Concord University President believes small colleges won’t consolidate, despite report

ATHENS (WOAY)- After a report recommends consolidating small, four-year colleges in West Virginia due to funding, one University President is speaking out.

Concord University President Kendra Boggess says West Virginians need schools like Concord and Bluefield State. Her reason- people who live in the Mountain State don’t want to leave in order to get an education, and larger schools are getting more expensive by the semester. The problem with small schools is they don’t have a lot of funding.

The report was obtained by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. It’s recommending radical changes, like a governing board and major restructuring.

“We realize there’s a shortage of dollars in the state and we’re trying to find ways to make our funding as equitable as possible, but also to serve the area,” Boggess said. “We have students here who wouldn’t go to school if they had to go far from here. They want to stay here. They want to get an education.”

“There are a lot of adult learners who are parents and they can’t go far from home. They have jobs and they need to get an education.”

The next step, according to Boggess, is meeting with the Blue Ribbon Commission, led by West Virginia University President Gordon Gee. Boggess added the main focus will be on funding, and Governor Jim Justice is against consolidating schools.