New chair, members named for ECU board
East Carolina University welcomed three new board members and a new chair Thursday, July 21, during a period of unprecedented budget cuts coupled with tempered optimism.
Deborah Davis of Richmond, Va., Kieran Shanahan of Raleigh and Josh Martinkovic of Charlotte took their oaths as new members of the ECU board of trustees. Robert V. Lucas, a Selma attorney and 1974 graduate of the school, took the gavel as the new chair. Lucas’ term as chair lasts one year.
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.
Among the biggest challenges will be working within the confines of a budget taking a cut of more than 16 percent in state funding this year, he said.
“The thing we’ve got to do is make the most of our limited resources,” he said following the meeting. He said ECU has talented employees, faculty members, alumni and supporters who will serve the university well despite the budgetary restraints.
Davis, 54, who grew up in Jacksonville, is chief operating officer of MCV Hospitals, part of Virginia Commonwealth University. Beginning when she was a student at ECU, Davis has worked 32 years at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, the teaching hospital of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, rising to the position of president.
She left PCMH in 2007 for VCU. She has an undergraduate degree and a master’s of business administration degree from ECU.
Shanahan is a former federal prosecutor and Raleigh City Council member who is now a principal in Shanahan Law Group of Raleigh. Originally from McLean, Va., he is a 1979 business graduate of ECU, where he played rugby, and received his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982.
Shanahan and Davis were elected by the UNC Board of Governors. Their terms are four years.
Martinkovic, of Charlotte, is a senior at ECU majoring in criminal justice and political science. He is president of the Student Government Association and, as such, is an ex-officio member of the board.
The board still has two unfilled positions. Gov. Beverly Perdue will appoint members to those positions.
Carol Mabe of Oriental will serve as vice chair of the board. Joel Butler of Grimesland will serve as secretary.
In other action, the board approved the lease of a medical practice building in Goldsboro as part of a plan to purchase a neurosurgery practice there and add it to the medical group practice of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
Also, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Rick Niswander reported state budget cuts will result in the loss of approximately 100 faculty and 100 other positions at ECU, most of those unfilled. The losses could make it harder for students to get the classes they need to graduate within four years, he said.