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Trustees Elects New Officers, Passes Resolution Supporting Minority Students

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Alice G. Roess was elected chair of Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 23. Photo by Marie Freeman

Three members of Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees were elected into new executive positions on Sept. 23. Vice Chair Alice G. Roess is the new chair of the board, replacing Bradley T. Adcock, who has served as chair since 2014. James M. Barnes is now vice chair, and John M. Blackburn replaced Barnes as the board’s secretary. The trustees were approved to fill their new roles by a unanimous vote of the full board.

Roess, who resides in Blowing Rock, was first appointed to a four-year term on the board in 2009 and reappointed to a second four-year term in 2013. She is an active volunteer in civic, charitable and social organizations in the Blowing Rock and Boone communities.

Barnes, who resides in Raleigh, is president of NAI Carolantic Realty Inc. He was a founding member of Appalachian’s Board of Visitors. Barnes earned a degree in business administration from Appalachian in 1984.

Blackburn, who resides in Linville, is president of Linville Resorts Inc. He has served in numerous volunteer capacities for Appalachian since 2004, including serving on the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc. Board of Directors, on the Board of Trustees and on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Blackburn was named an honorary alumnus of Appalachian in 2009.

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James M. Barnes was elected vice chair of Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 23. Photo by Marie Freeman

Also during the meeting, Trustee Susan Branch ’99 added an item to the agenda: a Resolution on Support for Underrepresented Students at Appalachian State University, which passed unanimously and was met with a standing ovation from the meeting attendees. The resolution stated in part that the board, “supports all efforts of students, faculty, staff and administrators to enhance safety of all students, employees and visitors, including, but not limited to, continuation of University Police Department efforts to engage in direct dialogue with students, Student Government Association efforts to facilitate dialogue among all students, and programs that help students and employees build communication skills and cultural competence.”

Chancellor Sheri N. Everts lauded the support of the board, acknowledging the significance of the university’s top leadership supporting the university’s commitment to diversity.

The full text of the resolution is available at:http://chancellor.appstate.edu/bot.

In her presentation to the board, Everts announced the diversity of the university’s total enrollment has reached an all-time high of 15 percent, up from 14 percent last year (which was then a record) and that Appalachian’s incoming class is “the largest, most diverse and brightest first-year class in our history with 3,125 students, approximately 17 percent from traditionally underrepresented groups, up from 15.2 percent in fall 2015, which was also an Appalachian record for diversity.”

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John M. Blackburn was elected secretary of Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 23. Photo submitted

Everts also announced an upcoming ribbon cutting for the university’s new Student Veteran Resource Center slated for Veterans Day, Nov. 11. She lauded the accomplishments of the university’s solar vehicle team, Team Sunergy, which placed third in an international three-day track race, the Formula Sun Grand Prix, and sixth in the American Solar Challenge, an eight-day road race that covered nearly 2,000 miles. She also introduced three new employees: Paul Forte, vice chancellor for business affairs; Eric Gormly, coordinator of student veteran services; and Danielle Carter, director of multicultural student development.






View Everts’ full comments at http://chancellor.appstate.edu/messages.

Other developments from the meeting included:

  • The Academic Affairs Committee presented a resolution for establishing the David A. Thompson Professorship in Applied Investments in the Walker College of Business. The resolution was approved unanimously.
  • The Business Affairs Committee presented a resolution for debt financing to construct a building to replace Winkler Hall. The resolution stated that the total amount approved for the project is $32 million; the university asked for $24 million in new financing, and set aside $8 million in cash from housing reserve funds to supplement the borrowed amount. The resolution was approved unanimously.
  • The Audit Committee presented a resolution for temporary delegation of expanded authority to the chancellor for certain salary actions for employees exempt from the State Human Resources Act. The resolution was approved unanimously.
  • Vice Chancellor Paul Forte was elected by unanimous vote as a member of the university’s Endowment Fund board.
  • Trustee Branch, who serves as chair of the Nominating Committee, acknowledged the service of Chair Adcock, which was supported by Everts and the entire board.
  • Jennifer Wilson Kearse, executive director of Appalachian’s College Access Partnerships, presented on a successful grant initiative that is increasing access to college educations for low-income students in Western North Carolina.

About Appalachian’s Board of Trustees

The Appalachian State University Board of Trustees is a 13-member body that promotes the development of the institution within the functions prescribed by the UNC Board of Governors. The board serves as advisor to the Board of Governors on matters pertaining to the university and also serves as advisor to the chancellor concerning the management and development of Appalachian. The powers and duties of the Board of Trustees are primarily defined and delegated by the Board of Governors.

About Appalachian

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 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.