Kenneth Edward Peacock Biography

View larger image
Publicity photo (JPEG 914px x 1200px 74K)

Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock became Appalachian State University's sixth chancellor in July 2004.

During his tenure, Appalachian has experienced significant growth in the overall quality of its academics and has launched new or enhanced initiatives in the areas of healthcare and the nexus of energy, the environment and economics. Its enrollment also has increased from 14,653 in Fall 2004 to 17,589 in Fall 2012.

The university has become a destination of choice among the brightest and best high school graduates, with average freshman SAT scores of 1153 and grade point average of 3.99 in the 2012-13 academic year. Hallmarks of an Appalachian education include small classes, challenging academics, undergraduate research and service-learning opportunities. The university has received national attention for the academic accomplishments of its students and faculty, as well as the performance of its student-athletes. Appalachian also is known for its focus on sustainability, which includes academic programs, student commitment and institutional practice.

Chancellor Peacock led the way for the newest college at Appalachian in nearly 40 years – the College of Health Sciences, to meet the state's need for highly skilled healthcare workers in areas such as nursing, nutrition, communication disorders and exercise science. The college was established in fall 2010.

Private Funding

Record-setting amounts of private giving have been raised since Chancellor Peacock assumed office. A major initiative under his leadership was a university scholarship program to improve access to higher education. Called Appalachian ACCESS, the program offers North Carolina's low-income students living at or below the poverty level a four-year university education debt free. It was first awarded to members of the freshman class in 2007. The university also embarked on an Athletics Facilities Enhancement Campaign that improved facilities used by 450 student-athletes on all 20 varsity teams.

To enhance the Appalachian experience for all students, Chancellor Peacock launched the comprehensive Campaign for Appalachian in October 2011. The campaign seeks to raise $200 million by 2014 to strengthen academics, arts and athletics through scholarships, programs and activities. More than $175 million had been raised as of April 12. 

Capital Improvements

Since 2007, all new campus construction and renovations have been energy efficient, environmentally friendly and whenever possible LEED® certified.

Capital improvements under Chancellor Peacock’s leadership have included construction of the Student Recreation Center, Central Dining Hall, Athletics Center, Mountaineer Hall on-campus housing, a new college of education building, Beasley Media Complex and the Brad and Carole Wilson Honors and Engagement Community. The community includes two residence halls, including (renovated Cone Hall and newly constructed Summit Hall), a new home for The Honors College and an addition to Plemmons Student Union.

The university also renovated existing residence halls, upgraded its steam system and opened Belk Library and Information Commons. In 2013, Farthing Auditorium was refurbished into The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

Life and Career History

Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Dr. Peacock served at Appalachian as interim provost and executive vice chancellor. He joined the faculty in Appalachian's Walker College of Business's Department of Accounting in 1983, was appointed assistant dean of the business school in 1987, associate dean in 1989, and served as dean of the college from 1992-2003.

Previously, he taught at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and worked for the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse & Co. in their Winston-Salem and Charlotte offices.

He received his undergraduate degree in accounting at Mars Hill College and his master's and doctorate degrees in accounting at Louisiana State University. In September 2006, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Mars Hill College.

Chancellor Peacock serves on the American Council on Education's Board of Directors, NCAA Division I Presidential Advisory Group, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors, Homes for Children Board of Directors, and he chairs the North Carolina Campus Compact Executive Board. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He also is the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award for Leadership from AdvantageWest and the L. Richardson Preyer Alumni Award from Leadership North Carolina.

Chancellor Peacock is a native of Rocky Mount. He and his wife, Rosanne, have two grown sons. The Peacocks are involved in a variety of civic/community programs and activities.

Chancellor Peacock announced in April 2013 that he would step down from his position once a successor was found.