Category Archives: Boards

UNC board moves to ease Brody budget

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, left, speaks with Harry Smith, chair of the UNC Board of Governors Committee on Budget and Finance during the Dec. 5 meeting in Chapel Hill. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

By Steve Tuttle
ECU News Services

The Brody School of Medicine will get a budgetary shot in the arm if a recommendation adopted by the UNC Board of Governors is funded by the General Assembly.

Brody would receive $8 million in “sustainability funds” earmarked in the UNC system’s proposed budget for next fiscal year. The appropriation would help cover losses Brody incurred as a result of changes in Medicare reimbursement rates and other financial shifts in the evolving health care industry. The UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine would get $2 million to shore up its balance sheet.

“If we’re going to have financially stable medical schools and produce the health care professionals that are needed for North Carolina, then they need additional funding,” UNC President Tom Ross said after the board’s Dec. 5 meeting in Chapel Hill.

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, left, speaks with Harry Smith, chair of the UNC Board of Governors Committee on Budget and Finance during the Dec. 5 meeting in Chapel Hill. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, left, speaks with Harry Smith, chair of the UNC Board of Governors Committee on Budget and Finance during the Dec. 5 meeting in Chapel Hill. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

While drawing up an overall budget for the UNC system for the coming fiscal year, the board’s Committee on Budget and Finance became concerned about the financial health of the state’s two medical schools. It explored actual costs that East Carolina University and UNC Chapel Hill incur to train new doctors and provide a health care safety net for the state’s poorest citizens.

Committee Chair Harry Smith said his conclusion is that both state-supported medical schools are struggling but that Brody is in worse shape. Smith said his committee initially considered evenly dividing the $10 million between ECU and Chapel Hill. After looking closer at the numbers, he said the committee shifted the lion’s share to ECU.

Unlike Carolina, ECU does not own its teaching hospital. The Brody School of Medicine relies on state appropriations and revenue generated by its medical faculty practice plan, ECU Physicians.

UNC Chapel Hill has those two revenue streams plus income from UNC Health Care, one of the state’s largest health care systems. It earned a $114 million profit in fiscal 2013, according to its annual report.

ECU Physicians lost more than $10 million last fiscal year, mainly from indigent care and lower reimbursement rates, according to Rick Niswander, ECU vice chancellor for administration and finance.

The medical schools also lost revenue as a result of changes made by the General Assembly in 2013 to the Set Off Debt Collection Act and the reduction of Medicaid Upper Payment Limit reimbursements.

Brody has soldiered on “despite many cuts in funding over the years,” said Dean Paul Cunningham. “Even with sequential internal adjustments, and increased efficiencies, it is now clear that the school has arrived at a critical juncture. The recognition of this is evident in the strategies that are being developed by our leaders. We are grateful for the attention,” Cunningham said.

“Brody has to much more stand on its own legs, which primarily means standing on state resources because it can’t benefit from the generation of additional revenue that the UNC Health Care system produces for (the UNC) medical school,” Ross said.

During the board meeting, Bill Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care, rose from the audience to say he does not oppose ECU getting most of the proposed new funding. Both schools have unmet budget needs, but “they need it more than we do,” he said.

The board then unanimously accepted the committee’s recommendations.

Smith, the CEO of Flanders Corp. in Washington and an ECU graduate, told the board his committee believes the medical schools need state funding above what’s needed to keep the lights on.

“What does it take to run both medical schools without having to put them on an oxygen tank?” he said. He recommended that the board start “pushing back in the other direction” when talk turns to further cuts in UNC system funding.

The $10 million is in a very small pot of new money in the Board of Governors’ proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The total operating and capital budget of $2.57 billion is an increase of about 1.9 percent from current levels. The board now will forward its budget to Gov. Pat McCrory, who will include it in the state budget he will propose to the General Assembly in January.

As directed by the Office of State Budget and Management, the Board of Governors spending proposal assumes a 2 percent net reduction in total state appropriations to the UNC system. ECU’s proportional share of that cut is about $5.5 million.

However, the Board of Governors budget includes $47.5 million in revenues resulting from a projected 2 percent growth in enrollment. If the campuses are allowed to keep enrollment growth money next fiscal year, as the governor’s office has indicated, ECU would gain about $2.5 million.

Trustees table renaming recommendation

An ECU student strolls across the parking lot in front of Aycock Residence Hall. A motion to change the building's name was tabled until February by the Board of Trustees in a Dec. 18 meeting. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

An ECU student strolls across the parking lot in front of Aycock Residence Hall. A motion to change the building’s name was tabled until February by the Board of Trustees in a Dec. 18 meeting. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

After two hours and 30 minutes of debate, East Carolina University’s governing body voted unanimously to table a decision on renaming Aycock Residence Hall in a special called meeting Dec. 18.

ECU trustee Mark Copeland made a motion “to move to delay consideration of a motion to accept Chancellor Steve Ballard’s recommendation to un-name Aycock Residence Hall until the February board meeting.” The motion was seconded by Deborah Davis.

The action came after Ballard and an ad-hoc committee appointed to consider renaming the residence hall recommended that the name be changed.

“There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, as reflected by the board’s own discussion today,” Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Brinkley said. “There are many levels of concerns and the feeling of the majority was that we should take sufficient time for the views and concerns to be duly considered. We want to address this issue in a responsive manner, and believe more time is needed to do so.”

Opened in 1960, the residence hall on College Hill was named for Charles B. Aycock, a former governor, lawyer, federal prosecutor and school superintendent who served as a spokesperson for white supremacy campaigns at the turn of the century.

ECU senior Sameer Thadani of Lumberton was disappointed with the outcome and said there had been sufficient time for trustees to consider the issue and make a decision. Tyler Moore, a junior from Mebane and ECU’s student body speaker of the senate, said he believed that the lack of a decision “was a victim of trying to rush the process through to start with.”

He pointed out that the meeting was held on the last day of final exams when many students had already left campus and most trustees were not able to attend in person. “My biggest frustration is the speed of the process ended up hurting the outcome,” Moore said.

Two trustees, chairman Robert Brinkley and Mark Copeland, attended the special called meeting at Mendenhall Student Center. Others participated by phone.

The university began receiving requests by alumni and community constituents to re-examine the name of the residence hall in early 2014. Administrators reviewed all of ECU’s named facilities and its naming policy, which was initially adopted in 1997 and last amended in 2009 and again at the board’s November meeting. Only Aycock Residence Hall was tapped for further review.

The 10-member ad-hoc committee voted unanimously Dec. 12 to recommend the renaming of Aycock Hall. Led by chair of the ECU faculty, Andrew Morehead, the committee was made up of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“We believe the honoree’s reputation has changed substantially so that the continued use of that name dishonors the university’s standards and is contrary to the best interest of the university in that it prevents the university from fostering a ‘diverse community where intellectual freedom, scholarly discipline and the rigorous pursuit of knowledge thrive’ for students, staff and faculty, and does not reflect our intolerance of such racist actions,” the committee wrote in an eight-page summary prepared for the chancellor.

The committee received 2,433 responses via an informal online poll and website created to provide additional information about the residence hall and historical documents on Charles B. Aycock as well as gather feedback from the campus community.

At its Nov. 21 regular board meeting, trustees directed Ballard to activate the ad-hoc committee, as defined in a revised facility naming policy, to consider the un-naming/renaming of Aycock Hall and to report no later than its February meeting.

However, trustee Danny Scott requested that the issue be addressed before the end of the year.

Scott said he was willing to postpone the vote until February because he wanted his fellow board members to have time to research the issue.

Davis said “I’m anxious to bring this to a vote and closure,” adding she wants the board to take action in February.

Attorney Kieran Shanahan of Raleigh rejoined the Board of Trustees this month after being appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory. He joined the Board in July 2011 and resigned in January 2013. He will fill the remaining term of Bobby Owens of Manteo, who resigned his seat in November. That term expires in June 2015.

Tuition increase to address faculty salaries

ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan joins in discussion during the Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

By Crystal Baity and Kelly Setzer
ECU News Services

The East Carolina University Board of Trustees is recommending a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate and graduate students in each of the next two academic years.

For in-state undergraduate students, tuition would rise $198 next year and $208 a year later, increasing to $4,365 by fall 2016. Current tuition is $3,959.

The proposal, unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees at its quarterly meeting Nov. 21, now goes to the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors for consideration.

“We take any tuition and fee hike very seriously, but we feel this is appropriate at this time,” said Robert G. Brinkley, board chairman.

ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan joins in discussion during the Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan joins in discussion during the Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

Out-of-state undergraduate and graduate student tuition would increase by 3 percent each of the next two years. Non-resident undergraduate students who pay $19,156 this year would see tuition rise to $20,323 in 2016-17. Out-of-state graduate students, who currently pay $16,540 in tuition, would pay $17,547 by 2016.

The tuition increase would generate an estimated $11.8 million in revenue over the next two years. The majority of funds would go toward the creation of a salary increase pool for faculty members, who have had one raise of 1.2 percent over the past six years. Funds also would be allocated for merit-based scholarships in the Honors College, STEM-related programs or for talented undergraduates in the fields of business, education, engineering and nursing.

Retaining and attracting faculty members in a competitive market is vital to the university’s mission. At least 35 faculty members – several with national research grants – left in the last year alone, said Dr. Rick Niswander, vice chancellor for administration and finance.

“It really is a brain-drain,” said Interim Provost Ron Mitchelson. “Our best-funded researchers are being cherry-picked.”

“If we don’t retain our faculty, the quality of our programs will decline and students’ degrees and experiences will be negatively impacted,” said Niswander in a summary presented to the board’s executive committee. “If we don’t recruit at market rates, we will not get the best faculty and will not be a competitive employer.”

The Brody School of Medicine would increase tuition by $1,150 in 2015-2016, with no proposed increase in 2016-2017. The School of Dental Medicine is proposing a 5.86 percent tuition increase of about $1,221 for 2015-16 and $768 in 2016-17.

Under the proposal, the following fees for all students would increase: athletics, education-technology and student

Housing has proposed a rate increase of 3 percent or about $150 for residence halls. Dining is proposing an annual increase of $100 per year for each of the next two years for residential meal plans.

Also on Nov. 21, trustees directed Chancellor Steve Ballard to activate an ad-hoc committee, as defined in a revised facility naming policy, to consider the un-naming/renaming of Aycock Hall, and to be prepared to make formal recommendations for a board vote no later than the scheduled Feb. 19-20 Board of Trustees meeting. The policy now has a stated process and criteria for considering the renaming of campus buildings following the work of a task force formed by the chancellor.

A number of students, alumni and others have called for the university to rename Aycock Residence Hall, which opened in 1960. The student residence hall is named for Charles B. Aycock, a former governor, lawyer, federal prosecutor and school superintendent who served as a spokesperson for the white supremacy campaigns at the turn of the century. That revelation helped prompt a review of ECU’s facility naming policy, which was initially adopted in 1997 and last amended in 2009.

Approximately 25 students attended the board meeting to show their support for renaming Aycock Hall. Tyree Barnes, a senior from Weldon, and Tyler Morrison, a senior from Dunn, spoke to the group.

“We have lied to ourselves long enough and pretended that Mr. Charles B. Aycock’s name on our campus is not one of the sources of our differences,” Barnes said.

“When I walk down College Hill, I am not reminded of the brilliance of East Carolina University. Rather, I am reminded of the mental and physical degradation of my ancestors just over a century ago.”

In other business, trustees approved final plans for the Student Union.

The student union will cover almost 209,000 square feet with construction costing $95.5 million. Furniture, fixtures, audiovisual and other equipment plus design costs and fees will total $122.2 million.

The facility will provide a new home for the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, a new LGBT center, student government and student group office space, multi-venue dining facilities, a new bookstore and a dividable ballroom as well as balconies, patios and an outside media screen.

Jim Merriman with Perkins+Will presented revised plans to the Finance and Facilities committee on Nov. 20. Trustees had asked at their September meeting that the center, which will front approximately 300 feet on 10th Street, have a more defined presence from the street.

To try to invigorate the streetscape, some of interior spaces – such as dining seating areas – were moved from the Sonic Plaza side to the street side. The project includes a 700-car parking deck in same area as the current parking lot west of Mendenhall Student Center. Officials expect the center to be completed by the 2018 fall semester.


Jeannine Manning Hutson contributed to this story.

Trustees review fiscal sustainability measures, strategic planning

Robert Brinkley, pictured above, was re-elected July 18 for a second term as chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees.
SGA president Michael King, sworn in July 18 as an ex officio board member, and board member Deborah Davis listen to discussions at the July 2014 meeting of the ECU Board of Trustees. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

SGA president Michael King, sworn in July 18 as an ex officio board member, and board member Deborah Davis listen to discussions at the July 2014 meeting of the ECU Board of Trustees. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Continuing fiscal challenges were front and center during the regular meeting of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees held July 17-18 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

Chancellor Steve Ballard began his report to trustees Friday morning by describing the financial strain.

Board members including Danny Scott, pictured above, heard recommendations for fiscal sustainability during a time of severe budget cutbacks for the university.

Board members including Danny Scott, pictured above, heard recommendations for fiscal sustainability during a time of severe budget cutbacks for the university.

“It’s been the most difficult (year) of my 10 years – the seventh straight year of major cutbacks,” Ballard said. “We will do everything we can to protect the most vital parts of the university as we try to cope with what seem to be never-ending reductions.”

At the center of the university’s response is a report drafted by the University Committee on Fiscal Sustainability. It builds on the prior work of the Program Prioritization Committee, which assessed all academic programs at the university.

UCFS members issued 61 recommendations, which were delivered to the chancellor May 1 for review and approval. Ballard adopted all of them, and smaller working groups have been established to develop action plans and best practices for implementation.

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Rick Niswander reported that work on seven items is already under way, with 11 more expected to begin this fall. All recommendations will yield action over the next two to three years. More information about the recommendations is online at

“This is not simply a cost saving device,” Niswander added. “Much of that savings then gets reallocated (toward priority programs).”

Of particular concern is funding for the Brody School of Medicine – two sources of which remain in limbo as the state legislature has not yet approved a budget or appropriations for the university.

“(Brody) is threatened because of state restrictions that tend to remove its financial opportunities every year,” Ballard told board members during his remarks. “One of my goals is to seek permanent state appropriations for this school. It’s a way to stop the year-to-year bloodletting that’s happening (at Brody).”

Robert Brinkley, pictured above, was re-elected July 18 for a second term as chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees.

Robert Brinkley, pictured above, was re-elected July 18 for a second term as chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees.

Efforts to sustain the medical school are ongoing. They range from improving access to patients by adjusting scheduling and billing protocols; to altering how medical faculty are compensated; to a review of every position and program funded by Brody or its clinical practice, ECU Physicians.

“There are a lot of decisions yet to be made but there is progress in all these areas,” said Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences.

Infrastructure needs for ECU’s aging facilities were also discussed.

“Repairs and renovations for an older campus are huge,” Ballard said. “We have urgent, immediate needs of $70 million for repairs and renovations. Those needs will get bigger and the state’s ability to help us pay for those things is not keeping up.”

Despite fiscal challenges, the board also looked toward the future during a review of a new strategic plan for the university. The plan focuses on three commitments outlined in ECU’s mission statement – student success, serving the public and achieving regional transformation.

“It really is an aspirational document,” said Interim Provost Ron Mitchelson, who is leading the planning initiative. “We’re going to set the bar high and try to get there – try our best.”

Proposed initiatives to achieve those ends range from attracting more transfer and military students; to developing a school focused on coastal research; to increasing partnerships between the College of Engineering and various health sciences disciplines.

Board members lauded the strategic plan and Board Chairman Robert Brinkley described it as “aspirational but achievable.”

“I think it’s totally unique; it’s very ECU,” said Trustee Carol Mabe. “There’s tremendous clarity and focus of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it.”

ECU last produced a strategic plan in 2007. The next steps for the updated plan are final edits and then approval by the Chancellor’s Executive Council, made up of top university administrators.

Other items from the July board meeting included:

The Board elected officers for the 2014-15 term. Robert Brinkley was re-elected as chairman; Steve Jones, vice chair, and Edwin Clark, secretary, were also re-elected. All will be serving second terms in the positions. ECU Student Government Association President Michael King, a senior, was also sworn in as an ex-officio member.

The Board voted to approve the purchase of property at 908 Forbes Street from the ECU Real Estate Foundation for $107,800. The property is adjacent to a parking lot at the corner of E. 10th and Evans Streets.

Staff Senate Chair Mary Schiller presented her organization’s goals for the coming year. The Staff Senate comprises 52 delegates representing 4,000 staff members, said Schiller during the inaugural Staff Senate report to the board.

The Athletics and Advancement Committee agreed to name various facilities and programs on campus for donors who have given a total or $2.2 million to the university. The largest gift was a $1 million donation from the Harold H. Bate Foundation of New Bern, which paid for the track facility at ECU’s Olympic Sports Complex. Minges Bottling Group of Ayden was also recognized for donating $500,000 toward costs associated with the infield at the track and field facility in the Olympic Sports Complex.

Jeannine Manning Hutson contributed to this report.

ECU names Mitchelson interim provost

Left to right, Robert S. Rippy, UNC Board of Governors member; Virginia Hardy, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs; ECU Provost Marilyn Sheerer; and Phyllis Horns, ECU vice chancellor for Health Sciences, applaud the appointment of Dr. Ron Mitchelson as interim provost for the university. The announcement was made at the April 25 meeting of the ECU Board of Trustees. Sheerer informed the university in February that she would step down as provost in August. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Left to right, Robert S. Rippy, UNC Board of Governors member; Virginia Hardy, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs; ECU Provost Marilyn Sheerer; and Phyllis Horns, ECU vice chancellor for Health Sciences, applaud the appointment of Dr. Ron Mitchelson as interim provost for the university. The announcement was made at the April 25 meeting of the ECU Board of Trustees. Sheerer informed the university in February that she would step down as provost in August. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, interim vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at East Carolina University, has been appointed interim provost effective Aug. 16.

A geographer, Mitchelson has been at ECU since 1999. He chaired the department of geography and served as interim chair of the English department. In 2011 he was appointed to chair ECU’s Program Prioritization Committee, which evaluated programs campuswide and examined the university’s academic structure.

“Ron Mitchelson has proven himself as department chair, associate vice chancellor and now interim vice chancellor,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, who announced the appointment Friday.

“He has excellent experience with the Program Prioritization Committee and the Committee on Fiscal Sustainability. He has earned the respect of his colleagues. Perhaps most important of all, the campus sees his integrity and sense of fairness. We are fortunate to have him at ECU.”

As interim provost, Mitchelson will serve as ECU’s chief academic officer with oversight of academic programming, enrollment management, institutional planning and research and equity and diversity. His salary is expected to be $260,000 and must be approved by the UNC Board of Governors.

Mitchelson’s immediate tasks include assessing recommendations of the Committee on Fiscal Sustainability, which he co-chairs with Rick Niswander, ECU vice chancellor for administration and finance. That committee is finalizing more than 50 recommendations to be presented to Ballard by May 1.

“While we do face challenging budgetary issues, I do remain quite confident that ECU will continue as a university committed to our students, our region and the state. A key priority will be to strengthen the integration of instruction, research, creative activities and economic development,” Mitchelson said

Mitchelson graduated from the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in geography. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from The Ohio State University. Before coming to ECU, he held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Georgia and Morehead State University in Kentucky.

He succeeds Dr. Marilyn Sheerer. In February, she announced that she will step down as provost effective in August.

Dr. Michael Van Scott will take over Mitchelson’s duties as interim associate vice chancellor for research and chief research officer in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies and report to Mitchelson and the vice chancellor for health sciences, Dr. Phyllis Horns.

Van Scott is a professor of physiology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a doctorate from West Virginia University. Before coming to ECU, Van Scott was a research scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an award-winning mentor to doctoral and medical students and has published widely. Van Scott has received more than $6 million in research grants.

Trustees considers resources in tight times


The ECU Board of Trustees approved designs for a new health sciences student center, a 72,000-square-foot facility to serve students on the Health Sciences campus with spaces for recreation, meeting and dining. One of the designs is pictured above. (Contributed image)


ECU Board of Trustees considers resources in tight times

ECU News Services

Coping with continuing financial challenges crept into committee and board discussions during the April meeting of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees.

Board Chairman Robert Brinkley said even though the university is facing extraordinary challenges in continuing difficult economic times, it has produced some extraordinary accomplishments as well.

“On the surface, some of the priorities we’re having to identify can seem at odds with our mission — which has always emphasized student access and excellence – especially when there’s talk of pulling money out of some programs.

“But if we aren’t sustainable in what we do, it won’t matter that we have the very best ideas and intentions. Our commitment to sustainability is absolutely in alignment with our mission,” said Brinkley, during the April 25 meeting of the board at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

The chairman said the university must find the right balance.

“When we created an Honors College and School of Dental Medicine in the depths of the recession, that was somewhat amazing,” he said.


ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard told members of the Board of Trustees that the university has positioned itself to deal with upcoming budget cuts.

In his comments to the board, Chancellor Ballard also emphasized the squeeze on university resources.

“Unfortunately we are anticipating about a 3 percent budget cut (for fiscal year 2014-15), which is about a $15 million additional cut. This will be the second biggest cut in the last seven years. Everyone is committed to doing all we can. ECU has positioned itself to deal with the cuts,” he said.

Ballard appointed the University Committee on Fiscal Sustainability in August 2013 to come up with steps that could help the university deal in part with declining state appropriations while continuing to invest in strategic priorities. In March the committee distributed  a set of short-term and long-term fiscal and operational plans for ECU that include fewer degree programs, fewer administrative positions and fewer low-enrollment classes.

The chancellor referred to the fiscal sustainability report being finalized. “We’re evaluating all academic programs to see where we can create more consolidation, more integration and more centralized services — all for the purpose of saving money. We are not doing these things because we have some grand theory; we have no choice.”

He mentioned focusing on revenue generation, possibly through increased enrollment of transfer students. “These cuts and reforms are absolutely necessary moving forward,” Ballard said.

The board also heard from administrators about possible changes by the UNC Board of Governors on the use of campus-initiated tuition for need-based financial aid for students and how that could affect ECU.

Over the next year, the UNC Board of Governors is expected to study the issue to determine if policy should change or remain the same. ECU Board of Trustees members are concerned about the impact on students and the immediate ripple effect such changes could have on the university.

ECU’s need-based aid from campus-initiated tuition is almost $20 million. In the 2013-2014 academic year, which is not yet complete, ECU has provided aid from this fund to almost 8,000 students – or about 30 percent of the student body. Awards for summer school have not yet been finalized.

ECU has used the funds to provide access for qualifying students who need financial assistance to attend college.

“This is an investment in our students that – however you define it – are middle class,” said trustee Deborah Davis. “It’s amazing the impact if a few don’t come (because they can’t get need-based aid)…. The immediate impact ripples through the institution.”

Also, the board approved the building elevation designs for the health sciences student center, which will provide recreational, dining and meeting space for the approximately 2,500 students in the schools housed on the Health Sciences campus.

The 72,000-square-foot facility’s design reflects “one of the biggest goals which is for the students to be able to mingle and allow for cross pollination of ideas,” said Albi McLawhorn of MHAworks-Greenville, who presented to the Finance and Facilities committee. MHAworks is partnering with Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture of New York for the project, he said.

The total project cost for the health sciences student center is $34.1 million, said Bill Bagnell.

The facility has been designed to become the heart of student activities on the health sciences campus; however, any ECU student will have access. A food court will be located on the lowest level. The gym will have basketball courts and room for stationary bikes or similar equipment. Outdoor, covered seating will also be available.

Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs, told the group that students on health sciences campus have been asking for a recreation facility. This facility will have approximately 50 percent of its space devoted to recreation.

McLawhorn noted that because the new building will be situated between the School of Dental Medicine, the Brody School of Medicine, and the building housing Laupus Library, the College of Allied Health Sciences and the College of Nursing, it was important for no one to feel like they were looking at the back door.

“We tried to keep an entrance at every frontage that the building has,” he said. “It makes all the students feel like they have ownership.”

Bagnell noted that total cost for the two proposed student centers – one is also planned for main campus along with a 700-car parking deck – will be $156.3 million. Dining, Dowdy Student Stores, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, parking, student health and student recreation are contributing $27.5 million toward the project; student fees will contribute $125.8 million, he said.

Now that the projects have been approved by the ECU board and the UNC Board of Governors, they must be approved by the N.C. General Assembly. If that occurs, then construction could begin in May 2015 for both projects, Bagnell said.

In other business,

  • The board approved the pending purchase of four residential rental properties from the ECU Real Estate Foundation, which expects to close on the properties in June. The four properties – 404 S. Jarvis, 405 S. Summit, 407 S. Summit and 409 S. Summit – are adjacent to the Dail House property, the chancellor’s residence. Total cost is estimated to be $1.16 million.
  • New officers and members were appointed to the ECU Board of Visitors for 2014-15. New officers are Angie Moss ’97 ’98 of Raleigh, president. She is investment director of UNC Management Co. Inc.; Reid Tyler ’80 ’83 of Raleigh as vice chair, who is partner/owner of Harty Real Estate; Mark Garner ’77 of Greenville as secretary, who is vice president/co-owner of Rivers & Associates Inc.
  • Approved the following as members in the Class of 2018 for the Board of Visitors: Walter Cates of Roxboro, David Fisher of Charlotte, Julie Metz of Goldsboro, Bob Parker of Winston-Salem, Brian Brown of Greenville, Philip Rogers of Alexandria, Va., Phil Dixon of Greenville, Linda Thomas of Greenville, Paul McArthur of Charlotte, Jason Poole of Fayetteville, Michael Aho of New York, NY, Lance Metzler of Reidsville, Debbie Harris Rollins of Murfreesboro, Linda Hofler of Greenville, Chris Johnson of Smithfield.
  • Approved the name change for the ECU Program STEPP as a result of a gift of $942,943 from Walter and Marie Williams. The project will now be known as the Walter and Marie Williams STEPP Program. Total personal and extended support from the Williams’s (including family and company gifts) now is at $1,124,943. STEPP stands for Supporting Transition and Education through Planning and Partnerships, and has been housed in the College of Education at ECU since its inception in 2006. Administrators offer academic, social and life skills support to a select number of students with ADHD or learning disabilities in reading, writing or math.

New student centers recommended


The UNC Board of Governors has approved East Carolina University plans for two new student centers, one on east campus and another on health sciences campus. The university has outgrown the current student center, Mendenhall, which opened in 1974. Pictured above, students gather outside Mendenhall Student Center. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)



East Carolina University’s plan to build two new student centers – one on main campus and one on the Division of Health Sciences campus – was reviewed favorably by the UNC Board of Governors on Friday, Feb. 21. The board voted to recommend that the $156.3 million project be authorized by the N.C. General Assembly when it reconvenes in May.

The ECU student centers are the largest of a dozen construction projects totaling $403.1 million that are planned for groundbreaking at UNC system campuses in the year ahead. UNC President Tom Ross recommended that the Board of Governors approve all 12.

In bringing the projects before the full board, Budget and Finance Committee Chair Louis Bissette said some concerns were raised about how the ECU project would impact student fees. ECU has said an increase of $425 in student fees – implemented in phases over three years – will support $128.8 million of the $156.3 million cost. The fee increase comes at a time when $133 of existing student fees will be eliminated, so students will pay no additional fees next year for this project.

Additional funds will come from other campus sources, including dining, Dowdy Student Stores, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, parking, student health and student recreation.

Board member Henry Hinton of Greenville, an ECU alumnus, said ECU currently ranks eighth in the UNC system in the amount of student fees. “After this project, ECU will be fourth or third, and I think that’s reasonable and expected because it is the second-largest campus,” Hinton said.

The current Mendenhall Student Center was completed in 1974 when East Carolina had 11,000 students. Since then the student body has grown by more than 145 percent and an extensive health sciences campus with a population of more than 3,000 students rose around the medical school, the Board of Governors noted.

Plans call for the new student union on main campus to cover 210,000 square feet. Among other things, the facility will provide a new home for the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. Other features include a 250-seat multi-purpose auditorium, office space for student government and student groups, multi-venue dining facilities, retail and service points, and a dividable ballroom.

The project includes a 700-car parking deck in the location of the parking lot to the west of the current student center. “If you’ve ever tried to park on campus, you understand how badly ECU needs that parking garage,” Hinton said.

The health sciences campus student services facility will be a 68,000-square-foot building housing a recreation and wellness center and student health services. The building also will provide space for student organizations, multipurpose spaces, a career center, meeting rooms, a lounge, a convenience store with an ATM and a food court with seating for 100 people.

It will be located between the East Carolina Heart Institute and Laupus Library on North Emergency Drive.

Once it receives approval from the General Assembly, ECU will issue bonds to pay for the student centers. Officials said the project expense will not put undue pressure on ECU’s debt service fee, which at $168 per student is the 14th lowest in the statewide system.

Other construction projects approved by the board include a plan by N.C. State University for a $35 million renovation to Reynolds Coliseum and a $46 million plan by UNC Charlotte for campus infrastructure improvements.

Foundation names new board members




The East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation recently named five new board members. They are David Brody of Kinston; Dasha Little of Chesapeake, Va.; Dennis Young of Wallace; Kathy Walker and Lamont Wooten, both of Greenville.

A former chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, Brody is the managing partner with Brody Associates. He also serves the university as a member of the Brody Foundation Board of Directors.

A 1981 graduate of ECU, Little is president/owner of Apogee Solutions. She is a member of the Women’s Roundtable at ECU and was recognized in 2013 as one of 10 “Incredible ECU Women.”

Walker established the Walker Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Oncology as well as the Leo Jenkins Canter Center Coach Roggeman Cancer Research Fund. She is married to Dr. Paul Walker, director of Thoracic Oncology at Leo Jenkins Cancer Center and is an active community volunteer.

An orthopedic surgeon, Wooten is an emeritus member of Orthopedics East and Sports Medicine Center Inc. He serves on the advisory board for the Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Research at the Brody School of Medicine.

Young retired from ECU in 2012. In 2006, he became the associate athletic director focusing on major gifts and served as executive director of the Pirate Club from 1991-2006.

The East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation serves the College of Allied Health Sciences, Brody School of Medicine, College of Nursing, Laupus Library, Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, East Carolina Heart Institute, School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina Diabetes & Obesity Institute and the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute with financial support, scholarships, education and research.


Board funds EC Scholars


Chairman Robert Brinkley, pictured above, announced funding for a new EC Scholar award near the close of the Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)



By Crystal Baity and Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

Chairman Robert Brinkley saved what might be considered the biggest news for his closing remarks during the regularly scheduled East Carolina University Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 20.

Brinkley announced that several board members had approached him following a presentation by Glen Gilbert, interim director of University Advancement, the day before. Together, the board members will fund an EC Scholar award, which recognizes academic performance, community engagement and leadership skills. Recipients are admitted to the ECU Honors College and receive the university’s largest merit scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of approximately $61,000.

After a hearty round of applause – including a standing ovation from Honors College Dean Marianna Walker – board member Steve Jones added that VantageSouth Bank would also like to fund an EC Scholar award for four years.


Marianna Walker
(Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Walker was surprised by both announcements, she said after the meeting.

“The EC Scholarship is the highest merit scholarship at the university and is critical to increasing the academic profile of the university,” she said. The majority of the EC Scholar awards are funded through endowments, she added.

It was the third new EC Scholar gift announced in the last week, Walker said. A group of ECU Foundation Board of Directors will fund a scholarship for four years as well.

This year, 19 incoming freshmen were selected for the EC Scholars program.

In other meeting news, close to 27,000 total students enrolled this fall at ECU, including the second largest freshman class in the university’s history, university officials reported.

The total number of students is 26,887, down slightly from a year ago at 26,947, Dr. John Fletcher, associate provost of enrollment services, told the board’s University Affairs Committee on Sept. 19.

Enrollment figures are considered preliminary until reviewed and approved by the UNC General Administration.

Undergraduate enrollment is at 21,507, up from 21,298 last fall. A total of 4,903 graduate students are enrolled, down from 5,226 last year which is part of a state and national trend. Ten out of 15 universities in the UNC system reported declines in graduate enrollment, Fletcher said. However, the Brody School of Medicine had a slight increase with 323 students this year compared to 319 last fall. The School of Dental Medicine’s third class added another 50 students with enrollment now at 154.


Chancellor Steve Ballard speaks during the Sept. 19 meeting of the ECU Board of Trustees. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The committee also received a snapshot of ECU’s freshman class. A total of 4,495 enrolled out of 11,238 students who were offered admission. The university received 15,321 freshman applications. Of those freshmen enrolled, 85 percent are in-state residents and about 15 percent are out-of-state. The average SAT score was 1,052 and the average high school GPA for entering freshmen was 3.68.

A total of 1,328 transfer students enrolled this fall at ECU, which was fewer  than the university’s goal of 1,400, Fletcher said.

Paul Gemperline, dean of graduate studies, said ECU’s graduate enrollment peaked in 2008. Enrollment has declined about 5.2 percent each year since then. The economy, loss of employer assistance or support, and other factors have resulted in fewer students. “We expected a decline but this year’s decline was deeper and faster than I expected,” Gemperline said.

A new online advertising campaign has begun to recruit students. Recruiting workshops will be held and new graduate degree programs have started or are being planned.

“Our best chance is to market to our students who already know us,” said university affairs committee member Carol Mabe of Oriental.

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Marilyn Sheerer also updated the University Affairs Committee on the impact of budget cuts on divisions, schools and departments.

Overall, the university received a 3.68 percent cut – more than $10 million – in state appropriations this year. Some units took more cuts than others. “We definitely differentiated this year,” Sheerer said.

There is continued emphasis on system-wide efficiencies, she said. Academic Affairs has used recommendations from the Program Prioritization Committee as a guide and will look to a recently formed University Committee on Fiscal Sustainability for additional guidance on expected budget cuts in the future. When positions become vacant, they are being held, assessed and will be allocated where they are needed, Sheerer said.

“We’re not doing anything across the board anymore,” Sheerer said. “We’re trying to use our resources in the best way we can.”

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Nov. 21-22.

Trustees install new members, elect officers


Pictured at the swearing in during the Board of Trustees July 18 meeting are, left to right, Bob Plybon, Vern and Julie Davenport, Max Ray Joyner Jr. and Max Ray Joyner Sr., ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, SGA President Tim Schwan, and Terry and Julia Yeargan. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


By Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees welcomed four new members and elected officers during its July 18 meeting at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

Robert Brinkley of Charlotte was elected chairman. Also elected were Steve Jones of Raleigh as vice chair and Edwin Clark of Greenville as secretary.


Robert Brinkley was elected chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees.

The four members joining the board are Bob Plybon and Terry Yeargan, who were appointed by the UNC Board of Governors; Vern Davenport and Max Ray Joyner Jr., who were appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Tim Schwan, ECU’s Student Government Association president, was sworn in as an ex-officio member of the board.

A graduate of ECU with a degree in business administration, Plybon of Greensboro is past president of the board for the ECU Foundation. Plybon is chief executive officer of Plybon & Associates. He has received multiple awards during his career, including the outstanding alumnus award at East Carolina and the John Newton Russell Award, recognizing a lifetime of professional excellence in the life insurance industry.

Yeargan of Willow Spring has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry, all in the Research Triangle Park area. He works in client development at DPR Construction, a national construction services firm based in San Francisco. He has served on multiple boards, including as chair of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Board and chair of the Wake County Planning and Zoning Board.

He will continue his role as chair of the ECU Board of Visitors; his term on that board continues through 2014. Yeargan earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration-marketing at ECU in 1979.

Davenport of Wake Forest was most recently chief executive officer of M*Modal, which provides integrated clinical documentation in the health care industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degrees in business administration at ECU.

Joyner of Greenville is completing a term on the Greenville City Council, where he has represented District 5 since 2007. He works with the Clement Companies of Greenville and is active on multiple city boards, including the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority. Joyner attended ECU and follows his father as a member of the Board of Trustees at ECU.

Schwan is a senior finance major from Hampstead. He is a Walter and Marie Williams Leadership Scholarship recipient, a member of the Jarvis Leadership Program and Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. He also served as an ECU Ambassador, on the ECU Interfraternity Council and worked with the Police Athletic League at the Greenville Recreational Center.

After the vote, new chairman Brinkley said he was excited about working with the group and the opportunities ahead for the board and the university.

A member of the ECU Board of Trustees since 2007, Brinkley recently joined the Charlotte law firm Womble Carlyle.


Tim Schwan recites the Pledge of Allegiance during the meeting.

“The best days are ahead of us; not sure we’ve had a stronger, more talented board,” Brinkley said. “As the chancellor says after a win on the field or an accomplishment in the classroom: It’s a great day to be a Pirate. If we think big and focus, there’s no doubt in my mind that the greatest days to be a Pirate are in the future.”

During his remarks to the board, Chancellor Steve Ballard told the new trustees that they are part of “an extraordinary public university.”

Ballard shared the five areas that he and the university’s senior administrators see as central elements needed in the coming year:

  • An aggressive advancement team. The new Athletic Director Jeff Compher and J. Batt, executive director of the Pirate Club, have hit the ground running, Ballard said, and the “critical” search for the new director of advancement is nearing a conclusion.
  • Strategic planning. The university has been working on this almost continuously since 2007 and the adoption of “ECU Tomorrow.” The new strategic planning process will begin later in July; he asked board members to share their ideas at the September meeting. “A year from now to have a new strategic plan is the goal,” Ballard said.
  • The Brody School of Medicine “is one of our most important and successful programs, but it is also extremely challenged fiscally, in part because we don’t own our own hospital and because it is 75 percent self-funded,” he said. Ballard added the school was recently recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians as the top program in producing students choosing family medicine. “We worry about (Brody), not because it’s not doing its job but because of funding issues,” Ballard said.
  • Efficiencies must continue to be examined in every area, Ballard said. “We know our students and their families are likely to have to pay more of the percentage of the cost of education. That’s happened in other states. The bigger burden should be placed on the university and how we organize ourselves,” he said.
  • Enrollment management needs to be re-assessed on campus. John Fletcher, associate provost for enrollment services, and his team report that the freshmen class has almost 500 more students than last year. It will be the second largest freshmen class, Ballard said. “We didn’t lower our standards; our yield rate was the highest it’s ever been,” he said. This increase stresses our residence halls and our freshmen courses, he added.

In other business, the board approved unanimously the university to lease off-campus housing for approximately 200 upperclassmen in the fall and up to 400 students in the spring semester when Belk Residence Hall goes “off-line” and is torn down before being rebuilt.

“We have a good problem,” said Dr. Rick Niswander, vice chancellor for administration and finance, adding that because the yield of admitted students will be higher, more space on campus will be needed to house them.

Freshmen students will be housed on campus, as is the university’s policy, with limited exceptions. Upperclassmen will live in the off-campus housing.

The student fee for housing will be the same whether the students live on-campus or in off-campus housing, Niswander said.

ECU Foundation elects new directors



The ECU Foundation has elected the following four East Carolina University alumni to serve a four-year term on its board of directors:

  • Dr. William M. Bogey Jr., ECU professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Kirk A. Dominick, president of i2consulting, a strategic planning consulting firm
  • James H. Mullen III, retired associate vice chancellor of Human Resources at ECU
  • Jon E. Strickland, senior vice president and financial advisor with CAPTRUST Financial Advisors.


Bogey earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1980 and graduated from the Brody School of Medicine at ECU in 1984. He is a Pirate Club member, a lifetime member of ECU’s Alumni Association and a former president of the Brody School of Medicine Alumni Association. Bogey belongs to the Order of the Cupola, an ECU organization that recognizes gifts to the university reaching or exceeding $100,000. He is married to ECU graduate Jenni Kolczynski and lives in Greenville.

A 1991 criminal justice graduate, Dominick is a Pirate Club member, a former executive vice president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the former chief operating officer of Flanders Filters. He and his wife Barbara, also an ECU graduate, live in Greenville.


Mullen earned an ECU degree in psychology in 1974, followed by a rehabilitation counseling degree in 1980. An Order of the Cupola member, Mullen also supports the university through participation in the Pirate Club and Alumni Association. He served several years on the Harriot College of Arts & Sciences Advancement Council and remains active in campus activities. Mullen lives in Greenville with his wife Pam.

Strickland earned an ECU bachelor’s degree in business in 1999 and an MBA in 2001. He is a Pirate Club and Alumni Association member. Strickland and his wife Billie, a nurse anesthetist and ECU graduate, live in Raleigh.


The East Carolina University Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to fund the margin of excellence at ECU.  The independent board of directors that governs the group contributes its time, talents and resources in support of the university.

Chadwick named dean of dental school


By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. Gregory Chadwick has been named permanent dean of the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine.

“Dr. Chadwick has been a major force behind the School of Dental Medicine, so this appointment is richly deserved,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “More than any other single person, Dr. Chadwick saw the necessity and the value of creating a statewide dental school with 10 service learning centers. This is a national model for serving underserved populations.”

Ballard announced the appointment at today’s ECU board of trustees meeting.



Chadwick came to ECU in 2005 to lead the effort to obtain approval from the University of North Carolina system and the state legislature, as well as funding, to establish the school. He served from 2008-2011 as associate dean for planning and extramural affairs as the school began hiring faculty and staff and admitted its first class. Since August of last year, he has served as interim dean.

“I’m extremely pleased and honored with the appointment and the opportunity to work with our great faculty, staff and students,” Chadwick said.

One of Chadwick’s signatures on ECU’s dental school is the community service learning centers. He championed the centers as a better way to prepare future dentists and dental residents to work in rural, underserved areas. ECU opened its first center this summer in Ahoskie and will open the second in Elizabeth City in the coming months. ECU has announced plans to build four others in underserved communities: Lillington in central North Carolina, Davidson County in the Triad, and Spruce Pine and Sylva in the mountains. Officials plan to build up to 10 centers across the state.

“The opportunities are nearly endless,” Chadwick said.

Dr. Phyllis Horns, ECU vice chancellor for health sciences, praised Chadwick’s work in starting the school, the relationships he has developed statewide on behalf of the school and his vision for the school.

“Dr. Chadwick has a commitment and passion for the School of Dental Medicine, the unique curriculum model we are putting together and the service learning center model we have developed,” she said. “Students, faculty and staff reassured me that Dr. Chadwick is a good leader and would make an excellent dean.”

ECU enrolled its second class of 52 students in August. The school has a total of 104 students and is moving into its new home, the 188,000-square-foot Ross Hall, this fall. The North Carolina General Assembly has appropriated approximately $92 million to establish the new dental school.

Chadwick will earn $320,000 as dean.

A North Carolina native, Chadwick received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Naval Supply Corps for four years before entering dental school. After graduating from the UNC School of Dentistry, he practiced general dentistry in a community health center before entering his residency in endodontics. He earned a master’s degree in endodontics from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1976 and practiced endodontics in his hometown of Charlotte for 30 years.

He is a former president of numerous dental organizations including the American Dental Association, the North Carolina Dental Society, the Second District Dental Society and the Southern Endodontic Study Group. In addition, he is a fellow of the American and International Colleges of Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry International and the Pierre Fauchard Academy and a founding member of the Holiday Dental Conference.

His recent international involvement in†dentistry includes serving for six years as speaker of the General Assembly of the FDI World Dental Federation in Geneva.

A diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, he served for 18 years as a part-time clinical professor at his alma mater and for 14 years as chair of the endodontic section at Carolinas Medical Center, where he served on the faculty for more than 25 years.

Chadwick and his wife, Knox, have two adult children, Stephen and Jane, both of whom are general dentists.

Lucas re-elected chair of Board of Trustees



ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, left, and Board of Trustees chairman Bob Lucas share a light moment at the ECU Board of Trustees meeting July 19. Lucas was re-elected as board chair during the meeting. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees welcomed a new board member and elected officers to one-year terms on the 13-member governing body July 19.

M. Justin Davis, ECU’s new Student Government Association president, was sworn in as an ex-officio member of the board. Robert V. Lucas, a Selma attorney and 1974 graduate of ECU, was re-elected chairman.

The nominating committee presented two nominees for vice chair: current vice chair Carol Mabe of Oriental and Robert Brinkley of Charlotte. Brinkley was elected on an 8-5 vote, with Brinkley, Edwin Clark, Justin Davis, Steven Jones, Bobby Owens, Danny Scott, Kieran Shanahan and Mark Tipton voting for Brinkley, and Joel Butler, Ken Chalk, Deborah Davis, Lucas and Mabe voting for Mabe.

Butler of Grimesland was re-elected secretary by acclimation after Tipton nominated Shanahan, who declined, and Jones, who also declined.

Before the slate of officers was presented, nominating committee chair Chalk said the board has, “90 plus percent of the time,” elected officers to serve consecutive one-year terms, while the vice chair normally moves up to the chair position in subsequent years. Chalk said most universities follow the same process. Advantages include continuity of leadership while disadvantages could be limited opportunities for some members to serve or a process that appears to be a “rubber stamp,” he said.

Before the vote for vice chair, Shanahan expressed his support for annual elections. “I think it’s important going forward we consider every year the person and the strength they bring to the table,” he said. Tipton agreed, saying having a leadership ladder and one-year terms strengthens the board, and doesn’t weaken it. “I don’t see it as having a competition between officers,” he said.


SGA president Justin Davis was sworn in at the July 19 Board of Trustees meeting.

Chalk said all board members are leaders, in elected and non-elected positions. “If you’re on the board of trustees, you are a leader. There are multiple roles you can all serve,” he said.

Following the election, Lucas said he was “appreciative and humbled in the confidence the board has in me. I will continue to try and reach out and engage the board members as much as possible, and to communicate with them,” Lucas said. “We’ve got a very talented group and try hard to use the talents of all 13.”

Lucas said the board’s vote on the vice chair position was unusual but the bylaws allow for it. He congratulated Brinkley, and commended Mabe’s service as vice chair. “She has done an outstanding job and she will be in consideration for chairman in another year as will Mr. Brinkley,” Lucas said. “I believe the board has done a good job picking either one.”

Brinkley expressed confidence in Lucas as chairman, and said the vice chair election “shows we have lots of strong leaders. We have just so many qualified people to serve.”

Lucas is founding and senior partner of the law firm Lucas, Denning & Ellerbe. He served on the board as SGA president in 1974 and graduated with a degree in political science. Lucas received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

Brinkley is a partner with the McGuireWoods law firm in Charlotte, where he serves on the boards of directors/trustees of various charitable and civic organizations. He has practiced law in Greensboro and Charlotte for 24 years. He is a summa cum laude graduate of ECU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He received his JD degree (magna cum laude) from Wake Forest University.

Butler is chief external affairs officer and president of foundations at Vidant Health. He is the health care system’s primary point of contact with many organizations throughout eastern North Carolina. He received a master’s degree in public administration from ECU and is a former chair of the university’s Board of Visitors, an advocacy organization.

Davis, of Rocky Mount, is a senior at ECU majoring in political science. He was elected president of the SGA in April and, as such, serves as an ex-officio member of the board. Davis, 22, has been a member of the ECU Marching Pirates, Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, the ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, ECU New Student Orientation, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, and SGA where he was previously elected to two consecutive terms as treasurer.

Alumni Association names chairman


James B. “Jim” Newman of Raleigh was elected chairman of the Board of Director for the East Carolina Alumni Association for 2012-13.

As board chair, Newman will lead an organization that reaches more than 130,000 alumni worldwide.


He is chief fiscal officer of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and an East Carolina University alumnus who earned a B.A. in psychology in 1968 and an MBA in 1974. A Greenville native, Newman graduated from J.H. Rose High School. He is retired from the U.S. Navy and a Vietnam veteran who served four years of active duty there.

“I am extremely excited about being on the board and serving as chairman,” Newman said. “Our board is so proud of ECU and we want to make the public aware of our successes and promote the University through the Association.”

Paul J. Clifford, president and CEO of the Alumni Association said Newman has been a loyal volunteer and supporter. He served as treasurer of the board last year and has been a member since July 2008.

“His love for ECU, vision for our association and service orientation will drive our association forward under his leadership,” Clifford said.

Three other board members were elected to executive committee positions for the 2012-13 year: Angela Moss ’97 ’98 of Raleigh, associate director of investments for the UNC Management company, will serve as vice chair; Glenda Palmer-Moultrie ’79 of Derwood, Md., a recreation programs coordinator, will serve as secretary; and Neal Crawford ’85 of Norfolk, Va., president of Monarch Bank, will serve as treasurer.

Six newly-elected members will join the board: Dean Browder ’77 of Winston-Salem, senior vice president with Piedmont Federal Savings Bank; Duane Grooms ’80 ’82 of Columbia, S.C., assistant athletics director for Facilities Services at the University of South Carolina; John Israel ’82 of Norfolk, Va., command recreation specialist with the U.S. Air Force; Michael Kowalczyk ’09 ’10 of Chicago, Ill., resident director for Guest Services and Marketing at the University of Illinois – Chicago; Dan Spuller ’06, ’07 of Raleigh, major gifts development coordinator at Wake Tech Community College Foundation; and Lynette Taylor ’97, Winterville, anchor with WITN TV-7.

The mission of the alumni association is to inform, involve and serve members of the ECU family throughout their lifelone relationship with the university.

For additional information, call 800-ECU-GRAD or contact Jackie Drake, assistant director for Alumni Communications, at 252-328-4902 or

Trustees briefed on effects of budget cuts



ECU Board of Trustees member Danny Scott listens to a report from Curt Kraft, ECU's women's and men's track and field coach, during a meeting of the Trustees' Athletics and Advancement Committee. The women were Conference USA indoor track champions and Kraft was named conference coach of the year. The men’s team finished third in the conference in indoor track (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Faculty at East Carolina University continue to be concerned about the effects of budget cuts on academic programs and retention, the outgoing chair of the Faculty Senate told the ECU Board of Trustees.

Marianna Walker addressed trustees April 20 in her last official meeting with the board. Walker’s term ends July 1.

In the current academic year, ECU lost more than 200 faculty positions and an additional 87 fixed-term faculty members did not have contracts renewed. The losses resulted in 800 fewer course sections offered to students, according to finance and administration officials.

Walker said many faculty are being recruited away from ECU and North Carolina to institutions providing higher salaries and incentives for research and scholarship. “As a result, faculty who are left in the departments may be faced with greater teaching loads and more students to mentor in research and creative activities,” Walker said.

A report from finance and administration shows that as of March, the Division of Academic Affairs has lost at least 40 faculty members who received competitive offers from other institutions since academic year 2008-2009. Twenty-nine of those losses occurred since academic year 2009-2010.

Faculty members are also awaiting a recommendation expected later this month from the Program Prioritization Committee, which has been studying cost savings and academic reorganization.

Faculty and staff have commented on four separate scenarios for reorganization released by the committee in March. The options pulled components from 57 possible changes ranging from the relocation of individual departments to the restructuring of entire colleges with estimated cost savings ranging from $1 million to $3.8 million annually.

“Regardless of the outcome, ECU has an established process for changes to academic units and their faculty,” Walker said.

Chancellor Steve Ballard shared the comments he made at the third annual State of the University Address on April 10 with trustees, pledging continued excellence amid fiscal crisis and state funding cuts.

“We must do business differently,” he said. “Times have changed.”

Any change to ECU’s academic programs or structures must be accomplished by maintaining the university’s mission and quality of classroom experience offered to students, he said in the address.

“The heart of it is doing business differently in a new economic environment,” Ballard said.

Trustee Mark Tipton suggested North Carolina review or return to public/private partnerships for funding in order to cover academic costs.

“We’ve got to start thinking creatively,” Tipton said. “When you’re at the bone, you’re at the bone. We’re all going to be amputees shortly.”

In other business, trustees approved the purchase of land for dental service learning centers in Sylva, Lillington and Spruce Pine for $1 each. The additions will bring the number of clinics to five in the state, with 10 planned in the future. The first, in Ahoskie, is scheduled to open in June.

The School of Dental Medicine’s permanent home, Ross Hall, is expected to open this August in time for the second class of dental students.

Board of Visitors talks scholarships


Doug Strickland, a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, takes aim on the ROTC virtual shooting range as Capt. Bryan Vaden, ROTC instructor, assists. The Board of Visitors toured and tried out the shooting range as part of its November meeting on campus. (Contributed photo)


By Mary Schulken
Director of Public Affairs

The need for additional support for three Access Scholars supported by East Carolina University’s Board of Visitors was one theme when the board met in November in Greenville.

Among the updates at that meeting was a report by Sabrina Bengel, chair of the Fundraising and Development Committee, that the BOV needed an additional $16,000 this year to fully support three scholarships. The board discussed options such as holding fundraising events in members’ home communities, reaching out to former Access Scholars for support and asking each member to donate $400.

Support for Access scholarships is especially critical now, Bengal told the group, with cutbacks on state funding and the stress the current economic conditions have placed on families and students.
Board of Visitors’ members also heard updates on the university’s budget, athletic conference realignment and marketing.

One highlight was a tour of the ECU ROTC virtual shooting range, where members got a chance to try their skills.

The Board of Visitors is a service and advocacy organization of ECU made up of 60 members elected by the Board of Trustees. Its primary purpose is to assist the Board of Trustees and chancellor in improving the excellence and effectiveness of the university.


Panel discussion, thank-a-thon highlight Women’s Roundtable meeting


Two key events highlighted the meeting Oct. 28 of the Women’s Roundtable Board of Directors in Greenville — a “thank-a-thon” and a panel discussion for students in ECU’s Honor College.

At the “thank-a-thon”, held the evening of Oct. 27, 12 of the 25 board members met at the Greenville Centre to call Women’s Roundtable membership to thank them for their support. That was a first for the board, said Marcy Romary, director of Women’s Philanthropy at ECU and board member.

On Oct. 28 three Roundtable board members — Chair-Elect Valeria Lassiter, Treasurer and ECU Board of Trustees Member Deborah Davis and Leadership Committee chair Gail Herring — participated in a panel discussion for students in the Honors College. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and board member Marilyn Sheerer moderated the panel. The Women’s Roundtable Board of Directors made a $10,000 leadership gift to the Honors College this year for student enrichment opportunities.

The Roundtable also welcomed six new members at its formal meeting later that day. Highlights of the meeting included a presentation by ECU SGA Secretary Chelsea Roach about SGA activities this semester as well as reports by the leadership and donor relations committees.
Bill Clark, President of the ECU Foundation, Inc., and Maureen Devine, Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship, discussed the Access Scholarship Program and thanked the board for giving $50,000 in scholarships over the past three years. The Women’s Roundtable is supporting three Access Scholarship recipients for this academic year and made a $125,000 pledge earlier this year to endow the Kathy A. Taft Memorial Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship in memory of founding board member, Kathy A. Taft.

The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University has a three-fold mission: raising needed funds for student support, building a deeper volunteer pool of women to be considered for leadership roles at ECU and providing educational and networking opportunities for women.
For further information please visit

Brenda Myrick participates in the Women's Roundtable Thank-a-thon.

Margaret Daniel works the phones in the Thank-a-thon.

ECU Foundation welcomes officers, directors in fall meeting

New Oficerssm


The ECU Foundation welcomed five new directors to 4-year terms on the board. The new directors are Kevin Monroe ’99 ’05, Angela Allen ’81, Mark Copeland ’96, Clay Walker ’89 and Dr. Virginia Hardy ‘ 93. (Contributed photos)


The ECU Foundation welcomed a new slate of officers and five new directors to its board at its fall meeting Sept. 30 in Greenville.

Reid Fogelman, ’89, will chair the board for the next two years. Henry Hinton, ’76, will serve as vice chair while Lisa Benton, ’83, serves as secretary.

New directors include: Kevin Monroe, ’99 and ’05; Angela Allen, ’81; Mark Copeland, ’96; Clay Walker, ’89, and Virginia Hardy, ’93.

The East Carolina University Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to fund the margin of excellence at ECU. Gifts to the ECU Foundation benefit the students, faculty, academic programs, and research activities at ECU.

New officers for the next two years are left to right Lisa Benton ‘83, secretary; Henry Hinton ‘76, vice chair; and Reid Fogleman ‘89, chair.

At the fall meeting the board also celebrated the final months of a record setting Second Century Campaign. The campaign concludes at the end of 2011, one year early, and is expected to achieve 110 percent of its $200 million goal for ECU.

Following the theme of “Moving boldly beyond the Second Century Campaign,” the board of directors discussed and adopted several proposals that will guide its direction for the next four years. Foundation director Bill Clark said the board adopted a new strategic plan, new standards of engagement for directors, and new ways to improve development and donor relations.

Six persons received board awards for 2011 marking extraordinary commitments of time and service. Honored were: Henry Hinton, Advocacy Award; Kel Normann, Jim Galloway, Commitment Award; Carol Mabe, James R. Talton, Jr. Service Award, and Greg Abeyounis, Performance Award.

Board of Visitors elects officers

The ECU Board of Visitors welcomed a new slate of officers, new committee chairs and three new members in its first meeting of the 2011-2012 academic year Aug. 26 in Greenville.

Members got updates on the budget, outreach and athletics, then toured the campus, including recently renovated Scott residence hall on College Hill.

Officers include: Steve Brown of Raleigh, chair, Terry Yeargan of Durham, vice chair, and Olivia Collier of Fuquay, secretary.

Committee chairs include Terry Yeargan, legislative; Angela Moss of Raleigh, engagement; Sabrina Bengal of New Bern and Brenda Myrick of Greenville, fundraising/development.

New members include Vern Davenport of Durham, Ernest Logemann of Winston-Salem and Donna Phillips of Greenville.

Members of the ECU Board of Visitors are volunteers appointed by the Board of Trustees to assist the trustees and chancellor and advance the interests of the university. The BOV includes 49 appointed members, nine ex-officio members and seven members emeritus.


Stephen A. Brown

Olivia Collier

Terry Yeargan