CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The University of Charleston community had the opportunity Tuesday to meet Martin Roth, the incoming university president, who also shared his goals for the university when he takes office later this year.

Roth took part in an introduction presentation Tuesday at the Riggleman Hall. Around 40 people attended to hear about Roth’s mission.

Roth will succeed current President Edwin Welch, who is retiring from the position on June 30. Welch has served as president since 1989, and is credited with more than doubling student enrollment from 736 students at the start of his tenure to 1,848 individuals in the fall semester of 2016.

Roth currently serves as the dean of the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. A Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh alumnus, he previously held positions at the University of South Carolina, Boston College and his alma mater.

University of Hartford

Martin Roth

Roth said he became interested in the position after learning about the University of Charleston’s approach to preparing students for life after school.

“The university has a terrific focus and dedication to not only being an innovative university, but embedding innovation into the student experience,” he said. “Helping students understand not just the knowledge and the skills that they would need to take on a job, but what are the knowledge, skills and tools they would need to take on that job and make that job better.”

Roth said part of the education experience is connecting students with career opportunities, which means the university must create partnerships with local organizations and businesses that could hire students.

“I think we can put together the really great formula that will entice students to stay here and provide the talent pool to help the organizations here in West Virginia thrive and grow,” he said.

When Roth takes office on July 1, he plans to meet with members of the university community to understand areas where the institution can improve.

“There’s so many great people here and many people that have spent their entire careers here at the University of Charleston who have so much institutional knowledge and experience,” he said.

A ceremony honoring Welch for his work will be held in June.

Event attendees also had the opportunity to meet Patrick Graney, the incoming chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees. Graney will succeed Henry Harmon on July 1. Graney led the presidential search committee, which included alumni, students and faculty. He also serves as chairman of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and president of the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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