Board of Trustees Remarks

Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty

February 22, 2008


Thank you, Chair Greczyn.  Good morning!


First of all, I would like to thank Chair Bob Greczyn for meeting with me earlier this month on February 5 in his office.  It was a very productive discussion, which ranged on many topics, and I learned many things.  Bob told me that he was always going to tell me the truth and that he loves ECU as much as I do.  So, based on that information, I can state with confidence that nobody loves ECU more than Bob Greczyn.


I would also like to thank Bob for sharing with me information on the “corporate diversity initiatives” that he is practicing as President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.  He describes a business model that has “created high-profile leadership opportunities for many top-performing individuals, recognizing key talent and shifting the diversity of our leadership profile.”  It sounds like Bob may have found a way to increase diversity by promoting from within his company. Perhaps some of the diversity we seek in our leadership positions may already be here.  It may require some cultivation, but I think it might be worth the effort.  I am aware that much work is needed in order for us to obtain the diversity that is needed for our students and our region. I know that our region, indeed, the whole state is watching us in this effort.  We must succeed.  We will be much stronger as a university if we can reflect the diversity of our students and our region.  Nevertheless, I believe that, by emphasizing the importance of actively recruiting a diverse pool of candidates for faculty and leadership positions, we, too, will be able to shift the diversity of our leadership profile.


As many of you know, on Monday, February 18th, the Faculty Officers, Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, the Chancellor and the Academic Council met for a mini-retreat that was facilitated by Dr. Judith Wegner, former Dean of the UNC Law School from 1989-1999, and former Chair of the Faculty at UNC from 2003-06 and current secretary of the UNC Faculty Assembly. It was a very constructive discussion.  Many topics were approached, including:  faculty input on administrative searches, the current Board of Trustee’s Policy on “Appointment and Review of Administrative Officers’ at ECU,” and the implementation of that policy, the ECU Code, diversity in administrative searches, the proposed “University Policies and Procedures” Manual, as well as general discussions related to policy development and shared governance.  A “Joint Statement” by Chancellor Ballard and myself is one result of our mini-retreat.  This statement outlines the procedures that we will follow in order to insure faculty input in searches for senior academic officers.  Please note that, after reviewing the information derived from the compiled “candidate ballot form,” the appointing officer will meet with the assembled faculty of the relevant unit in order to have a candid exchange of views regarding the finalists of the administrative positions.  Further, in regards to the evaluation of senior academic officers, the work that the “Leadership Development Task Force” began will be conducted by the Faculty Governance Committee, which will bring that work to a closure before the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year.  Also, the faculty leaders, the Faculty Governance Committee, and top administrators will work together in order to develop a “University Policies and Procedures” manual that will provide clear guidance on areas in which policies are needed to ensure that ECU operates effectively and transparently.


Please allow me to offer my sincere appreciation to Dr. Judith Wegner, who facilitated our discussions, the mini-retreat participants: Professors Deedee Glascoff, Marianna Walker, Dale Knickerbocker and Puri Martinez, Chancellor Ballard, Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Phyllis Horns, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Deirdre Mageean, Interim Provost Marilyn Sheerer, and our special guests, Bob Greczyn, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Bob Lucas, member of the BOT and former SGA president.  I believe that we had a very constructive dialogue and am committed to continuing that dialogue.


Thank you.