Dr. Sheri Everts

Chancellor, Appalachian State University

Dr. Sheri Everts joined Appalachian State University as its eighth leader in July 2014. Previously, she had been provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University since 2008.

A Nebraska native and first-generation college graduate, Everts graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in English instruction and secondary education. After teaching middle school and high school English in Kansas and Nebraska, she returned to UNL, where she earned a master’s degree in literacy education and English (1991) and a doctorate in administration, curriculum and instruction (1994).

Everts began her higher education career in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Rising through the academic and administrative ranks at UNO, she was named assistant vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in 2000, promoted to associate vice president in 2003 and named interim senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in 2006. She served in that interim capacity until June 30, 2008, when she left Nebraska to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University. Everts served as interim president of ISU in summer 2013.

Under Everts’ leadership, App State has distinguished itself as the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast. By ensuring a sound foundation in terms of the university’s physical infrastructure and the goals and strategic initiatives that empower human potential, App State provides the highest quality setting in which students can grow and learn how to navigate life successfully.

Between 2014 and 2020, enrollment at App State grew to more than 20,000 and this growth continued in the 2021–22 academic year, with the university enrolling its largest incoming class to date — 20,641 students. The university has increased its underrepresented students by 66% and first-year underrepresented students by 108%. Last academic year, 18.3% of App State students were from underrepresented populations, 32% of the total undergraduate population were first-generation college students and 34.3% came from rural areas (in-state, degree-seeking undergraduate students who are from Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties, as designated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce).

In 2016, Everts launched the Chancellor’s Innovation Scholars Program to support research and practice related to the innovation of higher education. In 2018, she led the charge in opening the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork in Walkertown, North Carolina — which serves approximately 300 K–5 students with research-based practices, state-of-the-art literacy instruction, and exemplary classroom instruction and administration — and cut the ribbon on the Levine Hall of Health Sciences. App State will open its second lab school, the Appalachian State University Academy at Elkin, in fall 2022. The university continues to be a leader in sustainability, in part by hosting the annual Appalachian Energy Summit — a platform through which UNC System campuses and state agencies have worked together to avoid $1.6 billion in utility costs.

Under Chancellor Everts’ leadership, the university has undertaken several major projects, including the completion of the 203,000-square-foot Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a north end zone facility at Kidd Brewer Stadium, a $191 million residence hall project and multiple building renovations. In November 2021, Chancellor Everts opened the App State Hickory Campus, which will welcome students in fall 2023, and in spring 2022, App State ceremoniously broke ground on the first academic building of the Innovation District — the Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research.

In 2021, Chancellor Everts was named vice president of the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference, in which 15 of App State’s 17 varsity sports teams compete. In spring 2022, App State student-athletes marked 10 consecutive years with a cumulative GPA above 3.0, and last year, App State led the league’s members in program-wide GPA for student-athletes, Commissioner’s List selections and Academic Honor Roll selections.

Everts’ priorities for moving forward as a campus community include:

  • Articulating the ways App State defines sustainability.
  • Increasing the diversity of the university’s student, faculty and staff populations.
  • Improving wellness, health and safety for the campus community.
  • Integrating global learning into and beyond App State’s classrooms.
  • Supporting faculty and staff.
  • Providing innovative and creative opportunities for students to engage in and showcase their research.
  • Emphasizing the significance of the difference App State can make in communities here and across the world through civic engagement.
  • Securing the necessary resources to energize and sustain these strategic initiatives and support App State’s world-class faculty, staff and students.