West Virginia

Fairmont State University hopes to introduce next president this spring

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The search for the president of Fairmont State University is underway in hopes of a final selection by spring.

Rusty Hutson (Fairmont State University)

Rusty Hutson, the Fairmont state board of governors, said search firm Buffkin and Baker worked with university officials through the end of the year to develop the president’s preferred profile and will be accepting application packages through Jan. 31.

“Then the process of taking them through all the facilities on campus and everything else begins,” Hutson said. “Intending to have a new president by the end of the spring semester.”

According to Hutson, Fairmont State University offers traditional four-year educational opportunities, but a new leader must also be comfortable with technical and professional offerings. The new Law Enforcement Academy, aircraft training facilities at North Central West Virginia Airport, and a growing maintenance program are just a few of the additional duties required.

“We want someone who can lead the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, but at the same time has some skills that are more than just science, business executive skills, communication and being able to reach out to the community. ‘ Hutson said.

Eighty-nine percent of the nearly 3,600 undergraduate students on campus are from within the state, with a large portion hailing from Marion, Harrison, Lewis and Monongalia counties. Hutson said finding a native West Virginian isn’t as important as finding the person who will boost energy and interest in the university.

“We need to get young people into our places and educate them because that’s what we’re here for, so I think it’s important to have someone who understands the students that we’re recruiting,” Hutson said.

The lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic include questions about the value of a traditional four-year apprenticeship versus a trade. Hutson said that all learning institutions are on a learning curve that will determine their success for many years to come.

Diana Phillips

“They’d better be able to provide training or somehow sustain it themselves long-term outside of just a four-year apprenticeship,” Hutson said.

dr Dianna Phillips took office as interim president last summer following the departure of then-President Mirta Martin. Phillips has over 20 years of higher education experience and joined Fairmont from Hartford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.

“The current interim president has done an excellent job stepping in in a very difficult situation,” Hutson said. “But she’s done a great job of bringing stability to the campus and she’s done a great job of getting the business off the ground.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button