Jul 27, 2012 04:46 AM EDT
Mountain State-U Accreditation Crisis: University Plans to Sell the Martinsburg Mall
Mountain State University seems to be leaving no stone unturned to stay afloat. The School based in Beckley, West Virginia announced a plan to sell its 555,000-sq.foot mall in Martinsburg.
The University's crucial decision was disclosed by interim president Richard Sours during an emergency injunction hearing. He also hinted at getting rid of the buildings at its Beckley campus in coming months to be financially stable.
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"The board of trustees has approved the general concept of downsizing MSU's physical plant and using the assets to sustain core activities," said Sours.
"We haven't put any buildings up for sale yet, but that's a legitimate possibility. If necessary, we will sell assets as long as they don't impact the university's core mission," Sours said.
The university has a direct debt of $27 million and an overall debt of almost $34 million, according to a Moody's Investors Service report, reports The Herald Mail.
Martinsburg Mall is located in Berkeley County, in proximity to the main campus. It was purchased in April 2010 for $11 million dollars with a loan held through City National Bank. Reportedly, the school planned to turn 13,000 square feet of the building into classrooms or offices for administration.
However, an unexpected action by the Higher Learning Commission to withdraw its accreditation drastically changed the university's fate. The Commission listed "systemic breakdowns in leadership, program oversight, integrity issues and failing to provide accreditation information to students" as the reasons for the withdrawal.
In the meantime, HLC has extended the accreditation till Fall to facilitate University's appeal process. MSU trustee Jerry Ice explained that even if the appeal doesn't work it will provide ample time for the students to decide which university they want to transfer.
The appeal process is set to conclude no later than Nov.12