ECU Board of Trustees meet to discuss chancellor replacement

Greenville

(WNCT) Vern Davenport, Chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, speaking openly for the first time about the investigation into former ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

Gerlach was placed on administrative leave just about a month ago after photos and videos surfaced showing him drinking alongside students in uptown Greenville.

Gerlach officially resigned over the weekend and now the hunt is on for a new permanent chancellor.

“We have a board of trustee meeting and it is my hope, not a promise, it is my hope that we’ll have a search committee named and a defined timeline for when the next set of activities happens…I will endeavor to do that between now and then and hopefully I’ll have something to share at that point,” said Davenport.

For the time being Ron Mitchelson is serving as the acting Chancellor of ECU.

“He’s a pirate, he’s the provost, he’s well respected, and again I don’t know if he’ll be permanent but he’s the acting interim while we search for a present and we’re glad to have him,” said Davenport.

Davenport says Bill Roper, the UNC System’s President, is expected to choose a replacement interim chancellor for ECU in the coming days.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Videos surfacing over the weekend giving a new look into Dan Gerlach’s night out on September 25.

The clips obtained by 9 On Your Side, show a man dressed like Gerlach weaving down the sidewalk outside of Sup Dogs.

The man then loses his shoe in the middle of the street and struggles to put it back on.

He then gets into a car and drives down 5th Street in the middle of two lanes.

It is the latest development in a month-long saga that started when the pictures and videos surfaced of Gerlach in uptown Greenville bars drinking alongside students.

Gerlach’s resignation a big topic on campus leaving many wanting answers.

“It makes me wonder if he was told to do it during this time or if he chose to do it because the way that I’ve been hearing “Dan the man”…I don’t think dan would have done that himself…I don’t think he would have made that decision…I just wish that they would inform us on the, not so much being politically correct about it but being really honest with the students at least just the students,” said Kellie Proctor.

Now students want someone with the same open and welcoming personality they say Gerlach had to take his place.

“If they bring in someone hopefully that person will look at Dan and be like oh this person really made an impact by going in to the boneyard in the student section, being on campus during the day…reaching out to students and hopefully that next person will take the next couple steps he was doing to reach out and be a part of the community,” said Carolina Rochelle.

So what all led us to this point?

Dan Gerlach’s time as interim chancellor at ECU was short-lived.

He only spent about five months in the position.

Gerlach was appointed after former chancellor Cecile Staton stepped down in May.

In September, photos were anonymously sent to multiple media outlets claiming Gerlach was being inappropriate with students at bars one weekend.

Day after the questionable photos were sent released Gerlach was put on Administrative leave.

The University of North Carolina System hired an international law firm with offices here in the state to investigate.

The community, students and even some law-markers stood up for Gerlach asking that he be reinstated.

Weeks after being on administrative leave his resignation was announced over the weekend.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- Dan Gerlach has resigned from his position as East Carolina University’s Interim Chancellor, according to the UNC System.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper released the following statement regarding East Carolina University:

“East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach has submitted his resignation, effective immediately, which I have accepted. I believe that this action is in the best interests of the entire East Carolina University community. I have begun the process of identifying the next interim chancellor for ECU and will share more information with the university community as soon as possible.”

Bill Roper

This all comes after pictures and videos were posted online of Gerlach interacting with students at a bar in Greenville.

Gerlach released a statement, saying,

Earlier today, I offered Dr. Bill Roper, Interim UNC System President, my resignation as interim Chancellor of East Carolina University, effective immediately.

As Chancellor, I had the responsibility and the duty to live out the East Carolina Creed to the fullest extent possible. The Creed states that “members of our academic society exemplify high standards of professional and personal conduct at all times.” On the night of Wednesday, September 25 and early morning of Thursday, September 26, I did not live up to these standards as well as the UNC System standards that demand excellent judgement and discretion from the campus leaders. I did not model the behavior that we try to teach our students and to uphold ourselves. Upon reflection and discussion, I believe that this shortcoming was significant enough that my resignation is in the best interest of the University.

Make no mistake: the responsibility is mine. It is not the press, not the University or system leadership, and not anyone else who put me in this situation. It was I who made the choices that led to this action. There is no one to hold accountable for the situation except me.
Words cannot express the gratitude I have for all of the vocal and vigorous support that I have received over the past few weeks. Words cannot express the embarrassment and the regret that I feel toward my family, my close colleagues at ECU and the UNC System, and all of Pirate Nation who
believed in me so strongly.
I was sent here to reduce the drama that ECU faced, and I instead added to it. I hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me. I hope also that all of Pirate Nation will focus all of the energy and vigor toward supporting the ongoing leadership at ECU.
I will miss ECU and Greenville because the people are incredible and the entire community full of promise and hope. I thought before I arrived in May that I knew how fantastic Pirate Nation was, is and will be. I had no idea. It’s far better. I am thankful for being part of it for a short time.

Dan Gerlach

Stay with 9 On Your Side for more updates.

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GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – The University of North Carolina System said they have hired an international law firm with offices in North Carolina to investigate ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

On Friday, the Associated Vice President for Media Relations at the UNC System, Josh Ellis, told WNCT, “The law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson has been retained by the UNC System to assist with the Gerlach investigation. The investigation will be concluded quickly.”

Gerlach was placed on administrative leave in September after videos and photos were posted online of him interacting with ECU students at a Greenville bar.

Since Gerlach was placed on leave, many ECU students and even State Senator Don Davis (D-Pitt) have urged UNC System Interim President Bill Roper to reinstate Gerlach as interim chancellor of ECU.

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NC Sen. Don Davis (D-Pitt) issued a statement on calling for East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach to be reinstated after he was placed on administrative leave following online posts of him interacting with students at a Greenville bar.

In the statement, Davis said he’s known Gerlach “for many years,” and said he leads ECU with “enormous passion and integrity.”

“My past experiences interacting with Dan do not match any of the unfortunate misperceptions of recent photos and videos of him released to the public,” Davis said.

Davis then called for UNC System Interim President Bill Roper to reinstate Gerlach as interim chancellor of ECU.

Davis ended his statement by saying,

“As an alumnus and proud Pirate, this is not only in the best interest of Pirate Nation but also in the best interest of eastern North Carolina. It’s time to put this behind us and refocus on the positive momentum that has come since Dan’s arrival. Dan has been a breath of fresh air needed for our students, University, and eastern North Carolina.”

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GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – According to a statement released Monday by UNC System President Bill Roper, “ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.”

In the past week, Gerlach has been seen in multiple photos and videos posted on social media, which allegedly showed him interacting with East Carolina University students at a bar in Greenville.

On Sunday, Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU interim chief communications officer, told WNCT that on September 25, Gerlach went to Sup Dogs near ECU campus.

While there, he ran into two adult male acquaintances who invited him to walk down the street to join them at a local pub, which he did, according to Hutson.

Hutson says Gerlach is known for taking selfies with students, staff, and faculty on and off-campus.

Gerlach also released his own statement regarding the photos and videos, in which he explained:

“When I first started here, and even before, one constant concern that I heard was that our students needed a leader of the university to be present and approachable, someone who can speak to them in their language. That’s what I’ve set out to do at ECU. I regret that these photos are being perceived as anything more than what they are. During the time that I am interim chancellor, I will continue to work toward balancing the university’s budget and improving enrollment and will continue to engage with students and the community. On Wednesday night, I spoke with 125 proud Pirates at Cypress Glen. Because our students are the center of the university, I’ve been working hard to show up – at performances, on tours, at Fall Open House. Students are the reason the university exists.”

Also, Chairman of the East Carolina Board of Trustees, Vern Davenport, released a statement saying the following:

“As Chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, our first priority is and will always be our students, staff, faculty, and alumni of East Carolina University,” said Davenport. I have been in regular contact with UNC System Interim President Bill Roper and value the System’s support of ECU and all of Pirate Nation. Along with my fellow trustees and Acting Chancellor Ron Mitchelson, we support President Roper’s decision to conduct a thorough investigation and hope this matter will be addressed as quickly as possible.

A petition has been created at ipetitions to keep Dan Gerlach as Chancellor.

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Interim ECU Chancellor Dan Gerlach is responding Sunday to pictures and videos posted online of him out at a bar in Greenville.

Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU interim chief communications officer told WNCT that on Wednesday, Sept. 25, ECU Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach went to Sup Dogs near the campus of the university.

While there he ran into two adult male acquaintances who invited him to walk down the street to join them at a local pub, which he did, according to Hutson.

Hutson says Gerlach is known for taking selfies with students, staff, and faculty on and off-campus.

She says the videos and photos posted online show Gerlach interacting with college-aged young adults and taking selfies.

Gerlach said, “When I first started here, and even before, one constant concern that I heard was that our students needed a leader of the university to be present and approachable, someone who can speak to them in their language. That’s what I’ve set out to do at ECU. I regret that these photos are being perceived as anything more than what they are. During the time that I am interim chancellor, I will continue to work toward balancing the university’s budget and improving enrollment and will continue to engage with students and the community. On Wednesday night, I spoke with 125 proud Pirates at Cypress Glen. Because our students are the center of the university, I’ve been working hard to show up – at performances, on tours, at Fall Open House. Students are the reason the university exists.”

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