ECU's Board of Trustees

ECU's Board of Trustees in session on Feb. 6.

East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees (BOT) met May 12 to swear in three new members, discuss tuition and fees for the fiscal school year followed by an athletics update from Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson.

The three new members sworn in were Scott Shook, Van Isley and Tucker Robbins during the virtual meeting. 

Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Sara Thorndike said the Board of Governors approved a zero percent increase for tuition and mandatory fees for the coming fiscal year. Thorndike brought the approval to the board seeking a retraction to its original decision on increased housing, dining, parking and OneCard fees. 

“We would like to communicate to our students that there will be no tuition or fee increases this fiscal year,” Thorndike said. 

The motion to maintain the existing rates for the next fiscal year was then approved by the board. Thorndike said the motion will include athletic fees as a mandatory fee that will not be increased. 

Mitchelson delivered the athletics update with history on a working group titled The Athletics Fiscal Sustainability Working Group. He said the group was developed in January to discuss the ongoing increase in student athletic fees. 

Mitchelson said the working group chaired by Chris Locklear was expecting two important elements to be reported on.

“Mission accomplished. We have a great analysis in that report and a set of recommendations that are going to be useful to Athletic Director Jon Gilbert and me as we move forward,” Mitchelson said. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has hindered the athletic department along with the entire university, according to Mitchelson. He said the impact of COVID-19 will be in the general range of a $5 million deficit. 

Mitchelson said with the working group report now in hand and knowing the effects of COVID-19 they are aware that it can’t be business as usual. The report will become public soon, according to Mitchelson.  

The report will become public soon, Mitchelson said, with changes to the athletics department in the coming weeks. He said the decisions will be made by the administrative staff of the university. 

“We already know that change is afoot, so I am just letting you know in the next few weeks we will be making really difficult decisions,” Mitchelson said. “These will be tremendously difficult decisions that we must make.” 

Mitchelson said the administrative staff will be notifying the trustees of these decisions before it is public knowledge. 

Chair of the BOT Vern Davenport adjourned the meeting with a comment on the current ECU Chancellor search. Davenport said the search is on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic but next week is looking hopeful to re-initiate the activity.


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