ECU PREPARES FOR TOMORROW
A national quality university fully committed to North Carolina.
That is what East Carolina is. That is what our motto, “to serve,” means. And that is what we are preparing to do more of.
Three major efforts are strategically targeting our future, and we intend these initiatives to position ECU to secure several major capital projects; to expand medical education and health care, including the crisis in rural dentistry; and to put teachers in classrooms to prepare K-12 students for tomorrow. These are just a few of the commitments we are making in our work this spring. Much great work and many new programs are under development across our campus by our faculty, staff and students, but I want to make sure you are aware of three reports that will shape our future:
- The ECU response to UNC Tomorrow is well under way. Our first report to President Bowles is due on May 8, with a second report due in December. A campus-wide team, along with the help of several committees, is preparing our report. I view this effort to be the most significant opportunity in my four years at ECU because I think it will show the state how much we contribute to the economy, the health, and the education of North Carolinians. All 17 public universities will be submitting a response to UNC Tomorrow, and I look for ours to be among the very best.
- Strategic Enrollment Management. It may sound strange for the fastest growing public university in North Carolina to initiate a new task force on “enrollment management.” But this is another commitment to addressing the needs of North Carolina. Because the state can expect at least another 80,000 new college students over the next 10 years, every public university must say what it can do to address this daunting influx. This enrollment task force will do that and much more. We will, for instance, also determine the admissions standards of incoming students, determine how much distance education we can and should do, and identify what graduate programs must grow. Again, this task force will help to define the East Carolina of the future.
- Community Engagement is a new designation for universities available from the Carnegie Foundation. It is highly competitive and only those institutions that can show a major commitment to their states or regions, and an impact on economic development, can hope to achieve this status. ECU is preparing an application for this prestigious designation. In a sense, we are already fully engaged in our communities and region; now we want the recognition for what we do. This effort is a bit about status; we want to be recognized as being among the most engaged universities in the country, because we are. But it is much more about self-definition; this is an opportunity to ensure that everyone knows what our values are and what great partnerships we have.
I hope the campus, our alumni and friends take advantage of the many opportunities to participate in and improve the quality of each of these efforts. Each is important and together they will provide a blueprint for our future. Tomorrow starts here.