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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

By Henry Hinton

Ballard leveraging Holland's talents

By Henry Hinton
All rights reserved.

6:30-9:00 a.m.

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When Terry Holland became East Carolina's athletic director in the Fall of 2004, he took a turnaround management approach. While there is much work to be done, Holland’s work has made a huge impact on the entire university community.

As such, the announcement last week by Chancellor Steve Ballard that Holland is being rewarded with a raise, a new contract and additional duties within the university seem befitting.

Ballard says the university’s board of trustees unanimously approved his request to boost Holland’s job status by adding to his athletic duties the title of Executive Assistant to the Chancellor.

The new five year agreement commenced January 1 and will run through the end of 2011. Holland received a $36,000 raise, making his annual salary this year $324,000.

“ECU really needed the stability of leadership when I got here, so I have worked hard at that,” said Ballard when making the announcement of Holland’s new deal last week on Talk 1070’s Talk of the Town show. [Replay Jan. 11 Talk of the Town...]

“Over the next couple of years he (Holland) will focus primarily on athletics and then gradually do more and more things to help me fix things I can’t fix,” Ballard said.

On the surface, it appears Holland’s new duties will mostly deal in the area of advancement, which is the academic word for fundraising. Holland’s last assignment at the University of Virginia was as Special Assistant to the President. Sound familiar?

Holland was the original point man on the fundraising efforts to build the new 16,000-seat John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville where the Cavaliers now play basketball. The total cost of the project was around $130 million.

No wonder Ballard wants to utilize Holland’s varied talents.

For his part, Holland and wife Ann have fit right into the Greenville community. While turning heads with his quick decisions to remove coaches in all three major sports, Holland has garnered widespread support from the Pirate fan and donor base.

Upon arriving in Greenville, there were questions about how long the Hollands would stay. At age 65, it seems clear that the legendary UVa basketball coach is on his last career stop. But he is showing no signs of slowing down.

“I want to be here as long as I can contribute and make a difference,” said Holland. “I certainly have enjoyed the people of the community as well as those who care about East Carolina University.

“It’s critical at East Carolina and it’s critical in any business to keep your good people and I’m humbled that East Carolina thinks I’m one of its good people.”

How much time Holland spends outside his normal athletic director duties has yet to be determined, but Chancellor Ballard is making it clear that the new duties will not supersede the work of Mickey Dowdy, who was recruited from Virginia Commonwealth University in June to be the new vice chancellor for advancement.

“Terry has great relationships in our community and throughout North Carolina,” says Ballard. “He has great background and experience in advancement work but he’s not going to be taking over anything Mickey Dowdy is doing because Mickey is a first rate advancement officer. However he can help us all conceptualize capital campaigns and he’s going to be helping me on that.”

Asked if Holland’s new duties will include lobbying elected officials for future ECU funding initiatives, Ballard indicated that had not been discussed to date but he would not rule out the possibility.

“Terry is a great problem solver,” Ballard said. “He’s already helped me work through some things in the last two years and I want him to continue that role. So he’ll be doing more and more of those things. But really it will be a lot of ad hoc problem solving and there will be opportunities that come up that I’ll want to get him involved in.”

Holland says his new duties will not require restructuring in the department of athletics.

“Not right now,” Holland said. He followed up with a laugh and indicated the only changes in the immediate future would be the fact that Ballard has requested to join Billy Godwin’s baseball coaching staff.

“Since Terry is assuming these new duties, I’m going to get more involved in athletics,” Ballard chuckled. “I have an agreement with the baseball staff that I’ll be the assistant to the assistant in charge of umpire baiting.”

It is clear that Ballard and Holland have a mutual respect for each other that has evolved into a close friendship.

“Dr. Ballard is providing stability,” Holland said. “He’s providing great leadership which is critical to East Carolina’s future right now. There are a lot of good things happening in this community and inside the university and we want to keep them happening. I want to do everything I can to keep it moving forward.”

Ballard responded with a typical self deprecating comment.

“A good athletic program hides a lot of mistakes the chancellor makes,” laughed Ballard. “So the longer he stays the longer the chances are that I’ll stay.”

The truth is that ECU is very fortunate to have them both.

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This page updated 04/21/08 07:06 PM.

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