HUNTINGTON -- Recruiting new
faculty means a lot to Marshall University student Ashley
Miner, and Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp welcomes her
As he and fellow
administrators map out a strategic vision for the
university, Kopp requests input from anyone with suggestions
to improve Marshall during the next seven years. That
includes people not directly connected with the university,
and using a Internet-based technology, it could also include
alumni and friends of the university scattered across the
Kopp, who became president
of the university in July, outlined his plans Thursday to
develop a strategic vision for Marshall.
Participants may provide
suggestions by visiting
www.marshall.edu/strategic on the Internet. The
input stage, which began Thursday, continues through Dec.
19. The theme of the long-term strategic vision is "Aiming
for Perfection: Our Bold Constellation for the Future."
"This is a bold concept,"
Kopp said Thursday during a news conference. "It harnesses
technology and brings our communities -- our constituents --
to Marshall University to have a significant voice in our
Kopp said the timeline for
the strategic vision includes finalizing and review stages
from late December into latter January. It is scheduled to
be presented at the Marshall Board of Governors meeting on
Jan. 25 and to the Joint Educational Committee of the West
Virginia Legislature on Jan. 31.
From February to April of
next year, administrators will consider foremost goals for a
one- to three-year action plan for the university. By April
24, the action plan will be implemented, including budget
allocations during the specified time frame.
James Sottile, a professor
in Marshall's School of Education and faculty representative
on the Board of Governors, said salaries remain a top
long-term priority for faculty.
"Our salaries are so low
they're no longer competitive," he said. "Recruitment and
retention of both students and faculty are important. ... We
can't recruit faculty without good faculty, and the student
population will decrease. They go hand-in-hand."
While Miner, a Teays Valley,
W.Va., junior, said Marshall has many outstanding faculty,
she agreed that faculty recruitment is a key issue on
"I think we have a hard time
getting new professors," she said. "It's hard to get into
upper-level classes because of the lack of professors."
Amy Boslaugh, a Charleston
junior, said she would like to see an increase in class
"Especially during the
summer semesters for students who are trying to graduate in
four years," she said. "It can be a real struggle."
Other student concerns
include an increase in recreational and sports facilities,
as well as additional parking. Kopp said such concerns will
"Students are our future,"
he said. "They have good ideas. We don't ask them enough
what they think."
While students are closely
associated with Marshall, their suggestions will not
necessarily receive greater attention than input from
others, according to Kopp.
"We want to be sure we know
who the contributors are so we get the perspective," he
said. "It isn't an issue of prioritizing things. On certain
things that involve students directly, I think (the students
are) going to be very influential."
Among other faculty concerns
are professors' input into what the administration does,
parking availability and physical growth of the campus,
Kopp emphasized that
everyone's suggestions will be considered, whether they make
them on campus or off. He also said the theme of "Aiming for
Perfection" is not necessarily about being perfect.
"It is not a destination ...
but committing ourselves to becoming better and better in
all that we do each day."