On Friday, the Fairmont State University Board of Governors voted to enter negotiations to name current Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Dianna Phillips, as the University’s interim president.
“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been very pleased with Dr. Phillips taking administrative responsibility for the campus, and the Board would like to enter into negotiations to ask Dr. Phillips to be our interim president with mutual terms if so willing,” said Fairmont State University Board of Governors Chairman, David Goldberg.
Phillips brings more than 20 years of demonstrated success in higher education to the position, serving in a number of roles ranging from executive, leadership and faculty positions. Prior to her tenure at Fairmont State, Phillips served as the President of the Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.
Phillips possesses a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of Buffalo, in addition to a Master of Science from Buffalo State College in Student Personnel Administration with an emphasis in Adult Education. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Legal Studies from National University in San Diego, along with an Associate General Studies Degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu.
“As a West Virginia native and granddaughter of a coal miner, higher education has made a profound impact on my life,” Phillips said. “I am honored the Board has demonstrated its confidence in me to serve Fairmont State University as the interim president, and I look forward to continuing the wonderful work on campus alongside our faculty, staff and students. It takes all of us to move the University forward.”
Goldberg announced the University will begin the process of a national presidential search RFP in September. Updates and information regarding the University’s presidential search will be available at www.fairmontstate.edu/presidentialsearch.
In addition to the interim president announcement, the Board voted to extend the University’s Memorandum of Understanding with Pierpont Community & Technical College. The extension will allow for Pierpont’s aviation maintenance technology program to continue to be housed in the Fairmont State University Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center until June 30, 2023, with the potential to extend an additional year.
Chairman Goldberg noted Fairmont State and Pierpont Community & Technical College will work to negotiate rates for the space that are amenable for both institutions. A three-person committee will also be named with representatives from both the University’s and Pierpont Community & Technical College’s Board of Governors as the institutions move forward with the extension.
“We as a Board want to support Pierpont Community & Technical College and the mechanics program,” Goldberg said. “It’s vital to north central West Virginia. It’s vital for job creation with all of the businesses at the airport. We are steadfast wanting to support the growth of that program, and this Board is very solid in that.”