New Board of Governors members sworn in during meeting

Three new board of governors members were sworn in today at a regular meeting of Marshall University’s governing body.

Appointed by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, James C. “Chad” Pennington was named as a new member last month.  Pennington is a former Marshall University standout and New York Jets professional football player.  He currently coaches high school football in Lexington, Kentucky.  Other new board members are Alyssa Parks, a senior and student government association president who will represent students, and Dr. Robin C. Riner, professor of anthropology, who will serve as the faculty representative.

The oath of office was administered by Justice John A. Hutchinson of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals at the board’s meeting in Daniels, West Virginia.

Following an executive session, the board announced that it would officially name the corner of 18th Street and 3rd Avenue, Hal Greer Memorial Plaza.  The area, located in front of the Henderson Center, will be home to a life-size sculpture of the former Marshall basketball player and NBA great Hal Greer.  The artwork will be dedicated Oct. 9, which is the university’s homecoming.  Additionally, the board approved four individuals to serve on Marshall’s Autism Training Center’s board of directors.

Marshall’s board received the latest investment earnings report among other academic, financial and administrative reports.

In his update, President Jerome A. Gilbert noted the university will publicly announce its COVID-19 safety updates next week, which will include an expansion of the mask policy.  The changes are in response to an uptick in the Delta variant and the resulting upsurge in cases in Cabell County.

Other measures for the fall term include a procedure that allows for all unvaccinated students moving into campus residences to undergo on-the-spot testing, thanks to an agreement with the Cabell Huntington Health Department for the use of new equipment that turns around results quickly.  Additionally, beginning next week, all unvaccinated employees will be required to undergo random COVID-19 testing.  Unvaccinated students will be subject to the same protocol when the term begins.  All students are required to report their vaccine status, which includes an option not to disclose, to the online student registry.  Gilbert reminded everyone that policies and procedures related to COVID are subject to change depending on the virus’s activity.

Board President Patrick Farrell informed the board that the search for a new university president remains on schedule.  To date, there have been a total of 20 listening sessions attracting 300 individuals from the Marshall and Huntington communities who provided feedback.

A presidential profile was unveiled today and is available on the university’s presidential search website. This document  showcases the university and outlines the opportunities and challenges the next president will face. The profile also details the requirements and preferred qualities of the new president.