Interim President Chosen

Mirta Martin took the helm Jan. 2


Courtesy Photo

Mirta Martin became interim president on Jan. 2.

Mirta Martin has recently been chosen as the college’s interim president, and her tenure began Jan. 2.

According to campus officials, Martin will focus on recruitment and retention; strengthening the identity and brand of the college; and supporting faculty, staff, and student success.

A native of Havana, Cuba, and an immigrant to the United States, Martin maintains that she uses interpersonal and cultural expertise to work diligently to promote access to affordable educational opportunities.

She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from Duke University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond, and a doctorate with an emphasis in strategic management and leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She has been involved in both the public and private sectors and has an extensive background in strategic planning, marketing and brand identity, crisis management, financial, budgeting and risk mitigation, stakeholder relationship management, program innovation, and funding.

Martin served as President of Fairmont State University from 2018-2022 and Fort Hays State University from 2014-2016. Prior to Fort Hays, Martin served as the Dean of Virginia State University’s Reginald F. Lewis School of Business from 2009-2014.

During her tenure at Fairmont, Martin accomplished a $20.5 million positive turn-around in the University’s financial condition and an increase in its composite financial index (CFI) from 0.76 to 5.69 (the highest in the state for the second consecutive year). The University’s “days cash-in-hand” as of June 30, 2021, was the largest in West Virginia.

Her “recalibration” model used by the West Virginia legislature provided all public institutions in the state the first increase in funding in several years.

Martin is active in many educational, civic, and charitable organizations, including serving as a Director for the Americas of the International Association of Universities (a UNESCO official partner), Racing toward Diversity Board, American Council on Education Women’s Network Executive Council.

Most recently, she also served in the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium and president of the West Virginia Council of Presidents and of the Mountain East Conference (MEC), the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in the Northern District of West Virginia, and the West Virginia Cybersecurity Workforce Advisory Council.

“I am a ‘people-person,’” Martin said, “and I believe in the power of personal relationships, so I am most excited to get to know our people. I will spend part of each day strengthening my connections with faculty, staff, community leaders and alumni–and getting to know students. It is important for me to know them; to know their stories, their hopes and desires, and their needs and challenges.”

Scott Showalter, Ferrum ’73), and chair of the Board of Trustees, praised Martin’s past work.

“The board of trustees is pleased Dr. Martin has agreed to become the interim president of Ferrum College,” Showalter said. “She has the blend of skills and experiences to lead the college forward, and we look forward to working with her.”

Martin is married to John N. Martin, Jr., PE, a Richmond native. She has two children, Katherine Martin, PhD, and Patrick Martin, MSB, MSREI.