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Charting the Course

Chancellor Cecil Staton and Board of Trustees Vice Chair Kieran Shanahan listen to a committee report during the February 17 board meeting. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

CHARTING THE COURSE

Board receives fundraising campaign update

Feb. 17, 2017

ECU News Services

During its meeting on Feb. 17, the East Carolina University Board of Trustees received an update on the university's $500 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

"To date we have about $127 million in gifts toward the campaign," said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement. "We're very happy with our progress to date but we have a lot of work to do."

Officials are now working on the detailed goals for all schools, colleges and divisions across campus.

"It's going to center on promoting what we do best - student success, regional transformation and serving the public," Dyba said. "Some of it will be capital projects, and a significant portion will be for student success and scholarships. We also want to incentivize research."

Dyba also presented an update on annual fundraising for the current fiscal year, which stands at $31.4 million, which he said is on pace with last year's record fundraising effort.

Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement, provided an update on the upcoming fundraising campaign.
During the Athletics & Advancement committee meeting Thursday, Athletic director Jeff Compher announced an anonymous $2.21 million leadership gift for ECU athletics, the largest in its history. $2.1 million of the gift will be allocated for the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Southside Renovation project, with the remaining $110,000 for the Bennett-Hudson Endowment Fund, used for student-athlete scholarships.

The $55 million stadium renovation project is targeted for construction between the 2017 and 2018 football seasons, and will soon be presented to the UNC Board of Governors and N.C. General Assembly for approval.

During the University Affairs committee meeting Thursday Dr. Ron Mitchelson, ECU provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs, presented the university's intention to develop a strategic plan to improve degree completion rates. A task force has been assembled that will meet on a regular basis to review and discuss issues that hinder students from completing a degree in four years.

The plan will focus on three groups of students - first-generation college students, Pell grant recipients and first-time freshmen. The intent is to improve the current four-year graduation rate of 37 percent to 46 percent by 2022.

In other business, the board:

  • Heard an update from the Brody School of Medicine dean search committee, presented by Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing and chair of the search committee. Two candidates will visit campus over the next two weeks to meet with leadership and present their proposed visions for leading the medical school. They are Dr. David Zvara, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and ECU School of Medicine alumnus Dr. Michael Richards, executive physician-in-chief for the University of New Mexico Health System and professor of emergency medicine at the UNM Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque.
  • Approved a motion to offer naming rights for the scholarship club level of the Southside Renovation project for $250,000 and for two internal streets accessing the athletics campus for $500,000 each.
  • Approved the purchase of six properties - five rental houses and one parking lot - that adjoin ECU property from the ECU Real Estate Foundation for $1,671,250. The properties are located along East 9th and Forbes streets.
  • Approved fiber optic and drainage easements on campus for the City of Greenville and approved leasing clinical and office space in Moye Medical Buildings I and II.
  • Heard updates on campus safety from the Office of Environmental Health and Campus Safety and the success of ECU's experiential activities from Student Affairs during committee meetings Thursday.
  • Received updates on the progress of two student centers currently being constructed. The Health Sciences Student Center will open May 2017 on west campus and the Student Center on main campus is on schedule to open in 2018.
  • Received an update on the progress of ECU's Lab School, scheduled to open August 2017 at South Greenville Elementary School.
Board of Trustee members read motions during the board meeting on February 17.
Charting the Course