Margaret Spellings’ campus tour takes in technology at NCSU — The News & Observer

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Apr 212016


Published: April 21, 2016

Margaret Spellings’ campus tour takes in technology at NCSU


BYU Students Protest ‘Honor Code’ Charges for Rape Victim — TIME magazine

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Apr 212016


Published: April 20, 2016

BYU Students Protest ‘Honor Code’ Charges for Rape Victim

BYU Students Protest ‘Honor Code’ Charges for Rape Victim

By Daniel White @danielatlarge


Warrants out for sixth suspect in ECU assault; officer dismissed | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 202016


Sharieka Breeden
April 19, 2016

Greenville Police Department has obtained warrants for a sixth person in a “brutal group beating” that occurred March 17 on East Carolina University’s campus, and the university on Tuesday dismissed the initial officer who responded to the incident and handcuffed the victim.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is expected to review the case to determine if the attack had racial overtones and if federal charges are warranted. All of the suspects and the ECU officer who has been dismissed are white. The victim is black. Greenville police said they do not have information that race played a role, but the possibility cannot be overlooked in this case.

Detectives identified 22-year-old Christopher James Hill of Greenville as being the final suspect involved in the case, Police Chief Mark Holtzman said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference. Hill is facing one count of assault inflicting serious bodily injury in connection to the portion of the assault that occurred on ECU’s campus.

Holtzman said Hill currently is at an out-of-state medical facility and is not considered a flight risk. Detectives have been in contact with his attorney, who has advised Hill will turn himself in to Greenville authorities upon his release from the medical facility, which Holtzman said is expected in early May. Hill is at the facility for treatment unrelated to the case, according to officials.

ECU Police Sgt. Ralph Whitehurst, the initial responding officer, was provided notice of dismissal on Tuesday. He has been on administrative leave since last month.

Whitehurst’s response to the incident, which included the handcuffing of 26-year-old Patrick Myrick, the victim of the assault on campus, did not follow proper protocol and procedures, ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis said at the news conference.

”ECU officers did not use violence in their response, but the internal investigation indicates the protocol followed by the initial responding officer violated multiple police policies,” Lewis said. Suspects who were on scene when officers arrived were not detained, and witnesses were not interviewed.

Lewis said the internal investigation of Whitehurst has been completed. Whitehurst’s LinkedIn page indicates he had been with the department since April 2004.

A preliminary investigation by Greenville police indicated that a verbal altercation that took place about 2 a.m. outside of Club 519 on Cotanche Street escalated into a physical confrontation, and Myrick reportedly struck 23-year-old Amber Best in the face and knocked her to the ground.

Several of Best’s friends confronted Myrick and assaulted him outside of the Jimmy John’s restaurant nearby, police said. Myrick ran toward ECU’s West End Dining Hall, but the same individuals reportedly chased him onto campus and assaulted him a second time. Additional people joined in on the assault.

Five people, including a man and woman who were ECU students at the time of the assault, have been arrested in the case.

Theresa Marie Lee, 25, Mack Humbles, 26, and Mark Privette, 33, all were charged on March 24 with two counts of felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Jesse Clay Wilbourn, 22, and Chase Montanye, 19, are charged with one count of felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Wilbourn turned himself in on April 1, and Montanye turned himself in on April 5.

Lee and Wilbourn, ECU students at the time, were dismissed from the university for their alleged roles in the beating.

Montanye reportedly is an acquaintance of some of the people involved in the assault. Police said Wilbourn was not known to Privette, Humbles and Lee prior to the assault.

According to warrants, the group allegedly repeatedly kicked Myrick in the head, resulting in a broken nose, petechiae in the right eye, both eyes swollen shut and swollen and cut lips. Myrick is charged with misdemeanor assault on a female in connection to the incident outside Club 519.

“We have a great camera surveillance system at our university and an alert dispatcher actually looked at the camera footage and saw the assault ongoing,” Lewis said Tuesday. “She was the one that actually dispatched officers to that assault at that time. … The dispatcher did a fantastic job in relaying information. She painted a great picture of what was going on based on what she was seeing in the video footage.”

Lewis said the department still is reviewing what information the officers received about the incident prior to responding. The initial investigation revealed that Whitehurst did not gather the required information, canvass or retain any witnesses or other people who potentially were involved in the assault. Whitehurst also reportedly did not gather information from Myrick, who was severely injured in the beating.

Since the incident, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said the university has doubled efforts and recommitted itself to work toward preventing similar incidents. Ballard said on Tuesday the university has zero tolerance for the actions of those involved in the incident. Ballard said about a third of the ECU Police Department staff is black, and he is proud of the agency’s progress.

“Our values are strong at ECU,” Ballard said. “This incident was a rogue incident that does not reflect who we are as a campus. We value respect and value tolerance. We believe we are all Pirates at ECU, so we are not going to let this define us. It’s not the kind of university we are.”

During the news conference, Ballard said he has watched the video of the assault and has some concerns about what he saw on the footage from bystanders.

“I am concerned that bystanders didn’t do as much as they could’ve maybe to intervene in that incident, but that will all be determined as we go through the next several weeks,” Ballard said.

ECU officials originally said the video of the assault would be released at the completion of the investigation, but Greenville police said Tuesday it will not be released until after the trial of the defendants at the request of District Attorney Kimberly Robb.

Holtzman said the Greenville Police Department asked ECU to withhold the video and both agencies are following Robb’s request to hold off on releasing the video.

“It’s very difficult to prosecute a case once everybody has seen all the evidence as recently played out in our local court systems as well when video gets out,” Holtzman said. “I believe in that approach. I support that approach. I think it will give us a faster, more swift and more certain prosecution in the case if she has the ability to release that video through the court system and at the time of trial.”

Local NAACP President Calvin Henderson on Tuesday attended the news conference and said he is very concerned about the video and about the incident being ruled out by the department as a hate crime.

Holtzman has requested the FBI review the case. The department contacted the FBI about two weeks ago and asked the agency to review the incident for any type of federal charges that may apply.

Pitt County Alcoholic Beverage Control agents also have agreed to review the case and investigate whether there were any ABC violations on the part of Club 519, the location of the initial altercation and the employer of two of the suspects, Lee and Privette.

“There was a lot of concern in the community about a racial overtone in this investigation,” Holtzman said. “To show some oversight and an impartial look of the entire case. I think it was warranted in this case to ask for some outside support.”

Contact Sharieka Breeden at 252-329-9567 and Follow her on Twitter@ShariekaB.

Timeline of March 17 assaults

2:22 a.m.: Greenville Police Dispatchers receive call about assault in-progress outside of Club 519. The caller advises there is a male on the ground and several people are kicking him.

2:25 a.m.: As officers are en route, a second call comes into dispatch. The second caller advises a male did something to a female and several people were assaulting him on Cotanche Street.

2:25 a.m.: Within three minutes of the initial call, the first GPD officer arrives on scene.

2:26 a.m.: Second GPD officer arrives on scene. The officers are unable to locate a fight. They begin to interview witnesses at Club 519.

2:27 a.m.: ECU PD advises GPD dispatch that they are responding to a fight near the West End Dining Hall on ECU property

2:27 a.m.: Greenville-Fire Rescue is called to respond to ECU Campus.

2:30 a.m.: Greenville-Fire Rescue arrives at West End of ECU campus. Myrick is treated at the scene. GPD Officers arrive on campus several minutes later.

2:51 a.m.: At the request of Greenville Fire-Rescue, a GPD officer rides in the ambulance with Patrick Myrick. The GPD officer advises Myrick he is not under arrest. Other GPD officers remain on scene to gather more information and conduct interviews.

4:30 a.m.: GPD clears the scene. They are advised by ECU PD officers that campus surveillance video would be reviewed and provided to Greenville Police.

March 18

ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis reviews surveillance video from ECU’s campus of the assault on Myrick and requests GPD’s assistance in the criminal investigation. A copy of the video is provided to GPD and a GPD detective is assigned to the case that afternoon. GPD assumes the entire criminal investigation at this point.


ECU fires officer, Greenville police call in FBI over assault case | The News & Observer

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Apr 202016


By Jane Stancill
April 19, 2016


East Carolina University has fired a campus police officer over his response to the group beating of a black man on campus last month, and the Greenville police have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to review the case for possible hate crime charges.

University officials said the officer, Ralph Whitehurst, was given notice of his dismissal Tuesday for violating “multiple police policies,” according to ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis. Whitehurst, who is white, was not accused of using force in the March 17 incident, but he handcuffed the victim and did not follow protocols and procedures in investigating the crime, Lewis said. Whitehurst, a sergeant, had been at ECU for 12 years.

“Our responsibility as police officers is to help and provide aid, and that did not happen in this instance in a way that was appropriate for someone who had been badly assaulted,” Lewis said. “This is not acceptable. This response does not represent what we expect of our officers, nor is it representative of our reputation in the community.”

The man who was beaten, Patrick Myrick, 26, also has been charged with assault on a female. He is accused of hitting a woman named Amber Best, 23, and knocking her to the ground in what began as a verbal altercation outside a downtown Greenville bar.

Several people then assaulted Myrick in front of a sandwich shop, then chased him a short distance to ECU’s campus, where what ECU officials described as a “brutal group beating” continued. Best had visible injuries to her face but was not transported to a hospital, police said.

At a joint news conference Tuesday with ECU officials, Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said the FBI was called in for oversight and an impartial look because of “a lot of concern in the community about a racial overtone” in the case.

“I think it was warranted in this case to ask for some outside support,” Holtzman said.

He said his department had found no evidence of “ethnic intimidation” under state law, but the FBI will look at whether federal charges could be brought.

The beating was captured on surveillance tape both downtown and on campus, but officials with Greenville police and ECU refused Tuesday to release the footage to The News & Observer. They cited concerns from Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb about successful prosecution in the case.

Holtzman said the video is a key record and piece of evidence. Robb asked the police department and ECU to withhold it from the public until after the judicial process is complete, Holtzman said.

“I believe in that approach,” he said. “I support that approach.”

Amanda Martin, attorney for The News & Observer and the N.C. Press Association, said the law is clear that the use of a record in connection with a criminal investigation has no bearing on its status as a public record. The law also is clear, she said, that the legislature intended the public to have an understanding of what takes place in the events leading up to an arrest.

“I think it would be appropriate for ECU and the Greenville Police to release the video, which would be the best evidence of what really took place,” Martin said. “This obviously is an issue that will garner a lot of public concern and legitimate attention, and it would be better for everyone – the police, the people involved and the public – to release the video rather than having people speculate or gossip about what may have taken place.”

Five people have been charged with assaulting Myrick, who was hospitalized with injuries last month. Greenville police announced Tuesday that a sixth person, Christopher James Hill, 22, of Greenville, is wanted for assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He had not been arrested because he is in a medical facility outside the state, Holtzman said.

Charged with two counts each of assault inflicting serious injury were Theresa Marie Lee, 25; Mack Humbles, 26; and Mark Privette, 33. Jesse Clay Wilbourn, 22, and Chase Montanye, 19, were each charged with one count of assault inflicting serious bodily injury.

Lee and Wilbourn were ECU students at the time but no longer are enrolled, an ECU spokeswoman said.

Lewis, the ECU police chief, said an alert dispatcher saw the assault occurring on surveillance camera footage and sent officers to the scene. The chief said the responding officer did not witness the assault but saw Myrick being held down.

Lewis said the officer didn’t follow procedures and didn’t gather information from the victim or the witnesses.

The university will implement additional training on fair and impartial policing, Lewis said. ECU also will add a position in the police department to review video of officers’ responses.

Steve Ballard, ECU’s chancellor, said the campus generally is a safe environment.

“We have zero tolerance for this,” Ballard said. “We’re going to deal as swiftly and as effectively as we possibly can when there’s any wrongdoing. Two students are no longer enrolled at ECU because of their role in this, and one police officer was dismissed today. …

“Our values are strong at ECU, and this incident was a rogue incident that does not reflect who we are as a campus. We value respect; we value tolerance.”


Sixth suspect wanted in St. Patrick’s Day group assault; ECU officer fired | WITN

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Apr 202016


April 19, 2016

To view news video on WITN, click here.

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Greenville police say they have felony warrants for a sixth person wanted in the St. Patrick’s Day group assault, while an ECU police officer has been fired for his actions.

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman says Christopher Hill, 22, is currently out of state in a medical facility. The chief said he is the sixth and final person to be charged.

Holtzman says the FBI has been asked to review their investigation because of possible racial overtones in the case. He has asked the feds to see if there are possible charges of ethnic intimidation against the six.

The suspects, and the police officer fired are all white, while the victim is black.

ECU Chief Gerald Lewis says Sgt. Ralph Whitehurst was fired for not following proper procedures in the case. The victim, Patrick Myrick, was handcuffed after the assault, while the chief says the officer did not question the victim as to what happened. Chief Lewis says Whitehurst’s actions were not acceptable.

Whitehurst had worked for ECU police since 2004.

While police say their investigation is complete, they will not release campus security video of the assault. ECU said last month that video would be made public after the investigation was complete. Holtzman says the district attorney has asked them to withhold release of the video because it could hinder their prosecution.

Previous Story

Two police departments say they will update the media on an assault that saw the arrest of five people, including a police officer’s son, and another officer placed on investigatory leave.

The joint news conference with Greenville and ECU police will be at 1:00 p.m.

Patrick Myrick was the victim of a group assault on St. Patrick’s Day that began outside an uptown bar and ended up on ECU’s campus. Myrick himself has been charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.

Police say Myrick hit a woman outside the Club 519, knocking her down. They say that’s when others came to her aid and started attacking the man. Myrick got away, but was caught on campus where the attack continued, according to police. He was taken to Vidant Medical Center with serious injuries.

An ECU police sergeant, Ralph Whitehurst, was suspended after authorities say he handcuffed Myrick, and not those who were eventually arrested. Myrick is black, while the officer and the suspects are all white.

Those arrested in the case were Theresa Lee, 25, Mack Humbles, 26, and Mark Privette, 33, Jesse Wilbourn, 22, and Chase Montanye, 19.


Sixth and final suspect identified in ECU St. Patrick’s Day assault | WNCT

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Apr 202016


WNCT Staff
April 19, 2016

To view news video on WNCT, click here.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Police have identified a sixth and final suspect wanted in connection to a St. Patrick’s Day assault that started in downtown Greenville and spilled over to East Carolina University.

Tuesday, the Greenville Police Department and East Carolina University hosted a joint press conference, identifying 22-year-old Christopher James Hill as the final suspect wanted in the incident.

Chief Mark Holtzman said, “We believe him not to be a flight risk at this time, and that he will be turning himself in through his attorney as soon as he’s released.”

Greenville Police said they’re requesting the FBI review the case because of the possible racial overtone. However, they noted they see no evidence of race involvement. ABC officials are also reviewing the case.

ECU Police officer, Sergent Ralph Whitehurst, was placed on investigative leave. As of Tuesday, he has been dismissed. ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis released a statement on this situation:

Our responsibility as police officers is to help and provide aid, and that did not happen in this instance in a way that is appropriate for someone who had been badly assaulted. That is not acceptable. This response does not represent what we expect of our officers, nor is it representative of our record in the community.

I am proud of the men and women of our department. Our officers are out in the community each day and night, building relationships with students and making a continual difference in the safety and well-being of those on our campus.

We will not tolerate violence on our campus. The latest data shows it is in fact rare on our campus and that ECU is among the safest campuses in the UNC system. We will work even harder going forward as a police department — and as a university — to build a safe and welcoming environment on our campus.

Video of the incident is not being released currently.

Chancellor Steve Ballard commented on the incident during the news conference, saying, “We’re not gonna let this define us. It’s not the kind of university we are.”


East Carolina U. Police Officer Is Fired After Handcuffing Black Beating Victim | The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Apr 202016


April 19, 2016
Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz

An East Carolina University police officer was fired on Tuesday after the university determined that he had violated the department’s policies while responding to a fight, East Carolina said in a news release.

The officer, Ralph Whitehurst, responded to a fight on March 17 that began at a club in downtown Greenville when a man hit a woman in the face, The News and Observer reported. The woman and two other men, who are white, later assaulted the man, who is black, on the campus.

After the man was beaten, Mr. Whitehurst put the “seriously injured” victim in handcuffs, according to the newspaper.

The Greenville police have asked the FBI to review the case for potential hate-crime charges, according to The News and Observer.

The East Carolina Police Department will also bring in an outside expert to train officers in fair and impartial policing, and will review officers’ behavior from surveillance video, the release said.


ECU Faculty Senate unanimous in vote against House Bill 2 | WITN

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Apr 202016


April 19, 2016

To view news video on WITN, click here.

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – East Carolina University’s Faculty Senate has unanimously passed a resolution opposing House Bill 2.

A large group packed into the Murphy Center this afternoon. The resolution supports the current nondiscrimination policy at ECU, which extends to protecting race, gender, color, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc. It also recommends the policy includes a definition of gender identity as “one’s inner sense of one’s own gender”, whether that is the same as assigned gender at birth or not.

Last month, state lawmakers passed the transgender bathroom bill, that says people must use public facilities in accordance with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

The resolution is mostly symbolic as ECU, like other state schools, must follow the new law.


Neighborhood wants more communication from ECU about Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium upgrades | WNCT

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Apr 202016


By Zora Stephenson
April 19, 2016

To view news video on WNCT, click here.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There is a lot of excitement surrounding upgrades to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

However, one group has mixed reviews.

Just a few steps away from the stadium sits the entrance to the Forest Hills neighborhood.

“We wanted to be close to the stadium. We wanted to be close to football, baseball,” said Mary-Marshall Heckstall, who lives near the stadium.

“I’m an ECU alumni and I’ve been a Pirate Club member for over 30 years and I love the football program,” Fred Eagan said.

It’s no secret that the Forest Hills neighborhood is a part of Pirate Nation.

“You know, everybody’s a Pirate. Everybody gets along great,” said Heckstall.

Most people in the area are excited about the expansion. They just want to know how it’s going to impact them.

“I thought it was great for the football program, but no so good for the neighborhood,” said Eagan.

In order for the renovations to become a reality, the university has to purchase four houses on Fieldside Street. Two families have already left their homes. Neighbors say a third will be out at the beginning of May.

While people on Rosewood Drive don’t have to move, they’re kind of upset they’re hearing everything through word of mouth.

“They haven’t really communicated with us. We kind of saw the video like everyone else,” said Heckstall.

“The only reason I know about the expansion, as I said I’ve been a Pirate Club member for over 30 years, so I see it from that information source, but not because I’m a resident of the neighborhood next to the stadium,” added Eagan.

Neighbors say parking and high volumes of traffic are something they’re always worried about. At the end of the day, they just want to be in the loop.

“What is the plan? Cause we are right here where the expansion is going to be in,” said Heckstall.

9 On Your Side reached out to the University. A representative with their communications office says Athletic Director Jeff Compher has to answer questions about how the changes were communicated to residents. They say he is out of town.

We also reached out to the athletic department. They told us they weren’t handling this situation.


ECU holding ‘Storm the Stadium Challenge’ for student veterans | WNCT

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Apr 202016


Jon Fisher
April 19, 2016

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University will hold the inaugural “Storm the Stadium Challenge” on Saturday, April 23, from 8-10 a.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Participants will climb the stadium’s 3,200 steps that will support programs and scholarships for student veterans at ECU.

“We thought that a physical challenge would be a great way to honor the hard work that our service members do everyday – and what better challenge than something in our very own Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium?” said Nicole Jablonski, assistant director of student veteran services.

More than 75 participants have already signed up for the event and Jablonski hopes the number will continue to rise. All participants will begin at the same gate and complete the same course.

U.S. Army veteran and ECU student Aaron Fenstemaker said it’s a daunting challenge, as he is trying to get back into shape after post-traumatic stress disorder, orthopedic injuries and asthma.

“I am still out of shape, and I think this challenge is going to be painful,” he said. “However, in my life, I have done many painful and difficult things that I often was not prepared to do, simply because it was the right thing to do.”

The registration fee is $35 for individuals and $110 for five-member teams.

For more information, to participate or to donate, visit here, or contact Jablonski at or 252-737-5233.


Dive into Shark Film Festival | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 202016


Mike Grizzard
April 19, 2016

Greenville’s first-ever Shark Film Festival, featuring local shark expert Chuck Bangley, will be held today at River Park North.

Video presentations begin at 10 a.m. and run throughout the day, capped off with world-renowned activist Wendy Benchley, widow of Peter Benchley, author of “Jaws” and “The Deep,” in a live link taking questions from the audience from 7-8:45 p.m., followed by a showing of “Jaws.”

It is free to the public.

Also this week, the North Carolina Science Festival features several community-based events showcasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities.

The Biodiversity Initiative and Department of Biology at East Carolina University will host an Earth Day Expo from 4-6 p.m. Thursday in the breezeway of Howell Science Complex. ECU researchers and local nonprofit organizations will have displays and interactive activities available on topics related to biodiversity.

There also will be live animals and plants, lab activities and natural history story times. Visit for more information.

GO-Science on Dickinson Avenue will host “Meet a Young Scientist” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors can talk with young scientists from the fields of chemistry, biology, geology and physics, learn about their research projects and ask them why they love science. The event is designed for middle and high school students. It is free and open to the public. Visit

Also Saturday, the Aurora Fossil Museum Learning Center will present Microfossils: Tiny Fossils Solve Big Problems, from 1-2:30 p.m.. The presentation by Stephen J. Culver, department chairman of geological sciences at East Carolina University, will explain what foraminifera are, where they can be found, and give examples of their use in solving societal problems. Visit

At Goose Creek State Park outside of Washington, Swamp Life Discoveries will be presented at 2 p.m. Swamp Life Discoveries will include a three-quarter-mile hike through a typical North Carolina swamp and marsh. Throughout the hike there will be multiple stops to observe, catch and study some of the creatures that call the swamp home. Call 923-2191.

Today’s schedule

10-10:30 a.m.: Wreck Denizens of North Carolina

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sharks of the Coral Canyon

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: This is Your Ocean: Sharks

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Sharks of the World: A Guy Harvey Expedition

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Shark Girl

2:30-3 p.m.: Wreck Denizens of North Carolina

3-4 p.m.: Sharks of the Coral Canyon

4-5 p.m.: This is Your Ocean: Sharks

5-6 p.m.: Sharks of the World: A Guy Harvey Expedition

6-7 p.m.: Shark Girl

7-7:45 p.m.: Q&A with Chuck Bangley

7:45-8:15 p.m.: Q&A with Wendy Benchley

8:15-10:30 p.m.: “Jaws”


How NCGAP measure actually would restrict access to UNC colleges | The News & Observer

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Apr 202016


By David A. Green
April 19, 2016

Buried deep in last year’s state appropriations bill is one of the most potentially significant, and potentially destructive, proposals in the history of public higher education in this state. Working under the seemingly innocuous title of “The North Carolina Guaranteed Admissions Program,” this legislation would in reality threaten to widen the already large gap in access and achievement for North Carolina’s least privileged, and her most advantaged, population groups.

This would be an enormous loss to the people of this state, as young men and women of great talent, great promise and great commitment would have their ambitions and dreams – and with them, our prosperity and progress – diminished. This legislation jeopardizes predominantly minority-serving institutions like N.C. Central University and hinders access to higher education for minority students.

According to the bill’s sponsors in the legislature, the ostensible purpose is to raise completion rates and reduce student debt. The plan tentatively calls for redirecting a percentage of students admitted to each UNC school – those who are assumed to be most “at risk” – to one of the community colleges, with admission to UNC campus guaranteed only if they first complete an associate’s degree. The higher the percentage of such students redirected to the community college system, the less the cost to the state and the lower the student debt in attaining a baccalaureate degree.

While this sounds good in the abstract, an intensive and rigorous feasibility analysis by the UNC and community college systems, vetted by an internationally renowned consulting firm, found that the program would:

▪ Fail to increase, and would more likely reduce, the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded in the state. In fact, for students who entered a community college in 2009 with a high school GPA between 2.5-2.7 and transferred to a UNC school, the six-year baccalaureate graduation rate was 11 percent, compared with 36 percent for students who directly entered into a UNC institution.

▪ Perpetuate if not exacerbate the adverse economic effects of lower levels of educational attainment in North Carolina.

▪ Require implementation procedures that would inequitably burden rural, low-income and minority students, especially the student cohorts served by the university’s minority institutions. In fact, of the 500 in-state students who enrolled in fall 2014 and would have been targeted by the legislation, the UNC/NCCCS report found that “83 percent are non-white (Black/African American – 69 percent, Hispanic – 4 percent, American Indian/Alaskan – 2 percent, and other – 8 percent); and 86 percent enroll at UNC’s HBCUs and UNCP, a minority serving institution.”

The UNC/NCCCS report also found that the graduation rates of the UNC system exceed the national average by a large margin and that is without taking into account recent changes to admissions standards and transfer articulation agreements that will not be measurable until 2018.

As faculty members privileged to work at one of North Carolina’s great minority institutions, N.C. Central University, we see firsthand, every day, the remarkable benefits that higher education access and achievement bring to our students and to the residents of this state. It should be troubling to every resident that the university may be required to offer less access, less economic opportunity and less opportunity for social mobility. While educational institutions and systems across the country are engaged in innovative and creative methods of identifying talent everywhere it is found, encouraging talent in all of its variety and raising the educational attainment of the citizenry, NCGAP would undo much of the progress we have made, tie the hands of UNC educators in their efforts to find and encourage the talents of our residents and diminish our communities.

Imagine the disappointment of the hundreds of students and thousands of parents – most of them minorities – who would, because of NCGAP, receive a college acceptance letter like this: “Because of your hard work, North Carolina Central University is excited to offer you admission to this great institution, but you will have to defer your dream of being part of the Eagle Excellence community until you finish your community college degree.” That would confirm that North Carolina values the hopes, the promise, the abilities of only the few and cares little for the aspirations of the many.

Martin Luther King once said that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” NCGAP will be one of those things that matter if it isn’t changed. Every thoughtful North Carolinian knows that we are all better when each of us is at our best, and that in a vibrant democracy, educational opportunity is the key to being our best. This is not the day to become silent.

David A. Green, professor of law at N.C. Central University, wrote this on behalf of the NCCU Faculty Senate.


Former UNC athletes spar with university in federal court | The News & Observer

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Apr 202016


By Dan Kane
April 19, 2019


A federal judge Tuesday heard oral arguments that could shut the door on former UNC-Chapel Hill athletes’ claims that they were cheated out of an education – or that could allow their lawsuits to shine more light on a major academic scandal.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs asked pointed questions of attorneys for the athletes and the university as they made legal arguments in two lawsuits involving former football players Michael McAdoo and Devon Ramsay and women’s basketball players Kenya McBee and Rashanda McCants.

Biggs questioned UNC’s claim that the case should be dismissed because the university has sovereign immunity as an entity of the state, and challenged the athletes’ attorneys to show that their clients were harmed by the scandal.

Biggs said the case was too complex to issue an immediate decision.

Ramsay and McCants have also named the NCAA a defendant, alleging that it failed to do its job in policing UNC and other universities to make sure their athletes received legitimate college educations.

Two months ago, a state court judge dismissed a third lawsuit involving two more former athletes. UNC’s attorneys cited that dismissal in court Tuesday.

All three lawsuits accused UNC of failing to educate athletes properly by steering them to fake classes that were offered by a former African studies department office manager who was not a professor. She provided high grades for classes that never met and typically required only a term paper.

“The university has admitted that the students did not get what they deserved,” said Geraldine Sumter, an attorney for McAdoo and McBee. “It failed the students, and the only way for the students to address that is in a court forum.”

UNC and NCAA attorneys say the athletes’ claims have no standing in the courts, and even if they did, they were filed long after a three-year statute of limitations had expired.

“I think discovery would be a waste of time and resources in this case,” said Lisa Gilford, an attorney representing UNC.

The NCAA contends it has no legal obligation to oversee how classes are taught at its member schools, and sought to be dropped from the lawsuit. Steve Brody, an attorney for the NCAA, said the association could not be expected to be held accountable for a scheme that many at the university failed to catch.

Michael Hausfeld, an attorney for Ramsay and McCants, presented numerous public statements and documents from NCAA officials that professed its role in ensuring athletes received college educations.

One statement Hausfeld read from NCAA President Mark Emmert: “The Association was founded on the notion of integrating athletics into the educational experience, and we have to make sure we deliver on that 100-year-old promise.”

But Biggs pressed him on the fact that Ramsay and McCants’ lawsuit showed no direct involvement between NCAA officials and his clients.

UNC and the NCAA also said the former athletes had reason to know something was amiss when they took the fake classes, but they didn’t raise objections at that time.

The fake classes ran for 18 years and involved more than 3,100 students – roughly half of them athletes – before they were shut down at the start of the fall 2011 semester. An investigation found the office manager began offering the classes after academic counselors for athletes complained about independent studies that required meetings and progress reports.

The scandal has damaged UNC’s reputation. Its accrediting agency has put it on probation, and the NCAA has accused the university of five major violations, including lack of institutional control. The NCAA case has yet to reach an infractions hearing.


Greater Competition for College Places Means Higher Anxiety, Too | The New York Times

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Apr 202016


APRIL 20, 2016

As the frenzied college application season draws to a close, and students across the country mull their choices, many colleges are trumpeting that it was the most selective year ever.

But high school guidance counselors and admissions experts say the heightened competition has turned the process into a anxiety-ridden numbers game.

Except for those that offer rolling admission, colleges generally mailed out the last of their acceptances for the class of 2020 by April 1. Students must respond by May 1, though since that date falls on a Sunday this year, some institutions may give a grace period until May 2. It will be weeks or more before final data is in, but admissions officers and experts say they see some preliminary trends.

For one, the competition is ever more heated. Colleges report receiving record numbers of applications that push up their selectivity numbers and their rankings on lists of top colleges — and increase the anxiety for students. Though this year’s data is still largely anecdotal, applications at more than 70 percent of colleges have increased for 10 of the past 15 years.

The number of students using the Common Application — an online application that can be submitted to multiple schools at the flick of a credit card — rose to 920,000 through mid-April, compared with 847,000 at the same time last year, said Aba Blankson, a spokeswoman for the Common Application.

Students continue to apply to multiple colleges; the overall average is 4.4 applications, though many students apply to many more, Ms. Blankson said. As of 2013, 32 percent of students applied to seven or more schools, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Charter school students in New England submitted the most applications, at nearly seven per student, followed closely by private school students in New England and the Middle States (a category including Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), with more than six applications each, Ms. Blankson said. Home schoolers and public school students in the South and Southwest submitted the fewest, about three each.

While colleges celebrate their record-setting applicant pools, high school guidance counselors take a dimmer view. Bruce Poch, the dean of admission and executive director of college counseling at Chadwick School, in Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif., said admissions had turned into more of a lottery, as students express their fears of rejection by applying to more institutions.

“It is seen by them as more and more something they can’t control, a crapshoot, so they pile them up,” Mr. Poch said. “The multiples are at the, quote, most selective places.”

Mr. Poch said he had been disillusioned by a sense that colleges have become driven more by data points — SAT scores, maximizing tuition revenue and maximizing enrollment — than by the individual characteristics of students who apply.

But David Hawkins, the executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said that to some degree, both colleges and students were overreacting. Colleges do so by engaging in what he called “an arms race” toward higher selectivity in an effort to improve their rankings, and students by applying to so many colleges.

In the end, he said, the average acceptance rate at four-year colleges has remained stable at about 65 percent nationwide.

“Essentially what’s happening is that students are sort of swirling around and then eventually settling into an institution,” Mr. Hawkins said. “The fact of the matter is that there does seem to be a place for any student who wants to go to a four-year college.”

As admissions officials compose a class, campus conflicts over racial issues — like whether Princeton should keep Woodrow Wilson’s name on buildings and programs (it has) or whether Harvard Law School should drop a shield commemorating a slave-owning family (it did) — have become part of the conversation, experts said. As a result, admission offers to black and Hispanic students and other minorities are inching up at some colleges.

“As the leading edge of college interface with students and families, the admissions office is keenly sensitive to those pressures,” Mr. Hawkins said.

At Harvard, admissions of African-American students rose to 14 percent from 12 percent last year, officials said. At Columbia, the percentage of students who identified as “persons of color” — which includes multiple backgrounds — rose to 64 percent from 63 percent. And at Yale, where a controversy over Halloween costumes erupted last fall, officials said there was an increase in the proportion of admitted students who identify as a member of a minority group, though they did not specify by how much.

At the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Va., 35 percent of those offered admission are students “of color,” including African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American and mixed race, up from 32 percent last year.

“They’re not seismic changes,” said Tim Wolfe, associate provost for enrollment and dean of admission at William and Mary. “But it certainly makes a difference.”

Mr. Hawkins, the admissions researcher, said that a legal challenge to race-conscious admissions, Fisher v. University of Texas, now awaiting a decision before the Supreme Court, might also have influenced admissions behavior at colleges concerned about their ability to shape future classes.

“Many colleges are preparing for the possibility that they would essentially be flying blind when it comes to recruiting a diverse student body,” Mr. Hawkins said.

Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admissions at Georgia Institute of Technology, said that the Black Alumni Organization had been intensely involved in recruitment, and that minority students had received calls and invitations to visit the campus, in an effort to entice them to apply and enroll.

“I think all schools this year had these issues in their minds,” Mr. Clark said.

At Georgia Tech, applications this year hit a record high of 30,520, up 12 percent from last year, reflecting the popularity of science majors, Mr. Clark said. The chance of getting in dropped to 25 percent from 32 percent last year.

At the most elite institutions, the rate of acceptance grew even more restricted. Harvard reported more than 39,041 applicants this year, compared with more than 37,307 last year. It admitted a record low 5.2 percent, compared with 5.3 percent last year, accepting 2,037 students. Yale said it had its largest-ever applicant pool, 31,455, and offered admission to 1,972 students, or 6.3 percent.

Stanford University offered admission to 2,063 students out of 43,997 candidates, a selectivity rate of 4.7 percent.

The competition is also hard on colleges trying to predict who will ultimately attend. So as insurance, waiting lists have grown. For example, Yale put 1,095 students on its waiting list, more than half the number it admitted.


New leadership sworn in for ECU student government | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 192016


The Daily Reflector
Monday, April 18, 2016

New leaders for East Carolina University’s Student Government Association are set to begin their duties after a swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.

Ryan Beeson of Sophia will succeed Mark Matulewicz and serve as the 2016-17 SGA president. Janae Brown of Raleigh succeeds Jenny Betz as vice president.

“Ryan and Janae bring different experiences and points of view, from different communities, that will make SGA stronger while advocating for the student body,” said Erik Kneubuehl, associate vice chancellor for student involvement and leadership and interim SGA adviser.

Beeson completed two undergraduate degrees in political science and economics a semester early and is continuing his education at ECU pursuing a master’s degree in accounting. He said he wants to pursue a law degree and earn a master’s degree in trust and wealth management with the goal of a career in trust and estate law and wealth management.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity the students of ECU have given me by placing their confidence and trust in Janae and me,” Beeson said. “It is my hope to earn this confidence and trust every day we are in office by continually proving our ability to serve and being the truest voice of the students of ECU.”

Brown will start her fourth year at ECU this fall as an art major with a concentration in graphic design. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University with hopes of becoming a creative director for ESPN.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and ready to get started,” Brown said. “Ryan and I will forever be grateful to Pirate Nation and cannot wait to invoke positive change on the campus of ECU.”

As part of the responsibilities of serving as the SGA president, Beeson will serve as a full voting member of the ECU Board of Trustees. He will start his SGA term this month but will not be sworn in officially as a board member until its July meeting.

Beeson and Brown will be selecting students for executive positions, including SGA treasurer, which will be approved and ultimately appointed by the SGA Assembly.


ECU Notes: Award honors global efforts | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 192016


ECU News Services
April 17, 2016

East Carolina University is among seven colleges and universities nationwide recently named as winners of the prestigious 2016 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

The Simon Awards are granted through the NAFSA: Association of International Educators and recognize outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization.

ECU was recognized as a recipient of the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, which honors a specific international program or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalization on campus. Global Academic Initiatives (GAI), a unit within Academic Affairs, earned ECU the award. Other universities recognized in this category include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Texas Tech University.

“Over the years I have looked to the previous Simon Award winners as a source of inspiration and ideas, so it is a huge honor to now be among that elite group,” said Jami Leibowitz, ECU’s interim GAI director. “Receiving this award is also a testament to ECU’s willingness to invest in and allow to flourish innovative ideas that support its mission.”

The GAI program partners with 62 institutions in 33 countries to provide an interactive, student-driven global experience for approximately 300 ECU students each semester.

“The focus of GAI is to provide ECU students direct international experiences through the use of technology,” said Leibowitz. “We work with faculty and departments to develop and support semester-long courses that incorporate significant interactive collaboration with partner students and faculty from our network of international institutions.”

Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 17,000 students have participated in GAI activities worldwide. GAI’s largest section is Global Understanding, a course where students work with three distinct partner institutions for three to four weeks. Students lead real-time discussions about college life, family and cultural traditions, meaning of life and religion and stereotypes and prejudices. Sixty percent of the class time is spent in video connections with students from other countries.

“This is not a class, it is an experience,” said Meg Matthews, a sophomore majoring in public health. “GAI put a focus on trying to better interactions between people with differences which is extremely important in our globalized world.”

Based on program assessments, students indicated an increased interest and awareness of other cultures, including a desire to study abroad. “They demonstrate that they are more confident and comfortable when interacting with people from different cultures and have developed strategies for effective intercultural communication and collaboration,” said Leibowitz.

NAFSA will feature ECU’s GAI in its report, “Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities,” which will be published this fall.

“This year’s winners exemplify a diversity of unique and shared approaches available to higher education institutions. The 2016 Simon Award institutions prepare our students for success in the thoroughly interconnected environment in which global learning is becoming a prerequisite to success, both in the classroom and beyond,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson.

The award is named for the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. For more information, visit

Tops in archaeology

For the third consecutive year, ECU has produced the highest number of new registrants to the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA).

ECU is one of only a few graduate institutions in the U.S. offering an interdisciplinary master’s degree in maritime history and nautical archaeology, a key reason ECU continues to produce the highest number of applicants to the RPA. In fact, according to the article on the RPA web site, “In 2015, of the 313 applications received by The Register, 14 were recipients of master’s degrees in anthropology and maritime archaeology from East Carolina.”

“The success of the program in maritime studies is due in large part to the quality of our students,” said Bradley Rodgers, director of the program, housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of History. “They are self-motivated, ambitious and high energy; you have to be to dive in some of the places we visit, which are seldom ‘Club Med’ environments.”

Researchers in the field of archaeology must apply to become members of the RPA, though not all applicants are accepted. The RPA expects its members to have high standards of research performance and adhere to a specific code of conduct.

“The fact that many of our MA archaeology grads are applying to RPA confirms that the training they receive at ECU meets the professional standards required to be listed on the register,” said Randy Daniel, chair of the Department of Anthropology. ”Prospective employers of archaeologists, including state and federal agencies as well as private companies, look to the register to identify those archaeologists that meet established professional standards.”

Alumni of the ECU anthropology program accepted into RPA are Kathryn Parker and Kate Thomas. Alumni accepted into RPA from the ECU program in maritime studies include Jeremy Borrelli, Daniel Brown, Kara Fox Davis, Chelsea Freeland, Stephanie Gandulla, Thomas Horn, James Pruitt, William Sassorossi, Lucas Simonds, Greg Stratton, Jeneva Wright and Caitlin Zant.

For additional information about ECU’s programs in anthropology, visit More information about the program in maritime studies is available at

Upcoming Event

Join the Biodiversity Initiative and Department of Biology for an Earth Day Expo with interactive events for people of all ages on April 21 from 4-6 p.m. ECU researchers and local non-profit organizations will have displays and activities on topics related to biodiversity. There will be live animals and plants, lab activities, natural history story times and more. This is a North Carolina Science Festival event; for more information visit


Dowdy-Ficklen improvements welcome if carefully made | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 192016


April 19, 2016

East Carolina University’s plans to redesign Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, revealed Saturday, present an opportunity that Pirate fans and all eastern North Carolina residents can feel excited about, but not without some cautions about careful growth and community involvement.

The finishing touches of the planned $55 million project will top off impressive growth this past decade of the ECU athletics complex. This phase will focus primarily on the stadium’s south side. The complete plan is subject to additional approval by the ECU Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors. Construction is targeted for completion before the start of the 2018 season.

The upgrades will occur at an important time in the ECU athletic program’s transition to the more competitive American Athletic Conference. Athletic Director Jeff Compher, who last winter terminated football coach Ruffin McNeill and hired Scottie Montgomery in his place, said he knows his new coach understands the impact such a project will have on football recruiting and national exposure.

“This, I think, will really finish off (everything else we’ve done here) into a first-class athletic village on our campus that indicates our commitment to athletics at the highest level,” Compher said.

It also represents ECU’s commitment to its place as Pitt County and eastern North Carolina’s most important and attractive economic engine. Adding boxes to the stadium should go a long way toward enhancing the university and region’s important corporate relationships.

ECU athletics’ contribution to the community, including the residents of the Forest Hill development who live closest to the athletics complex, has been mostly positive. Initial reaction to the expansion announcement has been mostly positive there, but some neighbors in the long-established neighborhood said the university hasn’t communicated how the expansion will affect them. That should have been taken care of as part of the development process and should be improved moving forward.

The East Carolina University Board of Trustees voted April 8 to purchase four houses on the north side of Fieldside Street to facilitate the stadium’s expansion. The board voted to spend $1.1 million to buy the properties and relocate the residents. That could raise reasonable development concerns among neighbors that must be addressed.

The fact that ECU can afford to make such plans at a time when it is financially strained on many other fronts is a testament to the power of athletics. According to Compher, the department must raise a total of $15 million in philanthropic funds, with the rest of the $55 million cost being paid out through the sales of five new premium seating plans to be offered.

If the qualities and stability of the neighborhood can be preserved — and even enhanced — along with the earning power of the university, it should mean a winning decision all around. But proceed responsibly.


Pitt students show off art creations | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 192016


Sharieka Breeden
April 18, 2016

An annual art exhibit opened on Sunday at Greenville Mall where young artists showed their creations off to their families and expressed excitement about their work.

Students remixed techniques and genres to create pieces for “Arts Mash-Up,” the theme for the 10th Youth Expressions Art Project Exhibit.

Works lining the walls of the mall for visitors to view included a creative drawing of Cam Newton, decorative masks, self-reflections and drawings of architectural images.

Cynthia Bickley Green, Jane Austen Behan and Devinder Culver, members of the event’s steering committee, were pleased with the turnout on Sunday for a project that in past years has addressed issues like bullying and the environment.

“This is probably one of the most integrated activities that we do in the arts with the different parts of the community, the law enforcement, public schools, the university and the mall and other people represented in the business community,” Bickley Green, an East Carolina University professor, said.

For Behan, arts education director of Pitt County Schools, the project provides the public a chance to see the students’ creativity.

“They are taking a large topic, deconstructing it into something completely new and innovative,” she said.

Creating art is a hobby for 11-year-old Madison Lancaster, who attends Ayden Elementary School. Lancaster created a paper mash-up of a lion, elephant, kangaroo and monkey.

“I feel proud of myself,” she said. ”I think it turned out pretty good.”

As Madison showed her work to her parents on Sunday, she said she was excited to share what she did. In addition to being proud of her own work, Madison said everyone else who was a part of the show did a great job.

Her parents, Holly and Jason Lancaster, said they support such an important form of expression.

“It opens up their minds and there are endless possibilities,” Jason Lancaster said. ”We give them the opportunity to express themselves in this shape and form.”

Culver, Greenville Police Department’s community projects coordinator, said the art project is a way of promoting innovation.

The exhibit will be displayed until May 1.

Youth Art Expressions Project Exhibition Community Partners:

Art Education Programs of Pitt County Schools

Greenville Police Department

North Carolina Space Grant Consortium

College of Fine Arts and Communication

School of Art and Design

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

The Daily Reflector

The Greenville Mall

Zoe’s Kitchen

Blue Barn Design Company

Teaching Resource Center

East Carolina University


ECU faculty to consider resolution regarding House Bill 2 | WNCT

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Apr 192016


By Jessica Jewell
April 19, 2016

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Happening Tuesday, faculty at East Carolina University will take up North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.

The bill mandates transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex.

While the resolution to be discussed by ECU’s Faculty Senate doesn’t call directly for the repeal of House Bill 2, it does reinforce ECU’s nondiscrimination policy, which includes protections for gender identity.

Many students at ECU have already spoken out against HB2, but this would be a message directly from the faculty.

Earlier this month, UNC System President Margaret Spellings instructed all universities to comply with the law. Yet, Spellings has voiced concerns about the impact on recruiting and retaining students and faculty.

That’s a concern ECU’s Andrew Morehead agrees with.

“There’s a real chance that this has a chilling effect and I think that, again, the resolution is pushing back and saying ‘no, come. We are committed to ensuring equality for all,” Morehead said.

WNCT spoke with some students on campus who didn’t want to go on camera but said they don’t think HB2 is discriminatory and that the several gender neutral stalls ECU already has are sufficient.

If adopted, the faculty’s resolution will clarify the definition of gender identity as “one’s inner sense of one’s own gender, which may or may not match the sex assigned at birth.”

Morehead said the resolution also points out existing laws that conflict with HB2.

“There are some real legal concerns I think around our compliance with Titles VII and IX and the discussion about whether our federal funding for example would be threatened by HB2,” Morehead said.

The Faculty Senate will decide whether to adopt this resolution at its meeting on campus Tuesday at 2:10 p.m.

The resolution would merely be symbolic as ECU must enforce HB2.


Police investigating death of UNCW student involved in fight | Star News

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Apr 192016


By Hannah DelaCourt
April 18, 2016

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington Police Department is investigating the death of a UNCW student involved in a fight over the weekend.

Linda Rawley, a spokeswoman for the department, said police were called at 4:46 a.m. Saturday to 5006 Carleton Drive regarding a fight where one man, Connor Vogel, 22, fell to the ground.

Rawley said investigators are working to find out what happened. An incident report has not been finalized yet, she said.

According to a GoFundMe page set up for Vogel’s family, the “accident resulted in a coma” causing brain damage.

“Connor being the loving and giving person that he was will be donating his organs to those in need,” it stated.

The page said Vogel was a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington studying software programming and coding.

“He was a kind soul that hated inconveniencing people and had a contagious smile and personality,” it stated.

Funds from the page will go toward Vogel’s funeral cost. As of noon Monday, the page had raised over $11,000.

On Monday, the Office of University Relations on behalf of the Division of Student Affairs at UNCW sent an email to the UNCW community stating that a memorial book for Vogel will be located at the Fisher Student Center Information Desk for anyone to sign. The book will be sent to Vogel’s family.

Students seeking grief support may contact the University Counseling Center at 910-962-3746.

Vogel grew up in Wilmington and attended both Coastal Christian High School and Cape Fear Community College, and was a junior at UNCW.


Durham chamber, Duke University, UNC faculty call for HB2 repeal; Boston, Pearl Jam cancel NC concerts | The News & Observer

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Apr 192016


By Colin Campbell
April 18, 2016

The leaders of Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Faculty Council and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce have joined calls for the repeal of House Bill 2.

The law also prompted two more bands to cancel North Carolina shows. Classic rock band Boston canceled concerts next month in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte, calling HB2 “an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority.” Pearl Jam, a rock band known for its activism, later Monday canceled a Raleigh show set for Wednesday and said it would donate to “local groups” fighting the law.

“This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation,” Pearl Jam wrote on its website.

The president and two top administrators at Duke University also released a statement Monday calling for repeal, saying HB2 “runs counter to the ideals of Duke.”

“The economic and material impact is being felt across the state in many ways, including at universities,” president Richard Broadhead, provost Sally Kornbluth and Duke University Health System President and CEO Eugene Washington wrote. “Scholars from states and municipalities that have imposed bans on government travel to North Carolina have been unable to travel to Duke to continue vital ongoing research partnerships or attend academic conferences.

“Prospective students, faculty and staff, as well as Duke alumni planning visits to campus, have voiced concerns about whether they will find a hospitable environment in North Carolina. These developments have the potential to limit the value that Duke and other colleges and universities contribute to the state, namely producing trained graduates and expanding the frontiers of knowledge.”

Duke’s announcement came on the heels of the UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Council’s unanimous vote Friday to back a resolution opposing House Bill 2.

“Nullification of nondiscrimination policies in municipalities surrounding UNC-CH would make our mission and interests impossible,” the resolution says. “Therefore, repeal of HB2 is the only possible course of action if the State of North Carolina will continue to maintain its world-class university.”

Also Monday, Durham business leaders had a message similar to that of their counterparts at Duke.

“The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce stands with the many companies, communities and individuals in opposing HB2 and all legislation which discriminates against men, women, governments and private companies living in, traveling to and doing business in North Carolina,” president and CEO Geoff Durham said in a news release.

“Durham is an inclusive community which is home to many diverse people, festivals and research centers. Consistent with our mission to promote economic development and support quality of life in Durham, we condemn measures that negatively impact businesses, or curtail the civil rights and liberties of our neighbors and guests.”

One of the main groups that lobbied for House Bill 2, the Christian Action League of North Carolina, is calling its opponents “social terrorists” who seek “total domination.”

The group’s director, Rev. Mark Creech, posted an opinion column to its website over the weekend, arguing that opposition to the LGBT law is unfairly harming North Carolina’s reputation. His post came as opposition to the law from major companies continued to mount.

“Since the North Carolina General Assembly passed HB2, my beloved state has had its name maligned about as bad as calling a virgin a whore,” Creech wrote. “When you sling mud it sticks. It doesn’t have to be true. People move away as fast as a Jew did in Bible times from possible contact with a leper whenever hearing, ‘unclean, unclean.’”

Creech says the law is not discriminatory. House Bill 2 strikes down local nondiscrimination ordinances and replaces them with a statewide law that doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity as categories protected from discrimination.

Creech’s strongest criticism was directed at the national Human Rights Campaign, one of the leading opponents of the law.

“Don’t expect these social terrorists like the HRC to let up on the pressure,” he wrote. “There is no meaningful dialogue with them, only total domination. They are an unbending, immovable, aggressive, insistent force that would have every norm and moral turned on its head.”


Here are the five critical skills every new college graduate should have | The Washington Post

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Apr 192016


By Jeffrey J. Selingo
April 18, 2016

Last week, my new book, There Is Life After College, was released by HarperCollins and I’ve been asked several times since then by students, parents, employers, and others about the skills every new college graduate needs to succeed in today’s competitive and ever-changing job market.

Here are five critical skills every new college graduate should have:

1. Every graduate needs to be “digitally aware.” Students entering college and the workforce now often are referred to as “digital natives” because they were raised on technology from a very young age. But their relationship has been largely passive: switch on the device and use it. Being digitally aware isn’t about turning more people into computer geeks. It’s about moving from a passive relationship with technology to a more active one — especially in understanding the how and why behind machines, not just the what.

It’s no longer good enough to know how to use a computer. Understanding the programming language behind the apps on your iPhone, or the basics of Artificial Intelligence are all now seen as basic foundational skills by many employers. Learning to program is much like learning a second language was in the 20th century: You might not become proficient enough to move overseas, but you could get by if you traveled to a particular country.

“Every major company today has been transformed into a technology company,” said Brian Fitzgerald, head of the Business-Higher Education forum, an organization that brings together senior business and university executives. “Even non-tech jobs are tech jobs.”

2. Every graduate needs to know how to navigate through life without a syllabus. In an economy where jobs are increasingly threatened by automation, the future belongs to those graduates who possess “agency” — who act with purpose and determination to drive themselves across a career map without clearly marked roads.

If students are simply good at taking tests, jumping through hoops, and following the rules, chances are pretty good that they’ll struggle in their start after college. The problem is that students are failing to build in college the resilient muscles that they will need as adults to manage risk and succeed in unpredictable lives.

Too many students depend on their undergraduate years to spoon-feed them the experiences that will shape them for the future. They sit back and wait for professors to deliver lessons in the classroom. They participate in campus life, but too often from the sidelines, and so they lack any deep engagement in activities that provide much-needed skills for the job market. They fail to cultivate relationships with professors or staff on campus who might lend advice and act as mentors. And they are reluctant to chase after experiences, whether undergraduate research, study abroad, or internships, that help them discover their passions and arm them with the interpersonal skills so in demand by employers today.

3. Every graduate needs to be a learning animal. Schools are turning out students trained to take tests, but not those who have the ability to come up with answers to problems not yet imagined.

For the first two decades of our lives, someone else directs our learning — parents, teachers, professors. But once young adults enter the workforce they need to self-direct their own learning for the rest of their lives. They need to be curious about what’s around them.

“If you don’t seek to learn, you don’t try new things,” said Bob Iger, CEO of Disney. “I don’t think you can run a business today in a very dynamic marketplace without being curious.” When Iger interviews people for jobs, he asks them about the books they have read, the movies they have seen, or where they have recently traveled. “I try to get under their skin,” he said, “to determine their level of curiosity.”

4. Every graduate needs to understand how to use what they learned in school outside of college. Students know how to learn theory in the classroom and apply it on a job, but the world of work they are about to enter is more of a mash-up of activities. They need the ability to generalize core principles and apply them in many different places.

This is what’s often called transfer learning. Our ability to drive almost any car on the market without reading its manual is an example of knowledge transfer, as is our ability to solve math equations involving any number once we learn the basic formula.

The concept sounds simple enough, but today’s students rarely have the chance to learn through problem solving or to be involved in the kind of projects that reinforce skills that can be used in multiple settings.

5. Every graduate needs to be humble. Recent college graduates are largely conditioned to avoid failure or didn’t hold part-time jobs in high-school where they might have worked with people of different ages and perspectives so they often come to the workplace after college much more self-confident — some might say cocky — than previous generations did.

One tech company executive told me of a recent graduate who asked for an opportunity to develop new products. When the company suggested a “hackathon” with a specific theme — to build an app for new hires — this employee proposed working on other business ideas instead and wanted to be sure she would own the rights to whatever she started.

New graduates need to be patient about their careers and realistic about their roles within a company. Given we’re going to be living longer and working longer, patience is perhaps the most important quality in life after college.


Colleges are going online to crowdsource donations, and they’re raising millions | The Washington Post

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Apr 192016


By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
April 19, 2016

It took just 43 hours for the College of the Holy Cross to raise nearly $2 million.

The small liberal arts school in Massachusetts did it without bombarding alumni with phone calls, sending out a batch of mailers or soliciting donations for seats at a gala event. Instead, school leaders turned to, a Washington, D.C.-based crowdfunding website that appeals to a younger, more tech-savvy audience.

Getting alumni, especially younger graduates, to open their wallets is a challenge for many colleges and universities, especially those that rely on old-school approaches that land their pitches in voicemail, the garbage or, even worse, end up annoying potential donors. Because schools rely on gifts of all sizes to fund scholarships, renovations and endowments, direct donations are especially critical as public universities contend with dwindling state investment and small private colleges struggle with the revenue loss of sluggish enrollment.

“The quality, the affordability, the accessibility of education in this country is heavily dependent on private philanthropic support. And that’s a dependence that is growing,” said Kestrel Linder, co-founder of GiveCampus. “The irony is most people don’t view schools as charities, and they don’t treat education as a philanthropic cause.”

Although charitable contributions are on an upswing generally, alumni participation is on the decline, according to the Council for Aid to Education. And part of that is a disconnect between traditional approaches to engaging alumni and where young people spend much of their time: online.

“We all live on social media, so getting friendly reminders from your alma mater to give is not only effective, but appreciated,” said Tatum McIsaac, who graduated from Holy Cross in 2001 and donated via the GiveCampus campaign. “It’s a lot easier for me to make a quick contribution online, than to wait for an envelope to arrive in the mail and write a check. I don’t even know where my checkbook is.”

Linder and his partner, Michael Kong, came up with the idea for GiveCampus in 2014 after reading about colleges having to layoff staff, raise tuition and eliminate classes because of budget cuts. The pair understood that charitable giving could make a difference, but they thought college fundraising tactics were too impersonal to attract many young graduates. At least that’s how they felt about the efforts of their own alma mater, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“The messaging didn’t really resonate. It was very impersonal. And for a decade neither of us had been responding, even though we had a strong affinity for our school,” Linder said, noting that many of his friends felt the same way. “These were people with means who were supporting other causes. If a bunch of people with the capacity and inclination to give weren’t giving, something was clearly broken.”

GiveCampus has helped more than 70 colleges, high schools and elementary schools raise $10 million since it launched last year. The model is based on websites such as and, but GiveCampus works directly with schools as a measure of quality control, Linder said. Schools are charged a subscription fee based on the amount of money they aim to raise. Subscriptions start at about $1,000.

Expanding the donor base was the key reason administrators at Hamilton College reached out to GiveCampus earlier this year, said Dick Tantillo, vice president for communications and development at the liberal arts college in Upstate New York.

“We wanted to engage a new generation of alums who need to be communicated with in a very different way,” he said. “We haven’t had immense difficulty, but it has been an area that has been much more challenging than in prior years.”

Hamilton’s 24-hour Leap Day challenge netted $900,000 in donations from 2,868 people, quadruple the number of alumni who gave when the school ran a similar campaign by itself four years earlier, Tantillo said. The difference between the two campaigns, he said, was the use of multiple social-media outlets to drive donations.

“The real trigger was that with social media, donors themselves became advocates for the whole enterprise,” said Michael Debraggio, assistant vice president for communications at Hamilton. “People were making gifts and then posting to social media that they had done so, and that had an enormous snowball affect. That’s a new model, suddenly you’re getting donors to be fundraisers for you.”

All of the money Hamilton raised will be used to fund scholarships, Tantillo said.

Campaigns on GiveCampus run the gamut from projects to fund scholarships to initiatives to renovate old libraries.

Last month, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., launched a campaign to fund undergraduate research fellowships for 87 students. Each student has their own micro-campaign with the goal of raising $6,000 by April 19. The money will cover the cost of conducting the research under the direction of a faculty adviser over the summer. So far, the students have raised more than $100,000.

“We chose the crowdfunding model so the students could do peer-to-peer and social fundraising on behalf of the program,” said Mitchell Vander Vorst, executive director of marketing and advancement at William and Mary. “It helps us democratize the process, and students can share their projects on social media.”

Hearing about the success other colleges had with one-day giving challenges, Holy Cross wanted to give it a shot and researched companies that had tried similar campaigns, said Tracy Barlok, the school’s vice president of advancement. She said an online campaign was attractive because it is a simple, convenient way to reach donors.

“The ease of the platform … on your phone or your iPad, it translated so beautifully that it just didn’t require us to do all of that programming work ahead of time,” Barlok said. “We raised a lot of money in a short time, and had a lot of gifts from people who had never made a donation before.”

Like Hamilton and William and Mary, Holy Cross alumni could appeal directly to their peers to join them in donating to their alma mater, allowing a school to capitalize on active social networks.

A group of classmates that graduated from Holy Cross in 1982 vowed to give half a million dollars to the Give Purple drive in February if a total of 2,500 other alumni also made gifts. They advertised the offer on Facebook and Twitter, the same social media platforms that school officials used to herald the campaign. By the end of the 43-hour drive — a nod to school’s founding in 1843 — Holy Cross exceeded its goal with the help of 6,226 donors.

“This was a challenge that was mostly about engagement and donor participation,” Barlok said, noting that it was about far more than just money. “It built on the foundation that we have in terms of the loyalty, compassion and competitiveness of our alumni population.”

While a majority of the contributions came from people who had given to the school in the past, Holy Cross did win over 122 new donors, more than three quarters of whom graduated in the past decade. More than 50 percent of all donations came from alumni who graduated after 1990, with a vast majority of those gifts made on mobile devices.

“When people see something come through their feed, it grabs their attention. And if its easy to donate, they’re going to do it immediately,” said Stephanie Jeskey, a member of the class of 2001, whose company Embryo Creative helped Holy Cross design the campaign. “The new crowdfunding method speaks to my generation.”

Barlok said her team was apprehensive at first about using an outside vendor to secure donations. Legal counsel at Holy Cross, she said, went over the GiveCampus contract several times to make sure it covered any liabilities.

“When you’re talking about online giving and credit card data, you have to be really careful,” Barlok said. “There’s a little bit of a leap of faith that you take with something like this because you just know that the benefit is going to outweigh the risk. We had great confidence. They had not had any breaches, and issues with data security.”

Given the success of the campaign, Barlok said Holy Cross is considering using the platform later in the year for a senior class fundraiser, hoping to engage a new batch of graduates before they head out the door.

With endowments inching toward the $1 billion mark, Holy Cross, Hamilton, and William and Mary are not in dire need of aid, but they do want to create sustainable relationships with as many donors as possible instead of relying on just a few large one-time gifts.

“It’s important to keep your existing donors happy, but to really move the needle and increase overall support, schools need to engage new donors,” Linder said. “We built GiveCampus to primarily be a tool for finding new donors, getting those people who only give every three or so years to give more consistently. That’s how you change the status quo.”


Recruiting Students Overseas to Fill Seats, Not to Meet Standards | The New York Times

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Apr 192016


APRIL 19, 2016

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — “Hurry Up!!!,” the online posting said. “Spot Admissions” to Western Kentucky University. Scholarships of up to $17,000 were available, it added. “Letter in one day.” The offer, by a college recruiter based in India, was part of a campaign so enticing that more than 300 students swiftly applied to a college that many had probably never heard of.

More than 8,000 miles away, at Western Kentucky, professors were taken by surprise when they learned last fall of the aggressive recruitment effort, sponsored by their international enrollment office. Word began to spread here on campus that a potential flood of graduate students would arrive in the spring 2016 semester.

The problem — or one of them — was that many of the students did not meet the university’s standards, faculty members said, and administrators acknowledged.

Western Kentucky’s deal with the recruiting company, Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants, is a type of arrangement that is becoming more common as a thriving international educational consultancy industry casts a wide net in India and other countries, luring international students to United States colleges struggling to fill seats. The university agreed to pay Global Tree a commission of 15 percent of the first year’s tuition of students who enrolled, or about $2,000 per student.

But as colleges increasingly rely on these international recruiters, educators worry that students may be victimized by high-pressure sales tactics, and that universities are trading away academic standards by recruiting less qualified students who pay higher tuition.

“There are some incentives for not delivering complete clunkers, but the underlying motivation for both the university and the agent is to get warm bodies in the door,” said Philip G. Altbach, the founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.

At Western Kentucky, 106 of 132 students admitted through the recruitment effort scored below the university’s requirement on an English skills test, according to a resolution adopted last fall by the graduate faculty council, which raised questions about the program. “The vast majority either didn’t have any scores or there wasn’t documentation of their language skills,” said Barbara Burch, a faculty member of the university’s Board of Regents.

The university senate and the student government association also expressed concerns. “It is ethically wrong to bring students to the university and let them believe they can be successful when we have nothing in place to make sure they’re successful,” the student association president, Jay Todd Richey, said.

With about 1,400 international students and a little more than 20,000 students over all, Western Kentucky, the state’s third largest public university, has been at the forefront of efforts by universities across the country to increase foreign enrollment. Its slogan is “A leading American university with international reach.”

Administrators say the India Pilot Project, as the recruitment effort is known here, is an experiment to increase enrollment and to diversify the international student body, and fits in with a previously announced plan to double international enrollment.

They also say the students — 57 of whom enrolled in January — were admitted conditionally and have been placed in remedial classes to help them adjust.

“International is good, but it’s not always easy,” Dr. Gary Ransdell, the university’s president, said in an interview. “It can’t be business as usual. We’re learning that. There are growing pains.”

Global Tree’s director, Subhakar Alapati, also acknowledged that the program had glitches, saying in a telephone interview, “A problem with the students has arisen because the education system in India is more theoretical than practical.”

Dr. Ransdell said the university decided to recruit international students years ago to expose local students to global cultures. But recently, he said, the effort has become more of an economic necessity, partly because of drastic state funding cuts for higher education — a pattern seen across the country.

To combat these cuts, colleges began to look at foreign students, who pay full tuition, as their financial salvation. And although federal law prohibits them from using recruiters in the United States who are paid based on the number of students they enroll, the law does not ban the use of such recruiters abroad.

Concerned about the potential for recruiting abuses, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or Nacac, put out a draft policy in 2011 imposing a similar ban abroad.

“The use of agents who are compensated in the form of bonus, commission or other incentive payment on the basis of the number of students recruited or enrolled creates an environment in which misrepresentation and conflicts of interests are unavoidable,” the draft said.

But the organization never imposed the policy because of pressure from its members. Since that decision in 2013, the use of international recruiters has increased, said Eddie West, the director of international initiatives for the organization. “Anecdotally and through surveys, we can tell there’s been an uptick in that type of recruitment,” Mr. West said.

A major criticism of the recruiters is that their sales tactics can pressure students by creating a sense of urgency.

Other international recruiting companies are also offering so-called “spot admission” or “spot assessment” to a variety of United States universities. One is Study Metro, in Bangalore, India, which posted notices on Facebook offering quick admission, seemingly to the University of Oklahoma, along with fast turnarounds on a document called the I-20, required to obtain a visa.

“Dear Students, Study Metro invites you with open arms to make avail of the spot admission and I20 program on 31st Jan 2016,” it adds. “Don’t miss the opportunity to fulfill your aspiring dream of studying in USA. Call now for FREE registration. First comes First served.”

Abhishek Bajaj, the managing director of Study Metro, said his company’s reference to the University of Oklahoma was an error. Its client, he said, is the University of Central Oklahoma.

He defended the urgent tone of the posting, saying that university representatives were in his office that day. “The urgency is to tell them this is a golden opportunity to meet,” Mr. Bajaj said.

Global Tree, the company working with Western Kentucky, also recently offered on Facebook “spot assessment” to “world top” Purdue University, with a notice saying, “Low Scores, Don’t Worry.” The smaller print reveals that the ad is for Purdue University Calumet, in Hammond, Ind., about 100 miles from the flagship campus in West Lafayette.

After being notified about the Facebook posting, a spokesman for Purdue Calumet said the university was reviewing its relationship with Global Tree, calling the message “unfortunate and disconcerting.”

“We do not lower the requirements for our international students,” the spokesman, Wes Lukoshus, said.

Global Tree’s director, Mr. Alapati, said in the telephone interview that Purdue Calumet had approved its marketing materials in advance.

Recruiting students who are not qualified or encouraging students to attend campuses that are not the right fit could undermine the perceived value of being educated in the United States, said Dale Gough, the international education services director for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

“The families are going to pay to have their students flown here, but they’re going to flunk out because they don’t have the academic preparation, and then go home,” Mr. Gough said. “That’s not good.”

The State Department and its program EducationUSA, which promotes international study in the United States, also, because of potential conflicts, prohibit arrangements with recruiters paid based on student enrollment, as it explains in a statement on the EducationUSA website.

Mr. Alapati said that Global Tree had dealt with Western Kentucky for years, but that the recent India project was the first time the university had sent its own employees “on site in India doing evaluations on the spot.” The idea of “spot admission” was to eliminate long waiting times, he said.

He recently visited Western Kentucky’s computer science department, where most of the students enrolled. A professor told him that the students’ knowledge was below that of second-year undergraduates. “The dean said the department is going to give extra help,” Mr. Alapati said.

Dr. Eric S. Reed, the interim dean of the graduate school, said that nearly all the conditionally admitted students were required to take language remediation classes, and that some were required to take “deficiency” classes to teach them a necessary skill.

In addition to recruiting international students, Western Kentucky has promoted programs for studying abroad, received federal money for a Chinese-language flagship program, and become host to a Confucius Institute financed by Hanban, a Chinese government agency.

One of the newer buildings on campus is the Honors College/International Center, a three-story, $22 million structure that houses the university’s 17-member international staff.

A large bronze globe dominates the atrium-style lobby. Underneath the globe, the woodwork is etched with the phrase “Gateway to the World.”

“The university is always striving to diversify our international population,” said Raza Tiwana, the school’s chief international officer, who first arrived on campus as a student from Pakistan.

James Gary, the computer science chairman, said his department approved the students admitted this spring. “From my perspective, it has not been a disaster,” Dr. Gary said. But he acknowledged concerns about whether some of them can be successful.

“We really won’t be able to tell anything about that until the end of the semester,” he said.


ECU art students embrace Farmville culture | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 182016


Mike Grizzard
April 16, 2016

FARMVILLE — There are visual signs of the benefits of East Carolina University coming to Farmville.

Linda Adele Goodine, an artist and professor at ECU, and Beth Blake, director of the painting department, are beautifying a Farmville icon.

Blake’s digital painting class is completing its service project at Jack Cobb & Son BBQ. The 15-member class is painting a mural depicting pigs and flowers on two sides of the restaurant, which is located on Main Street.

“We wanted to bring culture and art along with beauty and wonder to town,” Goodine said.

Goodine, a Belk distinguished professor of art, was recruited to the ECU position approximately six months ago. She and her husband, Mark, a retired Indiana University art professor, now live in Farmville.

Having taught public art for 25 years, Goodine always has required her students to complete a service project.

“It is important students understand that, by being part of a community, they can impact it in a positive way,” she said.

Goodine urged ECU to allow her to test a service project in Farmville. Prior to selecting Cobb’s BBQ, Goodine lectured to the digital art students, sharing Farmville’s history and its ties to the tobacco industry. The class then took a field trip to town and toured several buildings, trying to locate the perfect canvas for a community mural.

The class selected Cobb’s BBQ and Foskey Barbershop. Each student then had to create two designs — one for each location.

After further research, Goodine and Blake determined the exterior of the barbershop building would require additional labor before it would be suitable to paint, so Cobb’s BBQ became the “perfect place to start,” Goodine said.

“Plus it is an iconic business,” she said.

Restaurant owner Rudy Cobb, Goodine and Blake selected the winning mural of pigs engulfed in flowers, which was designed by ECU senior Jordan Thomas.

“Barbecue is so important to this part of the country,” Goodine said of one of the reasons Thomas’ design was selected.

The front of Cobb’s BBQ and the south side of the building will feature the mural.

“You can see the south side of the building driving into town and the colors we have selected will make it pop,” Goodine said of the purple, yellow, red, turquoise and green color palette. “We have green grass, four colors in the flowers and a red background.”

Students will work on the mural Tuesdays and Thursdays. The project is set to wrap up April 26.

Todd Edwards, a member of The Farmville Group, which was instrumental in recruiting ECU to town, and the owner of Todd D. Edwards Construction, donated painting frames and materials to the students. Garris Evans Lumber Co. in Greenville donated a portion of the paint, and ECU’s art department provided the remaining products needed for the project.

Michael Hunter, a goldsmith from Alaska who recently relocated to the area, also is donating his time to the project. Additional volunteers are welcome, Goodine said.

“We want to make people happy and celebrate their place (called home),” she said.

The mural is being dedicated to the late Mae Frances Fields, who died March 26 of a stroke. Fields had plans to help the students with the mural, Goodine said.

Goodine also is working with two ECU graduate students to restore the N.C. Railroad sign at the depot on Wilson Street. She is working to raise funds for the project. To donate, contact the Farmville Chamber of Commerce at 902-7172.

Goodine will be teaching a public art class at ECU next spring. While the lectures will be taught on the Greenville campus, Goodine’s work space will be housed in the future art center on Wilson Street, which is expected to open in the summer.

She also is assisting with the hiring of the glass blowing instructors for The Glass Station, the first of its kind in North Carolina. The Glass Station, also on Wilson Street, is scheduled to open July 1.


ECU releases stadium renovation details | The Daily Reflector

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Apr 182016


April 16, 2016

To see the video animation in The Daily Reflector, click here.

East Carolina University today released plans for a Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Southside Renovation project targeted for completion in the fall of 2018.

The university released several computer generated illustrations of the plan as as well as video animation to demonstrate what the renovations will deliver to fans. As part of a long-term facilities master plan, the $55 million endeavor includes:

• Construction of a southside tower resulting in the creation of 1,000 premium seats through the addition of a new club level area, loge boxes and suites.

• New premium parking areas.

• A modern press level with additional space for media, including amended radio and television broadcast and production locations.

• Improvements to the Ward Sports Medicine Building and Scales Field House to provide needed functional space for student-athletes.

• Development of a hitting facility adjacent to Clark-LeClair Stadium, serving both baseball and softball programs.

“We are very pleased to announce this bold and transformational vision for our athletics program,” Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said in a news release issues today. “It is an ambitious project that enhances Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Bagwell Field and upgrades other facilities that serve our students and coaches. We are encouraged by the support thus far and we will continue working hard to make this project a reality.”

A total of 670 seats will be available in the new Club Level located in the southside tower, featuring an expansive club lounge, an all-inclusive buffet and beverage area.

The creation of 20 loge boxes will allow patrons direct access to the club lounge space. Each box offers four seats with an individual door that enables entry into the aforementioned reception area.

The 14 standard suites are expected to provide an unparalleled environment with retractable windows, premium food and beverage options, passage to the club lounge and a private suite level entrance.

Five founder’s suites also will be included in the premium seating offering as an exclusive all-access experience. Each Founder’s Suite includes a restroom, availability to the area’s own lounge, upgraded outdoor seating and premium parking.

The premium parking option on a reinforced grass surface provides each pass holder cable TV connections, electrical outlets and conveniently located permanent restrooms located outside the grand entrance of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Among the more unique game day experience enhancements, an 8,000 square-foot Field Level Club will be constructed adjacent to the west endzone in front of the Murphy Center. The Field Level Club places a pass holder at the nearest proximity to the action on Bagwell Field.

Since the existing pressbox was erected in 1978, there have not been any additions on the southside of the facility. The latest project at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was the completion of a 7,000-seat expansion in the east endzone in 2010. That same year, a total of 10,200 purple chairback seats replaced existing bleachers inside the 35-yard lines on both sides of the venue.

The proposed plan is subject to additional approval by the ECU Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors.

The project is also contingent on the combination of philanthropic giving and premium seating commitments, including the new club level, loge boxes, standard suites and founder’s suites.

Construction is slated to begin following the final 2017 home football game with completion scheduled prior to the 2018 home opener.