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Cook Files Amendment on Senate Budget Provision Affecting Elizabeth City State University
Kesha Williams
5/30/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--- Earlier today N.C. Sen. Bill Cook filed an amendment to a provision in the North Carolina Senate budget that prompted the formation of a study done by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. That study would have considered the feasibility of dissolving any institution whose fall full-time enrollment declined by more than 20 percent in the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 fiscal years. If it had passed, the bill would require the Board of Governors to report its findings and recommendations, including the plan for dissolution, to the 2015 General Assembly. Elizabeth City State University falls into this category because it has seen a 33 percent drop in enrollment from 2010 to 2013. Senator Bill Cook (R-District 1) issued the following statement on the Senate budget provision that would affect Elizabeth City State University:

“ECSU has had its fair share of problems in the past few years, but I do not think this study is the best way to begin addressing them,” Cook said. “I have prepared an amendment and after my discussion with Senate leadership they have agreed to support the elimination of the provision completely from the budget.”

In a 2010 study, it was shown that ECSU brought in $112 million in output sales, $83 million in added value and provided over 1,500 jobs to the area. The university is a great asset to the economy, community and the UNC system.

ECSU Chancellor Charles Becton expressed relief that the amendment led to the elimination of the provision. He said he is most grateful for the support of ECSU alumni, students, faculty, staff, trustees and community supporters. He also acknowledged support from the Legislative Black Caucus, and fellow academicians.

“We are grateful that the proposed budget provision has been removed from the Senate budget bill. We are grateful to Senators Cook, Berger, Davis and Apodaca for their efforts. ECSU is grateful for the broad-based support received for Representative Steinberg, Mayor Peel and other Elizabeth City area community leaders, our constituents and all who showed their support. ECSU will continue on its plan to right-size and increase enrollment,” said Chancellor Charles Becton.

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Jordan Hennessy in the office of Sen. Bill Cook contributed to the press release. For more information, contact: Jordan Hennessy, (919) 715-8303 jordan.hennessy@ncleg.net