The West Virginia State University board of governors has voted to appoint R. Charles Byers to serve as interim president of the university. He will serve while a search for a permanent president is conducted. He is the first alumnus of the university to serve as president.
West Virginia State University in Institute, West Virginia, enrolls nearly 3,600 undergraduate students and just more than 100 graduate students, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. Although it is a historically Black university, African Americans now make up only 8 percent of the undergraduate student body.
“I am looking forward to continuing to serve the University and to working with the leadership team to manage through these uncertain times posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also planning for the future of West Virginia State and the brighter days we all know are ahead,” said Dr. Byers. “We will continue the work to fulfill the University’s mission of meeting the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.”
Dr. Byers has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at the university since July 2019. He had retired as provost in 2014 after 41 years of service at West Virginia State University.
Dr. Byers is a 1968 graduate of West Virginia State University, where he majored in education. He holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from Kent State University in Ohio.