CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new West Virginia University official is the latest hire in the university's efforts to increase its lobbying cadre.
All told, the university could spend close to $500,000 this budget year on advocates in Charleston and Washington, D.C.
At the end of the month, Sarah Smith officially starts work as WVU's associate vice president for state and corporate relations, according to a Tuesday news release.
Smith will work out of Charleston and earn $140,000 a year, university spokesman John Bolt said.
"She will be a great champion for WVU in Charleston and around the state, working with various elected officials as well as corporations and the private sector," said Bill Hutchens, WVU's vice president for corporate and legal affairs and general counsel, in the news release.
Hutchens did not respond to Daily Mail requests to elaborate on the duties of the position.
Bolt said Smith would provide "leadership and advice consultation on all sorts of matters."
That includes representing the university on government relations issues at the state Capitol, as well as at the county and city level, Bolt said.
She'll also serve the university regarding donor and alumni relations, Bolt said. This is the first time the position has existed in this configuration, and she'll report directly to Hutchens, Bolt said.
He referred further comment about the job to Hutchens.
Reached Thursday, Smith said she would return a call. She did not.
Smith graduated in 2004 from the WVU College of Law and most recently lobbied in her position as director of government and external affairs for Alpha Natural Resources, according to the news release.
She joins a crew of three lobbyists based in Charleston and another two working in Washington, D.C.