ECSU Chancellor Karrie Dixon gives her State of the University address during the fall 2019 Faculty and Staff Institute.
If Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Karrie Dixon had one theme in her State of the University address during the fall 2019 Faculty/Staff Institute Wednesday, Aug. 7, it was that we are all in this together.
“We have to work together,” said Chancellor Dixon.
With a month before her official installation as ECSU’s 12th executive officer, Chancellor Dixon said she would save comments about vision statements and plans for the future for the Sept. 6 installation ceremony. Instead, during her address Wednesday morning, ECSU’s chief executive highlighted progress being made across campus, and defined what it means to have “Viking Pride.”
“We have so much to be proud of,” she said.
Chancellor Dixon said more and more people are taking notice of ECSU and the growth that is happening on campus. The state’s general assembly, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors and more are taking notice of the importance of ECSU, and the progress being made over the past year.
“That’s a big deal,” she said. “With their support we are going to get a lot done.”
But to get a lot done, Chancellor Dixon encouraged the faculty and staff attending the event to come together for a common purpose, the growth of the institution.
“We must be intentional and strategic in our approach,” she said. “Things don’t just happen.”
To make things happen, ECSU needs “a culture of committed employees,” and alumni who are “committed to serve as champions of this institution.” That means everyone needs to be proud to be a Viking.
“When people ask, what is Viking Pride, we have to be able to tell them something,” said Chancellor Dixon. “When we say Viking Pride three times, we all have to know what that means.”
Chancellor Dixon emphasized that Viking Pride is not ECSU the institution, but rather, “it is individuals here at ECSU.”
Viking Pride is about courage, and resilience, she said. It is about building legacies and overcoming challenges with the support of community and family.
Chancellor Dixon emphasized again that the future of ECSU relies upon everyone working together.
“We can’t do this alone,” she said. “I can’t do this alone.”
In her address, Chancellor Dixon also outlined some of the progress being made across campus. She spoke about the improvements to the campus landscape and facilities, and plans to build stronger communications across the university.
There is a plan to have a bi-weekly communications from the Chancellor’s desk sent out across campus. There is also a plan for a monthly meeting in the Chancellor’s boardroom so she can hear from the ECSU community.
“To talk about how to improve,” she said. “I don’t know what I don’t know.”
She also announced that Spirit Fridays are coming back to campus. Faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to wear Viking clothing and celebrate the university each week on campus, and out in the community.
Chancellor Dixon said over all, she wants people to “Work with the spirit of excellence as a standard.” She reminded faculty and staff of the acronym she presented last year, A.C.E., or Accountability, Commitment, Excellence.
The university, she said, is growing and becoming stronger, but that’s no reason for the ECSU community to rest on its laurels.
“We have made progress but we have, still, a long way to go,” she said.
And the only way to get there is to “work together.”