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I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

ECU trustees need distinct change

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

As the ECU Board of Trustees approaches the date to elect its new leadership, I'm reminded how poor that leadership has been over the past 3-4 years. The university is now transitioning to a new interim chancellor and from losses based on poor decision-making. Before any returning board member gets a chance possibly to continue the downward slope, I would suggest he/she be asked to justify choices under that time of service. The following questions come to mind:

Based on what successes was AD Compher's contract extended? Why did downward trends in Pirate Club memberships, season ticket sales and exploding athletic deficits become publicly available after his contract renewal? Why were such trends rewarded?

Why did the Pirate Nation learn about the purchase of a chancellor's house largely by surprise? From a Charlotte magazine?  After the fact?

Why did the massively negative audit report on significant university cash flow deficits, inability to balance the budget, significant downturn in student applications and exploding borrowing only become public in recent months? Why were these matters not better communicated with rectification plans and alternatives activated sooner?

Why was the recently departed chancellor with very limited, comparatively speaking, higher education leadership experience recommended by the BOT among other candidates with stronger credentials? Why was he not better vetted?

What plans does the BOT have to strengthen our Brody School of Medicine and enhance its chances of long-term success as an ECU entity?

These are some questions I would like to see any person in a recent BOT leadership position respond to before any person from that group is given a chance to lead. As one who attempts to follow ECU progress closely, I personally have seen no evidence that such leadership deserves that chance, but perhaps that person can justify such by answering convincingly the above questions and others which demand clarification. 

Doug Strickland

Pine Level

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