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Gilchrist Announces He is Stepping Down as ECSU Chancellor
ECSU
May 17, 2013

Gilchrist Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist, who has led his alma mater for nearly seven years, informed the campus community today that he is resigning his position and plans to formally retire from the University on June 30. Gilchrist said his decision is in the best interests of ECSU, the University of North Carolina system, and his family. UNC President Tom Ross will soon name an interim chancellor to lead the campus during the search for a permanent successor.

"It has been an absolute pleasure to lead this university, its faculty, staff and students on a path that continues to "Elevate Higher and Emerge Stronger," Gilchrist said in announcing his decision to step down. "While I am grateful for the opportunity to have served over the last seven years, I am eagerly anticipating and look forward to spending more time with my family, along with the other opportunities that retirement will bring."

ECSU's many achievements during Gilchrist's tenure include:
  • Ranked among the Top Baccalaureate Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report in its "America's Best Colleges" issue (2010);
  • Launched successful academic program in aviation, acquiring 2 airplanes and a state-of-the-art traffic control system, flight radar system, and flight
    simulators for student instruction;
  • Constructed state-of-the art Education Complex, Pharmacy Complex, and a new residence Hall;
  • Achieved clean financial audits (2010-11 and 2011-12);
  • Achieved full reaccreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with "no findings" (2010);
  • 'School of Business and Economics, Department of Music, and Department of Engineering and Technology achieved national accreditation;
  • Implemented Chancellor Young Voyagers program (2008);
  • Nearly doubled grants and sponsored program funding, from $8 million to $15 million (2006-2012);
  • Executed memorandum of understanding with University of Zululand;
  • Executed 44 memoranda of understanding with North Carolina community colleges;
  • Increased private giving and alumni participation; and
  • Won CIAA championships in men's basketball, bowling, and volleyball, and well as the 2012 Pioneer Bowl in football.


A 1973 graduate of ECSU, Gilchrist has devoted his 40-year career entirely to public education. He served as a classroom teacher, counselor, principal, and school superintendent before entering higher education administration. He was named interim chancellor of ECSU in September 2006 and has served as chancellor since March 2007. He also served on the UNC Board of Governors from 2001 – 2006 and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to education and his service to children.