Brad D. Smith Talks with Students About University Improvements

Brad D. Smith, Marshall’s president-elect, held a “listening tour” in the Shawkey Dining Room at the Memorial Student Center at 10 a.m. to hear what students think Marshall’s opportunities and challenges will be in the next five years.  

The session began with Smith posing questions and discussion topics for the hour-long session.

 Smith asked, “If there was one thing that you could tell me to focus on has the president to make the experience better for students would that be, and what is it about your experience here at Marshall that so amazing that if other students knew, or other potential students knew, they would want to come here?” 

Students said they felt diversity was a reason they came to the university, and some said they think diversity can be improved in the community. 

Students also said they were proud of Marshall becoming an R2 university, a research milestone awarded by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

Students suggested improvements like more local food options on campus, as well as more dietary inclusive options like vegan and non-dairy foods. 

One student mentioned the recent tragedy on Third Avenue, as well as the recent accident of a professor being hit on Hal Greer Blvd. at a cross walk, asking if there were any plans with the city to help make those streets safer to cross. 

Smith said there have been discussions of different plans with the city and Mayor Williams to implement and make the roads safer to cross. 

 Students also said they feel Marshall should handle Title IX cases differently, so more students feel comfortable to go to school at Marshall.  

One student asked if Smith was planning to host these discussions more often, even once a semester to continue to keep communication between students and himself clear.

“I just feel that if he wants to be able to have a good relationship with students and do everything the right way, asking the people that are most affected (the students) about issues is the right call,” Clark Bolland, a junior business management major, said.