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Rose graduate named new ECU chancellor

TUES. | 03-30-21 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     On Monday, Mar. 15, Dr. Philip G. Rogers, Rose graduate and former Rampant Lines Co-Editor-in-Chief, took on the role of chancellor at East Carolina University (ECU). Previously, he had worked at ECU as a policy analyst to Steve Ballard, a former university chancellor. Rogers gradually took on additional roles as state legislative liaison and chief of staff.  

     “ECU was not just a place where I worked -- it is who I am in my heart and in my soul,” Rogers said. “It’s the centerpiece of my life.”

     He was nominated to the Universities of North Carolina System Office to be considered and was then elected by the search committee after an intensive interview process. Prior to his nominations, Rogers was the senior vice president at the American Council on Education in Washington, DC, but he grew up in Greenville, NC and graduated from Rose in 2000. 

     “I have the opportunity to take what I learned from some of the best leaders in the country and bring it back to my

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hometown of Greenville and apply it in the setting that I think I can make the most difference,” Rogers said. “I just had an intense calling to come back home and contribute back to the university that really set the foundation for the future of my life.”

     During his time at Rose, Rogers served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Rampant Lines and worked alongside the advisor at the time, Lisa Stroud. 

     “He was a model student with a good personality and a good sense of humor,” Stroud said. “He was laid back and didn’t show stress.”

     In addition to his involvement in journalism, Rogers played tennis at Rose and went to the State Championship Tournament his senior year. There, he played against Walter Hines Page Senior High School student John Isner, who has since played at Wimbledon. 

     “There are people that I still keep in touch with, who I went to Rose High School with, who are friends for life, and one of the best things about coming back in this role at ECU was that I got to reconnect with those people,” Rogers said.

     After graduating from high school, he attended Wake Forest University and earned his bachelor’s degree in communications. 

     “I think I had the perfect bachelor’s degree in communications to be able to go into education,” Rogers said. “You have to be an effective communicator…so learning communication strategies and the theory behind them may be one of the greatest attributes of my educational experience that I’ve had along this whole journey.”  

     He then pursued his education through a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and through a doctoral degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. 

     Now that he has returned to Greenville, his daily responsibilities will include attending meetings with stakeholders, signing off on contracts and working with personnel. The interim chancellor, Dr. Ron Mitchelson, is now teaching geology and serving as a special assistant to Rogers until his retirement at the end of June. 

     “We are so lucky to have Philip Rogers as our next Chancellor,” Mitchelson said. “I know everyone will give him all the support he deserves.”

     During Mitchelson’s almost 22 years at ECU, he has watched the university grow from 20,000 to almost 30,000 students and add both a College of Engineering and a Dental School. 

     “We have created a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that I am very proud of,” Mitchelson said. “Our research profile and our contributions to regional economic development are much stronger today.”

     Both Mitchelson and Rogers share the goals of involving students and carrying out the university’s mission. Rogers looks forward to making a positive impact as chancellor. 

     “The folks on campus are going to see me out and about with a listening ear on a regular basis, asking campus leaders and folks all throughout ECU what their perspectives are of our challenges and our opportunities and ways to make ECU stronger over the long term,” Rogers said. “For me, it’s very much a service calling … it’s about the impact we can make through our mission at ECU of student success and public service and regional transformation.”

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