CHAPEL HILL, N.C. ― The UNC Board of Governors has chosen a former Georgia legislator as the new chancellor at East Carolina University.
Cecil Staton, currently the interim president of Valdosta State University, was unanimously elected during the board’s specially called meeting in Chapel Hill on Wednesday. His salary will be $450,000, and he assumes his new role on July 1.
Staton, 58, replaces Steve Ballard, who has announced his retirement after leading the Greenville school since 2004.
Since 2014, Staton has served as vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia, which is comprised of 29 public colleges and universities that enroll more than 318,000 students.
From 2005 to 2014, Staton represented Georgia’s 18th Senate district. He was vice-chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus and also was a member of seven committees, including the higher education committee.
Staton, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, had previously spent 12 years as a professor and administrator at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He began his academic career as a religion professor at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia.
Staton also founded and ran several broadcasting and publishing companies. Among the companies is Georgia Eagle Media, Inc., a holding company for broadcasting, newspaper and media properties. He also led Stroud and Hall Publishers, Inc., a publisher of books on politics and current events.