Local News

ECU Provost Reassigned

Posted September 26, 2003 4:07 a.m. EDT

— East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Bill Shelton announced Friday that Provost William Swart has been relieved of his administrative duties and reassigned to a faculty position.

The change is effective immediately.

Shelton's announcement came just more than two weeks after William Muse resigned as ECU's chancellor. Muse cited health reasons in his resignation letter, though he had been under fire after critical internal audits looking into misappropriation of funds

"After consultation with various university constituencies, I determined that a change of leadership was necessary," Shelton said of his decision to reassign Swart. "It is in the best interest of the university."

The provost is the university's chief academic officer. The position oversees the Division of Academic Affairs, which includes seven colleges and enrolls the majority of ECU students.

Shelton said he has asked Dr. James LeRoy Smith, executive assistant to the chancellor and a longtime professor of philosophy, to provide leadership for an interim period to Academic Affairs.

"Jim Smith is widely known and respected at ECU and throughout the University of North Carolina system," Shelton said. "He is intimately familiar with both academic and administrative issues on our campus, and I have complete confidence that he will bring excellent leadership and uncommon wisdom to Academic Affairs."

Smith, who will retain his current position, joined the philosophy faculty at ECU in 1969. He has chaired the philosophy department, the Faculty Senate and the systemwide Faculty Assembly. He directed the self-study that preceded the university's 10-year reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1992.

Since 1993, Smith has served as executive assistant to the chancellor and assistant secretary to the ECU Board of Trustees. He also has continued to teach philosophy courses, including an ethics class in the university honors program this semester.

Swart, who was hired by Muse, came to ECU in August 2002 from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where he had been dean of the College of Engineering. His faculty role at ECU will be in the Department of Decision Sciences in the College of Business.