Legislator Wants to Change the Name of Historically Black Elizabeth City State University

Representative Bill Owens is a white Democrat in the North Carolina House of Representatives who represents a district that includes the campus of historically black Elizabeth City State University. Owens has proposed that the university change its name to reflect the fact that it is part of the University of North Carolina system. Owens believes that a name change would help the university attract more faculty and students, raise money, and garner research grants.

Thirteen years ago Owens cosponsored a bill that changed the name of Pembroke State University to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Since that time enrollments at the university have more than doubled.