Scott Francis

East Carolina University has filled its top alumni association position with a director from the University of Florida's Gator Clubs.

Scott E. Francis has been appointed associate vice chancellor and president of the ECU Alumni Association, the university announced on Friday, his first day on the job. He replaces Heath Bowman, who resigned abruptly in January over disputed selections to the 40 under 40 alumni recognition.

Francis served as director of Gator Clubs and affiliate groups, the ECU news release said. There, he was responsible for the support, training, direction and stewardship of 95 Gator Clubs, six affiliate groups and more than 700 leaders representing 422,000 alumni.

“I am thrilled to be joining East Carolina University, where the mission, vision and shared values of ‘Servire’ align so nicely with my personal passion and commitment to building robust, inclusive and diverse alumni communities,” Francis said. “We have a unique opportunity to illuminate what ECU is all about and I look forward to working with an outstanding team at ECU that is committed to leading the university to new heights.”

ECU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Christopher Dyba expressed confidence in the selection.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge, management skills and vision to the position that will allow him to hit the ground running as the new leader of this organization," he said.

At ECU, Francis will be responsible for representing the interests of nearly 170,000 alumni. He will lead the association’s dedicated staff and volunteers and provide direction on the association’s many programs and component parts.

“We are excited to welcome Scott and confident in his ability to further the mission of the ECU Alumni Association to inform, involve and serve the members of the ECU family throughout their lifelong relationship with the university,” said Caroline Tait, director for alumni marketing and communications.

Francis received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his master’s degree from Stockton University.

He has taken the job amid a hiring freeze the university announced in June to address anticipated budget shortfalls.

Recruitment for the position began in February and the hiring proposal was approved by the university's human resources office and the Office of Equity and Diversity to proceed with an offer of employment in mid-June, a university spokeswoman said.

Exceptions to the hiring freeze are subject to the recommendation of the university's executive council, she said.

The annual salary for Francis is $120,000.