West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a four-year college located in Montgomery, West Virginia, United States. It is the largest regional campus of West Virginia University and is governed by the WVU Board of Governors
Locals generally call the school WVU Tech, West Virginia Tech, or simply Tech.
The school was founded at the sub-college level Montgomery Preparatory School of WVU in 1895. In 1917 it was separated from WVU and renamed the West Virginia Trade School. Next, in 1921, it reached the junior college level as the New River State School. It became a four-year college as New River State College in 1931 and was renamed the West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1941. It began to grant degrees in engineering in 1952.
The school added a community college in 1966 and it began to grant the master's degree in engineering in 1978.
In 1996 the college became a regional campus of West Virginia University. On July 1, 2007, WVU Tech became a full division of WVU. While several departments on campus report directly to WVU, oversight of all academic areas has remained on Tech's main campus.
WVU Tech was previously associated with the Community & Technical College at WVU Tech. As of May 2009[update], the two are separate institutions but share the same campus. To help differentiate the two schools, a new name of Bridgemont Community and Technical College was announced for the CTC in May 2009.
The "Old Main" building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The school had been beset with declining enrollments for many years. Much of this is due to the completion of good highways in the state, which have made attending WVU's main campus, traditionally the only other school to offer engineering programs, more reasonable for people in southern West Virginia. In 2011, the state government passed the WVU Tech Revitalization Project law, in response to its declining enrollments and financial distress. As a condition of the law, an assessment was conducted over the summer of 2011 and a “revitalization report” was completed by October 2011. The report recommended that WVU Tech:
The report emphasized the importance of its recommended budgetary appropriation by concluding
“Considering the ways a revitalized WVU-Tech will support West Virginia’s ability to compete industrially and economically, the resources required in this study should be viewed as a prudent investment.” (p. 30)
Organization and administration
The CEO is Carolyn Long.
WVU Tech offers a variety of baccalaureate degree programs in fields such as Engineering, Nursing, Printing Management, Business Management, Life Sciences, Computer Science, Health Services Administration and more.
West Virginia Tech (WVU Tech) teams, nicknamed athletically as the Golden Bears, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). The Golden Bears formerly competed in the Mid-South Conference and the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball.
On November 17, 2011, WVU Tech announced it was leaving the Mid-South Conference effective June 30, 2012. It will become an NAIA-affiliated independent team and apply for admission to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
Football was played at WVU Tech since 1907. At the conclusion of the 2011 season the main West Virginia University Board of Governors agreed with the recommendations of the revitalization committee and directed the end of the football program. The committee noted that football was "a luxury the school could no longer afford" and that "eleven percent of the entire school budget was spent on athletics. The astroturf at the football stadium, designed for replacement every seven to ten years, was over 30 years old.