Faculty Senate discusses state of university, new marketing campaign

Newly created positions, budget issues and a new marketing plan were discussed at the second faculty senate meeting of the semester Thursday.

Since the first meeting of the semester, President Jerome Gilbert has been formally invested and the slogan “Best. Decision. Ever.” has changed. .

Gilbert thanked the faculty for their support of him throughout the investiture process, and  said he looks forward to the future of Marshall University.

“I applaud all of the individuals who have helped in the [2020 effort],” Gilbert said. “We’ve dealt with a lot of cuts, but we haven’t had to do anything drastic.”

The Marshall 2020 Initiative, according to the Office of the President, is a “strategic planning process [that] will help us determine how [the university] can thrive in a dramatically changing funding environment for public higher education.”

One of Gilbert’s most recent initiatives is the creation of a Director of Addiction Sciences position within the medical school at Marshall. Gilbert said he wants this individual to interact with the university and the community affected by the addiction epidemic in the area.

In addition to the creation of the new position in the university, a new marketing campaign has been created for university communications and recruitment.

Senior vice president of communications Ginny Painter introduced the university’s new marketing and branding campaign, which centers around the statement “I am a son/daughter of Marshall.”

Painter said after several focus groups of students, alumni, faculty and community, there was a “clear choice” for a branding position.

“Tradition, success and family were words we heard over and over again,” Painter said. “‘We are Marshall’ is something more than a chant at a football game. It’s in our fight song, it’s in our alma mater, it’s something we already are.”

Painter said she wanted the faculty senate to have a “first look” at the new promotional material in order to familiarize themselves with the university’s mission.

“This is deeper than a marketing campaign,” Painter said. “This is the identity of Marshall; it’s not something that had to be created, it was already in us.”

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected].