Rogers: Retirements — Feb. 25, 2022

When I returned to campus last year, I was thankful to have a strong, veteran leadership team as I transitioned into the role of chancellor while COVID-19 continued to present challenges to our campus and nation. Today, I’m writing to tell you that three of those servant leaders whom I have relied on for advice and their vast institutional knowledge have told me that they plan to retire from the university in the coming months.

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, interim vice chancellor for health sciences, and Dr. Michael Van Scott, interim vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement, plan to retire from the university on June 30, 2022. For those of you who have been fortunate to work with either during their decades at ECU, you know of their commitment to our institution, our mission and our students.

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs, also plans to retire this year but will stay on while we conduct the national search for her successor. Since joining ECU in 1993, Dr. Hardy has focused on enhancing student success, student learning, leadership development and the overall quality of life for all members of the university community.

Prior to becoming vice chancellor in 2010, she served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Brody School of Medicine, where under her guidance several initiatives were implemented or enhanced to improve the educational, personal and professional development of students. She was responsible for leading the intensive, preparatory course Summer Program for Future Doctors. She also served as interim chief diversity officer and led the first university-wide climate survey.

Under Dr. Hardy’s guidance, the Division of Student Affairs has prioritized and led data-driven initiatives to advance and grow our commitment to student success. She is responsible for enhancing the quality of residential living and the collegiate experience with the building of a new residential hall, renovating several other halls, and building two state-of-the-art student centers on the main and health sciences campuses. In 2019 the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center opened at ECU as the result of Dr. Hardy’s collaboration to fulfill the need for a safe and welcoming environment that promotes acceptance and visibility of all students.

Dr. Hardy and her staff have gained national attention for their work in developing Cupola Conversations as an exemplar for healthy civil discourse on campus and addressing important community issues. She too lives and breathes our mission and dedication to our students.

Dr. Van Scott joined ECU in 1990 as a faculty member and researcher at the Brody School of Medicine, focusing on the pathophysiology and treatment of asthma. In 2013, he joined the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, serving twice as the interim chief research officer. During his time at REDE, grants and contracts at ECU grew to more than $75 million annually. Dr. Van Scott has been instrumental in building the physical, administrative and cultural infrastructure to support that growth. He is widely recognized across the ECU community as an effective and collaborative partner who values the diverse activities required to build and sustain a strong university that drives regional transformation.

One of the reasons I wanted to return to ECU was to be part of a team that places the institution ahead of self-interest and demonstrates a deep commitment to our students and the region. Virginia, Ron and Mike have done just that, and ECU is a better place for their service. I will always be thankful for their many contributions.

More information to come on the national search for the vice chancellor for student affairs.

Because of the divisional reorganization recommended and enacted from the work of the Fiscal Sustainability committee that will become effective July 1, we will not be conducting searches for the vice chancellors of health sciences or REDE positions.

Please join me in thanking Ron, Mike and Virginia for their years of dedication to ECU and their demonstrated commitment to making our university the best it can be. I’m grateful for their service and leadership.

— Chancellor Philip G. Rogers