A Mississippi native with a background in biomedical engineering, President Gilbert previously served for nearly six years as provost and executive vice president of Mississippi State University. Before that, he was the university’s associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs for six years. Earlier roles include head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and coordinator for the biomedical engineering graduate program in the Bagley College of Engineering.
President Gilbert attained the rank of professor in 1993 after joining the Mississippi State faculty in 1988 as associate professor. From 1989-2005, he also served as adjunct clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery (research) for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He served for 10 years as a research affiliate with the Institute of Neurocognitive Science and Technology at Mississippi State, and was among the first class of Mississippi State’s honors faculty in the Shackouls Honors College.
President Gilbert was a graduate assistant at Duke University and held previous academic appointments at North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Medicine.
In 2014, he was elected to the inaugural board of directors of the Association of Chief Academic Officers. A member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, he also was inducted in the inaugural class of Fellows of the Institute of Biological Engineering, an organization for which he served as president in 2005. In 2017, he was named a Distinguished Fellow in the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State.
Since coming to Marshall, he has been recognized by the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission with its 2019 “Living the Dream Award” in the area of scholarship. He also was honored by The State Journal as a member of its 2019 Class of Who’s Who in West Virginia Business.
He serves as the vice-chairman of the Conference USA executive committee.
President Gilbert has a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Mississippi State and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Duke.
He and his wife Leigh are the parents of three grown children, Caroline, Sallie and Peter. They have two grandchildren, Eliza and Roger.