GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A familiar face is returning to East Carolina University as its chancellor.

North Carolina native Dr. Philip Rogers has been elected the 12th chancellor of East Carolina University by the UNC Board of Governors. The school made the announcement on Thursday.

Rogers, 37, who is senior vice president of learning and engagement for the American Council on Education, first came to ECU as a policy analyst in 2007. He also served from 2008-2013 as chief of staff, where he was responsible for external relations for the university, including government relations, marketing and communications, public service, and policy development, according to ECU.

“Team Rogers is ready to get to work with all of you,” Rogers said in an online meet-and-greet with reporters on Thursday.

Rogers is a graduate of J.H. Rose High School in Greenville. He earned his doctoral degree in higher education management with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania, his master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his bachelor’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University.

“This is my home,” Rogers said. “I just never imagined as a young child growing up in Eastern North Carolina, who relied so much on this university, that I’d have the opportunity, such a phenomenal opportunity, to return home and lead this incredible institution.”

He and his wife have two sons, Grayson, 5, and Dean, 2.

“ECU represents the heart and soul of my identity as a person and leader,” Rogers said. “It’s not just a
place where I worked or where my wife went to school. It’s who we are. It’s the centerpiece of our lives. We wouldn’t be here today without this institution.

“As a proud member of Pirate Nation, I am both humbled and ecstatic to be offered the opportunity to give back to this university and the Greenville community,” he said. “Higher education has never been more important in our country, our state and our region, especially with ECU graduating the next generation of leaders. We have a prime opportunity to strengthen ECU as a beacon in higher education.”

Rogers said he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work. His first priority?

“Navigating the pandemic on day one is certainly going to be something that’s going to be front and center for us,” Rogers said.

He also wants to focus on building relationships and unifying Pirate Nation.

“In my view, leadership certainly is a team sport,” Rogers said. “I’m ready to lean into a very authentic partnership with our talented faculty, our staff, our students.”

Rogers will begin his duties as chancellor on March 15, 2021, following Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson, who has led the university since October 2019.