Over a two day span, beginning on Thursday, February 13th, through Friday, February 14th, the Board of Trustees Meeting was held at the East Carolina Heart Institute. Thursday’s schedule included meetings from the following committees: University Affairs, Finance and Facilities, Executive, and Health Sciences. The full day event was ended by tour of the ECHI’s new Research and Robotic Division on the fourth floor and a BOT reception honoring the Chambers Singers. On Friday, after a call to order, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a moderately timed closed session, the following highlights the reports and remarks disclosed during this session:
- Chancellor Ballard discussed several “needle-mover” projects that ECU should focus on funding due to the return on investments in the future. The next big “needle-mover” project will be growing the Biomedical Engineering program to a size and rank that will be comparable to NC State’s Engineering program. We are well on our way to doing this – ECU currently has the largest and most reputable Biomedical Engineering Program in the state!
- Health Sciences : There was real excitement over the recent opening of the ECU School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Center in Lillington, NC at the end of January this year. The 7,700-square-foot center, the third of its kind, aims to serve rural areas in North Carolina that are in need of healthcare resources, while providing ECU dental students with a learning opportunity in a real community.
- As mentioned in the First Monday update on February 3, 2014, Provost Marilyn Sheerer will be stepping down from the position of Provost on August 15, 2014. She has submitted her letter of resignation to Chancellor Ballard and he has accepted it. Her intention is to take retreat rights for a year and return to the faculty in the College of Education in August of 2015. The process of selecting a replacement Provost has begun. The Chancellor welcomes input from staff, faculty, and the community regarding the appointment of an interim Provost. This appointment will be made in April. A standing ovation was given to Provost Sheerer for her hard work and dedication to ECU.
- The board voted unanimously for non-salary compensation to be dispensed to the football coaching staff for outstanding performance.
- The Finance and Facilities Committee proposed that a new student services building was needed and the proposed location is between the Heart Institute and the Allied Health building. Plans detailing the proposed third phase of the North Recreational Complex included new softball fields, batting cages, lighted tennis courts, and a trail were presented.
- University Affairs remarked on the Structured for Success program that involves early intervention of students with drug related issues. The goal of this program is to enhance student success and increase retention from the freshman to sophomore year. Nineteen of the current participants are male. The current success rate reported for Fall 2012 involved 15 out of 22 students with an 80% rate of students continuing onto their sophomore year.
- A lighting study across campus has been conducted determining that several areas need improvement such as the Mall area and the parking area near the Messick building. Projects are underway to level the lighting across campus and convert to LEDs.
- Closing remarks: ” A lot has been done and there is still a lot to do!”A full report of the minutes of this meeting will be published on the ECU Board of Trustees Meeting Materials page.
Credit is given to Mary Schiller for comments regarding Chancellor Ballard’s discussion of “needle-mover” projects and the Biomedical Engineering program.