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UC hires Forster to head Beckley, Martinsburg operations

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Jerry Forster, a University of Charleston alumnus who has held positions at the school and in local government in the Kanawha Valley, has been appointed head of the school's operations in Beckley and Martinsburg.

Forster will begin Jan. 1 and will oversee UC's role as the primary teach-out partner with Mountain State University.

 "We are happy to welcome Jerry Forster back to the University of Charleston and look forward to him leading our future endeavors in Beckley and Martinsburg," Edwin H. Welch, UC president, said Oct. 26 in a news release announcing Forster's hiring.

"Jerry is an outstanding individual and talented higher education administrator. He will be integral in helping the University navigate through the teach-out process with Mountain State, as well as preparing for what we hope to be a long-term presence in Beckley."

Forster currently is treasurer and chief financial officer at Sewanee, the University of the South, where he has been since 2001. Before his time at Sewanee, Forster was UC's vice president for administration and finance from 1992-01. He has also worked as county manager for the Kanawha County Commission (1991-92), assistant city manager for the city of Charleston (1988-91) and treasurer for the city of Charleston (1985-88).

In his previous position at UC, Forster oversaw the growth of an endowment that more than doubled as a result of investment returns. He also participated in a successful capital campaign which funded construction of Clay Tower Building, and he oversaw the completion of a new $6 million residence hall, according to the news release.

Forster holds a bachelor's in economics from UC, a master's in management and public administration from Marshall University and a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt.

UC has submitted requests to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to continue some programs currently offered by Mountain State as well as to provide programs currently offered on the University's Charleston campus in Beckley and Martinsburg. UC expects the HLC to announce its decision sometime in December.

The University of Charleston is a private independent college with about 1,400 students from 31 states and 26 countries. It offers 23 undergraduate majors, master's programs in business and physician assistant studies, and a doctorate in pharmacy.