18 picked for ECSU chancellor search

033018 Harold Barnes

Harold Barnes


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Eighteen people from northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia with backgrounds in education, business and government have been named to the panel that will search for Elizabeth City State University’s next chancellor.

ECSU officials released the names of the chancellor search committee members on Tuesday. The panel will recommend three candidates to the full ECSU Board of Trustees for a permanent successor to Thomas Conway, who retired at the end of May.

ECSU is currently led by interim Chancellor Karrie Dixon, a UNC vice president tapped by University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings. Dixon has served as interim chancellor since April 9. She has served as a co-chairwoman of ECSU’s Working Group Phase 2: A New Direction since October 2017.

The chancellor search committee includes representatives of the trustee board, ECSU’s faculty, staff and administration, and alumni. There’s also a student member, as well as representatives from the Elizabeth City civic and business communities.

The committee also includes one non-voting member from the UNC Board of Governors: Steve Long, who serves as the board’s liaison to ECSU.

The committee will be chaired by ECSU Board of Trustees Chairman Harold Barnes. A former trustees chairman, Abdul Rasheed, current president of the ECSU National Alumni Association, will also be on the committee.

Other ECSU trustees serving on the panel are Andy Culpepper, Jan K. Robinson and Kennis Wilkins.

Faculty will be represented by Scott Bradshaw, who chairs the ECSU Faculty Senate, while staff will be represented by Cynthia Horne, chairwoman of the ECSU Staff Senate, and by Kathryn Underwood-Melton.

Chorn Poyner, president of the ECSU Student Government Association, will represent students. Jeanette Evans, president of the ECSU Foundation, is also a panel member.

Elizabeth City City Manager Rich Olson and Williamston Mayor Joyce Brown will also serve on the committee.

Chowan County businessman Charles Creighton, president and chief executive officer of Colony Tire, has also been named to the panel, as has Lenora Jarvis-Mackey, president of River City Community Development Corp.

Deran Whitney, superintendent of the Suffolk, Virginia, Public Schools, and Tanya Turner, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Edenton-Chowan Schools, will also serve on the panel.

Spellings said she’s glad to see the chancellor search getting underway.

“We welcome the beginning of this process and look forward to the committee’s recommendations later this year,” Spellings said Tuesday in a statement released by the UNC System Office. “The UNC System Office is very confident that this group of highly-esteemed appointees will help identify the right chancellor to lead Elizabeth City State University into the future.”

The search committee will recommend finalists to the full ECSU Board of Trustees. The board must then recommend three finalists to Spellings, who will recommend one candidate to the UNC Board of Governors for approval. The process is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

“The committee understands its charge and ensures the public that its work will be thorough and well-intended, all for the benefit of the future of this great institution,” Kim Brown of the ECSU Board of Trustees, who is a member of the chancellor search committee, said in the statement. “We thank each of those who were involved in the selection process.”