Research Funding Ramped Up
By John Durham
ECU will allocate an additional $1.5 million —the largest share of new state appropriations for institutional support —to enhance the university’s research infrastructure during the coming year.
|Faculty research efforts will benefit from an additional $1.5 million allocation in the upcoming year. (Illustration by Joy Holster, Photo by Cliff Hollis)
“This is both a real and a symbolic commitment,” said Dr. Deirdre Mageean, who joined the university in July as vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. “The dollars will support new positions, services and opportunities in the research division. At the same time, this allocation signals our intent to ramp up our discoveries and innovations as we strengthen our status as a leading research university.”
Chancellor Steve Ballard noted that the university has a long and successful tradition of teaching and service and has no intention of scaling back those endeavors as the research enterprise grows.
“Indeed, we are better than ever at delivering instruction, both on campus and online,” Ballard said. “I am proud of our successes in teaching and in partnerships in Greenville and throughout eastern North Carolina. And we have an excellent base to build from in research.”
Mageean said the university has developed nationally known research strengths in the health sciences, the basic sciences and selected other areas such as coastal studies. Building on those successes, she said, ECU should expect to significantly increase its outside funding for research in the coming years. Recent annual totals have been between $30 million and $40 million. The new funding commitment will help assure that aspiring researchers on the ECU faculty have access to the administrative support they need to bolster their chances for success, Mageean said.
“A robust research agenda is the best tool we have for improving the lives of the residents of this region,” she said. “New discoveries, new knowledge, new applications are all needed to ensure that the East has a chance to thrive.”
The new money for research was part of a $6.8 million pool of state appropriated dollars — known as general institutional support funds — that accompanied funds for new faculty positions at the university.
Mageean said she has reorganized the division to improve efficiency and reduce overlap.
“I am excited about our accomplishments and our potential,” she said. “We have truly remarkable and successful researchers on this campus. My job is to help make it possible for more faculty members to join those ranks.”