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Regional colleges reflect on WVU bid in Beckley

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Most southern West Virginians are ready to paint the town blue and gold after West Virginia University announced its plan to purchase the former Mountain State University campus.

But with such a large, well-known institution moving in, how will that affect other local colleges and universities?

Concord University President Dr. Kendra Boggess said WVU Dean Joyce McConnell has already reached out to schedule a meeting to discuss possible opportunities.

“We don’t yet know what kinds of programs WVU is considering offering, but we have been assured they do not want to duplicate the efforts of schools already in the area.”

Concord’s enrollment numbers have been decreasing since 2012, according to a report from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

The report shows an 8 percent decrease from 2013 to 2014, from 1,747 to 1,563. In the past six years, enrollment was its highest in 2009 with 2,882 students.

Boggess did not comment in her released statement on whether or not she thought WVU’s southern presence would further decrease Concord’s enrollment numbers.

She did say, “Using state money to compete with one another is counterproductive and not something any of the institutions are interested in doing. We want to be assured as well that we can continue to grow as we have been planning for years to better serve our students in southern West Virginia.”

Bluefield State College enrollment totals decreased by 10.5 percent from 2013 to 2014.  Enrollment peaked at 2,063 in 2010, but that number went down to 1,563 last year…

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