BECKLEY, W.Va. -- Mountain State University's bid to regain its accreditation has been denied.
The rejection this week by the appeals panel of the Higher Learning Commission is the final word on the matter, according to The Register-Herald of Beckley. It is not subject to appeal.
The board of the commission in June voted to yank Mountain State's accreditation, but continued its accreditation until the appeal was settled. The revocation was based on leadership, organizational and integrity issues.
The commission has approved the University of Charleston's expansion to Mountain State's facilities in Beckley and Martinsburg. UC took over both campuses so students could complete their degrees after Mountain State lost its accreditation.
MSU President Richard Sours said UC-Beckley would lease the buildings from MSU and be responsible for paying insurance and utilities.
"It's not like we're making money from the lease," Sours said.
Mountain State has already sold two aircraft it owned and was assessing other properties ahead of its scheduled closure.
"The closing of Mountain State University is bittersweet," Sours said. "I'm very sad to see the university go out of existence, but I'm glad the students will be afforded an opportunity to finish their educational goals."
A number of the lawsuits filed by former nursing students have been grouped to be heard before a mass litigation panel, Sours said.
The lawsuits name Mountain State's former president, Charles Polk, and the Board of Trustees. The lawsuits contend that the school's revoked accreditation renders the degrees it awarded worthless.
The lawsuit also states Mountain State told students it was in sound shape when it knew otherwise.
Mountain State said that at its peak it enrolled more than 8,200 students annually. A majority of its students were nontraditional, with a median age of 34.
Mountain State University was founded in 1933 as Beckley College.