NEWS FROM HERALD DISPATCH
February 1, 2006
Legislators hear MU vision
Charleston bled green Tuesday as dozens of Marshall University faculty,
staff and students converged on the state Capitol for the annual "Marshall
Day" at the Legislature.
While nearly 30 display
booths showcasing various colleges, departments, schools and programs filled
the hallway between the House and Senate chambers, the highlight of the day
came when Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp presented the school's
strategic vision plan to the House Education Committee and later to Gov. Joe
Manchin during a brief news conference.
Kopp focused on a few
key economic development initiatives of the strategic plan, which was
formulated from nearly 900 online submissions since mid-November.
The suggestions have
been boiled down to seven themes -- improvement, investment,
innovation/inquiry, integration, initiative, involvement and inclusiveness.
The themes will help Marshall develop a series of one- to three-year action
plans, the first of which should be finished in April, Kopp said.
Among the strategic
vision's economic development proposals is the Institute for
Interdisciplinary Research, which would be linked with the Robert C. Byrd
Biotechnology Science Center.
Kopp said the institute
would rely on a one-time endowment to create new research ideas and
professorships. Marshall's Center for Business and Economic Research has
projected that the institute's work will generate 3,400 high-paying jobs,
$138 million in new tax revenue, and $284 million in development activity
over a 20-year period, Kopp said.
"It's a self-sustaining
model that doesn't require a dollar of base funding from Marshall or the
state of West Virginia," he said. "This is how you take research and build
economic development initiatives."
In other related
Marshall events at the Capitol, Robin Davis, chief justice of the state
Supreme Court, said justices will return to Marshall's campus this fall to
hear cases. The high court made its first trip to Huntington in recent
memory this past fall.
While Marshall Day at
the Capitol is primarily used as a promotion tool for the school, students
should use it as an opportunity to share their concerns with lawmakers, said
Michael Misiti, student body president.
"To have the ability to pull a local
delegate aside and talk to them about the PROMISE scholarship or a program
that is proposed to be cut is something we really haven't utilized in the
past," he said. "This day should be seen as an enormous benefit to the
entire student body."