East Carolina University will establish the Miller School of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, providing opportunities for ECU students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Read full story below. (Photo by Jay Clark)
Untitled Document


Tell a friend about this page.
All fields required.
Can be sent to only one email address at a time.
Share Facebook Icon Twitter Icon
Nancy and Steve Ballard (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Ballard to leave chancellor’s post next year

Chancellor Steve Ballard will step down from the helm of East Carolina University next July. He made the announcement July 1.

Ballard has served as chancellor since 2004.

“East Carolina is a special place that puts its students first, excels at serving North Carolina and is committed to leadership and service for our region,” Ballard said. “Nancy and I have been privileged to be a part of this community for more than 11 years. It has been a perfect fit for us.”

The timeline will allow a search for the next leader to take place with minimal disruption, Ballard said.

“There is much to accomplish in the next year as we continue to build academic excellence across colleges, stand out in the American Athletic Conference and lead regional transformation in eastern North Carolina,” Ballard said.

Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system, said Ballard’s tenure has been a time of growth, excellence and leadership for ECU.

“Under his leadership, ECU has raised the bar with respect to academic excellence and integrity, service and community engagement and intercollegiate athletics,” said Ross. “During his tenure, ECU has grown beyond its natural eastern North Carolina footprint and has developed a truly statewide impact. By any measure, Steve Ballard will leave ECU stronger and better than he found it.”

During the past decade ECU has received prestigious national recognitions, including the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Ballard lauded the commitment and passion of ECU for those strides.

“I am grateful to faculty, staff, students and leadership at ECU for your spirit, for your collegiality and for the difference you make to higher education,” he said. “In very difficult times, you continue to excel.”

Ballard is ECU’s 10th chancellor and is the longest-serving chancellor in the UNC system. At ECU, he has promoted student success and emphasized leadership at all levels.

Major steps for ECU during his tenure include enrollment growth from 22,000 to 27,000 students and the development of a College of Engineering and Technology, an Honors College and a School of Dental Medicine with community service learning centers across North Carolina.

Before coming to Greenville, Ballard was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Maine and Bowling Green State University. He has served as a chief research officer, chief academic officer or chancellor for 18 years.

After consultation with Ross, the ECU Board of Trustees will form a search committee of trustees, faculty, students and alumni to identify Ballard’s successor. At the conclusion of that search, the board will forward a slate of at least three finalists to the UNC president for consideration. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the president, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors.

Ballard said he and his wife want to devote more time to their son who has a medical condition and spend more time with their 1-year-old granddaughter.

One memory from his time at ECU stands out for Ballard.

“In terms of special moments, receiving the Freedom Award in front of thousands of people in Washington, D.C., was very special because we pay special attention to the military and we made it a priority,” he said. “ECU is only the second university in 15 years to be so recognized. When peers recognize you for your quality and results, it is always special.”

Between now and next July, Ballard plans to focus on strong financial footing for the Brody School of Medicine and on continued academic excellence across campus.

“Last but not least, I intend to be the head cheerleader for our baseball team and coach Godwin’s goal of getting to Omaha,” site of the College World Series, said Ballard, a former college baseball player. “And I don’t think we’ll be satisfied to just get to Omaha.”

—ECU News Services