The full Board of Trustees (BOT) at East Carolina University met on Sept. 11 to discuss and hear comments from multiple aspects of ECU’s community such as the student body, faculty, ECU athletics and the ongoing chancellor search.
Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson gave a few comments about COVID-19 and the decision to move to remote instruction. Mitchelson said if ECU didn’t make the decision to move to remote instruction, he doesn’t know where the number of cases would be today.
“It (remote instruction) has an impact on the community, it has an impact on faculty, the staff, on everything we do,” Mitchelson said.
The spring 2021 semester is not fully planned yet, according to Mitchelson. He said ECU will have students back on campus, but not at the same capacity as before.
Student Body President Tucker Robbins said the decision to move to remote instruction was understood and supported, though the decision weighed heavily upon students in many aspects.
“Once again I think it is safe to say that we are grateful for the administration and all of the planning that have been put forth in this effort,” Robbins said. “At the end of the day, this pandemic continues to show its presence as we try to continue out our mission and higher education.”
Robbins said on Aug. 23 he distributed a message to students which informed them of a form that could be filled out with common questions and concerns. He said this form provided the Student Government Association (SGA) with much needed insight and they were addressed by administration as they decided to implement the Pass/Fail option.
Various SGA representatives are available to speak with students through a web conference, according to Robbins. The next virtual office hours will be Sept. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m. and can be accessed on the ECU Engage website.
Faculty Senate Chair Purificación Martínez provided a report on behalf of the Faculty Senate. She said higher education is more needed now than ever and ECU faculty will continue to work hard to advance ECU’s mission.
“I am sure that you know that the workloads of the faculty has tripled because we are teaching on a condensed schedule,” Martínez said. “We need to tend to the educational needs of all of our students.”
ECU Head Football Coach Mike Houston was a special guest to the BOT meeting and said the return of athletics has been very restrictive with protocols. He said he is proud of student-athletes and staff for their diligence to the new change.
The meeting concluded with BOT Chairman Vern Davenport speaking about the ongoing ECU Chancellor Search.
“The whole intent behind the forming of the committee the way we formed the committee was to build the widest coalition of Pirate Nation to be involved in the search and therefore giving our next chancellor the widest coalition of Pirate Nation support as they come into what would be a very challenging time to be a chancellor of higher education,” Davenport said.