President Gilbert speaks to Board of Governors

The Marshall University Board of Governors meeting was held Wednesday in the Shawkey Dining Room in the Memorial Student Center.

Topics discussed included enrollment and retention rates, the Electronic Records Management Policy and undergraduate course offerings on the Marshall University South Charleston campus.

Marshall University president Jerry Gilbert also made his first president’s report to the Board of Governors at the meeting.

In his report, Gilbert discussed some of the goals he has for the university. Gilbert said his first priority is enrollment.

“I’ve said it many times that a growing university is a healthy university and I want us to grow enrollment,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said he has set a goal of 15,000 enrolled students in the next four to five years. Gilbert said he thinks the university can reach that goal, and he said he hopes the university exceeds it.

Gilbert said graduation rates and retention rates are also not what he wants them to be.

“Hand in hand with enrollment, if we get students here on the campus, I want us to keep students here to the time that they graduate,” Gilbert said. “So, student success is just as important an effort, and it’s a priority that I want to stress, as well.”

Gilbert said another one of his priorities is to “get through” budget challenges. Gilbert said he has been working with other staff to find ways to cut costs and generate revenue.

Gilbert also discussed increasing university fundraising and expanding doctoral programs.

Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Gayle Ormiston discussed offering undergraduate courses at the South Charleston Campus.

Ormiston said the South Charleston Campus has never offered undergraduate courses and said this may allow Marshall to recruit students from the central part of West Virginia.

Ormiston said the undergraduate courses offered will support majors in health professions, engineering, computer science and the sciences. Ormiston said they will also be offering all the courses that are needed for core curriculum.

“Students who don’t want to, or can’t, or are unable to travel to Marshall, to Huntington will have the opportunity to take classes in South Charleston maybe closer to their home, in the central part of the state,” Ormiston said.

The Board of Governors approved an Intent to Plan for a Master of Arts in Education degree, which, according to a Marshall University press release, would combine the current degrees of Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Master of Arts in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Secondary Education into one degree starting in the fall of 2016.

The board also approved IT-6, the Electronic Records Management Policy, which will implement new ways for Marshall faculty and staff to preserve, create and use electronic records. The policy states the intention is to help preserve Marshall University history, protect the availability of institutional records and shield the university from liability, to name a few. The board also approved a budget reforecast for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Chief of staff and senior vice president for operations Brandi Jacobs-Jones discussed renovations to the Joan C. Edwards Stadium and the installation of new Harless Dining Hall chillers, which she said will be completed March 30.

Jacobs-Jones also gave recognition to the university staff that continued to provide campus services during the winter snowstorms.

“Although we faced over a foot of snow, we were able to have clear sidewalks, we were able to provide services and amenities for our students while they were here on campus for that weekend, as well as in preparation for classes opening,” Jacobs-Jones said. “And so we just wanted to ensure that business doesn’t stop just because of the weather, and so, just can’t say enough about the exceptional quality of service provided by our employees.”

Dean of the College of Arts and Media Donald Van Horn also gave a presentation on the arts and media program.

Van Horn discussed what the college of arts and media is currently doing in terms of programs and facilities, such as the Center for Wellness in the Arts and the Visual Arts Center. Van Horn also discussed how the college is focusing on recruitment.

Amanda Gibson can be contacted at [email protected].