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ECU interim chancellor resigns following controversy over drinking with students

The interim chancellor of East Carolina University has resigned, the UNC System announced Saturday.

“East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach has submitted his resignation, effective immediately, which I have accepted,” said Interim UNC System President Bill Roper in a prepared statement. “I believe that this action is in the best interests of the entire East Carolina University community. I have begun the process of identifying the next interim chancellor for ECU and will share more information with the university community as soon as possible.”

ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

Roper placed Gerlach on administrative leave early this month after photos and video of him with students in a bar near campus caused controversy.

UNC has been investigating the incident since.

Earlier this month Vern Davenport, chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, told Policy Watch he believed Gerlach had done a fine job as interim chancellor but his future depended on the outcome of the investigation.

“It’s in Dan’s best interest and the entire East Carolina community’s best interest that a thorough investigation be done and I expect it to be concluded quickly,” Davenport said. “Which direction it’s going… I have no comment on that. But I do support he process that we’re going through.”

After the incident in the local bar Gerlach initially defended his behavior but later said he believed it was bad judgement. Still, he said, he believed the photos and video were circulated to keep him from becoming the full-time chancellor at ECU.

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