ECU pushes back on report that Chancellor Staton stepping down

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN)- East Carolina University says that Chancellor Cecil Staton has neither accepted any deal nor resigned as chancellor.

The statement from the university is on the heels of a report in The Carolina Journal that cites sources saying Staton will be leaving January 1st.

The report also says that Staton is seeking a severance package larger than the one received by outgoing UNC President Margaret Spellings.

ECU's statement adds that Staton is currently en route to Florida, where he will be representing the university at the AAC Board of Directors meeting.

"My focus will continue to be on serving ECU," Staton said.

Staton has been chancellor since April 2016, and his time at ECU has been turbulent, especially in dealing with athletics.

Earlier this year, Jeff Compher received a $1.26 million buyout as athletics director, a position that hasn't been filled. Popular head football coach Ruffin McNeill was ousted in December 2015, while his successor, Scottie Montgomery, has yet to have a successful season. The Pirates have only won two games this season.

Just two weeks ago during homecoming, an airplane flew over the game with a banner reading: "Staton the fact ECU has no leadership".

During his tenure, ECU also bought a new $1.3 million off-campus chancellor's residence, while just last week trustees approved a controversial hike in student fees, most of which goes to help bail out athletics.