President Gilbert introduces goals for future of Marshall


Rick Haye

President Jerry Gilbert

President Jerry Gilbert introduced several of his goals Wednesday morning for growing Marshall University into a “strong, vibrant” university that ranks among the best institutions in the country.

Gilbert said it is important Marshall gains national prominence in order to increase university funding and to increase the value of those who have earned degrees from Marshall.

“I do think that we are underrated as a university in the public arena,” Gilbert said. “I think that we probably can easily achieve greater recognition and greater awareness of who we are and the quality that we represent.”

Gilbert said he plans to gain this national awareness by developing a new marketing plan for Marshall that will emphasize programs and activities offered at the university.

“My goal is really to tell the story about what is great about Marshall University and I think there are a lot of stories to tell,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said this marketing plan would help the university to manage recent state budget cuts by increasing additional revenue from private fundraising and student enrollment.

Gilbert also said he would like to see the university gradually grow to about 15,000 students or beyond due to his staff’s marketing measures, which will also lead to more faculty job opportunities offered at Marshall.

Gilbert said helping to provide a first-rate education to students and a quality career to faculty and staff members is one of the main reasons he decided to pursue the presidency of Marshall.

“I like the challenges and rewards of administration and really the rewards of administration are facilitating the success of others,” Gilbert said. “I get a great deal of satisfaction out of really helping others achieve their goals.”

Gilbert said he hopes to be as open to students as his schedule allows in order to receive feedback and input from them on issues he should focus on addressing.

“Students and other members of the campus community have already begun to give President Gilbert a lot of good feedback just in his first week,” said Ginny Painter, senior vice president for communications and marketing at Marshall University.

“I’m hearing so far that he’s really on point with what he needs to do,” Painter said. “He’s coming in with a very clear vision and working to get people to coalesce around that vision.”

Painter said Gilbert will continue to ease into his position as president in the next few weeks as he works on prioritizing his schedule and further developing his goals for the future of the  university.

Rebecca Turnbull can be contacted at [email protected]