ECU announces hiring freeze due to $16M budget shortfall

A statue of Pee Dee the Pirate watches over ECU's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Brett Friedlander/North State Journal)

GREENVILLE — The chancellor of a school in the University of North Carolina system has imposed a hiring freeze because of a $16 million budget shortfall.

News sources report East Carolina University interim chancellor Dan Gerlach announced the freeze on Tuesday, citing a drop in graduate school enrollment along with fewer first-year students and fewer transfer students coming in last fall than expected. Gerlach said in his announcement that efforts continue to determine the extent of the university’s financial issues.

Gerlach, who became interim chancellor on May 6, has come up with a four-step plan to cut spending. The steps include no authorization of of new positions without approval of the executive council. The plan also says substantial capital projects not related to health and safety or enrollment growth may be postponed.