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Pictured above at the swearing-in ceremony for the ECU Board of Trustees are, left to right, ECU Student Government Association president Mark Matulewicz with his father, Stephen; Kieran Shanahan and Kel Normann with Steve Jones shown between them holding the Bible; and Leigh J. Fanning and her husband, Paul. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)
New members, campus updates focus of board meeting
July 17, 2015
By Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services
The East Carolina University Board of Trustees swore in new members, heard an update on Heritage Hall and broke ground for a new student center during its July 17 meeting.
Steve Jones of Raleigh was elected chair of the board; he previously served as vice chair. Kieran Shanahan of Raleigh was elected vice chair and Bob Plybon of Greensboro will serve as secretary.
Newly elected ECU Board of Trustees chair Steve Jones thanked Chancellor Steve Ballard for his service to ECU during the July 17 board meeting.
Sworn in as new members of the board were Leigh J. Fanning of Greenville, Kel Normann of Sanford and Mark Matulewicz of Currituck, who is the Student Government Association president. The junior finance major was elected SGA president in the spring and will serve as ex-officio member of the board.
Fanning is owner/director of R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company and general manager of the Greenville location; she attended ECU. A 1985 graduate of ECU, Normann is managing director of the Normann Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.
After his election, Jones told the board, “To serve on this board with all these capable leaders, it’s an honor (to be elected chair). To have come from Fayetteville to East Carolina as a student and now to have the honor to be elected by a board of my peers is remarkable.”
Jones also thanked Chancellor Steve Ballard for his 11 years of service to the university. Ballard announced July 1 that he will step down as chancellor on July 1, 2016. “To have a year to transition is a testament to his leadership,” Jones said.
During his remarks, Ballard outlined university priorities for the 2015-16 academic year, including ongoing efforts to develop sustainable funding models for the Brody School of Medicine and a new enrollment growth management plan that aims to grow enrollment from just over 27,500 to 30,000 students over the next five years.
He celebrated the fact that ECU donors gave a record-breaking $39 million during 2014-15, but also emphasized that university leaders would continue to gradually implement the 61 goals outlined last year by the University Committee on Fiscal Sustainability.
“We will also move progressively forward to grow programs that reflect our high quality in faculty as well as huge opportunities for our students – programs that create sustainable jobs,” Ballard said. “Those include our recently announced Miller School of Entrepreneurship, a new School of Public Health and the proposed School of the Coast.”
A home for Heritage Hall
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Chris Dyba presented the chancellor’s recommended location for Heritage Hall, a permanent place to recognize people of historical significance to the university. The hall will occupy space within the soon-to-be-built Student Services Center in uptown Greenville.
The chancellor’s decision was based on the findings of a work group – made up of representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, student government, alumni and campus planners – who spent the past several months studying potential sites on and near campus, Dyba said.
Board member Kieran Shanahan of Raleigh was elected vice chair during the July board meeting.
The board voted in February 2015 to create Heritage Hall as a location “where those recognized are presented in an authentic and comprehensive context” and where “all members of the Pirate Family can make their own value judgments of any person recognized.”
That vote followed months of discussion on the naming of Aycock Residence Hall, which honors Charles B. Aycock, a former governor, federal prosecutor and school superintendent who served as a spokesperson for white supremacy campaigns at the turn of the century. The Aycock name will be transitioned to Heritage Hall when it opens.
Dyba said campus planners will soon begin designing the new Student Services Center, which will house the university’s admissions office, One Card office and various other services. “Every student will go through that space during the admissions process and their years at ECU,” Dyba said.
In addition, he said, fundraising will begin immediately to raise the several hundred thousand dollars required to develop display content for Heritage Hall.
Following discussion, the board moved that ECU administrators present trustees with a specific timeline, action plan and business plan for the hall at their Sept. 24-25 meeting.
Progress in other areas
The board unanimously endorsed a proposal to create a new Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement following a presentation by Provost Ron Mitchelson. The proposed division would replace and reorganize the existing Division of Research and Graduate Studies. That division currently houses Research Administration, the Graduate School, and the Office of Innovation, Engagement and Economic Development.
The change reflects the university’s commitment to the new strategic plan and the need to recognize the important relationship between research and economic development, Mitchelson said.
A proposed new Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement was approved following a presentation by Provost Ron Mitchelson.
“We decided that because of the visibility and importance of those activities in the process of regional transformation, to have that included in the name would go a long way to suggest that we are true to our commitments,” he said.
If approved, the new division will be led by Chief Research Officer Michael Van Scott on an interim basis while a national search is conducted for a new vice chancellor. Van Scott has been a key leader in the effective expansion of collaborative research at East Carolina, and is a role model in illustrating the value of industry-sponsored research at the international level.
The proposal will be sent to the UNC Board of Governors for approval during their meeting on Aug. 7.
The board also broke ground Friday for the new Health Sciences Student Center – a 76,000-square-foot facility that will include recreation space, dining options and satellite offices for student health and career services.
“We’re dedicated to educating the whole person – student life is part of that,” Jones said. “This is a state-of-the-art facility (health sciences students) can call their own.”
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said the center will also play a role in facilitating interprofessional activity among health sciences students.
“All health sciences students will come together here…outside of their individual programs and can learn – in a neutral space – to collaborate together.”
In other business, the board approved the following officers for the Board of Visitors: Reid Tyler as chairman, Mark Garner as vice chair, and Brenda Myrick as secretary.
-- Amy Adams Ellis, Jay Clark and Kathryn Kennedy contributed to this article.
Pictured below at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Health Sciences Student Center are, left to right, Chancellor Steve Ballard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, Board of Trustees Chair Steve Jones, board member Terry Yeargan, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Phyllis Horns, board vice-chair Kieran Shanahan, and board members Mark Matulewicz, Kel Normann, Deborah Davis and Danny Scott.
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