The trustees, during a retreat at Mendenhall Student Center Oct. 7-8, grappled with the wording for a strategic vision, finally settling, at least temporarily, on: "A national university creating leadership and service through innovation and international centers of excellence."
They will circulate the draft for comment and reaction among the stakeholders of the university, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, the Board of Visitors and various foundation boards before reconsidering it at their Dec. 11 meeting. It will become a part of the discussions for the development of a university strategic plan for 2000-20005.
Trustee Betty Speir said, "We are all committed to growth, to growth in many ways." Walter Williams, another member of the board, added: "I'm a firm believer that you grow or you die."
Phil Dixon, vice chair of the board, said, "We're aspiring to do something more than we're doing now. We're not aggressive enough." Trustee Willie Martin said, "We need to look at the entire state; we need to look beyond the state. In this vision, we need to articulate ourselves as a national leader in higher education." Some members of the board cautioned that the university should not turn its back on its roots. "We are going to remain the university of access to eastern North Carolina," Dixon said.
The trustees also said that the university should do a better job of marketing. "Based on our experiences," Martin said, "we know we have good programs in place that people don't know about. We need to tell them." Other topics addressed by the board included roles and responsibilities of various boards and executives within the University of North Carolina system and the traits of effective leadership teams.
ECU News Bureau