WVU Board of Governors OKs Move of WVU Tech to Beckley
West Virginia University's Board of Governors is giving the green light to move the WVU Institute of Technology campus from Montgomery to Beckley.
The university's news office says the board voted Tuesday to authorize the move. It said the decision received no dissenting votes.
Tech President Carolyn Long said the move to Beckley gives the school the "best chance to survive and thrive."
Long noted that the Montgomery campus has an estimated $100 million in deferred maintenance. She added that the school is also far short of an enrollment goal of 1,800 set several years ago.
A full complement of freshmen classes will be offered next fall at WVU Beckley. The move will be completed by 2017.
Response was quick around the state.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin quickly responded to the decision with the following statement.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the closing of this historic educational institution in Montgomery. However, after talking to President Gee, I am optimistic that proper replacement options for the current students of WVU Tech will be made available quickly and that viable opportunities will be available for the city of Montgomery. We have a responsibility to make sure every student who is willing to work hard has the resources to achieve their educational goals, and no stone will be left unturned in searching for a solution.”
Paul Hill, the Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission had this to say:
"“The Higher Education Policy Commission’s mission is to make higher education decisions in the best interest of West Virginia’s students. This is upheld in West Virginia Code, which requires the Policy Commission to approve new degree programs for regional colleges and universities. For Marshall University and West Virginia University, the Policy Commission’s statutory role is to consider academic programs proposed for new locations they don’t presently serve.
“WVU’s proposal to move WVU Tech and academic programs to Beckley falls within that specific approval authority. I believe the Policy Commission will thoroughly study each academic proposal offered by WVU for its Beckley campus, with a particular focus on any potential statewide impact.
“The vision for public higher education as outlined in State Code includes enhancing education opportunities for the widest range of West Virginians by maintaining geographic access to higher education, while avoiding unnecessary duplication.
“The Higher Education Policy Commission will continue working to sustain that vision by working closely with West Virginia University and established public institutions in Southern West Virginia – with vigilance for the best possible outcomes for the students of West Virginia.”