The future of Elizabeth City State University is strong, and the outlook is bright. That’s the message delivered by Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon during her State of the University address at the Faculty/Staff Institute Wednesday, Jan. 8.
“ECSU does have a bright future!” said Chancellor Dixon.
During her address, Chancellor Dixon outlined the successes of the university since the beginning of the fall 2019 semester. She highlighted progress in infrastructure, academic expansion, enrollment and more.
Chancellor Dixon also spoke about the significant support ECSU has been and continues to receive from the North Carolina General Assembly and the University of North Carolina System.
Most recently, the General Assembly allocated $5.2 million to ECSU for hurricane relief. Buildings, both academic and residential, damaged by water during the September 2019 hurricane, will be repaired. The allocation of those funds, she said, is significant and points to the confidence in ECSU’s future.
“Now we’ve never seen this type of funding for hurricane relief,” she said. “It’s a new day for ECSU.”
The UNC System Board of Governors has also allocated an additional $2 million for repairs, Chancellor Dixon said.
The university is also in the throes of SACSCOC reaccreditation and in the final stretch of its five-year strategic planning process. She said that two important components of ECSU’s growth are the reaccreditation process and enrollment growth.
“These are essential to the future growth of ECSU,” she said. “Institutions do not survive without accreditation and enrollment drives the budget.”
Chancellor Dixon called on the faculty and staff to continue advocating for the university at the local, regional and national level.
“As we work to assure the future success of ECSU, we will also work to support the future of this region,” she said, emphasizing that the success of the university is paramount to the success of the lives and businesses of Northeastern North Carolina.
“The region and its people need ECSU so we must be committed to that,” said Chancellor Dixon.
Chancellor Dixon also challenged each faculty and staff member to recruit at least five new students to the university.
Looking to the future, Chancellor Dixon outlined a vision for the future, focusing on the pending state budget approval, and activities here, on the ECSU campus.
For the state’s part, a budget approval by the governor and general assembly would allocate funds for a number of projects. Two significant campus projects would be the new state-of-the-art campus library and the proposed crime lab.
The state budget approval, she said, would also continue to fund the NC Promise Tuition Program, bringing quality education at affordable tuition to students from across the state and beyond.
On campus, ECSU, said Chancellor Dixon, has more than 200 acres and plenty of room to expand. She said she and her senior staff will be looking for industry partnerships to find ways to expand opportunity for students.
The Chancellor ended her address emphasizing that none of these plans are possible without all members of the faculty and staff being on board, working together for the future of the university. She reminded them of A.C.E., Accountability, Commitment, and Excellence.