Cecil Staton ecu main campus student center

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton talks to a crowd at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In an email released to the East Carolina University community Monday morning, Cecil Staton announced his resignation as the 11th chancellor of ECU effective May 3. Staton will stay employed by ECU as special advisor to the interim chancellor to help with the transitional period through June 30.

Staton was hired as chancellor on April 26, 2016 and was the first chancellor hired by former University of North Carolina Board of Governors president Margaret Spellings, who resigned from her position in late 2018.

During his almost three years as chancellor, Staton said he is proud of the accomplishments ECU has made, including being able to “press the reset button” on ECU athletics with successful searches for a new athletic director and head football and basketball coaches, according to the press release.

According to a news release from ECU News Services, Staton has provided leadership on the university’s rebranding as “America’s next great university.” With the “Capture Your Horizon” strategy, Staton led planning and investments which have increased financial aid, grown ECU’s internationalization efforts, research activity and overall impact on Eastern North Carolina’s economy.

Staton said he has enjoyed “every moment” of working with ECU students, faculty and staff. In his statement, Staton said he believes ECU’s future is full of promise and there are no limits to what the university can do in service to not only North Carolina, but the world.

“I am grateful to have worked with wonderful students, an enormously dedicated faculty and staff, a terrific leadership team, and lots of Pirate alumni, friends and governance members who understand the importance of ECU to North Carolina,” Staton said in the emailed statement. “As I like to say, if North Carolina didn’t have ECU, it would have to go out and build it tomorrow.”

Jordan Koonts, ECU Student Government Association president, emailed a statement to the ECU student body saying he is at a “loss for words” regarding Staton’s resignation.

Despite the resignation, Koonts said he will continue to support Staton and believes that ECU is a better institution because of Staton’s time as chancellor.

“During his short but effective three-year tenure as chancellor, Cecil Staton has had an undeniably positive impact on our progress towards the great national university that ECU is and will continue to be,” Koonts said in his emailed statement.

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