Fraley named dean of ECU Honors College

Todd Fraley has been appointed dean of the East Carolina University Honors College, where he has served as interim dean since the retirement of David White last June.

The ECU Honors College is a diverse community of innovative, curious and creative students who take part in a high-impact curriculum that includes living together as freshmen in the Honors College Living Learning Community, participating in unique coursework and seminars, and completing a signature honors project. Fraley’s time in the Honors College began with his work as a faculty fellow for honors and EC Scholars, ECU’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship program, before becoming director of the EC Scholars program in 2014 and associate dean of the college in 2017.

Headshot of Todd Fraley

Fraley (Contributed photo)

The importance of the Honors College lies in the positive impact of its students on the campus, the community and the state, Fraley said. “Through their successes, these young people truly embody ECU’s commitment to regional transformation and public service. The Honors College has also been pivotal in establishing partnerships across campus that assist all students and ensure they feel supported as they pursue their goals.”

Fraley joined ECU’s faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor in the School of Communication and became an associate professor and coordinator for undergraduate studies in 2010. In the Honors College, he helped develop the college and EC Scholars program’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives from curriculum and programming to admissions and recruitment. He also expanded access to study abroad opportunities and funding for students and built partnerships with units across campus to offer a diverse slate of honors seminars.

At the university level, he has worked to promote prestigious scholarship and fellowships for students across campus, resulting in multiple Goldwater, Fulbright and Boren recipients at ECU. In 2019, he received the James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award honoring his outstanding servant leadership. He also represented the EC Scholars program nationally by serving on the board of directors for the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrators Association.

Provost Robin Coger said Fraley’s experience at ECU has prepared him well to lead the Honors College.

“The Honors College at ECU works with faculty from across the university to provide a rigorous curriculum and experiences designed to prepare its students to be leaders in their future professions,” she said. “This is a high profile university program whose continued success and progression requires a dean who prioritizes students and their development, and who demonstrates expertise in being a good partner. I am confident that Dr. Todd Fraley will do well in this leadership role.”

As dean of the Honors College, Fraley will also hold the Bill and Emily Furr Honors College Distinguished Professorship. The professorship was established through a donation from the Furrs along with matching funds from the UNC System Board of Governors’ Distinguished Professorship Endowment Trust Fund to provide support for the dean of the Honors College.

Bill Furr graduated from ECU in 1965, and the Furrs are long-time financial supporters of the university. Furr has served on the ECU Board of Trustees, the ECU Foundation Board of Directors, the ECU Real Estate Foundation, the Business Advisory Council, the steering committee for the School of Business’ Golden Anniversary campaign, and the steering committee for the Shared Visions campaign. He is a member of the Order of the Cupola and founding member of the Chancellor’s Society. His son, Tom Furr ’89, is a member of the ECU Board of Trustees.

“Emily and I are excited to see how the Honors College has grown in stature and increased its enrollment over the past 12 years,” Furr said. “The college has, since its inception, developed significantly, and with the Honors College Distinguished Professorship, we will continue to support and encourage this growth. It will only add to the university’s prestige.”

Fraley said he and the Honors College team are grateful for the Furrs’ support and commitment to student success.

“Their endowment creating the Furr distinguished professorship enables us to continue to provide a truly unique educational experience for our students,” he said.

“I look forward to working with the amazing Honors College team and our tremendously supportive partners as we design the next chapter,” Fraley said. “We will continue to provide a welcoming, supportive and challenging educational environment for all students, while devising and implementing programming and curriculum initiatives offering unique, valuable and innovative experiential learning opportunities. It is a great time to be at ECU and to work with the staff and students who create an encouraging and energizing Honors College community.”

Fraley’s appointment was approved by the ECU Board of Trustees during its regular meeting Friday.