FAIRMONT, W.Va. – On Friday, the Fairmont State University Board of Governors voted to enter negotiations to name its Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Dianna Phillips, as the university’s interim president.

This comes as the Board of Governors voted to end the contract of former university president Mirta Martin early. Her contract ends in July.

“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. 

Dianna Phillips (Courtesy: Fairmont State University)

According to a release from Fairmont State, Phillips brings more than 20 years of higher education experience to the position. Before she came to Fairmont State, Phillips served as the President of the Harford Community College in Maryland. 

Phillips has a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of Buffalo and 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 and 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 in my life,” Phillips said. “I am honored the Board has instilled their 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.” 

The university will begin the process of a national presidential search RFP in September. Updated from the search will be posted on Fairmont State’s website

In the same meeting Friday, the Board of Governors also voted to extend its memorandum of understanding with Pierpont Community and Technical College, which will allow the Pierpont aviation program to continue to be housed at Fairmont State.