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ECU Tomorrow: A Vision for Leadership and Service


Dr. Steve Ballard Chancellor






ECU will create a strong, sustainable future for the East through education, innovation, investment, and outreach.


ECU will invest in people and programs.
  • We will invest in academic programs that give individuals the right skills and tools needed to compete and thrive in a twenty-first-century workplace.
  • We will invest in programs that improve access to our resources for communities and individuals.
  • We will provide ongoing educational and learning opportunities to support the continued development of a competitive workforce for North Carolina.


ECU will support an entrepreneurial mindset throughout the university.

  • We will encourage new ideas and new approaches to programs, research, outreach, and engagement with the clear knowledge that only by trying can we achieve success.
  • We will strengthen our Entrepreneurial Initiative
— to provide increased practical experience for ECU students in an entrepreneurial environment;
— to create regional partnerships;
— to assist the university in developing companies and taking products to market.


ECU will strengthen our partnerships with business, elected officials, and economic developers.

  • We will work with our partners to help create and achieve the economic and community development goals for the region.
  • We will reward engagement with the business community.
  • Our faculty, staff, and students will be directly engaged in addressing socioeconomic issues.
  • We will support innovative partnerships both within the university and between the university and the community.
  • We will achieve national recognition for the effectiveness of our economic development partnerships.


ECU will increase investment in innovation and research.

  • We will be the third-largest research university in the University of North Carolina system, exceeding $100 million in external support for our programs.
  • We will lead in innovation in health sciences and information technology and seek to develop products that compete in the growing knowledge-based economy.
  • We will invest in interdisciplinary research centers that will support the region’s growth in health care, tourism, education, marine trades, and biotechnology.
  • We will focus on developing applied, translational, and externally focused research that emphasizes the economic and physical health of our citizens.
  • We will be nationally recognized for our success in technology transfer—the process of developing practical products from the results of scientific research. We will be known for our ability to apply our knowledge to improving lives and to create technologies that genuinely help people.