BECKLEY, W.Va. -- Angela Mims confidently reassured prospective students at UC-Beckley's open house on Tuesday that the mistakes made by Mountain State University leaders are a thing of the past.
That's because she's witnessed the changes first hand.
"I tell [the students] that this is a whole new chapter -- it's a different university," said Mims, an enrollment coordinator who worked for MSU for two years and will now serve in the position at UC-Beckley. "There's a huge difference."
In December, the Higher Learning Commission approved the University of Charleston's full takeover of MSU after the school's accreditation was withdrawn last year following a series of leadership and program oversight problems.
The University of Charleston is now expanding to Beckley and Martinsburg, with classes slated to start on Monday.
Mims said some students at Tuesday's opening event, which was held in MSU facilities now acquired by UC, were apprehensive about whether the problems had been resolved, but she said she can already see the difference in leadership under the new administration.
"From day one, I saw a huge difference in communication. Without it, there was discord - students couldn't properly obtain their education. Now, we're all on the same page," she said. "Students and their families are looking for reinforcements from the staff - that we'll actually be able to give them the information they need in a manner they can understand."
Most importantly, students are concerned "that we're giving them the truth," she said.
"We're not holding anything back now. There's no hidden agenda," she said. "The bottom line is the students."
Jerry Forster, a former UC administrator and longtime education leader, will serve as the area president for Beckley and Martinsburg operations.