During a Dec. 4 appeal hearing in Chicago, Mountain State officials made their final appeal to keep its accreditation. The meeting lasted more than three hours, and Jerry Ice, chair of the university's board of governors, thought it went as well as could be expected.
"What we really tried to do is indicate the critical points of institutional integrity, administrative structure, the collaborative strategic planning, resource allocations," Ice said in a recent interview.
The appeal panel is a body independent from Mountain State or the commission, and the hearing was similar to a court session, Ice said.
The panel has until a week from today to respond, said Richard Sours, interim president at Mountain State. Today's announcement between UC and the commission does not have any bearing on the appeal panel's decision, he said.
He has said previously that past commission actions make it unlikely the school will keep its accreditation. On Monday he said UC would not continue to operate Mountain State's four out-of-state satellite locations. Both schools are continuing to work with students at those locations to help them graduate or find other academic options, Sours said.
Both UC and students involved in the teach-out were getting a little nervous, said Letha Zook, the university's provost and dean of faculty. There is still a fair amount of work to do to get students and staff ready for the massive number of changes set to take place at the start of the new year.
"We have what we're calling in house a two-minute-drill kind of thing," Zook said in an interview last week. "We know when we hear, we'll have to move as fast as we can . . ."
The school will simultaneously operate the new programs and continue to run the teach-out program for Mountain State students scheduled to graduate by the end of the spring.
"It's massive and exciting," Welch said.
On-site classes for the spring semester begin Jan. 14. Online classes start Jan. 7.