President Gilbert invites public to chat during open house

President Gilbert hosted an open house Wednesday afternoon in the University Communications office in Old Main. Every first Wednesday of the month, President Gilbert welcomes the public to chat, voice their concerns and get to know the other members of the university community.

“I think it’s a great way to talk to him face to face about issues,” said Beth Caruthers, University Communications specialist.

Caruthers said when Gilbert took office in the spring, attendance to the open houses was “pretty heavy.” As school began this fall and “people get involved in their classes,” numbers have seemed to plateau.

“President Gilbert has a unique skill set,” Caruthers said. “He is an engineer; he garners a different and unique audience.”

President Gilbert said the open houses have gone “fairly well” this fall, even though in the spring the number of students attending was much higher. He said he enjoyed seeing so many students who wanted to see him and shake his hand.

“Now it’s more faculty,” Gilbert said. “I don’t know if students know they can bring a concern directly to me, but they can.”

Even though President Gilbert will discuss the community’s concerns, he said he even appreciates people coming into the open house just to say hello.

“He loves to socialize,” Caruthers said. “He’s even opened up his house on several occasions to the university community.”

Gilbert said he especially wants students to know the resources available to assist them at Marshall. He suggested students going to Student Affairs or Academic Affairs to help with any concern.

“I think students are becoming more comfortable voicing opinions to me,” Gilbert said. “Just this morning someone approached me in Starbucks and began a conversation with me, and I loved it.”

President Gilbert emphasized that he wants the university community to know when he is available without an agenda or needing an appointment.

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected].