Longtime ECU leaders announce retirements

Sylvia Brown ’75 ’78, dean of the College of Nursing; Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs; Michael Van Scott, interim vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement; David White, dean of the Honors College; Paul Gemperline, dean of the graduate school; and Ron Mitchelson, interim vice chancellor for health sciences, are retiring.

Brown joined the nursing faculty in 1976 and served as acting dean from 2006 until 2009, when she was named permanent dean. She helped establish pathways to earning a BSN degree for nontraditional nursing students. She also led the creation of nurse leadership, nurse anesthesia, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, doctor of nursing practice and DNP-to-Ph.D. programs. Read about a new scholarship endowment in Brown’s honor.

Gemperline joined the ECU chemistry department in 1982 and has served as dean of the graduate school since 2008. In 2003 he received the Eastern Analytical Symposium’s Award in Chemometrics, the highest international award in the field.

Hardy joined ECU in 1993. Before becoming vice chancellor in 2010, she served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Brody School of Medicine. She also served as interim chief diversity officer. Hardy and her staff have gained national attention for their work in developing Cupola Conversations as a method for healthy civil discourse on campus.

Mitchelson came to ECU in 1999 as a professor and chair of the Department of Geography and served as provost from 2015 until being named acting and then interim chancellor in 2019, a role he filled until 2021. He has also served as interim chair of the English department and interim vice chancellor for research and graduate studies.

Sylvia Brown

Virginia Hardy

Michael Van Scott

David White

Paul Gemperline

Ron Mitchelson

Van Scott joined ECU in 1990 as a faculty member and researcher at the Brody School of Medicine, focusing on the pathophysiology and treatment of asthma. In 2013, he joined the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, serving twice as the interim chief research officer. During his time at REDE, grants and contracts at ECU grew to more than $75 million annually.

White began his career at ECU in 1981 in the Department of Health Education. He served as interim chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Safety in 1990. From 2008 to 2017, he served as dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science, during which the college added the Department of Engineering. He’s been dean of the Honors College since 2016.

Because of the divisional reorganization that will become effective July 1, ECU will not replace the vice chancellors of health sciences or REDE.