President Gilbert opens his door to faculty and staff


Rebecca Turnbull

President Gilbert talks wih Director of Library Operations JingPing Zhang during Gilbert’s open house for faculty and staff at his home April 4, 2016.

Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert opened the door Monday for university faculty and staff to visit the newly renovated President’s Home and talk with the president.

Gilbert said he chose to have the reception at his home since it would provide a more informal setting for faculty and staff to interact with him on a “real basis.”

“Having this open house sort of takes the mystery out of the presidency and lets people relate to me as a person,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said he wants to show the campus community that he values their insights towards his presidency and will work to solve their problems.

“I want people to trust me,” Gilbert said. “Events like this help me to establish who I am and reach out to the staff and to the faculty and tell them that I care about them and the university.”

Assistant Dean of the School of Pharmacy Robert Stanton said he admires Gilbert’s efforts to connect with those who work with him.

“I think it’s great that he’s doing this,” Stanton said. “I’ve really appreciated that he’s giving us the chance to come see the house and talk with him.”

Director of Library Operations Jingping Zhang said the open house allowed her to share ideas with the president that she would otherwise have to set up a formal meeting to discuss with him.

Several faculty and staff members said they came especially for the chance to see the house after renovations to the house were completed in February.

The house had been closed since the spring of 2015 for extensive renovations.

Gilbert said he chose to have the reception at his home after he heard a staff member talking about how she had never seen the president’s home before and always wanted to.

Gilbert said he believes everyone who works at Marshall should have the opportunity to visit the President’s Home and admire the history it represents.

“I’m just a steward of the house,” Gilbert said. “It’s an honor for me to be able to live here, but it’s really the people’s house and the house of Marshall University. I don’t view it as something that is just for me. It’s for everyone.”

President Gilbert will have an open house for students, faculty and staff from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Old Main room 213.

Rebecca Turnbull can be contacted at [email protected]