ALAN BRANT GOULD - FOURTEENTH PRESIDENT (INTERIM), 1990-1991
When Dale Nitzschke resigned in July 1900, provost Alan B. Gould stepped in as the interim president while the search for a new one took place. In his only state of the university address he called 1990 a "transitional year," stating that the school needed to prepare students for a global society and stressed the need for a new library. On November 10, 1990, the football team played its final game in the Fairfield Stadium, which had been in use since 1928, in anticipation of the new stadium’s opening in the fall of 1991. He sought to recruit minority faculty and students, establishing the "Grow Your Own" program, the Carter G. Woodson Initiative, and cooperative programs with West Virginia State College and Hampton University. He oversaw a cooperative agreement with Southern West Virginia Community College that lead to the 2+2 degree program in education and business. Gould’s replacement, J. Wade Gilley, was announced in mid-June 1991, but he continued to work until July 31, when the new president took office.
Alan Brant Gould, son of Kermit H. Gould and Opal G. (Hysell) Gould, was born August 28, 1938, at Huntington, West Virginia. He graduated from Huntington East High School in 1956. He entered Marshall College and, after changing his major a few times, settled on American history. He obtained his B.A. degree (cum laude) from Marshall in 1961. He continued his schooling at Marshall and received his M. A. in 1962. He was a graduate instructor at West Virginia University while he pursued a doctorate from 1962 to 1965. During the summer of 1965 he traveled to Washington, D.C., to conduct doctoral research. While there he got a job as a Capitol Hill policeman, where he was required to carry a gun, which he said he was glad he never had to unholster. In the Fall of 1965 he secured a position as an instructor at the District of Columbia Teachers College. The following year he moved to Northern Virginia Technical School as an assistant professor, while there he received his Ph.D. from West Virginia University in 1969.
In the Fall of that year he decided to return to Marshall University as an assistant professor of history for just "a short time," but he "enjoyed it so much" that he decided to stay and "became involved in administration." During his forty-plus decades as a member of the University, he has filled many important positions on campus. From 1976 to 1977 he coordinated the Regents B.A. Program. In 1977 he became the chairman of the History Department, where he remained until 1980. In 1980 he was promoted to dean of the College of Liberal Arts, where he served until 1988. During these years he also served as the acting vice-president for Academic Affairs (1984-1986) and as an assistant to the president for special projects (1986). In 1988 he was promoted to senior vice-president and in 1989 to provost. While provost/vice-president he established the John R. Hall Center for Academic Excellence—a restructuring of a number of academic programs, including the Honors Program, John Marshall Scholars and the Society of Yeager Scholars. He served as interim president from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1994 he held the position of vice-president for Academic Affairs. Since 1994 he has been the executive director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy; even when he retired in 2009, he was asked by the Drinko’s to continue as director, which he has continued to do.
During his early years at Marshall University he also served in a few academic positions outside the university. Between 1970 and 1974 he was a visiting lecturer at Ohio University, Ironton campus. In 1970 he was a visiting lecturer for Project Newgate at the Federal Youth Correctional Institute at Summit, Kentucky. From 1976 to 1986 he was an adjunct professor at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in Charleston, W. Va. He has been heavily involved in community affairs, including a local museum, landmark and historic commissions, and the state humanities council.
In 1969 he married Mary Nell, and they have three sons. He resides in Huntington, West Virginia.
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