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Pennsylvania Mining Firm Asks West Virginia Officials to Oppose WVU Program Merger



September 2, 2023 - A mining company has asked state political leaders to oppose a recommended merger of the departments of Mining Engineering and Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at West Virginia University.

Iron Senergy of Waynesburg, Pa., opposes the merger recommended by the Office of the Provost through the WVU Transformation Initiative “and is concerned with the negative outcomes to the mining industry by not retaining the specific identity and existing faculty of the Department of Mining Engineering,” the company said in a statement.

President E. Gordon Gee in 2020 directed the transformational change at WVU.

Iron Senergy will send a letter to Gov. Jim Justice asking him and other political leaders to advise Gee and the Board of Governors to oppose any changes to the Department of Mining Engineering and to immediately engage with industry representatives.

“Iron Senergy stands ready to meet with WVU and support the department financially under the right circumstances,” the company said. “We are confident that other members of the mining industry will do the same. However, all attempts by the chair and industry leaders to engage with WVU on this issue have been immediately denied. Only input from West Virginia’s leaders will make a difference.”

The company said it and other mining companies are hiring mining engineers in multiple positions and roles, many of whom have come from WVU. Twenty companies representing operators in aggregates, coal, cement, metal/non-metal, governmental agencies and engineering and environmental consulting firms are scheduled to recruit from the department this fall, the company said.

Iron Senergy of Waynesburg, Pa., was founded in 2020.