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ECSU trustees get positive about state funding

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Staff Photo by Thomas J. Turney ECSU's newly appointed interim chancellor, Thomas Conway, is aware of pressing needs with the school's athletic department.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Monday, June 19, 2017

Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Thomas Conway said last week that involvement by ECSU's trustees has led to a positive outlook in state funding for the university.

Joshua Lassiter, ECSU's vice chancellor for finance, told the Finance Committee of the university's Board of Trustees Tuesday that an additional $5 million in state funding for ECSU is included in all three state budget proposals — from Gov. Roy Cooper, the N.C. Senate and the N.C. House of Representatives.

In response to Lassiter's report, Conway said ECSU has fared well in the state budget process, partly because trustees have shown their support by turning out for campus visits by groups of legislators. The trustee participation sends a positive message about the university, he said.

"I want to thank you for that," Conway said.

The nearly $5 million in additional funding over the next two years is intended to help shore up ECSU's sagging enrollment, according to state officials.

One of the purposes for the additional funds is to enable the university to attract top-tier faculty, according to ECSU officials. The funds also will allow additional investment in the university's aviation science program, which has become a marquee program for the university as the only four-year aviation science program in North Carolina.

Part of the funding also will be used to hire employees to work in the areas of admissions, student retention and student success.

In another matter, the Finance Committee approved an increase in the dollar threshold for a student who owes money to the university to be able to start the semester. The figure was $200 but it has been increased to $500.

The committee's recommendation was approved by the full Board of Trustees.

Lassiter pointed out the student still owes the money and the staff will communicate to the student the importance of getting it paid. The student needs to know it will be "a thorn in their side" until it's paid, he said.

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