Three new academic leaders have joined East Carolina University’s Division of Academic Affairs.
William Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; Dave Meredith, director of admissions; and Rondall Rice, director of university studies, all started July 1.
Downs was formerly the area dean for Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University. He also served as chair of the department of political science and director of graduate studies in political science. He was the founder and co-director of the interdisciplinary Center for Human Rights and Democracy and faculty coordinator for semester-long study abroad programs in Strasbourg, France and Nottingham, England.
A Raleigh native, Downs earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Emory University.
“I am delighted to be joining the ECU faculty and to have the privilege of leading the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences as its dean,” said Downs. “While fully aware of the challenges that face us all in higher education today, I am energized by our strong foundation and very much look forward to helping guide a process of renewal that secures meaningful gains in research, student learning and public service.”
Meredith comes to ECU from the University of New Orleans, where he served as the executive director of enrollment services. Previous positions include service as senior assistant director of admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, director of Enrollment Management with the Honors Scholars Program at the University of Cincinnati and director of the Warren and Lebanon Branches of Wilmington College.
Meredith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. His research there focused on first-generation college students and their experiences navigating the higher education system.
“I’m excited to build on the success of the admissions office and help make East Carolina University the university for top students from across North Carolina and the United States,” he said.
Rice is the first director of university studies at ECU. He joins the university following a 25-year career as a U.S. Air Force officer. Rice spent the last three years at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany in the Air Operations Center for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces in Africa.
He served as associate professor of history and held administrative duties in the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was association dean of the National Defense Intelligence College (now the National Intelligence University) in Washington, D.C., where he also held the position of acting dean for the School of Intelligence Studies. He represented NDIC on the Intelligence Community Analysis Training and Education Committee, which coordinated analysis training and education for 17 cabinet-level agencies.
A Greenville resident and eastern North Carolina native, Rice earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I am extremely excited to return and work for and with the great people of this university and area,” Rice said. “Adding to the excitement is being on the ground-floor of a new university initiative designed to help people craft unique interdisciplinary programs to launch their future.”