Muse addresses community concerns
(June 25, 2003)
Chancellor William V. Muse told African-American and Latino leaders that East Carolina University will establish an advisory council of Pitt County citizens to help the university meet community needs more effectively.
The council will be asked to help the university determine what the community needs and how ECU can be more valuable to the community, Muse said.
The chancellor, in a town meeting at the DuBois Center on July 8, addressed issues that had been raised by African Americans and Latinos in three focus groups that met with university representatives in April and May. Muse said six core issues had been raised in those earlier meetings:
1. Communication between ECU and the community and among community organizations. In addition to the advisory council, Muse said ECU will make many of its publications more readily available in the community; will communicate more with minority media outlets; and will continue the focus groups and expand them throughout eastern North Carolina.
2. Possible expansion into west Greenville. "ECU has no plans to expand into west Greenville from the east or the west," Muse said. He said the university is exploring expansion into downtown Greenville because increased enrollment will require additional space.
3. Assistance in securing funding for community organizations. ECU can help by bringing leaders from organizations together to share plans, by helping organizations identify external resources, and by providing assistance in preparing grant applications, Muse said.
4. Student and faculty help in various community projects. Muse said the university can provide such assistance. "We are committed to getting students into the community to work on real-world problems," he said. "We'll do our best to honor requests for assistance."
5. The need for better education and job training. Muse said the university will engage students and faculty in training where possible, for example in computer training and skills.
6. More diversity training and appreciation of various cultural backgrounds in the community. Muse said there is a clear need for these developments. ECU is working to create a leadership development institute, he said.
"I ask that we work together for the betterment of the community," Muse said. "We believe solutions will come from the community itself."