Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

During AASCU’s Annual meeting in Clearwater, Florida this week, Chancellor Dixon was one of a number of university chancellors and presidents named to the board for this three-year appointment.

“This is a great honor to be named to the board of directors. I look forward to the work we will accomplish collectively advocating for higher education institutions in our country,” said Chancellor Dixon.

Prior to becoming ECSU’s 12th chief executive officer, Chancellor Dixon has served as a senior administrator at the UNC System Office since 2008. In 2014, she was named vice president for academic and student affairs, where she was responsible for overseeing the Division of Academic and Student Affairs for the System’s 17 institutions.

Chancellor Dixon is a recent recipient of one of North Carolina’s highest honors, The Old North State Award, for her dedication to higher education. In 2020, she was named “One of the 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders,” by the HBCU Campaign Fund, and appointed to the National Women in Aviation Advisory Board.

Since being named ECSU’s chancellor in 2018, she has led the push for campus-wide revitalization and renovation projects, consistent enrollment growth, numerous public and private partnerships, and successfully navigated the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AASCU is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning-and-teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.


ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University’s vice chancellor for operations and general counsel, Alyn Goodson, has been named as a member of the University of North Carolina System’s Executive Leadership Institute.

The 10-month program is designed to build the next generation of leaders from within the UNC System. The program will focus on providing an overall view of the system and leadership opportunities.

“I am honored to be a member of the first cohort for this executive leadership institute,” said Mr. Goodson. “Through this process, I hope to strengthen my leadership skills as I continue to support Chancellor Dixon and her pursuit to advance the interests of Elizabeth City State University and northeastern North Carolina.”

Mr. Goodson is a graduate of North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law. He began his work at ECSU in 2012 as assistant general counsel before being named general counsel. He was letter promoted to chief operating officer and general counsel, and he now serves as vice chancellor of operations and general counsel.

“Alyn’s hard work and dedication to ECSU has been invaluable,” said Karrie G. Dixon, ECSU Chancellor. “This is an exciting opportunity for him, and his work at the university.”

The institute is designed to share best leadership practices by building collaboration and partnerships among participants and their campuses. In turn, experienced administrators will be prepared for more demanding roles and re-energized in current roles.

As a part of the UNC Board of Governors’ commitment to diversity, the board’s Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions (HMSI) worked closely with the ELI leadership team with the goal of entrusting that at least one-third of participants would be selected from the System’s six HMSIs.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate, an assessment of the pilot experience and the benefits of a mentoring relationship. Participants will have the opportunity to pay it forward as mentors for future Institute participants, entrusting promising talent continues to develop across the UNC System. For more information, visit the ELI website.


CHAPEL HILL –  The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System announced on December 14, 2018, that Dr. Karrie Gibson Dixon has been selected as chancellor of Elizabeth City State University. The decision was made following a vote held by the Board during its regular meeting. Dr. Dixon, who has held the title of interim chancellor since April 8, 2018, will assume her new role effective immediately.

“Dr. Karrie Dixon’s experience, passion, and proven track record of success is exactly what ECSU needs, and I’m thrilled that she will be the next chancellor,” said President Margaret Spellings, UNC System President. “As interim, she has led an institution on the rebound, and I have the highest confidence that she and her team will continue to build a bright future for a proud pillar of northeastern North Carolina.”

Dixon was selected by Spellings from among three final candidates for the position chosen by an 18-person search committee of the ECSU Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students, community members, and a representative of the UNC Board of Governors.

“I have said it many times before, but Dr. Karrie Dixon is a true ‘rock star’ in higher education, and there’s no one better to lead Elizabeth City State University going forward,” said Harry Smith, UNC Board of Governors Chair. “The Board and I are excited about the future of ECSU under her leadership.”

Dr. Dixon becomes Elizabeth City State University’s twelfth chief execuitve officer, succeeding previous Chancellor Dr. Thomas Conway, Jr., who served from 2016-2018. She is the second female to serve in his capacity, following in the footsteps of Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones.

“We are excited to name Dr. Dixon as the seventh chancellor of Elizabeth City State University,” said Harold Barnes, ECSU Board of Trustees Chair, who served as chair of the ECSU Chancellor Search Committee. “Dr. Dixon brings a deep commitment toward building an outstanding experience for students, as well as an uncompromising dedication to create an environment of accountability and shared governance that will serve ECSU and the community well. The Board  is eager to work with Chancellor Dixon to advance ECSU.”

Prior to her appointment as interim chancellor, Dr. Dixon served as co-lead on the ECSU New Directions Phrase 2 Operational Team since early 2017.

“I am deeply honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as the next chancellor of Elizabeth City State University,” said Dr. Dixon. “I’d like to thank the UNC Board of Governors and President Margaret Spellings for entrusting in me the opportunity to lead this great university. I look forward to working with the ECSU Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the community as we continue to move ECSU in the right direction.”

About Elizabeth City State University

ECSU, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, will be the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university will attract and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that will educate and lead our students to become productive members of a global and increasingly interdependent society. ECSU will continue to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Starting January 2019, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is offering its first online Masters of Education degree program.

The 100 percent online program will offer two concentrations, one for teacher leaders, and another for initial certification. With total tuition less than $7,000 they are some of the most affordable online graduate teaching programs in the region.

The initial certification program is for anyone with a bachelor’s degree that wants to become elementary school teachers. For people interested in teaching middle and high school, for specific subjects, this route may also be utilized to attain licensure from which additional endorsements can be added.

The concentration in Teacher Leadership is for current classroom teachers with three years of experience. It will facilitate the submittal of portfolios for National Board Certification, which in North Carolina provides for a 12 percent salary increase. An add-on endorsement for a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist is also integrated within this degree and it allows teachers to advance their careers as central office administrators or in non-principal school leadership roles.

“Initial response has been outstanding,” said Dr. Timoth Goodale, ECSU’s director of graduate studies. “Over 50 potential students have initiated their admissions applications for the graduate program and there is over a 1000 percent increase in number of students that have accepted their place in the program, compared to the fall admissions cycle.”

Due to this initial interest, ECSU is opening admissions window for one more week from Nov. 26 through Dec. 3, to allow students to complete their applications and to open the opportunity to apply to those just discovering the degree program.

For more information about ECSU’s graduate program and admissions requirements, go online to www.ecsu.edu/academics/graduate or contact Dr. Timothy Goodale, Director of Graduate Studies at tagoodale@ecsu.edu.

Elizabeth City State University

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University (ESCU) is on a continuous rise to success. The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors has approved the appropriation of $2.3 million for ECSU, the largest allocation of repair and renovation funding for the institution in over a decade.

According to a press release by the university, during its July meeting in Chapel Hill Friday, July 27, the Board of Governors approved the funds for repair and renovation on the ECSU campus.

“This is great news for the University,” said ECSU Interim Chancellor Dr. Karrie Dixon. “This is the largest percentage of the UNC Systems repair and renovation funding pool that ECSU has ever received, and the largest increase since 2007.”

Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith has been working ECSU as a member of the New Directors: Phrase 2 Working Group, launched last fall. Smith, a Greenville-based businessman, has helped steer ECSU toward campus-wide improvements, including his support for renovations and repairs.

“This funding will go a long way toward the future of ECSU,” said Smith. “The Board of Governors has confidence in the University’s new direction, in its leadership under the guidance of Dr. Dixon.”

Governor Darrell Allison also voiced his support for the appropriation and is excited that ECSU is receiving a level of funding it has not seen in over a decade.

“This tangible support from the state demonstrates that the UNC Board of Governors are serious about our overall investment strategy for ECSU,” said Allison. Moreover, it’s important to note that but for the strong advocacy demonstrated by Dr. Dixon on behalf of ECSU, I don’t think that support at this level materializes. It cannot be overstated enough that Dr. Dixon and her leadership team have been exceptional during this entire process.”

Dixon said the ECSU community is grateful for the confidence and support shown by the governors.

“I would like to thank President (Margaret) Spellings, the UNC Board of Governors, and the ECSU Board of Trustees for their support,” said Dixon.


About HBCU Campaign Fund

As a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina System, Elizabeth City State University offers baccalaureate, professional, and master’s degrees for a diverse student body. ECSU mission is to promote economic, social, and environmental progress for the people of northeastern North Carolina, the state, and the nation.

ECSU achieve our commitment to the highest quality education by maintaining a rigorous focus on academic excellence through liberal arts programs and using innovation and flexible technology-based instruction models to enhance our signature areas: integrating technology with education, improving human health and wellness, and advancing the natural and aviation sciences.

Through teaching, research and community engagement, the institution’s rich heritage and its current multicultural student-centered focus provide a firm foundation for its endeavors. It serves the needs and aspirations of individuals and society; producing graduates for leadership roles and life-long learning. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) (a historically black university) is working to educate the next generation of teachers, all thanks to a recent $300,000 grant award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 10 teachers-in-training will have the chance to work with area students.

According to a press release by the university, the purpose of the grant is to help prepare the student-teachers to work in rural, high-need schools. IGNITE-Next Generation of New Teachers is a collaborative effort between ECSU, College of the Albemarle, and Halifax Community College.

“This grant will support students with an associate degree in obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Its purpose is to provide support in content knowledge, culturally relevant pedagogy, and project based learning,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Williams, Endowed Chair of the ECSU Education, Psychology, and Health Department. “This collaborative project will recruit, prepare, and license the teacher-education candidates to positively focus on the learning outcomes of students taught in high-need rural schools in North Carolina.”

Student-teachers with an education associate’s degree will work through ESCU’s education program to reinforce skills, and gain new knowledge in the education field. They will enter ECSU and become more adept in the education process in an effort to enhance achievement in the region’s rural schools. The project will also prepare the student-teachers for a residency program.

The IGNITE project will also partner with the Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (NEAAAT). These student-teachers will have an opportunity to work with NEAAAT, located on the ECSU campus, and while they receive training as future educators, also lend their experience and enthusiasm for education to students in grades 7 through 11.

The need for more teachers in North Carolina has grown in recent years. The student-teachers working through the IGNITE project will work to decrease teacher turnover in Northeast North Carolina through coursework, professional development, and mentoring.

The IGNITE project supports ECSU’s mission of promoting economic, social and environmental progress in the region.



The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The Kellogg Foundations priority places  in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkr.org.


ECSU, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, will be the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university will attract and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that will educate and lead our students to become productive members of a global and increasingly interdependent society. ECSU will continue to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

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ELIZABETH CITY, NC.- Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Thomas E.H. Conway Jr., stood before an auditorium full of faculty members and educators delivering a State of University speech that at its core extolled the virtues of excellence. The speech was delivered on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, during the Faculty Institute on the ECSU campus.

Conway Jr., succeeded Stacey Franklin Jones, who stepped down from her post as Chancellor on December 31, 2015. He has served as interim chancellor since January 1 and was elected to the position on a permanent basis by the Board of Governors on January 26. He previously served as vice chancellor and chief of staff at Fayetteville State University.

“We will not accept anything less than the best of service,” said Chancellor Conway during his speech. “It is important that we adopt the attitude that we bring value.”

Chancellor Conway posed the questions: Why are we here? Where are we going?

Back in 2014, ECSU was set for possible closure as a purposed provision was given that would have allowed UNC Board of Governors to study closing any institution with a 20 percent decline in enrollment between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2013. ECSU has seen a precipitous drop in admissions, losing nearly 900 student from 2011-2014.

He spoke of the missions of various University of North Carolina constituent institutions. When ECSU was founded in 1891, the mission was to provide opportunity for the economic development of the African-American citizens of northeast North Carolina.

but missions evolve, and so has that of ECSU. While ECSU is a historically black university, and as a HBCU that “mission is not complete yet,” Chancellor Conway said today one-in-four students are not African-American. That means that ECSU is an “access institution” and its mission is that of a regional university.


While providing access to any many individuals as possible is at the core of the institution, Chancellor Conway also said ECSU is taking on a new identity as it becomes one-of-three schools in the N.C. Promise program. Prompted by Senate Bill 873, N.C. Promise includes ECSU, UNC-Pembroke, and Western Carolina University. Each campus will offer 500 per semester tuition for in-state student and $2,500 per semester tuition for out-of-state students beginning in the fall of 2018.


Pictured: ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway and Mister ECSU Parsell Murphy unveil the university’s new flag on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. [Picture courtesy of ECSU]
As ECSU moves into the future, said Chancellor Conway, the university must acknowledge that the faces of university students are changing. While there are traditional students enrolling, increasingly there are transfer students coming in from community colleges and other campuses. And the non-traditional, older students is also becoming more frequent on campuses.


“College students are getting older,” he said. “In today’s classes the range of ages is not what it used to be.”


“And they are coming to ECSU and other campuses across the state for a variety of reason,” he said.


“This is also a very active effort to being member of the military on campus, with an emphasis on the Coast Guard. That effort will include online degree programs that would allow those students to continue their ECSU education after they have been transferred to a new duty station,” he said.


“Ultimately, it is up to faculty and staff to lead the way into the future. The perceptions these students hold, the attitudes they posses, are in large part a product of the value and excellence projected by the people of ECSU,” he said.


Source: http://www.ecsu.edu/news/stateofuniversity2016.html