CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Attempts to settle several hundred lawsuits filed against Mountain State University began Monday in Charleston.
The cases, which deal with the university's loss of accreditation, have been assigned to the mass litigation panel.
In June 2012, the Higher Learning Commission revoked the school's primary accreditation after years of failing to correct major problems in leadership, program evaluations and campuswide governance.
The lawsuits allege that school officials were deceptive about the problems the school was facing.
When a university loses its primary accreditation, any subsequent degrees conferred by the university are effectively worthless.
The University of Charleston took over Mountain State campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg so that students left in limbo could stay and complete degrees after MSU lost its accreditation.
MSU is the first higher education institution in West Virginia history to have its schoolwide accreditation revoked, according to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.