agreement between the two universities’ boards of trustees would establish University of Charleston centers at existing Mountain State University facilities in Beckley and Martinsburg.
university would also become MSU’s primary partner in the teach-out of current
MSU’s accreditation was withdrawn by the Higher Learning Commission in June and
extended to Dec. 31 to allow a teach-out program for students who are eligible
to graduate by the end of the year.
President Dr. Edward Welch acknowledged at a press conference at MSU the
community’s turbulent month of July, and said he was excited to be part of a
“Mountain State University has been through a very difficult,
tragic and sad period for students, for employees and also for the community,”
“UC and MSU
have shared a vision of trying to serve southern West Virginia; there’s a historic relationship
that goes back between the 2 institutions,” he said. “Beckley College was frequently sending students to Morris Harvey College. The names of the institutions have
changed but that history is rich and creates a path that we can follow today.”
said in addition to being the primary partner in the teach-out program, the
institution will admit transfer students who wish to complete their degrees
through UC. To ease the transition, he said UC will teach classes at MSU
campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg
starting next month, the beginning of the fall term.
also emphasized this is not a merger
of the 2 institutions.
legality is Mountain State will go out of business as a higher
education institution Dec 31,” said Welch. “So then you talk about a transfer
of assets, and the details of that are yet to be worked out with additional
memorandum of understanding and contractual relationships.”
the University of Charleston has a national reputation for
learning outcomes and student assessment, and that will be brought to Beckley.
excited about building that future in Beckley, we look forward to your counsel,
and we look forward to a month of very active work to make that dream a
President Richard Sours said the Higher Learning Commission has been informed
throughout the development of what he called a partnership with the University of Charleston.
fully up to speed and have given their “go-ahead,” he said. “We are still
developing the details of the teach-out plan, we’ve submitted a draft, but the
HLC is on board, as is some of the specialized accrediting boards, especially
in the health science programs, we have had conversations with them.”
Ratcliff, President of the MSU Student Government Association, said it was the
best news he had heard in months.
“As a business
major I understand the financial stability that MSU brings to the area and to
see that students and faculty and staff will be able to work here and put money
back into the economy is awesome,” said Ratcliff.
president of the MSU Faculty Senate Andrew Wheeler said the impact of a
university goes beyond economics.
university serves as the cultural core for a community,” said Wheeler. “I think
one of the real benefits of this move is UC has a solid reputation in their
community of being that cultural core, and I think Beckley will benefit from
MOU, the University of Charleston agreed to appoint board members
from the Beckley community.
former MSU faculty and staff will get priority when it comes to hiring at the
new UC centers.
personnel will be available at the Beckley campus Tuesday, Aug. 7 – Thursday,
Aug 9, for individual counseling regarding academic programs and student