The University of West Virginia was an educational authority formed by the West Virginia Legislature on July 1,1989 to oversee the operation of the state's graduate and doctoral degree-granting institutions. It was abolished on June 30, 2000. A 17-member Board of Trustees governed the following institutions of higher learning in West Virginia:
A separate "State and Community College System of West Virginia" existed to govern all other state colleges in the state.
Prior to the formation of the University of West Virginia, all colleges in West Virginia were governed by a single Board of Regents from 1970. Prior to 1970, WVU was governed by its own board of governors, while all other education in the state, from Kindergarten through graduate schools, was under the state board of education.
In 2000 the state abandoned the University of West Virginia system, establishing the two universities as separate, state related institutions with tremendous independence from the state, and placing all state colleges under separate boards of visitors.