ECU hosts University Day to discuss strategic five year plan

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Despite the third year of dropping enrollment, East Carolina University says they are seeing an increase in some student numbers, and Wednesday, ECU gathered to discuss the university’s vision, mission, and goals for the next five years with the community Wednesday morning.

“As a future physician, I’d really like to serve in Eastern North Carolina and help contribute to that providing of care to people in Eastern North Carolina,” says student Abby Ulffers.

The university says this plan is to help serve the ECU community better.

“Advancing student success, driving public service, and being good stewards of regional transformation all throughout Eastern North Carolina. On top of those, as we think forward to the next five years at ECU, we have a set of vision priorities and those are embedded in the concepts of advancing social and economic progress, driving good and positive workforce success for the people here at ECU and supporting rural health and well-being all across the East,” says ECU Chancellor, Philip Rogers.

For Ullfers, the focus on supporting rural health hits home the most as a fellow East Carolinian and Brody School of Medicine student. “I think it’s important to focus on the communities of where you can give back care to help give back to the communities that you’re from but also build up the communities that may not have the access that they need.”

The strategic plan announced Wednesday comes as university enrollment has dropped for the third year in a row. ECU says they do see that trend changing….

Looking forward to the future with a growing population and a new strategic plan, Rogers and Ullfers say this is just the beginning.

“Endless support but also having endless opportunities for me to explore different areas of interest to guide me on the path to where I am now,” says Ullfers.

Rogers also says, “This sets the tone and the roadmap for what East Carolina will be. We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries to make sure ECU can be as great as it can be.”

The chancellor also points out that ECU rose 40 spots on the US News and World Report ranking which he says is likely the largest move in ECU history.

ECU also says the Fall 2023 enrollment preliminary numbers at ECU reflect an increase in first-time, full-time students, and transfer students.