At Appalachian State University’s June Board of Trustees meeting, preliminary enrollment numbers were released, board members were honored, new deans were welcomed and new opportunities for university properties were considered.
“I am pleased to share that enrollment continues to grow at a slow and steady pace,” stated Chancellor Sheri N. Everts. While emphasizing the numbers are still preliminary, Everts said Appalachian is expecting the largest enrollment in school history for the beginning of fall semester, projected to be at 18,618 students. Not only is this the largest overall class ever, she said, it is the largest freshman incoming class as well.
Everts pointed out key characteristics of the incoming class, including 31 percent of first-year students identifying as first-generation students. She also recognized nearby community college partners that prepare students for success at Appalachian. “Our top community colleges for transfer enrollment are Caldwell, Wake Technical, Central Piedmont, Catawba Valley and Wilkes,” she said.
Addressing diversity, which is an important emphasis for the university, Everts stated, “This incoming first-year class is on course to be the most diverse ever to attend Appalachian as we nudge closer to 18 percent who identify as underrepresented.”
Everts noted Appalachian’s overall retention and graduation rates surpass those of its peer institutions.
Everts addressed space and facilities that will help the university to strategically meet the needs of its learning community. In providing updates on the old Watauga High School property, the former site of the Broyhill Inn, the Beaver College of Health Sciences building being constructed at the corner of State Farm and Deerfield roads, and the anticipated Winkler Hall project, Everts noted the importance of “better utiliz[ing] space on our main campus for classrooms, labs, faculty offices and meeting spaces.”
Everts also reported significant personnel positions had been filled at the university, noting all nine dean positions are filled, and associate vice chancellors for enrollment management and equity, diversity and compliance have been recently hired. “All of these positions are extremely vital for our campus’ success,” said Everts. “I am elated to have a full team of excellent educators and administrators.”
Everts shared with the board she had recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in an Appalachia Initiative Roundtable for Rural Health. About this opportunity she said, “The opportunity to share our ideas [during three roundtable discussions] with a bipartisan team of U.S. senators could have unprecedented impacts on health care, education, job creation and energy initiatives in the region.”
Everts concluded her remarks by recognizing outgoing chair of the Board of Trustees, Alice Roess, for her eight years of service on the board and her leadership as board chair over the last year. “It is evident to anyone who meets and spends even a small amount of time with Alice that Appalachian holds a special place in her heart,” said Everts. “Likewise, she holds a special place in ours.”
The chancellor also recognized Trustee George Baldwin, who was recently awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. “Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments,” Everts explained.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees acted on several business items at this meeting. Among the items approved were revisions of the faculty handbook and parking and traffic regulations, an updated audit activity charter and audit plan, and a Town of Boone easement request to maintain an historic cemetery.
Everts’ address to the board may be viewed in full at http://chancellor.appstate.edu/messages/id/133.
The next meeting of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees will take place Sept. 21-22.
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 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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