Muse Installed as Chancellor
(Mar. 8, 2002)
Dr. William V. Muse, officially sworn in on March 8 as East Carolina University’s 10th chief executive officer, identified the school’s areas of emphasis as teacher education, human health, fine and performing arts and economic development–all built on an excellent program in the humanities.
Muse, speaking in a crowded Wright Auditorium, said he was motivated to accept the chancellor’s position by the university’s potential for "significant growth in size, quality and stature and by the opportunity to serve a constituency whose needs are enormous."
"It is my hope and intention to lead East Carolina University to an even higher level of performance and recognition," he said.
The installation ceremony, attended by more than 100 delegates from universities and learned societies around the nation and scores of ECU faculty and staff members in full academic regalia, was the highlight of Founders Day celebrations on campus. It was the university’s 95th anniversary since its founding by the General Assembly as East Carolina Teachers Training School.
Discussing the areas of emphasis, Muse said, "ECU needs to position itself as one of the leading producers of outstanding teachers in the nation."
He said that through the efforts of several academic programs and units, ECU is responding to the need for health care professionals and having a significant impact on the quality and quantity of health care available in the region it serves. "That is a thrust that must continue and, perhaps, broaden in the years ahead to include new disciplines such as dentistry and pharmacy," he said.
Concerning the arts, Muse said, "ECU has been fortunate over the years to attract outstanding teachers and performers in music, art, theater and dance and has built programs that rival any on the East Coast in size and quality. This a strength on which East Carolina needs to capitalize."
Economic development, he said, involves all the disciplines that produce the technological and scientific talent that supports the creation and operation of economic enterprises and the managerial skills necessary to run them.
"There are few things that are more important to the long-term viability of eastern North Carolina than economic development–economic growth that creates jobs that enable citizens to enjoy a higher standard of living," Muse said.
All the areas of emphasis, he said, "must be supported by a strong program in the liberal arts and humanities. To be successful in their work and have a quality life, graduates in all fields must understand themselves and the world in which they live."
Muse was sworn in by Chief Justice Beverly Lake of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Among the dignitaries bringing greetings to the chancellor’s installation ceremony were Molly Corbett Broad, president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina; Ben Ruffin, chair of the UNC Board of Governors; Charles Franklin, chair of the ECU Board of Trustees; Dr. Robert Morrison, chair of the ECU faculty; David Batts, chair of the ECU Staff Forum; Sadie Cox, president of the Student Government Association; Shelby Strother, president of the ECU Alumni Association; Greenville Mayor Don Parrot; and Mark Owens, chair of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners. Gov. Mike Easley spoke via video.
Muse was selected as ECU chancellor in February 2001 and arrived on the campus Aug. 1. He came to ECU after serving nine years as president of Auburn University in Alabama and eight years as president of the University