In an effort to assist incoming freshmen with their cost of education, the Marshall University Board of Governors today approved a limited tuition and fees schedule that exempts in-state and metro undergraduate students from the 1.76% core fee increase that will be implemented this coming academic year.
Out-of-state undergraduate students, graduate and professional students will see the minimal rise in fees. Secondary fees like housing and meal plans will also slightly increase depending on the options chosen.
The decision followed a lengthy budget discussion.
President Jerome Gilbert, in his first public remarks since announcing his decision to step down in July 2022, said stressors over the past year and the unexpected death of his brother led to his decision.
“I intend to continue doing great things at Marshall University for the next fourteen months running full speed,” Gilbert said. “I will keep on working for the best interests of Marshall.”
In response to speculation that he may be ill, Gilbert noted that he is healthy as is his family.
Board chair Patrick Farrell thanked the president for his outstanding leadership, saying that the board had completed a positive review of Gilbert’s work early this week, which was shared with the president.
“We should be tremendously proud of the accomplishments that we have completed under Dr. Gilbert’s leadership,” Farrell said. “Whoever replaces him will need to address three challenges: financial stability, affordability and adaptability. We will go through the presidential search process with transparency and inclusion.”
The board also heard from Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jaime Taylor who reported that student success, including the freshmen retention rate, has seen remarkable achievements.
“Our retention rate for freshmen, from fall to fall, is 78%, which is about 5% higher than the previous year. That’s an all-time high for Marshall,” Taylor said. He also reported the six-year graduation rate is up.
Board members were briefed on Marshall’s COVID-19 measures including a campaign to provide vaccinations for students to reach herd immunity by the fall semester. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that herd immunity is met when 70% of the population is vaccinated. Marshall’s employees have already met that threshold and it is hoped the student group will as well.
The athletic committee was briefed on a number of projects including the availability of vaccines for athletes, other COVID-19 outreaches and plans to have full attendance for fall sports. Coaches Dan D’Antoni and Charles Huff also reported on their programs to the athletic committee. Four coaching contracts were also approved at the meeting.