Dr. Edwin H. Welch
University of Charleston
Dr. Edwin H. Welch is a native of Maryland and earned degrees from Western Maryland College, Boston University School of Theology, and Boston University Graduate School. He studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Higher Education Administration at the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. His Ph.D. is in Social Ethics and he is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.
Dr. Welch served in the Executive Office of the President at The White House from 1961 until 1971 in the administrations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
Dr. Welch began his teaching career at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Prior to coming to Charleston, he served for eight years as the Provost at Wartburg College in Iowa. Dr. Welch has been President of the University of Charleston since 1989. He has led the institution through a period of unprecedented fundraising, expansion of full-time student enrollment, redefining the institution’s mission, transforming its academic program, adding graduate schools in pharmacy, physician’s assistant and business, constructing 7 of the 11 buildings on campus, and acquiring national recognition for UC’s leadership in outcomes-based learning and student assessment. He led the creation of a central administrative computing corporation (i.e., ICE) which serves eight colleges and universities in four states and the expansion of the University into Beckley and Martinsburg, West Virginia as well as into online education.
Photo by Tracy Toler/WV Executive
Read the President's Message.
Dr. Welch serves on many boards, including BB&T Corporate Board of Directors, Chairman of the Quality Committee for the Charleston Area Medical Center Health Systems, Association of Governing Board’s Council of Presidents, West Virginia Financial Education Foundation Board and BB&T-West Virginia’s Advisory Board.
In May 2006, Dr. Welch was given the first-ever Charles L. Foreman Award for Innovation in Private Higher Education by the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. A year later, Dr. Welch was the recipient of the 2007 YMCA Spirit of the Valley Award in recognition of his exemplary community service, and his selfless concern and care for the Charleston community. He has the unique distinction of having a tug boat named for him.
President Welch’s wife, Janet, earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she was a tenured faculty member in the English Department. She has championed an aesthetic dimension at the University of Charleston and has received national recognition for the creation of the Erma Byrd Gallery for West Virginia Women Artists. The Gallery displays works from 165 of the state’s most outstanding women artists.
Dr. Welch takes great pride in the ongoing transformation of the University of Charleston into a leader in private higher education.
Check out the list of past Presidents.