Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks to students during the ECU convocation in August 2017.

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton is denying rumors which claim he is looking for a buyout from the University of North Carolina System’s Board of Governors. In a statement to the university, Staton said he’s committed to staying at ECU.

Staton was reportedly looking to leave his post on Jan. 1, just before UNC President Margaret Spellings’ departure on Jan. 15, according to various media reports. Staton was also allegedly seeking a severance package greater than what Spellings will receive.

Kieran Shanahan, chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, said in a phone interview that media reports about Staton’s departure aren’t accurate.

“Cecil is continuing to lead ECU ably and with Board’s (Board of Trustees’) support and there was no discussion during our Board meeting regarding a possible departure,” Shanahan said.

Jason Tyson, director of media relations for the UNC System, said in an emailed statement, the UNC System office will not be commenting or issuing a statement on the topic at this time, as it concerns a personnel matter.

Staton addressed the campus community in an ECU News Services email statement. Staton said he plans to remain at ECU.

“Chancellor Staton is currently en route to Florida, where he will be representing ECU at the AAC Board of Directors meeting. He confirms that he has neither accepted any deal nor resigned as Chancellor. ‘My focus will continue to be on serving ECU,’ he said,” according to Staton's statement.

Ron Mitchelson, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs said he has no information and as far as he knows, this recent information is unconfirmed, according to an emailed statement.

Jordan Koonts, SGA president, said he wasn’t aware of speculation surrounding Staton’s departure.

Koonts said he thinks highly of Staton and regardless of what happens, his opinion of Staton won’t change. Koonts said he feels Staton cares deeply about the university and its students and believes Staton has ECU’s best interest in mind.

“I think they’ve had a great vision for this university and for students,” Koonts said. “It’s, I guess, for lack of a better word, a shame he wasn’t dealt a better hand as far as, he had all of these amazing goals and ideas, and we’ve gotten so held up in the politics.”

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