Robin Capehart, whose career includes extensive service in state government and West Virginia higher education, was selected by the Bluefield State College Board of Governors as the College’s interim president on January 24.
Since that time, President Capehart has worked with the Board and College, community, and regional constituents and policy makers, establishing the following priorities:
Originally from Moundsville, Marshall County, Robin Capehart graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University in 1975 where he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1978, he received his law degree from WVU and returned to Moundsville to practice law.
In 1989, 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 a Wheeling law firm. 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 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, 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.
In September 1998, The Council of State Governments selected Capehart for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program, which each year recognizes 40 of the top leaders in state government from throughout the nation. 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 Capehart with a Distinguished West Virginia Award in August 2000.
In August 2000, Capehart left his cabinet position to begin teaching at Marshall University. In May 2001, 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, 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.
From 2001 through 2003, Capehart hosted a statewide radio talk show.
In May of 2006, the U.S. State Department’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars named Capehart a Fulbright Scholar. 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. From 2007 through 2010, he has also hosted “At Issue,” a local public affairs television show.
On July 1, 2007, Capehart became the 33rd President of West Liberty State College, now West Liberty University, in West Liberty, West Virginia.
During his tenure, West Liberty University experienced tremendous growth in terms of enrollment, fundraising programs and prestige. In July 2011, Chancellor Brian Noland named President Capehart Chair of the Council of Presidents. In this capacity, President Capehart worked closely with the Chancellor and the Higher Education Policy Commission to advance higher education issues at the state level. In 2013, Capehart was named one of the state’s outstanding entrepreneurs for his use of entrepreneurial principles to grow a public university.
In March 2015, Capehart left West Liberty University to form Georgetown Solutions, LLC, a higher education consulting firm. He was also appointed as a Senior Scholar at the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia.
In 2018, Capehart began working with the blue ribbon tax reform panel which is reviewing the system of governance of the state’s public institutions.