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New chancellor announced at ECU (again)

Dr. Philip G. Rogers was officially chosen as the 12th chancellor of East Carolina University Thursday.

The UNC Board of Governors unanimously elected Rogers, who is now senior vice president for learning and engagement at the non-profit American Council on Education (ACE).

Rogers was raised in Greenville. Several generations of his family are ECU graduates. Rogers himself began his career in higher education at ECU, serving as chief of staff for former Chancellor Steven Ballard in 2008.

Dr. Philip Rogers

Before taking that position, Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Wake Forest University,  a master’s in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

“Dr. Rogers is a driven leader who brings energy and vitality to ECU,” said UNC System President Peter Hans at Thursday’s UNC Board of Governors meeting. “He has broad national higher education experience and deep local roots in Greenville. Philip is invested in ECU for the long haul and will bring steady, stable leadership. It’s my enormous pleasure to welcome Philip and his family home.”

Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey also praised Rogers.

“Dr. Rogers embodies the spirit of the Pirate Nation,” Ramsey said. “He is homegrown and fiercely loyal to eastern North Carolina. When he assumes his role at ECU’s helm, I’m confident Philip will lead the university and the region it serves to greater heights of innovation and success.”

Rogers will be ECU’s fourth chancellor in three years.

Two of those chancellors — Cecil Staton and Dan Gerlach —ended their tenures in scandal, political controversy and a lawsuit.

Staton was ousted from his position in 2019 in a conflict with the UNC Board of Governors over which he sued earlier this year.

Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach resigned under a cloud last October after video surfaced online of him drinking and dancing with students in local bars — and then stumbling down the street before getting into his car and driving away. An investigation into that incident exposed the involvement of UNC Board of Governors members in making the Gerlach footage public, which they claimed they were doing in concert with GOP leaders in Raleigh.

The school’s board of trustees has also been rocked by scandal. Earlier this year two of its members resigned amid controversy over their trying to influence a student government election.

Around the same time, several members of the board of trustees told Policy Watch N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore was pursuing the chancellorship at ECU. Earlier this year Moore said he declined an offer to interview for the job, though he had not officially applied.

Rogers will take the helm at ECU on March 15, taking over from Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson.

 

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