Shelton: We will not stand still
(Sept. 22, 2003)
East Carolina University will only grow stronger in light of the recent challenges and leadership changes, newly appointed Interim Chancellor Bill Shelton told a group of reporters and officials Monday. Read his complete remarks here.
Shelton, vice chancellor of university advancement at East Carolina University and former president of Eastern Michigan University, was named interim chancellor Thursday.
"We are facing a few challenges but we need no sympathy," he said at the Greenville Centre. "We know where we are going. We have a plan; We have a purpose."
Shelton stressed his role as an active interim.
"Interim does not mean inactive. Interim does not mean in limbo," he said. "We will not stand still."
Part of this advancement of the institution will entail an evaluation of the role of personnel, he said.
"We need to make sure our organization is in the right mode to do what we need to accomplish," he said.
Shelton also said he would continue to promote four areas of emphasis, an initiative that began under Muse to promote teacher preparation, human health, creative and performing arts and economic development.
"I think those are sound areas to continue on," he said. "We may modify and tweak, but we are going to continue with that."
Shelton said the result would be a strong re-affirmation of the importance of the areas.
Shelton, who came to ECU July 1, succeeds William V. Muse, who announced Sept. 12 that he was resigning after two years as chancellor. Shelton was appointed to the interim role by University of North Carolina President Molly Corbett Broad.
President Broad said: "In a career that spans three decades, Bill Shelton has distinguished himself as a top-notch administrator and proven leader. In the relatively brief period he has served as vice chancellor, he has earned the support and confidence of ECU colleagues and faculty alike. His extensive experience as a university president, integrity, and sound judgment make him well qualified to provide strong leadership for ECU during a critical time of change and transition.
"Eastern North Carolina needs ECU as never before," continued Broad. "Great and exciting things are happening in its classrooms and on the athletic field, in its research labs and in the medical school, and we cannot afford to lose one whit of momentum in pushing the reach of ECU farther out into the region and the state. Bill Shelton understands the many challenges and opportunities before this campus, and I am grateful that he has agreed to accept this important assignment. I am also thankful that Richard Brown, who recently retired as executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for finance and administration, will return to full-time duty to assist in this transition. We will move as quickly as possible to identify a permanent successor to Chancellor Muse, but in the meantime, I am confident that ECU is in very capable hands."
Shelton said he did not view the coming months as a period for caretaking or treading water. "I look forward to working with the entire university community to maintain our energy and focus," he said.
James R. Talton Jr., chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, added his endorsement to Shelton's appointment: "On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are extremely excited about having Dr. Bill Shelton as interim chancellor. He has years of leadership experience in a university setting. Furthermore, during the past week he has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding organizational and communications skills with all segments of the university community."
Rick Niswander, chair of the ECU faculty and associate professor of accounting, added, "The faculty is very appreciative of the opportunity to provide i