FSU classes to start with new president

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Although Dr. Dianna Phillips was given presidential duties at Fairmont State University in May, she was recently given the title of interim president and is ready to move the institution forward.

Phillips, who had served as the school’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost since April 2021, takes over for former President Dr. Mirta Martin. The university’s BOG voted on May 18 to end Martin’s contract early following Martin’s announcement that she wasn’t going to seek a contract extension.

Phillips told MetroNews that her first day as interim president was July 19 and she did not miss a beat with other university leadership. She said she is familiar with the campus and has ‘a good relationship’ with the faculty and staff.

“I’m very optimistic, very excited, I am comfortable and calm all at the same time,” Phillips said of officially taking on the role.

Phillips, who was born and raised in West Virginia, has a long history in higher education but this is her first time being an interim president. Most recently, she served as the President of the Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.

Phillips began her higher education career at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale serving as an administrator and faculty member, followed by a position at SUNY Brockport as an Assistant Professor.

Classes begin August 8 at Fairmont State and Phillips said the university has unbridled potential because of the people and solid financial position.