HUNTINGTON -- State Supreme Court candidate Menis Ketchum resigned from the Marshall University Board of Governors on Wednesday.
Ketchum, who was vice-chair of the Board, cited commitments to his Supreme Court campaign for and a desire to "do the right thing for Marshall."
"Since I'm running for a statewide office, I feel it's the right thing to do for Marshall University," Ketchum said. "If I were to remain on the Board while running for office, I feel it would have the potential to create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
"I care too much for the university and value the accomplishments we've been able to achieve over this last six years to allow that to happen."
Marshall President Steven Kopp said that during Ketchum's time as chair and vice-chair, the Board of Governors, faculty and staff have made great strides in advancing Marshall including new private investments.
Kopp said Ketchum "has worked hard to bring the following projects to fruition."
Kopp then listed several campus and university improvements, such as:
* Securing the financing and beginning the construction of two apartment-style residence halls containing 785 beds and beginning the construction of the 123,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center;
* Establishing several new degree programs including Engineering;
* Acquiring the Weiler Steel location which allowed the beginning of construction of an engineering lab to support the new four-year engineering program at Marshall;
* Establishing a plan for increasing enrollment which resulted in a larger 2007 freshman class -– which is the first increase Marshall has had in many years;
* Planning of a new Alumni/Foundation Center, with the Marshall Foundation which will begin construction in March;
* An increase in student retention and graduation rates through the development and implementation of a strategic plan to address these two areas;
* Acquiring a city block for a new community college facility, currently under design;
* Acquiring the property for the new softball facility presently under construction on 3rd Avenue;
* Relocating the baseball field from the University Heights location, which was prone to flooding, to a new and improved facility located at the YMCA Glenbrier Center."
"I'm confident that Marshall University, under the leadership of President Kopp, will continue to thrive and build on its successes, while advancing its reputation as one of the finest universities in the region," Ketchum said.
Ketchum is one of five Democrats who have announced plans to run for the two seats up for election this year. The other Democrats include current Supreme Court Chief Justice Spike Maynard, former Justice Margaret Workman, Charleston attorney Mike Allen and West Virginia University law professor Bob Bastress. Beth Walker is the lone Republican who has announced plans to run.