The strategy to rebuild MSU's operations will combine UC's traditional campus experience and MSU's success with distance learning, Forster said.
About 90 percent of UC's students are full time, with two-thirds of them living on campus, while MSU is known for "hybrid models" where students do a lot of at-home coursework and periodically meet as a class, Forster said.
"The combination of these two strategies is an excellent opportunity for UC to be the comprehensive regional university in Southern West Virginia and serve this region better than we ever have," Forster said. "Our strategy is to blend what UC and MSU have been doing right in the past two decades. Quality is key."
Another key component to UC-Beckley's success will be community partnerships, Forster said.
"I hope to connect with Beckley in similar ways that I've been fortunate enough to do in Charleston and get to know the civic and business leaders. Building those connections and instilling that confidence in the community is going to get us where we need to be," he said. "We want to make sure that when students come to UC-Beckley, they know they are getting a topnotch education and have faculty that is capable of invigorating the students."
UC-Beckley will begin working on the school's health sciences programs as soon as next week.
"That is one of the first areas we want to re-establish as topnotch," Forster said.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.