As Georgia Southern University’s 14th president, Kyle Marrero doesn’t back down from a challenge, and moving forward into the position of a college president is no exception. Marrero, as GSU president, will work to help oversee three distinct campuses of GSU in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville.
Marrero was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up in New Mexico, he said. He attended school in Ohio and Michigan, and his first position was as an Assistant Associate Professor at Louisiana State University for 11 years, and after that, he moved to the University of West Florida as the Department Chair for the Center of Fine and Performing Arts, and then Vice-President for Advancement, he said.
In 2013, Marrero became president of the University of West Georgia, and “that was my last gig as we like to say, before I came here,” Marrero said.
Moving forward, Marrero believes that the opportunities for GSU’s Liberty campus are exponential, he said.
“Since opening their doors in the spring of 2016 to where it is today and the opportunities to present itself in the future—the coordination and ability to tie in students and its ability to provide an education to the community is incredible,” Marrero said. “This building we’re sitting in now has capacity to grow another 200-300 students, but beyond that, we have to project and see what that means.”
Marrero emphasized that the offerings for Liberty campus, specifically course-wise, really has the potential to expand and provide flexibility for everyone seeking education.
“We can look at all sorts of different opportunities online, hybrid, cohorts in different time frames, after work, on weekends—we have to think about the facility being open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and available throughout, and that’s the incredible opportunity Liberty campus can offer for this region.”
The faculty and staff on the campus are dedicated to providing that higher education and engaging both the traditional and non-traditional students—especially the military, he continued. That engagement is what ensures a multi-functional and excellent team. From what they can do, that’s what will be the greatest asset, he said. “Empower the people.”
The first 90 days will be busy, as the basis for a strategic plan has been set into motion over the last four to six months, the upcoming months will be used to complete that, and move onto the next step of the process, he added.
“Then a Strategic Enrollment Plan is right on its heels,” Marrero said. “If this is what say we are, what our vision is, then what are the students and all constituents and ages—how and where can we track this to know how to serve those best?”
The last part of future plans include an upcoming and potential branding and marketing campaign, in order to highlight the planned changes and tells the story of the college and who they are, Marrero concluded.
“These really are the catalysts for what Georgia Southern will be, and its legacy for the future.”
Marrero applauds the tight-knit community and how the city, county, and other organizations all work together for the betterment of the community, and how supportive they are of GSU in general.
“There aren’t many communities that I’ve seen the type of collaboration between city, development authority, chamber and military as a community, how all for the growth, quality, life and educational attainment for the community,” Marrero said.