ECSU Chancellor forum could be held next week

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Members of a subcommittee in charge of gathering public input in the search for the next chancellor at Elizabeth City State University are shown at ECSU, Wednesday. The members attending included (l-r) Rich Olson, Dr. Scott Bradshaw, Cynthia Horne, Chorn Poyner, Gwen Sanders, Harold Barnes and Lenora Jarvis-Mackey.

081718 ECSU

By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The subcommittee in charge of gathering public input in the search for the next chancellor at Elizabeth City State University agreed Wednesday to begin holding public forums as early as next week.

ECSU and University of North Carolina System officials have set a target of February 2019 for having the next chancellor in place. With the search committee set to work on a leadership profile in September to govern the search, forums will be held over the next three weeks to receive public input on leadership qualities desired in the ECSU chancellor.

The first forum will be held in Elizabeth City, followed by forums in Williamston, Greenville and possibly other sites. Locations for the forums, along with exact dates and times, will be announced next week — probably on Monday. 

Abdul Rasheed, a former ECSU Board of Trustee chairman who represents ECSU’s National Alumni Association on the Chancellor Search Committee, said he is planning to hold three regional alumni forums by conference call. The telephone call format was chosen “so we can have the largest input possible,” Rasheed said.

The alumni forums could begin next week and are expected to conclude the first week of September.

Rasheed said he plans to have “structured discussion” at the forums in order to get input that will be helpful to the search panel. He said that while the forums will be designed for alumni to call in by phone, there might also be forums at physical sites where people can attend in person if they live close enough.

In addition to the forums, members of the public will be able to provide input through a survey that will be made available online. More information on that Web page is expected next week.

University faculty and staff plan to hold their own forums. Scott Bradshaw will moderate the faculty forum while Cynthia Horne will moderate the staff forum. There will be two or three forums for both staff and faculty held, depending on the extent of participation.

ECSU Trustee Harold Barnes, who chairs the search committee, said the purpose of the forums is to get information on the leadership traits people are looking for in the ECSU chancellor.

“The whole purpose is to try to get as much input as we can,” Barnes said. “We’re just looking for input on what a great leader should look like.”

Lynn Duffy of the UNC System office agreed, noting the forums will be listening sessions, not debates.

Chorn Poyner, who represents the Student Government Association on the search committee, said the SGA is planning to hold three forums for students.

Two community and business forums are expected to be held in Elizabeth City, and community forums also are being planned for Williamston and Greenville.

If there is sufficient public interest there also may be a forum held in Suffolk, Va.

ECSU’s interim chancellor is Karrie Dixon, a vice president of the UNC System. Chancellor Thomas Conway retired at the end of May.