Process and Tentative Timeline

On April 28, 2021, Dr. Jerome Gilbert announced he will be leaving Marshall University when his contract ends on July 15, 2022. As a result, the Board of Governors, acting as a committee of the whole, will identify and hire the most outstanding person to lead Marshall University as our 38th president. To do this the board, working with the faculty and staff, will conduct a nationwide search that is appropriately inclusive and appropriately transparent.

Tentative Search Timeline

This timeline is subject to change as the search progresses. The search committee will consider input from members of the Marshall community throughout all stages of the search process.

Projected Dates Action
June 7, 2021 Solicitation for search firms released
June 17, 2021 Board of Governors approves proposed search process
June 18, 2021 Appointment of Search Committee
June 28, 2021 Response deadline for search firms
July 1, 2021 Selection of search firm
July 12, 2021 Search firm engagement begins
Mid-Late July 2021 On-campus and virtual listening sessions with constituencies
August 5, 2021 Board approves Presidential Search Profile
August 25, 2021 On-campus and virtual listening sessions with constituencies
September 6, 2021 Search Committee begins review of applicants
September 30, 2021 Search Committee presents finalist recommendations to the Board’s Executive Committee
October 2021 On-campus finalist interviews
October 28, 2021 Board of Governors chooses and announces new President

Search Committee

A search committee composed of the following positions will help guide a national search firm to narrow the field of candidates.

  1. Board of Governors Chairman (Search Committee Chair)
  2. Board of Governors Classified Staff Representative
  3. Board of Governors Faculty Representative
  4. Student Body President
  5. Faculty Senate President
  6. Additional Faculty/Staff Representative (appointed by the Board of Governors)
  7. Alumni Representative (appointed by the Board of Governors)

Selection Process

All stakeholders will be offered four ways to participate in the search:

  1. Complete an online survey about the university and its future direction.
  2. Attend a listening session hosted by the search committee and facilitated by the search firm.
  3. Nominate candidates.
  4. Attend events to meet finalists during campus visits.

June 2021

  • June 7: Request for proposals sent to leading higher education executive search firms.
  • June 17: Board approves search process.
  • June 18: Search committee members appointed.
  • June 28: Response deadline for search firms.

July 2021

  • July 1: Search committee selects executive search firm.
  • July 12: Search firm engagement begins.
  • Search committee hosts a series of search firm-facilitated listening sessions with constituent groups (campus groups, alumni, community groups, etc.). The purpose of the sessions is to gather input about challenges the next president will face in the next 5-10 years and to identify skills and experiences a successful president will need to overcome those challenges.
  • A Presidential Search Profile that outlines the opportunity at Marshall is created.

August 2021

  • August 5: Board reviews and approves Presidential Search Profile.
  • August 25: Search committee hosts a series of search firm-facilitated listening sessions with constituent groups (campus groups, alumni, community groups, etc.).
  • Position announcement is posted and advertising begins. To respect the privacy of the candidates, only the names of candidates who participate in the final round of on-campus interviews will be made available to the public.

September 2021

  • September 6: Search committee begins review of applicants.
  • Search committee, with help from the search firm, narrows the field of candidates. Each search committee member has a “golden ticket” they can use to recommend the candidate of their choice to the Board of Governors executive committee. This is to ensure that groupthink does not prevent an exceptional candidate from being considered.
  • September 30: Search committee recommends 3-7 candidates to the executive committee.

October 2021

  • Executive committee either accepts recommendations or asks the search committee to identify new candidates.
  • Board invites finalists to campus for interviews and public events that engage all constituent groups.
  • October 28: Board of Governors announces Marshall University’s 38th president at October board meeting.

After the Selection

The new president’s start date will be determined by circumstances surrounding the individual chosen. A transition team will facilitate the handoff from one president to the next.

  • Implement onboarding process and development plan to de-risk the presidential transition.
  • Hold celebration and send-off for President Gilbert.
  • Officially welcome the new president.
  • Conduct a series of public events to promote/support successful launch for the new president.

Confidentiality Agreement

The Board of Governors and the search committee are committed to conducting an appropriately transparent search while still recognizing the candidates’ rights to privacy. All search committee and board members will be asked to sign an agreement affirming their commitment to protect the confidentiality of deliberations, written materials, and other communication related to the search.

Administrative Staff

Designated staff will provide confidential assistance and support to the search committee and Board of Governors during the search process. These staff members will be subject to the confidentiality oath in the preceding paragraph.

Contact the Search Committee
For more information, contact the search committee at