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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Smith Sticks to Marshall For All Amid WVU Layoffs

President+Brad+D.+Smith+originally+announced+his+plan+for+debt-free+graduation+during+his+investiture+last+fall
Shauntelle Thompson
President Brad D. Smith originally announced his plan for debt-free graduation during his investiture last fall

As West Virginia University reels from proposed layoffs of 169 faculty members, Marshall’s president says his university will go in a different direction by continuing to follow his Marshall For All, Marshall Forever program in an effort to grow the institution out of its financial deficit.    

The WVU layoffs were announced in early August and will include the elimination of 32 majors, with other similar majors combining into one. Additionally, the proposed cuts would completely terminate the university’s world languages department.

Following the announcement of these layoffs, and the statements surrounding higher education made by WVU President Gordon Gee, fears had arisen that similar cuts could be on the horizon for Marshall.

“I see what WVU is navigating as indicative of all of higher education and what we’re facing,” Marshall University President Brad D. Smith said in response to the proposed layoffs. “Marshall University and WVU both have structural deficits. They’ve estimated and publicized theirs at $45 million. We have publicized ours 20 months ago. We have a roughly $28 million deficit.”

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While both universities face deficits, Marshall has a very different plan for minimizing their deficit going forward. Smith maintained Marshall’s dedication to its recently announced Marshall For All, Marshall Forever plan. 

The plan was developed by Smith in collaboration with University staff and community members. The plan includes a combination of cost control measures, which Smith describes as Save to Serve, as well as growing out of the deficit by focusing on student-focused priorities for expansion.

“Ours is a combination of those efforts that between now and 2027, our goal is to get back to getting out of the deficit and get back to a positive trajectory,” Smith said. 

He also said that in addition to getting out of the deficit by 2027, the Marshall For All, Marshall Forever plan aims for any Marshall student to be able to graduate debt-free and be placed in any job of their choosing after graduation by 2037, the University’s 200-year anniversary.

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