The demise of a popular West Virginia-based private university has lead to the repackaging of another in recent months.
Following a drawn-out process, Mountain State University officially shuttered its doors in Beckley, Martinsburg and several locations across the country at the end of 2012.
The University of Charleston then was able to initiate programs in Beckley, Martinsburg and online.
Mountain State battled with the Higher Learning Commission, a regional body tasked with overseeing institutes of higher education, for months. In 2011 the commission placed a "show cause" order on the university, giving it a year to address administrative, financial and academic problems.
Mountain State did fire long-time President Charles Polk and began to make some changes. However, the commission determined those changes were not enough to justify continued accreditation. It announced in July 2012 the school would lose the commission's backing, essentially closing Mountain State.
While Mountain State went through an appeals process, it was required to reach out to other institutions for help with a "teach-out plan" - a guide to graduation for upperclassmen and other educational opportunities for underclassmen.
Publicly and privately, UC jumped at the chance to expand into Mountain State territory.
Shortly after Mountain State lost its accreditation, UC announced it would offer scholarships to any Mountain State student. Very soon thereafter, the two schools announced UC would be Mountain State's official partner with the teach-out plan.
But for weeks leading up to the announcement, Welch and Richard Sours, then interim president of Mountain State, quietly talked about some kind of partnership.