Senate Drops Budget Proposal That Would Look At Closing ECSU

The North Carolina Senate has dropped a provision in their budget proposal that would have directed the University of North Carolina System to study the feasibility of shuttering any university that's lost more than 20% of its students since 2010.

That provision would have impacted Elizabeth City State University which has seen a 25% drop in enrollment since 2009.

Republican State Senator Bill Cook issued the following statement on passage of the amendment to eliminate the Senate budget provision that would have affected Elizabeth City State University:   “I am pleased that my fellow Senate members have chosen to stand with me in deleting this budget provision. The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina does not need legislative prompting to study and correct declining enrollment,” Cook said. “Elizabeth City State University has been a significant center for learning in the Northeast for many years. I want to see it continue to provide higher learning opportunities for our students for many more years to come.

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A state university that's seen a budget deficit, and its former police chief arrested for unreported crimes on campus, could be dissolved if Republican state senators get their state budget passed.

Elizabeth City State University being shut down would be studied if the current Senate budget becomes law.

The university has seen a 25% drop in enrollment since 2009.

The Senate budget proposal wants the University of North Carolina System to study the feasibility of shuttering any university that's lost more than 20% of its students since 2010.

ECSU Chancellor Charles Becton says the university is a force for growth in northeastern North Carolina, being the region's third largest employer.

Becton says even with a $4-million budget deficit and an enrollment decline, ECSU had their largest fall and spring graduating classes.

"During this year, when naysayers question our worth, we have been recognized nationally for our educational and other offerings," Becton said.

Senator Bill Cook, whose district covers Elizabeth City, said late Friday that he has filed an amendment to do away with the study.

"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."


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