ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA— Responding to the changing landscape in higher education, North Carolina Wesleyan University plans to unveil a reorganization plan that will become effective July 1. The plan will redirect vital resources toward efforts to equip Wesleyan students with the life skills necessary for their success in a society that is increasingly dependent upon highly educated citizens.
Dr. Evan Duff, Wesleyan’s new Interim President, spoke about the reorganization to the College’s faculty and staff last Friday in a “state of the college” address. He said, “We need to be our best self as a college and help our students to become their best. Becoming our best requires us to look closely at multiple facets of Wesleyan’s operations. As we navigate this journey to become our BEST, it is time to evaluate the organization by examining roles and responsibilities, infrastructure and programs. While some changes will be made, we must maintain a laser focus on the reason behind this reorganization….our students. Providing the best college experience for our students to learn and develop as an individual, regardless of age, has to be our number one priority.”
Dr. Duff further stated, “It is up to all of us to attract and retain not just the brightest minds but anyone who has a desire to learn, grow as an individual, and make an impact on their community. We want our students to be transformed and leave with the life skills required to be successful citizens in the world. I know you will step up to the challenge because you love this College, this community and most importantly, our students. We absolutely cannot let them down.”
Dr. Dan Crocker, local physician and Chairman of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, introduced Dr. Duff to the faculty and staff. He said that the members of the Trustees’ Executive Committee are unanimous in their support of Dr. Duff and have every confidence that he will help propel NCWC to new heights.
He told the assembly that, “the Board of Trustees is fully aware of the challenges facing small colleges and universities nationwide, challenges that have been brought on by changing technology and rising costs. The Board must maintain strong leadership, leadership with vision, leadership with the business savvy to create resources that can be invested in new, innovative programs of study.”
Dr. Crocker continued, “At all levels, it is paramount that NCWC be student-centered and focused. You, the faculty and staff, hold the keys to making this happen. Your commitment, ingenuity and willingness to develop new academic programs and to adapt to the new forces such as changing technology are essential to the success of this institution. The faculty and staff are also the keys to building the spirit and pride of the College by embracing the students, providing a new home away from their own and providing life lessons beyond their course work. With drive, determination, will and pride we can create a New Wesleyan in Eastern North Carolina.”
Board Chairman Crocker also introduced Mr. Charles “Chuck” Taylor. Mr. Taylor will serve Wesleyan as the president’s Chief of Staff. He has spent his entire career of more than 50 years in higher education. A Rocky Mount Native, Taylor was the first chief financial officer at Nash Technical Institute, now Nash Community College. He served Meredith College as its Vice President for Business and Finance and later its Executive Vice President for seventeen years. Before his retirement in 2011, he was Executive Vice President and CFO at Wingate University for eleven years. Since then, he has been a consultant for several North Carolina independent colleges and the NC Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. In March of 2015, Taylor was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to higher education in North Carolina.
On Tuesday, June 18, the Wesleyan Trustees officially endorsed the reorganization plan. The College will move quickly to implement the plan so that the faculty and staff will be ready to welcome the new incoming and returning students in August.