CFAC Strategic Plan 2023~2028


The College of Fine Arts and Communication serves as a cultural core for ECU and eastern North Carolina. The faculty, staff, and students in the Schools of Art and Design, Communication, Music, and Theatre and Dance are the heart of this connection with the region. We develop the artists, educators, communicators, performers, and designers of tomorrow. Our college provides educational opportunities on campus, online and through co-curricular experiences to undergraduate and graduate students from North Carolina, the United States and internationally. Our students leave ECU ready to excel. Additionally, we engage the public through theatre and dance performances, media, art and design exhibitions, musical performances, film festivals, and presentations by artists and scholars. The college’s work in classrooms, performance spaces, studios, written documents, and collaborations with international colleagues exemplify the notion of a culture of care through dialogue and education.



The College of Fine Arts and Communication provides opportunities for students to broaden their understanding of the human experience, engage in their disciplines at a high level of excellence, and develop professional skills in the arts and communication. As the public face of East Carolina University, the college connects with the community through performance, exhibition, scholarship, and continuing education for a broad population of learners.


The College of Fine Arts and Communication prioritizes student success, public service and regional transformation through our commitment to our students, faculty, staff and community. The college will serve as a leader in the arts and communication with a focus on strengthening retention and graduation rates, providing students with transformative experiences, and addressing workforce needs while continuing to support access to the arts for a broad representation of persons and perspectives.


Summary of Unit Strategies

M1.1: Strengthen graduation and retention strategies while closing equity gaps to advance opportunity for all.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Improve retention by increasing the number of faculty who utilize ECU Connect to communicate with students each semester.
    • Strengthen graduation rates by reviewing the current curriculum for opportunities to streamline progress toward degree completion.
    • Improve graduation and retention rates by working with advancement to increase the number of scholarships available to students.

By consistently reviewing our schools’ curriculum, developing structured extracurricular programming, increasing communication with our students through ECU Connect and providing additional scholarship funding we hope to improve graduation and retention rates for our students. Structured review of our curriculum will allow us to continually address students’ needs for workforce readiness and on time degree completion. Any issues that arise regarding roadblocks to on-time graduation will be addressed through course updates and curricular revisions. Developing additional opportunities to reach out to first generation college students will increase student confidence, grow connections among students as well as with faculty and staff, and will provide ongoing information and resources to keep students connected, engaged and informed. These efforts should help retain students and move them successfully to on-time graduation. Finally, access to more scholarship dollars will help address the financial needs of our students, leading to increased retention and graduation.


M1.2: Expand access to and participation in transformative experiences and experiential learning.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Expand opportunities for experiential learning by creating culturally relevant community-based learning opportunities in our region.
    • Expand opportunities for experiential learning/transformative experiences in the form of study abroad, virtual exchange, visiting scholars, conference attendance, internships, and other opportunities.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will work with community partners to increase the number of on-going programs focused on culture and the arts and communication. We will add to current collaborations such as our partnership with the town of Farmville through the GlasStation, our work with the Turnage Theatre in Washington, NC, and our rich relationship with Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge. We will also increase student opportunities in the areas of study abroad, internships/practica, and structured professional development activities such as professional conference attendance. We will increase the number of opportunities for students to engage with scholars and industry leaders. These activities will provide greater opportunities for students to learn about their chosen fields as well as gain experience in international relationship building, professional communication, community relationships, and up-to-date industry needs and developments. In sum, these experiences should provide students with a number of important skills for success post-graduation.M1.3: Align university programs to meet the demands of a dynamic, innovative economy and an evolving workforce.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Align our programs to meet evolving workforce needs by investigating opportunities for credit and non-credit micro-credentialing programs.
    • Assess our programs’ current ability to meet workforce demands by developing pathways for gaining input from alumni and industry partners.

In developing micro-credentialing opportunities, the College of Fine Arts and Communication will be able to reach out to a wide variety of learners to develop skills that will allow for workforce progression and retooling. We hope that by utilizing cutting edge technology, we can increase the opportunities available both to our on-campus students as well as those from around the state, country, and world. Consistent and formal feedback from industry professionals and alumni will provide us with additional tools and information to ensure that our curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities meet our students’ needs for developing skills for post-graduation success.


M2.1: Increase public engagement with and access to educational and cultural offerings.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Expand public engagement with access to cultural offerings by increasing the number of summer camps.
    • Expand public engagement with access to cultural offerings by increasing the low/no-cost access to experiences and employing technology to expand access.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will increase the number of camps for public participation as well as the number of exhibits/programs/performances offered via technology assistance, and the number of complimentary tickets for community members and organizations to performances/events offered to the public. These efforts should increase public access to the arts through a variety of means and to a broad audience.


M3.2: Expand and enrich external partnerships.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Expand and enrich external partnerships by strengthening connections with alumni and donors through development of our schools’ alumni/donor groups.

Our alumni and donors are some of our most important treasures at ECU. The college will work to recruit more members to our schools’ alumni and donors’ groups in order to increase funds for student activities but also to develop more student/alumni/donor programming so that students can learn from donor and alumni industry experience. Additionally, service-learning experiences in the classroom will increase our contribution to our region while also developing relationships with external entities for our students.


V1.1: Increase enrollment and completion rates of underserved populations through a lens of affordability and accessibility.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Address issues of access and affordability by working with advancement to increase scholarship funds, particularly for underserved populations.
    • Develop systematic processes to share scholarship opportunities and help students navigate the awards process.

In addition to raising revenue to support need-based scholarships, the college will develop programming to make sure our students are aware of scholarships and are equipped with the skills to complete scholarship applications. These efforts should provide students with access to resources to address issues related to access and affordability.


V2.1: Increase support and utilization of faculty and staff well-being resources.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Commit to increasing opportunities and funds for faculty and staff professional development.

The college will increase funding for faculty scholarship development and international teaching initiatives to address areas of faculty interest. We will also develop activities or partner with organizations to increase staff and faculty professional opportunities. These opportunities might include access to workshops or training modules, conferences focused on professional development, and/or reassigned time for scholarly focus.


V2.2: Commit to sustaining an inclusive environment that welcomes a broad representation of persons and perspectives.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication will:

    • Commit to cultivating an inclusive environment that welcomes a broad representation of persons and perspectives by expanding programming and partnerships on and off campus, such as workshops, cross-disciplinary connections, student and faculty gatherings, ECU partnerships, and community partnerships.

The college will expand upon its already substantive programming that connects across disciplines and divisions at the university as well as with the community to share perspectives. Currently, we offer “Pirates on the Porch” programming monthly to showcase the work of our faculty, staff, students, and community and invite the ECU and surrounding community to interact during the First Friday Art Walk. We work with the Peel Center, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, the Women and Gender Office, and others on campus to collaborate on issues related to the arts and communication. We believe that these collaborations allow participants to investigate a variety of perspectives and grow in our understanding of each other and the multicultural world in which we live.