Although Gov. Jim Justice has suggested the potential budget-related closure of Concord University — a rural, liberal arts-based college in Athens — its president says, “We’re not going anywhere.”
Dr. Kendra Boggess, appointed in April 2014 as the university’s 12th president and its first female president, said uncertainty in the state budget and the budget at The Campus Beautiful has caused concern among students, parents and local residents.
In 2013, Concord received $10.2 million in state appropriations. From 2013 to 2017, however, those appropriations have been trimmed by $1.7 million.
And each year, university officials have looked at ways to operate more efficiently — everything from not filling staff vacancies to lowering the number of copy machines on campus.
Boggess said roughly 32 people have left their positions at Concord, for one reason or another. Being financially cautious, school officials have not been filling the vacancies — a tactic utilized at other colleges in the state. The school has also looked at all expenses, including lighting and lawn mowing, to tighten the belt.
Ultimately, Boggess said, “We are in no way thinking about closing.”