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Marshall seeks broad input as it drafts new master plan

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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON — Marshall University is planning its future, and it's asking for help.

Marshall is drafting a new 10-year master plan for its facilities and land use. Required by the state Higher Education Policy Commission, the plan must be completed and submitted for approval by the end of 2013. The current master plan was approved in 2003.

The objective, according to President Stephen J. Kopp, "is to establish a comprehensive framework for guiding the future of Marshall University." Faculty, students and members of the administration will be involved in creating the plan, but Kopp said the university is also seeking broad input from alumni and other interested members of the public

Those wishing to participate may visit http://masterplan.marshall.edu and go to the "Virtual Town Hall" to register and offer comments.

The community's input is vitally important, said Karen Kirtley, MU's senior vice president for administration, "because the community is tied so closely to Marshall.

"I think we all share the hope that we can see Marshall University grow in a way that continues to be a vital part of this community that students and the public can rely on well into the future," she said.

Creating the plan will be a year-long process and involve a series of public meetings, Kirtley said. An initial meeting was conducted Dec. 4, and others will take place as the plan advances, she said.

The plan, she said, will address not only the future needs of the university's main Huntington campus but also its South Charleston campus and its Mid-Ohio Valley and Teays Valley centers.

"The outcome of this endeavor will not be a detailed blueprint for building construction," Kopp said. "Rather, it will be a multifaceted template, which will blend the many factors that will influence the quality of Marshall's campuses and forecast how they will need to work together to create functional, holistic environments conducive to supporting and advancing the university's mission."