GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Chancellor of East Carolina University announced he will step down from his position effective May 3, 2019.
Cecil P. Staton became ECU's chancellor in 2016. Before that he spent 27 years in Georgia as a faculty member and administrator at three different colleges and universities.
He was the first person former UNC System President Margaret Spellings hired.
Staton worked at ECU to raise the university's national brand. He also launched the largest capital campaign in university history. That campaign has raised $213 million in 2.5 years; its ultimate goal is $500 million.
However, his time at ECU has not been without challenges. The school's football program has not impressed.
Prior to Staton's tenure, Football Coach Ruffin McNeill was fired and replaced by Scottie Montgomery. Montgomery did not have a successful tenure, going just 9-26 and getting fired before the end of his third year in charge.
Staton was tasked with hiring a new athletics director to replace Jeff Compher, who hired Montgomery. Staton hired Jon Gilbert to replace Compher.
"ECU's importance to this state and to Eastern North Carolina is immense and I'm grateful that Chancellor Staton answered the call to serve the Pirate community over the past three years," said UNC System Interim President Bill Roper. "I'm confident he is leaving the university in good hands and with a bright future ahead as it continues to build on its success."
"I am grateful to have been at ECU and to have worked with wonderful students, an enormously dedicated faculty and staff, a terrific leadership team, and lots of Pirate alumni, friends and governance members who understand the importance of ECU to North Carolina," said Staton. "As I like to say, 'if North Carolina didn't have ECU, it would have to go out and build it tomorrow.' Catherine and I will always be proud Pirates!"