Board of Governors meets in last session of 2020; Spending for second half of fiscal year approved


The Marshall University Board of Governors, meeting virtually in its last session of the calendar year, approved spending for the second half of the fiscal year, a period marked by budgetary ups and downs imposed by a global pandemic.

University officials say the proposed budget, described as intentionally conservative because of COVID-19, was adjusted upward to include nearly $1 million more in tuition and student fees than had been originally budgeted.

The board has moved forward with quarterly approvals until now. With a nod to cautious optimism, board members approved spending for the final two quarters of the fiscal year. Chairman Patrick Farrell, while acknowledging tough decisions still lie ahead, congratulated Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert and his executive team for their crisis leadership during the fall term.

Members also approved financial statements for a three-month period ending September 30, 2020, as well as a capital projects program statement revision for the new college of business facility set to open in January 2024.

Located on the western edge of the Huntington campus on 4th Avenue, the new home to the Lewis College of Business will be a multiple-story, approximately 85,000 square foot building which will serve as academic and administrative space. The project will also include separate mixed-use structures like retail, lodging and food. Pre-construction stages will begin in early 2021, with groundbreaking set for March 2022, followed by a ribbon-cutting and opening for classes in January 2024.

The board approved naming of the new aviation building under construction at Yeager Airport in Charleston. The new facility will be called the Maier Aviation Building, Home of Marshall University’s Bill Noe Flight School, in recognition of the Maier Foundation’s $1.5 million gift to the program.

In other action, the board authorized an administrative move for the Master of Science in Information Systems degree program from the College of Science to the Lewis College of Business. The move is expected to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the program, while simultaneously allowing the college of business to align its undergraduate program in management information systems with the graduate program.

The Joan C.  Edwards School of Medicine reported that its new physician assistant program will begin in January with 25 new students selected from a pool of 600 applicants. The 28-month program will graduate PAs in a field that is expected to grow 37 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Following an executive session, the board authorized the president to move forward with negotiation and acquisition on an undisclosed parcel of property.

In his report to the board, Gilbert reported the spring semester will be like the fall term regarding health and safety protocols but will include vaccine distribution to faculty and staff as supplies are made available. It is the university’s intention to provide any faculty or staff member who wants the vaccination with it in the coming months.

Finally, the board approved two policy updates on academic dishonesty and emeritus status for retired professionals.

Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Communications, 304-696-7153,

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