Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. David English was named vice president for academic programs, faculty and research for the University of North Carolina System in 2019.
BOONE, N.C. — David English ’04 ’06, the 2018 winner of the Young Alumni Award at Appalachian State University, said, “Appalachian … truly changed the trajectory of who I am in life.”
English, who is executive vice chancellor and provost of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), was recognized during Homecoming Week 2018 by the Appalachian Alumni Association as an outstanding representative of the university through his work, service and philanthropy.
At the Alumni Awards Luncheon held Sept. 28 on Appalachian’s campus, Chancellor Sheri Everts said of the award winners, “Year after year, I am inspired by the extraordinary Appalachian alumni I am fortunate to meet, who reinforce that Appalachian is indeed North Carolina’s premier, public undergraduate institution of higher learning. They enhance the value of an Appalachian degree and help define what it means to be a Mountaineer.”
On accepting the award, English said, “For somebody to think I’ve been able to live up in some way to what was given to me as a student is incredibly gratifying.”
‘David strives to provide a college opportunity to all’
English has a lot in common with B.B. and D.D. Dougherty — the founders of Appalachian. Like them, he grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, has taken on a leadership role in a university at a young age and is passionate about education.
English, 37, became executive vice chancellor and provost (EVCP) at UNCSA in 2017. He reports directly to the chancellor and is the senior executive responsible for day-to-day campus operations. English is also the chief academic officer and is responsible for providing academic and administrative leadership in all areas related to teaching and student learning.
Prior to becoming EVCP at UNCSA, English served as the school’s interim provost during 2016, vice provost and dean of academic affairs from 2013–16 and associate provost from 2010–13.
Dr. Susan McCracken ’92 ’05 ’09, director of career development and economic engagement at Appalachian, said she has known English for about 15 years.
“Like the Dougherty brothers, David strives to provide a college opportunity to all those who seek it,” she said.
UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman, who appointed English as interim provost and provost, said, “I greatly admire David’s transformational leadership. His exceptional charisma, policy chops, strategic agility and commitment to excellence will take him far and define his long-term legacy in higher education.”
English also teaches courses on higher education at UNCSA and North Carolina State University. He has presented widely on current higher education policy issues, and his research has been published in journals such as The Review of Higher Education and College and University.
In 2004, English graduated from Appalachian with a Bachelor of Science in business administration (BSBA) with majors in management and computer information systems, as well as a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology. After graduating, he became assistant director of admissions at Appalachian and earned his master’s in higher education administration from Appalachian in 2006.
English worked at the University of North Carolina General Administration (now the UNC System Office) from 2008–10 as director of the statewide college access program CFNC.org, and from 2006–08 as business analyst for CFNC Technology and Internet Services, where he coordinated admissions and enrollment issues for the 17 campuses of the UNC System.
He received a doctorate in educational research and policy analysis from North Carolina State University in 2012.
According to Alan Rasmussen ’05, student case manager at Appalachian, English’s love for Appalachian is unmatched. “David is never shy in sharing his academic roots and stays in close connection with faculty and staff,” he said.
Over his eight years at UNCSA, English has amassed a long list of accomplishments, including developing an academic, for-credit summer session, transitioning the university from a trimester calendar to a semester calendar, and playing a leading role in UNCSA’s reaffirmation of accreditation.
“It would be an understatement to say all these initiatives have been successful,” said Jim DeCristo, vice chancellor for economic development and chief of staff at UNCSA. “Without his wisdom and leadership, we could not have made the progress we have as a campus over the past eight years,” he added.
Since knowing English, DeCristo has noticed English’s deep appreciation for Appalachian. He said English, in his role as provost, is a UNCSA Pickle — the mascot of the university — on the outside, but “in his heart, he is a Mountaineer.”
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About Alumni Affairs
The Office of Alumni Affairs provides networking opportunities, affinity program discounts, alumni chapter gatherings and special events, merchandise and travel tour options to Appalachian State University alumni.
The Appalachian State University Alumni Association consists of more than 130,000 living Appalachian alumni. Membership is free and open to all graduates of Appalachian. The association’s mission is to help alumni remember their Appalachian Experience and stay connected with current Mountaineers, and to work to ensure that those experiences are available for future Appalachian alumni by raising support for the Alumni Memorial Scholarship and The Appalachian Fund.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The 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 to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.