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Letter supporting ECU chancellor creating strong reactions on both sides

A letter was sent to UNC System leadership and the ECU Board of Trustees on Tuesday. Now it's receiving some strong reactions. (Tyler Hardin, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Nearly 130 people with strong ties to East Carolina University signed a letter stating support for Chancellor Cecil Staton.

A letter was sent to UNC System leadership and the ECU Board of Trustees on Tuesday. Now it's receiving some strong reactions.

CLICK HERE to read the letter

Former Board of Trustees, alumni along with some Greenville city leaders signed the letter. ECU alum and UNC Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith said the letter's tone and truthfulness is questionable. However, through any division, he maintains faith in the ECU Board of Trustees.

"We have to support our trustees in a proper and healthy governance process and frankly, you know stunts, which I consider that letter to be, are just incredibly unfortunate," Smith said. "If you look at the chain reaction that that letter has created, the insinuation that gets hurt is East Carolina."

Smith is the first ECU alumus to be chair of the Board of Governors and said it's time for healthy conversations among leaders rather than antics. Staton said in a statement regarding the letter than "It's gratifying to see that they felt strongly about sharing the thoughts publicly that so many have expressed to me privately."

Click the video to learn more.

Full statement from Cecil Staton

I am extremely grateful for the support expressed in the letter and the encouragement I continue to receive from so many longtime leaders in Greenville and eastern North Carolina. These are people who know ECU well and respect and value the work we’re doing at this university. It’s gratifying to see that they felt strongly about sharing the thoughts publicly that so many have expressed to me privately. I’m honored to know them and to work every day with outstanding faculty, staff, students and alumni who share high expectations and are fully committed to achieving them.


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