FAIRMONT, W.Va. – A group of students is asking Fairmont State University’s Board of Governors to reinstate university president Mirta Martin after she was voted out of her position earlier this week.

The petition was written by the Student Government Association and says, “We understand that after continuously reaching goals and setting academic records over the past five years at Fairmont State University, the Board of Governors is questioning the leadership of President Dr. Mirta Martin and the direction that the administration is taking the institution. The Student Government Association supports and endorses the University, its goals, and its accomplishments to date and asked the Board to reaffirm its support for Mirta M. Martin and renew her contract to no avail.”

Marta Martin announced on Tuesday that she would not be renewing her contract with Fairmont State. That contract was set to end at the end of 2022 in December. In a meeting the following day, the Fairmont State University Board of Governors voted to remove Martin from her position in July of this year, instead of her finishing her contract. The student representative at the Board of Governors meeting, Maiya Bennett, voted against terminating Martin’s contract.

The student petition, titled “Reinstate Dr. Mirta Martin Immediately and Extend Her Contract at Fairmont State”, has 762 signatures out of its goal of 1,000 as of Friday.

It cited the university’s finances from 2018 and Composite Financial Index as points in Martin’s favor. It also pointed out that Martin brought the school through the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that the school has added a number of certifications, majors, minors and concentrations during Martin’s time as president.

“The Student Government Association’s primary purpose is to advocate for the student body. President Martin is the foremost supporter of our students and has repeatedly gone above and beyond in her support of the Student Government Association and the student body,” the petition continued.

“It is our view that there has never been a more important time to extend Dr. Martin’s contract. The failure to extend her contract has resulted in a monumental failure by the entire Board to do what is in the best interest of the students at Fairmont State University. This is your duty now to ensure the prosperity of Fairmont State University, the students of West Virginia and the community.”

Mirta Martin has served as president of Fairmont State University since 2018. To read the full petition, click here.