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Ormiston named Marshall University provost

Jul. 10, 2008 @ 05:16 PM

HUNTINGTON — Dr. Gayle L. Ormiston has been named senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Marshall University, President Stephen J. Kopp announced Thursday.

Ormiston begins his duties at Marshall Aug. 18. He replaces Dr. Sarah N. Denman, who retired in May.

Ormiston has been associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum at Kent State University since July 1, 2002.

Kopp said Ormiston’s leadership and accomplishments in public higher education make him the right choice for Marshall.

“This important and demanding leadership position requires a person committed to advancing the interests of Marshall University and our community. I believe we have found that person in Dr. Gayle Ormiston,” Kopp said.  

Ormiston said he was drawn to Marshall because of its “exciting and ambitious vision for the university” and its incorporation of public input into its strategic plan.

“I think they’ve made a wonderful move in including the broader community,” he said.

Ormiston said every public institution is obligated to keep the community informed as to what it’s doing.

Frances Hensley, associate vice president for academic affairs, said she looks forward to finding out more about Ormiston’s priorities and plans. She also wants to share with him some of Marshall’s initiatives, like core curriculum revision.

“We have a group of faculty who have been working really hard on that, and I think that’s something that a provost is going to be very interested in,” she said. 

Maurice Cooley, director of Marshall’s Center for African American Students’ Programs and a member of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost search committee, said he is elated with the choice of Ormiston.

“I am certain that our community and university will be soundly impressed by his wisdom, store of knowledge and wonderful personality,” Cooley said.

Hensley, who said she’s been helping out as much as she can this summer, said she is happy to have someone in the position full-time. She said Denman also helped this summer.

“It’s really good that we’ll have a really brief transition between Sarah and Dr. Ormiston,” she said.

Ormiston said he enjoyed his visits to Marshall and looks forward to working with the staff and community.

“I think it will be a great partnership,” he said. 

Ormiston, who was chair of the Department of Philosophy at Kent State from 1996 to 2002, has held a full-time faculty appointment in philosophy since 1989. He said he was recruited by Kent State from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to help rebuild Kent’s B.A. and M.A. degree programs in philosophy.

At Colorado, he held a tenured faculty appointment as associate professor of philosophy and several administrative appointments.

He also held a full-time faculty appointment as assistant professor of philosophy at Denison University, a small liberal arts college in central Ohio, from 1982 to 1984.

Ormiston earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Kent State in 1972, his master’s in philosophy from Kent State in 1973 and his doctorate in philosophy from Purdue University in 1981. He and his wife, Lynn, have three children — Rachel, 23, and twins Michael and Anna, 20.