August 21, 2017
Dr. William M. Downs, dean of
the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, praised the faculty and staff
for their work during his State of the College Address at the college’s 54th
“We have much about which to
be proud as a college. We have much about which to be excited,” said Downs. “As
I have said each and every year that I’ve had the privilege of speaking to you,
I like who we are as a college. I like the value we bring to this university
and to our community. I like the partnerships that we’re building on both
campuses. I like that we have stayed creative, entrepreneurial and
During his address, Downs
various aspects of what makes the college great and what the college provides
that is important to the university, students and the region.
College has expanded, reviving ECU’s Center for Survey Research and welcoming
the University Studies Program into its academic fold.
researchers are not only bringing in additional grant dollars ($7.1 million in
2016-17) but they are impacting lives and strengthening the community through
college increased its philanthropic gifts to $5.5 million in 2016-17, up from
the previous year’s $1.3 million, and it continues to steward donors by saying
thank you through the college’s annual Scholarship Donor Recognition
programs are increasing in student popularity. Thirteen out of 16 departments
increased their undergraduate majors in the past academic year. The college
also is graduating more students and is dedicated to the goal of getting more
students to finish in four years.
in Harriot College have more experiential learning opportunities and the college
partners with the Center for Career Services on panels and workshops for arts
and sciences students to be prepared for their lives after graduation.
“We’re committed to helping
our students to be more confident and to be knowledgeable about launching their
careers,” said Downs. “We want each new cohort of Harriot College graduates to
enter the post-ECU world with every possible advantage; ready to make their
also discussed some major goals for the year ahead.
touched on six priorities and initiatives for the college, including 1)
launching a Water Resources Research Cluster, a partnership between Geography,
Geological Sciences, Chemistry and Engineering; 2) increasing college financial
support of the Interdisciplinary Programs and the establishment of a Council of
Interdisciplinary Program Directors; 3) establishing a semester immersion
program in Washington, D.C. for Harriot College students interested in
politics, policy, economics, justice, social issues and leadership; 4)
increasing student proficiency in foreign languages; 5) strengthening the
college’s graduate programs and increasing enrollments; and 6) providing a
critical role in support of the university’s coastal initiatives and programs.
In closing, Downs thanked the
college faculty and staff for their continued commitment to the students, their
disciplines and to the community.