system budgeting, capital facilities management, procurement, accounting and auditing.
  • Directed corporation’s $12+ million annual payroll operation, including federal, state and local tax payments.

Accomplishments

  • Served as state executive and legislative branches’ primary contact for higher education budget issues.
  • Restructured system of allocating funds to two-year higher education institutions to align with state goals. Developed strategy for setting community and technical college tuition and fee increases.
  • Developed comprehensive plan, adopted by the Legislative Committee on Higher Education Capital Projects and Facilities, to address higher education capital project planning, financing and management, as well as facilities maintenance.
  • Completed two higher education bond issues totaling more than $180 million. Obtained funding to support new $75 million community and technical college bond issue.

Human Resources

Experience

  • Administered personnel classification and compensation system for more than 5,000 West Virginia public higher education employees.
  • Oversaw three-year higher education personnel study that examined numerous human resources issues, including job classification, compensation, pay-for-performance and professional development.
  • Managed human resources, including staffing, compensation, training and development, employee benefits, safety and risk management as human resources director for manufacturing company with 300 employees in five states.

Accomplishments

  • Developed and submitted proposal to Legislative Oversight Commission of Educational Accountability containing seventy-four recommendations to overhaul West Virginia public higher education classification and compensation system and address other human resource issues.
  • Supervised safety and risk management programs and managed workers’ compensation claims for manufacturing company. Developed safety incentive plan that produced dramatic decreases in safety incidents and workers’ compensation claims.
  • Earned Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation from WorldAtWork Society.

Technology

Experience

  • Coordinate e-discovery activities, including advanced data analytics, for law firm.
  • Oversaw WVNET, a state agency with approximately 40 employees that provides telecommunications and computing services for higher education institutions, public schools and state government.
  • Chaired WVNET Computer Advisory Board for five years and served as member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Technology and the Distance Learning Coordinating Council.
  • Managed ATM networking project for WV Department of Education and the Arts.

Accomplishments

  • Working with WVNET staff, addressed financial audit findings, strengthened internal controls and established cash management systems.
  • Led team that negotiated settlement of CISCO licensing contract dispute saving higher education institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Saved the State of West Virginia approximately $1 million in resolving ATM network telecommunications billing issues; negotiated settlement of Oracle product licensing dispute that saved institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars.