Former senator, Valdosta president Cecil Staton to lead East Carolina

Cecil Staton, interim president at Valdosta State University, has been selected as the next chancellor of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

He will continue to serve in his role at Valdosta State until June 30, said a statement from the University System of Georgia on Wednesday.

“Cecil’s contributions to Valdosta State and the University System of Georgia will benefit our students for years to come,” Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in the statement. “Cecil stepped in at a critical time and has led an important role for us. I thank Cecil for his service to our university system and wish him and his family all the best.”

The UNC Board of Governors announced Staton as the new leader of the school Wednesday, according to local media reports. Staton, a Greenville native, was selected from a group of 11 candidates. He is expected to begin at ECU on July 1. His salary will be $450,000. Staton will replace outgoing chancellor Steve Ballard, who is stepping down after 12 years at ECU, reported WITN News in Greenville.

Staton joined the University System in 2014 as vice chancellor for extended education. He was appointed to the Valdosta position July 1, 2015, taking over for former president William McKinney, who resigned following internal issues and complaints about his leadership by faculty at the university. Before coming to the University System, Staton served 10 years as a state senator in the Georgia legislature.

Huckaby will name a new interim president of Valdosta State and a presidential search committee soon.