Strategic Plan 2017-2022


Mission Statement

The College of Fine Arts and Communication offers opportunities for students to broaden their understanding of the human experience through arts and communication. As the public face of the university, the College offers outreach and demonstrates leadership through public performance and exhibition, community and business partnerships and continuing education for a diverse population of learners.


Commitment 1:  Maximize Student Success


Priority: Student Success, Metric: Enrollment

University Goal 1.1: We will leverage our leadership in distance education to improve accessibility for key student populations. We will establish targeted programs supporting seamless transitions to ECU for active military, veterans, and transfers. We will encourage the return of “part-way home” students to complete their degrees. We will lead the UNC system in enrollment and graduation of students from rural counties.

Unit Objective 1: By 2022, we will grow enrollment by 5% in programs targeted toward working professionals, such as: MAed, MFA (low residency in ceramics), MA in Communication, BS in Communication (online) and MM in Music.

Metric 1: Annual percent increase in student enrollment in programs targeted toward working professionals.

Metric 2: Enrollment rates

Unit Action 1:  Develop undergraduate and/or graduate curricular options to meet the needs of working professionals looking for career advancement while capitalizing on faculty strengths.

Unit Action 2: Create additional curricular options in undergraduate and/or graduate programs in the CFAC that target working professionals, military veterans and transfer students.


Priority: Student Success, Metric: Graduation Rates

University Goal 1.2: We will improve retention and graduation rates. We will retain and graduate students at a rate that is consistently higher than our peer-average to achieve a five-year graduation rate that exceeds 67 percent.

Unit Objective 2: We will increase the five-year graduation rate in our Arts programs by 10% by 2022.

Metric 1: Graduation rates as reported by individual Arts programs.

Unit Action: Restructure the Arts programs to 120 credit hours, in accordance with accreditation standards and contemporary needs of students, to create greater curricular efficiencies.


Priority: Globalization and Diversity, Metrics: Student Representation and Faculty Scholarship

University Goal 1.4: We will reflect a global workplace and society by diversifying our faculty, staff and students. We will increase the number of international students on our campus. We will provide 25 percent of ECU graduates with study-abroad experience and increase scholarship opportunities to improve accessibility. We will increase those with competency in a second language and leverage our success with the Global Partners in Education.

Unit Objective 3:  By 2022, we will increase the numbers of students participating in international arts and communication programs by 5% and the number of faculty involved in international activities by 10%.

Metric 1: Number of students involved in international experiences.

Metric 2: Number of faculty internationally-oriented research publications, publications with international collaborators, and/or presentations at international conferences, workshops or seminars or creative activities.  

Unit Action 1: Build on our existing strengths to establish partnerships with international universities to offer exceptional study abroad/exchange programs.

Unit Action 2: Build on our existing partnerships with international universities to increase opportunities for globalized scholarship and creative work.

Unit Action 3: As part of our $18 million dollar fundraising campaign, increase our scholarship endowment for underrepresented populations in support of study abroad programs.

Commitment 2:  Serve the Public


Priority: Research Productivity and Faculty Scholarship, Metric: Funds and Faculty Scholarship

University Goal 2.2: We will refine our strengths as an “Engaged University” (as designated by the Carnegie Foundation) and as an Economic Prosperity University (as designated by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities) to benefit communities in eastern North Carolina and Beyond.

Unit Objective 4: Identify existing engaged scholarship strengths in the CFAC that can grow the capacity for engaged scholarship.

Metric 1: In an effort to support the university’s research mission, we will increase the amount of funds targeted to support faculty participating in engaged scholarship.

Metric 2: Increase scholarly products in the area of engagement by 5%.

Unit Action 1: Participate in national organizations including Imagining America, the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, and the International Association of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, a2ru, Campus Compact, and other entities focused on engaged scholarship to share work currently occurring in CFAC.

Commitment 3:  Lead Regional Transformation


Priority: Research Productivity and Faculty Scholarship, Metrics: Total Awards and Faculty Scholarship

University Goal 3.1 We will grow ECU into the third-largest research institution in the UNC system by investing in our people, tools and facilities. We will seek solutions to the challenges of our region, including health issues, coastal community resiliency, rural development, advanced manufacturing and assisting the military.

Unit Objective 5: CFAC will increase annual research expenditures to $500,000 with $400,000 from external sources as reported to NSH HERD survey by FY 2021-2022.

Metric 1: Total Awards

Metric 2: Faculty Scholarship (refereed publications, books, creative activities, etc.)

Unit Action 1: We will reposition faculty resources to allow for meaningful release time for research productive faculty. However, as a teaching intensive College with no doctoral programs, we have limited ability to redistribute resources while maintaining SCH production and appropriate course offerings for degree completion. Therefore we will need to recover a portion of faculty lines lost to budget cuts to be directed towards the research endeavor.

Unit Action 2: As research productivity increases, we will need additional support staff for grant identification, writing and management.

University Goal 3.4: We will enhance the campus-wide culture of innovation at ECU by leveraging our assets including the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.

Unit Objective 6: By 2022, increase the number of students engaged in innovative experiences through the curriculum.

Metric 1: Increase design-oriented courses/curricula that are centered on innovation.

Unit Action 1: Using arts resources such as the IDL, Shape Lab and human capital, we will create a curriculum of innovation in support of entities such as the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.

Priority: Comprehensive Campaign and Fundraising, Metric: Fundraising Totals

University Goal 3.7: We will enrich the quality of life for our students and our region through our strengths in the arts. We will collaborate with local and regional interests to develop a performing arts center.

Unit Objective 7:  We will increase fundraising totals to meet the $18 million by 2022.

Metric 1: Fundraising totals

Unit Action 2: Continue standard fundraising work in support of the $18 million goal (i.e., School of Music Gala, Friends groups, annual fund, planned giving, etc.)

Unit Action 1: Collaborate with University Advancement to establish a strategy to fund the construction of a new Performing Arts Center through an incremental funding project.