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Fairmont State President shares vision to make the University ‘A Great Place’ Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State President shares vision to make the University ‘A Great Place’

President Mike DavisFairmont State University formally installed Dr. Michael K. Davis as its 27th President on Thursday, April 4. More than 750 faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, local and state officials, delegates from other universities, and former colleagues of Dr. Davis attended. West Virginia Delegate Joey Garcia, West Virginia Senator Michael Oliverio, and Pierpont and Community Technical College President Dr. Milan Hayward provided greetings during the installation ceremony.

“President Davis has done so much for Fairmont State in the nine months he has been here. His passion for Fairmont State and ability to build meaningful connections with the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members he encounters have further solidified his position as Fairmont State’s leader,” said Board of Governors Chair Rusty Hutson. “We knew when we selected him, he was the right person for the job and we have not been disappointed. Time and time again Dr. Davis has gone above and beyond for the University.”

Davis began his presidency on July 1, 2023. He hit the ground running by immediately immersing himself in the campus and the surrounding communities. His “Open Mike” sessions—in-person and virtual—allowed Fairmont State students, employees, and community members to have meaningful discussions with him. Those conversations helped Davis plan his path forward.

“I believe Fairmont State is the best regional university in West Virginia,” Davis stated. “It’s a great place to learn, a great place to work, and a great place to call home. I want to make sure that message reaches every resident of the state.”

According to Davis, being “best” doesn’t mean “being biggest,” or “being the most exclusive.” He said it means providing the best regional university experience for students, from the day they accept their offer of admission, to graduation, and beyond. It means creating a work environment where faculty, staff, and administration feel valued and eagerly approach each day with optimism and a shared commitment. It means being true partners with the communities in North Central West Virginia, so the University’s successes can help them reach their full potential.

While Davis was researching Fairmont State before applying, he discovered something about the University, the city of Fairmont, Marion and Harrison Counties, and the state of West Virginia that called to him. “I wanted to be at a place where the potential was limitless. And this is it!”

“I’ve learned over the years that a college campus is so much more than its physical attributes,” remarked Davis. “There is a feeling to a college campus, too. Each campus has its own sense, and the best ones feel hopeful. They are places where people aren’t afraid to dream—where people feel secure enough to share their audacious aspirations. People on the best college campuses believe that their greatest days are yet to come.” Davis believes that Fairmont State is just that sort of institution and that “Our future has never been brighter.”

A new vision forward is just the start of what Davis has already accomplished during his time as President. After spending his first months gaining insight from on- and off-campus, Davis announced the beginning of Fairmont State’s strategic planning process. The strategic plan will be developed with the participation and wisdom of units from across campus as well as external constituencies. The 10-year strategic vision will be released in fall 2024 and the 3-year implementation plan will be launched in early 2025.

“The planning process is just as important as the plan itself,” Davis said. “We are going to learn a lot throughout this journey. We’re going to have conversations with people from all areas on campus and come up with a lot of great ideas that are going to improve Fairmont State. I am excited to see what comes out of this process.”

In addition to campus and community constituencies, Davis has spent a significant amount of time meeting with West Virginia legislators. He has been a champion for Fairmont State and met regularly with lawmakers to help improve our university and higher education as a whole.

One recent major collaboration between Fairmont State and West Virginia’s elected officials is the founding of Middle College. This partnership with KVC West Virginia will serve foster youth ages 16-18. The program, free for participants, will provide on-campus housing and other resources to foster youth while they simultaneously earn their high school diploma and an associate degree (or college credit toward a bachelor’s degree).

Davis has been an avid supporter of Middle College and helped ensure that the extensive planning that went into the creation of Middle College became a reality.

“Fairmont State is committed to providing accessible higher education and improving communities,” Davis stated. “Middle College embodies this commitment by providing life-changing opportunities to a vulnerable and deserving population.”

Another milestone event for Davis was Fairmont State’s 2024 annual Day of Giving. Groups from across campus came together to raise funds that benefit academics, athletics, student groups, and support resources. Davis amplified these efforts by coordinating the first-ever 24-hour Falcon Day of Giving livestream. As a result, the event exceeded its $375,000 goal, raising more than $530,000 and setting a new Day of Giving record. 

“Every dollar donated on Day of Giving will change student lives,” Davis said. “Not only did we raise funds, but we also raised spirits. Seeing everyone take so much pride in Fairmont State and show that they truly believe in our mission was amazing. The optimism and enthusiasm on campus was infectious.”

Less than a year into his Presidency, Davis has already achieved many victories for Fairmont State. Looking forward, he plans to continue to develop Fairmont State into an educational beacon that sets the highest standards in the state of West Virginia and beyond.

For more information about President Davis, including monthly video updates, please visit

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