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Chancellor outlines goals for new year as students head back to campus

GREENVILLE, NC   (Aug. 20, 2005)   —   East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard outlined five main opportunities for implementing a vision he said will help ECU become “The University for North Carolina.”

Speaking Monday at the annual faculty convocation in Wright Auditorium, Ballard said future opportunities lie in the realm of fostering student leaders, creating national prominence in teacher training, building a performing arts center, transforming the economy of the region and innovating medical technologies and treatment.

“Our future is bright,” Ballard said. “Our aspirations will be bold and will be fueled by our strengths and opportunities.”

As the 3,500-strong class of 2009 enters East Carolina, Ballard said the university must build on its commitment to create student leaders. Initiatives, such as the new Discovery Leadership Academy, which prepares first-generation college students for leadership roles, are important springboards for such training on campus, he said.

Ballard also touched on ECU’s dedication to its original charter: teacher training.

“ECU has a significant role to play and will be a national leader in providing the teachers for the 21st century classrooms,” he said.

A strong factor in the quality of life of the region depends on intellectual diversity and excellence in the arts, Ballard said. He proposed a comprehensive performing arts center for ECU and for the region.

“Added to the natural resources of this area and the strength of our College of Fine Arts and Communication, this new center can help ECU and Greenville become a mecca of the arts.”

Another role of the university is its effect on the region’s economy. Greenville can be the next major city-state, comparable to the Triangle, the Triad and Charlotte, Ballard said. To do this, there will be a focus on retaining ECU graduates to work in the region and help them lead the way to improving health, education and medical services.

“For North Carolina to prosper, eastern North Carolina must prosper,” he said. “And, for eastern North Carolina to prosper, ECU must prosper.”

The chancellor proposed the building of a world-class health sciences center that would include a dental school.

“The foundation is here and the opportunities abound,” Ballard said. “It will require a strategic approach, ownership throughout the campus and aggressiveness.”

Projected figures are the highest in history as preliminary numbers show a total target enrollment of 23,500 — a more than 3 percent increase from last year’s 22,767 students.

In addition to the faculty convocation, activities surrounding the return of students to the university were numerous, including the first student convocation in recent history. Held in recognition of the official start of the academic year and geared toward freshman, the event was designed to help students bridge the gap between high school and college. Following the student convocation Sunday, there was a series of activities and workshops geared toward the new college students. Topics ranged from budget and time management to relationships and exercise.

Move-in for the nearly 5,000 students living on -campus began Thursday, Aug. 18 and continued through Sunday. About 80 volunteers helped students move into Garrett and Aycock halls as part of the Pirate Move-In Crew program. The pilot initiative was created through the Office of Campus Living. Faculty, staff and members of student campus organizations helped with the effort.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481