BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts addressed the university’s Board of Visitors in Raleigh Thursday, June 7, and visited with legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly.
During her visit, Everts said she was warmly welcomed by legislators. “In speaking with members of the General Assembly, it is clear that state lawmakers are passionate about higher education issues and supportive of Appalachian’s strategic goals,” she said.
At the meetings, Everts reported on the performance goals the UNC System has set for Appalachian in its strategic plan, gave an overview of planned facility expansions and improvements, and shared some recent accomplishments of Appalachian’s students, faculty and staff.
Appalachian’s 30-member Board of Visitors advises and assists the chancellor and the university’s Board of Trustees on public policy matters that impact the university. The Board of Visitors also advises and assists with the university’s fundraising activities and needs, and helps communicate its mission and accomplishments.
District Representatives Jonathan Jordan ad Senator Deanna Ballard joined the board to update them on local issues and initiatives. Board of Trustees Chair James M. Barnes and UNC Board of Governors member C. Philip Byers were in attendance and accompanied Everts on her rounds at the legislature.
Points of pride the chancellor shared with the board:
- Team Sunergy, Appalachian’s highly successful student-led solar vehicle team, is preparing for the 2018 American Solar Challenge, which includes an eight-day, 1,700-mile, cross-country race along the Oregon Trail. The team will premiere its newly designed and constructed Cruiser Class two-passenger car in the qualifying Formula Sun Grand Prix in Nebraska.
- The university’s work at Appalachian Academy at Middle Fork in Winston-Salem to fulfill the legislature’s vision for centers of innovation, research and teaching excellence. The academy will open this August.
- The opening of a new, innovative police academy for Appalachian students. The program — which is only the second of its kind in the nation — will help meet the demand for well-trained and educated police officers in our state.
Everts said the university is “performing well beyond expectations” in most of the strategic goals the university has agreed with the UNC System to meet over the next five years. The goals emphasize increasing enrollment and achievement for low-income and rural students, as well as in critical workforce programs such as health care, STEM and teacher education. Everts said an online dashboard is available to provide real-time performance data for all UNC System campuses.
Facility renovations and improvements outlined by the chancellor:
- the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, which will be the first completed Connect NC Bond project, slated to open in August;
- the upfit of Sanford Hall, the most trafficked classroom building on Appalachian’s campus, and seven additional residence halls;
- the $2.5 million end zone project at Kidd Brewer Stadium designed to accommodate various athletics and academic uses;
- fundraising efforts for the plots and garden designated as a gathering space for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the governing council for nine historically black fraternities and sororities, seven of which are currently represented at Appalachian. The funds are designated for construction dollars as well as leadership development scholarships for NPHC members; and
- several millennial campus projects now underway, including a biology research facility and conservatory connected to a biological reserve.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.