Important support and resources for our campus — a message from Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Chancellor's Cabinet

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, our nation awaits the verdict of the trial of Derek Chauvin for Floyd's murder. At the same time, we continue to grapple with multiple tragedies that disproportionately affect our Black, Brown, Asian, Native and other underrepresented populations. Bearing the burden of anguish, the gripping frustration and the responsibility to be part of a solution and a support system are responsibilities all of us in the App State community share. We hold a collective commitment to looking deeply at our institution and its history, practices and beliefs, and working to institutionalize equity and inclusion into the fabric of our university community.

As the nation watches the end of the Chauvin trial and the anticipation of its outcome highlights tension and volatility across the country, we are setting up spaces for facilitated conversations and support for our campus community. Please use these spaces to process, discuss and work through emotions.

We have resources on our campus to support our students, faculty and staff who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as to assist those who wish to support underrepresented populations and foster inclusive excellence at App State.

For students:

For faculty and staff:

  • The university’s Employee Assistance Program provides faculty, staff and their dependents confidential support, resources and information.

  • Counseling for Faculty and Staff provides confidential counseling and offers faculty and staff assistance with concerns about career, workplace conflicts, and work satisfaction.


  • The University Ombuds Office provides an independent, confidential environment for faculty, staff and students of the Appalachian community to discuss campus related concerns or problems.

No matter the outcome of the trial, it is important our campus community know that we remain dedicated to improving the lives of those who for far too long have been overlooked and underrepresented.

Importantly, this commitment is held by our Appalachian Police Department (APD), which over the weekend, co-hosted a “Courageous Conversations” event with our Black Student Association for open and honest discussions between local police and student leaders about race, trust and policing. APD’s strategic diversity initiatives include the implementation of a new Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Unit to help build meaningful relationships and trust between APD officers and campus and community members from underrepresented groups. They also include implicit bias training, which five members of the APD are certified to teach, and which is provided to all new officers as well as to all new recruits in the Appalachian Police Academy. These are important examples of how members of our campus build community, break down barriers, and build or re-build trust in one another.

Prioritizing inclusive excellence has made a difference on our campus, and we will share more information about this soon. For now, please know we are aware many in our community need support and encouragement and we are convening our campus expertise and resources for you.

Our responsibility is clear; our work continues, and our commitment is unflagging.

Sheri Everts, Chancellor
Willie Fleming, Chief Diversity Officer
Heather Hulburt Norris, Interim Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
JJ Brown, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Hank Foreman, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives/Chief of Staff
Paul Forte, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs
Jane Barghothi, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
Mark Bachmeier, Director of Human Resources
Lee Ball, Chief Sustainability Officer
Paul Meggett, General Counsel
Matthew Dockham, Director of External Affairs & Community Relations
Doug Gillin, Director of Athletics
Megan Hayes, Chief Communications Officer
Tom Van Gilder, Interim Chief Information Officer