UPDATE: UC Posts Guide for Mountain State Students

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 8/20/12 @ 9:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Students at Mountain State University now have an outline of how to proceed with their academic careers.

The University of Charleston has posted a guide on its website. UC is taking over Mountain State's campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg so students can complete their degrees following the school's loss of accreditation. Other Mountain State students also can complete their degrees through UC.

The guide gives options for students graduating in the fall or next spring and for underclassmen who will be pursuing a degree offered by UC and those in programs UC won't adopt.

In June, the Higher Learning Commission revoked Mountain State's accreditation because of leadership, organizational and integrity issues.



UPDATE 7/23/12 @ 1:30 p.m.
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- Mountain State University is cutting its workforce in half in the wake of losing its accreditation.

The private Beckley-based university says in a news release that affected employees were notified of the reduction Monday. Their last day of employment is Sept. 21.

The university-wide cuts include administrative, faculty and staff positions.

Mountain State didn't say how many jobs are being cut.

The school has campuses in Beckley, Martinsburg, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Interim President Richard E. Sours says in the release that the school has set up a career center to help workers losing their jobs.

Earlier this month, the regional Higher Learning Commission withdrew Mountain State's accreditation, citing leadership, organizational and integrity issues.

The decision is effective Aug. 27 but Mountain State plans to appeal.



UPDATE 3/20/12
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- The former president of Iowa's William Penn University has been named interim president of Mountain State University.

Board of Trustees Chairman Jerry Ice said Tuesday that the appointment of Richard Sours is effective immediately. He says three candidates were interviewed Sunday and Monday.

The board fired former President Charles Polk in January and took over operations.

The Beckley school has already lost accreditation for its nursing programs and is struggling to maintain its overall accreditation.

Evaluators from the Higher Learning Commission have cited major deficiencies and have given school leaders until June to show measurable improvement.

Sours most recently served as interim dean of Mountain State's School of Arts and Sciences.

He's also a former vice president of Virginia's Ferrum College.



ORIGINAL STORY 1/19/12
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- Mountain State University's Board of Trustees has fired President Charles Polk in the wake of accreditation problems at the school.

Board chairman Jerry Ice announced Polk's dismissal Thursday. Ice says in a statement that he will serve as acting president until an interim president is named.

he Higher Learning Commission, the university's general accrediting body, has placed the school on a "show-cause" status, citing shortcomings in governance, monitoring of student progress and other areas.

The latest annual analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education shows that Polk earned $1.84 million in 2009, the sixth highest compensation among leaders at private schools. His base salary was $371,000 and his 2009 compensation a one-time deferred retirement package.


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