Rogers: Fiscal Sustainability Recommendations Update — Jan. 14, 2022

The work of the Fiscal Sustainability Coordinating Committee began prior to my return to ECU in March 2021. Upon receiving the committee’s recommendations in July 2021, I determined the best approach was to consider the report while simultaneously evaluating our current state and engaging in dialogue with a broad set of constituencies, including through the ongoing Pirate Perspectives series. As we begin 2022, I am prepared to name and approve an initial set of priorities from the report.

The recommendations below are priorities for implementation in 2022. Each recommendation identifies an individual or small team to oversee implementation and keep me apprised of related progress. While we will certainly engage a wide array of stakeholders within our traditional shared governance structures to move this work forward, the implementation owners are designated below to clarify accountability relative to the initial operationalization of each recommendation. It is my expectation many of the recommendations will require broader implementation teams to resolve the many related details and ensure that adopted strategies maximize the positive impacts of changes in our environment.

Report SectionRecommendationImplementation Owner
Consolidation and Reorganization2.1.1: Change the reporting structure for the deans of CON, CAHS, and SoDM such that all academic programs and functions that directly support academic programs report through a single chief academic officer. Depending on her/his expertise, the Chief Academic Officer may appoint an appropriately credentialed assistant to provide clinical expertise to the leadership team, facilitate health programs, and oversee the regulatory and compliance offices. *Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott
2.1.3: Create a “Council of Deans” comprised of the deans from Academic Affairs and Health Sciences to advise Academic Council, improve communication, and provide greater input into decision making.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott
2.1.8: Coordinate scheduling of foundation board meetings to reduce workload on staff, improve communication, and increase stakeholders’ understanding of the importance of each area of campus.VC Dyba & AD Gilbert
2.1.9: Use one centralized alumni and donor database for ECU and its foundations to reduce cost, coordinate contacts, and improve communication.VC Dyba & AD Gilbert
Programs and
3.1.2: Leverage online offerings to increase FTE generation by (1) ensuring general education (GE) requirements can be completed online, and (2) expand offering of online bachelor’s degree programs.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott
3.1.7: Develop a process internal to ECU for continual financial evaluation of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. *Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson, VC Van Scott & VC Coleman
3.1.8: Revise ECU PRR REG02.07.06 on faculty workloads to provide greater clarity and alignment with other workload regulations set forth by UNC System Office.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott
Enrollment4.1.1.1: Continue Strategic Enrollment Planning and grow ECU Online – Anticipate and provide increased resourcing for current enrollment initiatives (SEP, ECU Online) as competition for students increases.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott Continue Strategic Enrollment Planning and grow ECU Online – Invest in marketing to students and families.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott Continue Strategic Enrollment Planning and grow ECU Online – Address the unique challenges presented in recruitment and retention of graduate students, particularly aggressive competition from Online Program Manager (OPM).Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott Grow Enrollment of Hispanic Students – Fund marketing and resources needed to boost enrollment, recruitment, and retention.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson, VC Van Scott & VC Coleman Grow Enrollment of Hispanic Students – Create a campus environment that is welcoming and inclusive.Chief Diversity Officer Forbes
4.1.3: Strengthen Pathways to Post-traditional Students (Note: All seven sub-recommendations are included in this phase)Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott Grow Graduate Enrollment – Increase marketing of specific degrees and academic programs of interest to potential students.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson, VC Van Scott & Chief Communications Officer Hutson Grow Graduate Enrollment – Conduct case studies of online master’s programs to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with respect to enrollment.Provost Hayes, VC Mitchelson & VC Van Scott
Operational Costs5.1.2: Explore moving SHRA personnel actions from the divisional offices to Human Resources.VC Coleman
5.1.3: Leverage remote work.Chancellor’s Cabinet
5.1.5: Continue to vet and hone recommendations of the Distributed IT report.VC Coleman

*Denotes slight modification to the original recommendation.

While timelines and workplans will emerge for the recommendations in the coming weeks, let me be clear about an expectation relative to the divisional restructuring. The work necessary to implement this recommendation must be prioritized such that we achieve operational status by the start of the new academic year.

All remaining recommendations from the July 2021 report remain under consideration, but for now those noted above are the identified priorities out of this report for 2022. Thank you for the ongoing commitment to best position ECU in pursuit of our mission.

— Chancellor Philip G. Rogers