Chancellor Rogers' Message, October 2023
October 2, 2023
Dear ECU Faculty and Staff:
As we continue to move through a busy fall semester, I write with gratitude for all you’ve done to chart the path for an exceptional year. From the classroom to the community and throughout campus, your energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead are putting our best foot forward.
Thank you especially for the support that you brought to one another and all of Pirate Nation on Sept. 20: University Day. Together we’re gathering momentum for critical progress in areas at the heart of East Carolina University: student success, public service, and regional transformation. The impressive turnout for University Day underscores the heartfelt passion for our mission across all segments of ECU.
Make no mistake: We understand our moment. We’re embedded in the communities we serve and committed to their well-being. As I said on University Day, we’re acting on our urgent call to knock down barriers to education; to reinforce a culture of care; and to make our rural communities healthier, sustainable, and equipped for the future.
By fulfilling our potential for North Carolina, we’re not only securing the future here. We’re also setting a national model for transformation in communities across the country. Each of us has an essential role in carrying out our collective vision — the five-year strategic plan: “Future focused. Innovation driven.”
I look forward to the collaborations that will blossom as we all join forces. While achieving our own goals is the highest marker of success, external validation is helpful reinforcement. And so we’re heartened that the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings recognize the advancements that we’re making. Such high-profile acknowledgement helps share our story with the world.
Investments made by the state in our missional work also signal confidence in ECU. Recent state funding commitments will help us to grow the workforce in primary health care and to strengthen health care overall. Specifically, these resources will fuel our efforts to:
- support clinical preceptorships for nursing students and increase the class size in the Brody School of Medicine;
- grow our physician assistants program;
- and enhance capacity to serve patients in the Psychological Assessment and Specialty Services clinic.
Meanwhile, new capital investments of nearly $200 million will allow us to repair and renovate many existing buildings such as the Howell Science Complex, as well as resources for critical new projects like the construction of a children’s behavioral health facility.
A $410 million state commitment to create NC Care will transform rural health care, with ECU and ECU Health at the center of this work.
A separate state investment of $500 million will help drive NCInnovation, the nonprofit charting North Carolina’s innovation future, over the next two years. ECU will serve as the lead innovation hub for the eastern region.
Finally, you are well aware of our top priority to advocate for enhanced salaries for the many talented faculty and staff that contribute to the success of ECU. We are grateful to the General Assembly for providing 7% salary increase over the course of the biennium (4% in year one and 3% in year two). We look forward to sharing more detailed information about the process and timing for the legislative increases in the near future.
At ECU, we are committed to leveraging such investments to advance our mission and vision goals, creating opportunity and equipping all learners for lifelong success, and fostering a universal sense of belonging through a culture of care.
Thank you for everything that you’re doing to realize the potential across this great institution.
Philip G. Rogers