HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Gilbert was selected Tuesday to be Marshall University’s 37th president.
Gilbert has been the provost and executive vice president of Mississippi State University since 2010. He was one of three candidates to make visits last week to both the Huntington and South Charleston campuses.
“It’s extremely exciting,” said Ginny Painter, Marshall’s vice president of communications. “It’s been 10 months during this transition period and I think everybody feels a real sense of purpose in moving forward.”
Marshall has been searching for a president since the late Dr. Stephen Kopp died of a heart attack in December 2014.
Painter said Gilbert plans to combine a lot of the successful initiatives that began with Dr. Kopp and also offer new insights that he brings from his work at Mississippi State.
“He is extraordinarily thoughtful,” she said about the characteristics Gilbert brings to his new role as president. “We’re hoping that we can get Dr. Gilbert and his wife Lee here to Huntington in the next week or so to do an official welcome.”
Mississippi State University’s provost and executive vice president will serve as interim leader of the Bagley College of Engineering during a national search for its next dean.
Jerome A. Gilbert will assume the responsibilities of interim dean in late February. He will serve in this position as the university conducts a nationwide search to fill the position being vacated by Sarah Rajala, who was recently named dean of the college of engineering at Iowa State University.
Gilbert said the university will move quickly to complete the search for the next dean and that he will work closely with college leaders to ensure a smooth transition period.
“I am confident that the stellar reputation of the Bagley College of Engineering will attract a large number of highly qualified candidates and that we can move quickly in identifying an outstanding leader for the college,” Gilbert said.
A veteran Mississippi State faculty member and administrator is being named provost and executive vice president at the 132-year-old land-grant institution, pending approval of the Board of Trustees, state Institutions of Higher Learning.
Jerome A. Gilbert, a 21-year MSU faculty member who has served since 2004 as associate provost, was selected following a national search during which five finalists were interviewed by an on-campus committee, as well as faculty, staff, and students, said President Mark Keenum.
“I spent considerable time with each candidate, and when the process was complete, Dr. Gilbert stood out as the strongest candidate.
“I am confident he will be a strong and visionary leader for our university,” Keenum added.
The provost is the second-ranking administrative officer at the university and serves as chief academic officer. As executive vice president, Gilbert also will assist the president with the overall management of the university and serve as institutional liaison in his absence.