ECU chairman looking ahead – The Daily Reflector



Robert G. Brinkley

Wednesday July 23, 2013

The new chairman of East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees said he is excited about the opportunities ahead for the board and the university

“I think our opportunities are as great as they have ever been,” said Robert G. Brinkley, a Charlotte attorney and 1978 graduate of ECU. “Our admissions were up this year, we had great results in our Honors College and we have a new athletics director and are moving to a new conference.”

Brinkley was elected to a two-year term last week. He has served on the board since 2007.The state’s proposed fiscal year 2013-14 budget is cutting $115 million from the University of North Carolina system. The cut to ECU’s budget is unknown, but Brinkley said the university is well-positioned to meet the challenge because it always has managed to get more done with less money.

“We will continue to work really hard on cutting out costs by being more efficient and using technology to cut costs,” he said.

“To me, if we focus on funding that has been cut, we are focusing on the wrong thing. It is something we will have to work around, but the other things are what are so exciting,” he said.

Along with his tenure on the board of trustees, Brinkley has served as director and member of the executive committee of the ECU Board of Visitors and the ECU Real Estate Foundation. He served on the steering committee for the ECU Baseball Stadium Campaign.

Brinkley received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from ECU in 1978 and a law degree, magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University. He is a partner with the Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice law firm and has practiced law in Greensboro and Charlotte for 24 years.

Brinkley has led numerous major commercial development projects in the region, including bringing mixed-use developments to Uptown Charlotte, helping a Fortune 200 Compant relocate a major division to Charlotte and developing a 950,000-square-foot high-rise office building in Uptown Charlotte.

Brinkley also has worked extensively on high-profile economic development projects, working with government, community and business leaders to help bring jobs and investment to the region.