The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 31st

New chancellor chosen to transform Elizabeth City State

Stacey Franklin Jones was elected during a special board meeting at the SAS campus in Cary. Jones will begin Oct. 1.

The small historically black college, a major economic engine in the northeastern region of the state, has battled budget cuts, personnel layoffs and program discontinuation.

Its enrollment dropped by 26 percent from 2010-13 — and state lawmakers considered a budget provision this summer that might have forced the school to close.

“At this pivotal point in its history, I believe she has the right mix of skills, expertise and passion needed to guide Elizabeth City State University toward future success,” said UNC President Tom Ross in a statement.

Jones is a management consultant and technology specialist with more than 15 years of higher education experience.

John Fennebresque, chairman of the Board of Governors, said he thinks Jones has the dynamic touch to reinvigorate the campus.

“She has a really, really challenging job, and she knows that and she’s embracing it,” Fennebresque said.

Jones spoke to the board and several ECSU administrators after the announcement — and board member Marty Kotis said his colleagues appeared impressed with her enthusiasm. Kotis is part of the personnel and tenure committee that recommended Jones to the full board in a closed-door meeting Wednesday.

“With a smaller school like that, it can be more nimble and responsive to changes,” he said.

As the UNC system looks to cut college costs, Jones’ information technology background offers ECSU fresh opportunities in the online education realm, Kotis added.

Fennebresque said he expects Jones to engage not only with students, faculty and staff on campus, but also with the area’s business community and the nearby community college, College of the Albemarle.

ECSU’s previous chancellor, Willie Gilchrist, resigned in May 2013 after allegations surfaced that the school’s police department had not investigated 127 crime reports, including at least 12 reports of sexual assault.


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