Fairmont State University Board of Governors approves new leadership and FY budgets

The Fairmont State University Board of Governors convened on Thursday, July 7 with Board members and the executive leadership team joining both in the Falcon Center and virtually.

During the meeting, the Board approved new leadership for the upcoming year to include Chairman, Rusty Hutson, Vice-Chairman, David Goldberg, and Secretary, Jason Pizatella, to serve in officer roles through June 30, 2023.

“This is an organization and an institution that I’ve grown to love very much,” Goldberg said. “I’m thrilled to continue to serve in whatever way the Board and the community want me to serve, so thank you.”

Hutson echoed Goldberg’s sentiments, extending appreciation for the Board’s officer nominating committee. “I’d like to thank Kevin, Jason, Jennifer and Jon Dodds for their help. I gladly appreciate it,” Hutson said.

The Board approved the unrestricted, auxiliary and restricted financial reports for the months of March and April presented by Fairmont State University Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Christa Kwiatkowski, during the finance committee report. The report indicated the institution remains financially sound.

Kwiatkowski also presented proposed budget modifications for the Fiscal Year 2023 education and general, fund manager and auxiliary budgets, all of which were approved. The budgets included a request for spend of reserves to support strategic growth of academic programs, in addition to increased budgets to invest in the operations of the University.

“Despite the ever-changing higher education landscapes and national downward trends, Fairmont State remains financially stable and we look forward to continuing to strengthen the University’s financial position as we assess the budgets for the new fiscal year,” Hutson said. “The University has consistently performed well financially within recent years, and we will remain financially responsible while continuing to ensure transformative, affordable education opportunities at Fairmont State.”

After engaging in an executive session, Goldberg noted the Board is hopeful discussions will be finalized soon with Pierpont Community & Technical College regarding the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding amongst the two institutions, allowing for Pierpont’s aviation maintenance technology program to continue to be housed in the Fairmont State University Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center for a minimum of one year.

“We have asked management to work with them to be able to come to terms, so we can solidify and continue both programs and program enhancements in our building to be able to accommodate,” Goldberg said.

The Board of Governors also discussed matters relating to the interim president’s contract, following the announcement that current Fairmont State University Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dianna Phillips, will serve in this role while the University engages in a national presidential search. Goldberg noted the Board will convene to ratify Phillips’ contract in the near future.

“The Board has prioritized the continuity of Fairmont State University’s longstanding reputation of strong leadership and support for our campus community,” Hutson said. “We are confident Dr. Phillips will continue to not only uphold, but exceed these standards throughout the presidential search process. We look forward to the continued growth of the University as she transitions into her role as interim president.”

The University will begin the process of a national presidential search RFP in September. Additional steps will include the establishment of a search committee to include members of the Board, students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community, the announcement of a search timeline and on-campus interviews with potential candidates. Information regarding the presidential search will be posted at www.fairmontstate.edu/presidentialsearch as updates become available.

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