Presidential Search Committee Recommends Rose as FSU President-Elect

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Fairmont State University Presidential Search Committee today, April 26, announced its recommendation of Dr. Maria C. Rose as president-elect of Fairmont State University.

Rose has been serving as Interim President of FSU since April 2011. To view her curriculum vitae, visit The Presidential Search Committee is comprised of members of the FSU Board of Governors and Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Paul Hill, as ex-officio.

The other final candidate was Dr. Timothy G. O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, Va. Rose and O’Rourke visited campus and had the opportunity to interact with constituency groups through forums with community members, alumni, students, staff and faculty. Those who attended the forums submitted feedback that was reviewed by the Search Committee.

 “The Presidential Search Committee is thrilled to recommend Dr. Maria C. Rose as president-elect of Fairmont State University. We were fortunate to have two outstanding final candidates in our search. The Search Committee would like to thank all those who participated in meetings with the candidates during their campus visits and who submitted feedback,” said Ron Tucker, Chairman of the FSU Board of Governors and the Search Committee.

“During her tenure as Interim President, Dr. Rose has been a calming presence helping to rebuild relationships and ensuring that the University is prepared for its upcoming re-accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission. With her history as an alumna, faculty member and administrator, Dr. Rose knows FSU very well, and her love for this University and its people is evident. This unwavering dedication will help carry the University to a bright future.”

The next meeting of the FSU Board of Governors will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 3; during that meeting, the board will vote to authorize Chairman Ron Tucker to negotiate a contract with President-elect Rose, pending approval of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. A special meeting of the Commission is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3.

“On behalf of the Commission, I look forward to continued work with Dr. Rose and the entire Fairmont State University community as we collectively strive to create new and exciting opportunities for current and future students in the greater Fairmont area and across the State of West Virginia,” said Chancellor Hill.

 “Fairmont State University is an outstanding institution, and I value each capacity in which I have had the privilege to serve. Most of all, Fairmont State University has strong academic programs and a solid reputation throughout the region. These programs have much potential to grow and serve not only West Virginia’s students, but students from all states and nations. I look forward to being able to serve Fairmont State University for a number of years to come,” Rose said.

“Like many of our students, I was the first in my family to attend college. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was one of those kids who played school. There was never a doubt in my mind or in my parents’ minds that I would go to college, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would someday be a university president. That is the power of a higher education degree. Education can create opportunities you never dared to imagine.”

After being part of the Fairmont State family for more than 20 years, Dr. Maria C. Bennett Rose became the University’s president on April 15, 2011. Prior to her appointment, she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and as a faculty member. 

Rose has taught developmental writing, developmental reading and study skills and has coordinated the campus-wide peer tutoring program. Rose served as Director of Retention and Vice President of Academic Services. Working with the FSU School of Education’s Professional Development School initiative, she serves as the liaison for White Hall Elementary School. 

She was a member of the Governor’s Council on Literacy during the administrations of Gaston Caperton, Cecil Underwood and Bob Wise. As a member of the Council, she served as Chair of Public Outreach and worked on many family literacy projects. Rose authored and served as the Principal Investigator for the Fairmont State Title III Strengthening Institutions grant. She received national recognition as Outstanding First Year Student Advocate, which was presented by the National Resource Center for First Year Experience and Students in Transition. Rose served on a task force for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Adult Learner initiative and is currently serving on the Commission’s College Completion Task Force. 

Rose received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Fairmont State College and a Master of Arts degree in Reading from West Virginia University. From WVU, she also earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on family and community literacy issues as they relate to higher education. In addition, she earned a Developmental Educator Certification through the Kellogg Institute of Appalachian State University. 

Rose serves as FSU’s representative on a number of local boards, including the Marion County Regional Development Corporation, the Marion County Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Marion County. She is a member of the Marion County Women’s Network and the West Virginia Roundtable.