In order to combat declining enrollment numbers, ECU’s Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach has released a budget plan that includes a freeze on spending not directly related to student health and safety.
According to the letter from the chancellor, projects under this umbrella include everything from athletics to parking to ECU dining, with an emphasis on only spending money on improving what is essential for the university.
We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, believe handling the budget in this way will be an effective strategy for improving the lives of students while still maintaining financial responsibility.
In the recent past, ECU has spent money on numerous projects that improved the experience of students, such as the main campus student center. However, with the tighter budget going into the next fiscal year, it is important to keep perspective on the purpose of the institution.
ECU is, at the most basic level, a school, and funding should be allocated accordingly. As much as Pirate fans love ECU Athletics, a serious institution cannot afford to spend a significant portion of its funding on improving sports when areas related to education suffer.
In the letter, Gerlach said while the freshman class in Fall 2019 projects to be up in numbers from that of 2018, it is not enough to make up for “the record-setting number of Pirate graduates” from this past May.
Dedicating the budget solely to improving student-related matters should lead to higher enrollment numbers in the future, as graduating high schoolers will see what we as a university have to offer.