Dr. Heather Hulburt Norris
Interim Chancellor

Dr. Heather Hulburt Norris became Appalachian State University’s ninth leader on April 19, 2024. She brings more than two decades of academic leadership, vision and expertise to the role, after having served as App State’s provost and executive vice chancellor since May 2021. She fulfilled that role in an interim capacity beginning in February 2020. Her career has been characterized by her strong, collaborative leadership and service to both App State and the greater community.

A Rigorous Student Experience

At Appalachian, student learning and student success come from a challenging academic curriculum, active classroom environments and close collaboration between faculty members and students on scholarly activities. A strong emphasis on undergraduate research, international experiences, interdisciplinary connections and measurable learning outcomes that assess student progress are at the core of Appalachian’s academic activities.

Chancellor's messages

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024

    Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

    On May 23, 2024, the UNC System Board of Governors voted to repeal Policy 300.8.5 in the UNC Policy Manual — which was called the Policy on Diversity and Inclusion Within the University of North Carolina — and replace it with a new policy, titled Equality Within the University of North Carolina.

  • Monday, April 22, 2024

    Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

    It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Neva J. Specht has agreed to accept the position of acting provost while I serve in the position of interim chancellor.

    Dr. Specht is a well-known and widely respected member of the Academic Affairs leadership team, who was appointed to the position of senior vice provost of faculty policies, development and training in the Academic Affairs division in October 2021.

  • Friday, April 19, 2024

    Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

    I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself to those of you who don’t yet know me.

    For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my career to Appalachian State University. I came here because I was impressed by Appalachian’s stated mission of educational access, and when I visited, I saw it to be true. Over my time here, the faculty and staff dedication to student success, which has characterized the institution for 125 years, continues to be strong to this day.

    I joined the faculty of the Walker College of Business in 2003, and my home department remains the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance. I served the college as assistant, associate and senior associate dean, as well as acting and interim dean and then dean, before becoming App State’s provost. I served as interim provost during some of the most challenging times in university history, as we worked to provide the best possible educational experience for our students, and keep faculty and staff employed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021, I was appointed to the role of provost and executive vice chancellor.