Patrick Farrell: What the next Marshall president can expect

August 8, 2021

This article was originally posted by the Herald Dispatch.

A recent editorial called upon Gov. Jim Justice to refrain from influencing the search for a new Marshall University president. Marshall Board of Governors Chairman Patrick Farrell provided the following response to the editorial:

Open letter to the next President of Marshall University

Dear Prospective Candidate,

Marshall University is conducting a search for our 38th president. This is a fantastic opportunity, and if you are the right fit for the job, it will be a life-changing experience.

The hard part of applying for a competitive position like this is that you don’t always know what the search committee is looking for. I can help with that.

Over the last month, our search committee hosted a series of community meetings and talked with hundreds of people about the university’s challenges and the desired characteristics of our next president. Here is what we heard.

To start, our next president needs to understand who we are.

Marshall is a caring place for students who don’t want to be treated like numbers. More than one-third of our undergraduates are the first in their family to attend college, and when they’re on campus, they want to feel like they’re with family.

We want a president who is approachable and authentic. When people see you at the grocery store, they’re going to say hello and want to have a conversation with you. When students see you on campus, they’ll undoubtedly ask to take a picture with you. And when you engage with our faculty and staff, they’ll expect you to earn their trust by demonstrating how your purpose and passions as a leader align with our university mission and the important work we do.

Marshall is an inclusive community, so we don’t mind if you’re not from here. It has been almost 40 years since a native-born West Virginian was our president. And we don’t mind if you’re not part of our proud and active alumni. We’ve never had a president who was a graduate of Marshall.

Read the full story on the Herald-Dispatch’s website.