ECU appoints '92 grad to leadership position
By Josh Humphries The Daily Reflector
East Carolina University will soon have a new official to help guide its mission to become one of the nation's premiere leadership universities.
Thomas J. “Tommy” Spaulding, former president of Up With People, has been named the first Leader in Residence at ECU.
Spaulding, a 1992 ECU graduate who recently formed a leadership consulting and speaking firm based in Denver, will hold the position for the 2009 calendar year and work with ECU for a week every month.
Provost Marilyn Sheerer said the appointment is part of ECU's strategic plan to enhance a focus on leadership at the university. “He is recognized on the national level as someone who champions leadership,” Sheerer said.
“There are all kinds of leadership development programs here.” Sheerer said each college has leadership programs in existence and officials are working on university-wide programs that Spaulding will help develop.
“We will be tapped into the resources that he has,” she said. “He is giving back to us and helping us make this model work. He will be working internally and bringing in speakers on the subject.”
The university has included a commitment to leadership as one of its five objectives in its strategic plan for the future.
“Our world is starving for better leaders,” Spaulding said. “Universities should develop graduates, but, more importantly, they should develop future leaders. ECU has the opportunity to be a true leadership university, and I'm proud to be a part of this tremendous vision.”
The university is in the process of creating an audit system that will allow students to leave with a diploma and a profile of work completed that relates to leadership. There is also a focus on faculty members acting as leadership models in the classroom, Sheerer said.
Spaulding will work on these initiatives and develop similar programs that will make ECU a national model in the area of leadership, Sheerer said.
“Tommy is a perfect match for our leadership initiative,” said Chancellor Steve Ballard.
“He has a proven track record in leadership development and has earned the respect of other well-known leaders. He is one of us and we couldn't be happier to have him join our team in this critical role.”
While a student at ECU, Spaulding served as president of the senior class, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Inter-fraternity Council. He also earned the Most Outstanding Leader award.
In 2006, he received an ECU Outstanding Alumni Award.
He holds an MBA from Bond University in Queensland, Australia, and an MA in nonprofit management from Regis University in Denver. He serves on the board of trustees for the Museum of Outdoor Arts and on the board of directors of Leader's Challenge.
Josh Humphries can be contacted at email@example.com or (252) 329-9565.