Chancellor Steve Ballard announced today he will step down as East Carolina University's top leader next year, serving in his current role until July 1, 2016. Ballard has served as chancellor since 2004.
Chancellor Steve Ballard
"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 for the institution, 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. "I look forward to working with everyone, including our partners, over the next 12 months."
UNC President Tom Ross said Ballard's tenure has been a time of growth, excellence and leadership for East Carolina.
"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 recognition, including the Freedom Award for support of the military from the Department of Defense and the C. Peter Magrath Community Award from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Ballard lauded the commitment and passion of East Carolina 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."