FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State University President Mirta Martin has informed the school’s Board of Governors she will not seek a contract extension.
Martin sent an email message to Fairmont State campus community Tuesday afternoon:
Dear Falcon Family,
Earlier today, I relayed to Fairmont State’s Board of Governors my decision to not seek an extension to my current contract as President of Fairmont State University. I will step down at the end of the contract, on December 28, 2022. I informed the Board of my decision now to give the University ample time to safeguard the momentum of the institution and begin a search.
Martin’s announcement comes just hours before the BOG is scheduled to meet. The agenda describing Wednesday afternoon’s meeting states the meeting’s purpose as:
Potential matters arising from the appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, transfer, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal or compensation of a public officer or employee, to discuss matters related to the Presidents contract.
BOG Chairman David Goldberg gave a statement to MetroNews about Martin’s decision.
“The board has received notification from President Martin and will convene to discuss our plan moving forward. We look to share as we work through the transition,” Goldberg said.
The BOG meeting is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Martin began as president in January 2018 and is noted for helping to turn the university’s financial position from a $1.9 million deficit to a $5.3 million surplus in about 18 months.
Early in her term, Martin faced scrutiny from the Board of Governors about the cost containment policies that brought the improved financial condition. A large group residents attended a meeting to express their support for Martin and the direction the institution was headed.
In December 2020, the Board of Governors gave Martin a good review citing enrollment, financial restraint and high national rankings of their academic programs.
As part of that evaluation BOG Chairman David Goldberg said,” “President Martin’s tenure at the University has proven to be nothing short of impressive, and I look forward to the continued progress under her leadership,”Goldberg said at the time. “On behalf of the entire Board, I am confident that Dr. Martin’s knowledge and expertise in the ever-changing higher education atmosphere will continue to serve the University well.”
Four months later Martin announced she was a finalist to be president of Colorado Mesa University. At the time the board released the following statement:
“As the third-largest institution in the state, Fairmont State’s mission has been solidified under President Martin’s leadership. We are a stronger institution now than three years ago, and that is a testament to the work of President Martin, our faculty, staff, and our incredible students. This year, Fairmont State University has recorded increases in enrollment and revenues and decreases in expenses,” the statement said. ” In addition, Fairmont State recorded the highest Composite Financial Index in the state among four-year state institutions. We have successfully navigated COVID-19 on our campuses without furloughing any of our employees and have continued to provide face-to-face instruction since August. When the community needs Fairmont State, we are always here to be a partner and beacon for promise and success within the Mountain State.”