Thursday, July 10, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Ormiston named Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Gayle L. Ormiston, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Curriculum at Kent State University since July 1, 2002, has been named Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Marshall University, President Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

Ormiston replaces Dr. Sarah N. Denman, who retired in May. He will begin his duties at Marshall Aug. 18.

“Dr. Ormiston’s academic astuteness and inspiring leadership acumen, which he demonstrated during the search process, combined with his impressive portfolio of accomplishments in public higher education make him the right choice to assume the position of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Marshall University,” Kopp said.  “This important and demanding leadership position requires a person committed to advancing the interests of Marshall University and our community. I believe we have found that person in Dr. Gayle Ormiston. Jane and I look forward next month to officially welcoming the Ormiston Family to our Marshall community.”  

Ormiston said he was attracted to Marshall in large part because of the vision for the university developed by President Kopp through the Strategic Plan and Signature Initiatives. He said he found the decision to involve a broad range of constituencies in developing the vision to be “a marvelous idea on President Kopp’s part.”

“Based upon the vision in the Strategic Plan, Marshall is in a very good position to continue growing at a time when every university is worried about enrollment,” Ormiston said. “The way the Strategic Plan is written, along with the Signature Initiatives, distinguishes Marshall from other universities.”

Maurice Cooley, Director of Marshall’s Center for African American Students’ Programs and a member of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost search committee, said he is elated with the choice of Ormiston.

“I am so excited that out of all of the excellent candidates that were considered, Dr. Gayle Ormiston was selected,” Cooley said. “I am certain that our community and university will be soundly impressed by his wisdom, store of knowledge, and wonderful personality. I certainly look forward to working closely with him.”

Although Kent State is much larger than Marshall with about 34,500 students – 23,000 at the Kent campus and another 11,500 at its seven regional campuses, Ormiston said the two universities do have similarities.

“The student body mix is fairly similar and Kent and Marshall have similar retention rates,” he said. “Kent has by sheer size more academic programs. A real strength at Marshall is the commitment of faculty to continuing excellence in teaching and additional growth in research.”

Ormiston, who was chair of the Department of Philosophy at Kent State from 1996 to 2002, has held a full-time faculty appointment in philosophy – as tenure-track and then as tenured – since 1989. Ormiston said he was recruited by Kent State from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to help rebuild Kent’s B.A. and M.A. degree programs in philosophy.

At Colorado, he held a tenured faculty appointment as associate professor of philosophy and several administrative appointments, including department chair and director of academic program review from 1984 to 1989. He was a core member of the interdisciplinary humanities faculty as a member of the philosophy department.

Ormiston collaborated with other humanities and non-humanities faculty to implement an NEH-funded program that focused on the humanities from interdisciplinary perspectives. He also held a full-time faculty appointment as assistant professor of philosophy at Denison University, a small liberal arts college in central Ohio, from 1982 to 1984.

Ormiston earned his B.A. in philosophy from Kent State in 1972, his master’s in philosophy from Kent State in 1973 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University in 1981. He and his wife, Lynn, have three children – Rachel, 23, and twins Michael and Anna, 20.

“I enjoyed my visits to Marshall and look forward to working with everyone,” Ormiston said. “I think it will be a great partnership.”

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197