Biography

Catherine and Cecil Staton

Cecil P Staton is the 11th chancellor of East Carolina University. Following a national search, Staton was nominated by UNC President Margaret Spellings and elected by the Board of Governors on April 27, 2016.

Dr. Staton came to ECU from the University System of Georgia, where he served as a Vice Chancellor and as interim President of Valdosta State University. Previously he served as associate provost, assistant professor, and university publisher at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and on the faculty of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia.

He also served for 10 years as a Georgia state senator representing the state's 18th District and chaired the appropriations sub-committee responsible for the state's $2 billion annual investment in public higher education. Staton was responsible for health-care work force initiatives across Georgia including the growth of medical school enrollment and the expansion of nursing education. He also worked in private business as the founding President and CEO of several companies in the fields of publishing, broadcasting, and digital media.

Staton's initiatives as ECU chancellor include:

     
  • Launching a new branding and marketing campaign increasing awareness of the institution nationally and internationally
  •  
  • Launching initiatives to increasing research activity by 50% over five years
  •  
  • Launching initiatives to increase internationalization including doubling the number of students participating in education abroad over five years
  •  
  • Doubling the enrollment of the Honors College beginning fall 2017
  •  
  • Launching initiative to increase enrollment at the Brody School of Medicine and to build a new $215 million medical education facility
  •  
  • Launching the Rural Prosperity Initiative, a new university enterprise partnering with SAS focusing upon healthcare, education, and economic disparities in rural North Carolina
  •  
  • Launching a $500 million capital campaign, the largest in the institution’s history, with more than $200 million is gifts, pledges, and commitments during the first two years of the quiet phase
  •  
  • Launching the ECU Lab (Laboratory) School in partnership with Pitt County Schools, focusing on the integration of health, wellness, and learning
  •  
  • Launching the Innovation Early College High School on ECU’s campus, a collaboration between ECU and Pitt County Schools
  •  
  • Leading ECU’s Strategic Plan Extension for 2017—2022: Capture Your Horizon
  •  
  • Leading preparations for creating ECU’s 13th college, the College of Rural Public Health, in 2021
  •  
  • Providing leadership for numerous capital projects including $70 million in dormitory renovations, opening a new $37 million student center on the health sciences campus in 2017, opening a new $122 million student union on the main campus in January 2019, and preparing for the construction of a new $6 million innovation hub and collision space for the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and a $95 million life sciences building, due to be completed in 2021.

At ECU Staton holds the rank of Professor of Philosophy and Religions Studies with tenure.

Dr. Staton is a native of Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Furman University, a Master of Divinity with Languages and Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford in England. Staton and his wife Catherine are the parents of two sons, Cecil III, a financial planner in Atlanta, and William, a student at DePaul University in Chicago.