Chancellor Sheri N. Everts’ welcome message to Appalachian State University's campus - Fall 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Chancellor Sheri N. Everts shares a welcome message with members of the Appalachian State University campus at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester.


Good Morning.

Last year at this time, I introduced myself to you and the Appalachian community. I recall waking up to a mountain view, pausing and appreciating the beauty, and sensing the history of this place and the awesome responsibility of continuing what the Dougherty Brothers began nearly 120 years ago.

I have dedicated these past 13 months to listening to you, understanding our challenges and working collaboratively to develop strategies focused on the priorities that will move us forward.

You may have already noticed increased emphasis on initiatives that support these priorities. I would like to share a few highlights;

I am pleased to share that, through numerous initiatives, 15% of 2015’s first year class are students from traditionally underrepresented groups. This is an increase of 3 percentage points in one year. The class of 2019 is the most diverse of any first year class in Appalachian’s history.

We are nationally-recognized leaders in academic sustainability initiatives, ranked second in the nation in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) for colleges and universities by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Appalachian was specifically recognized for the integration of sustainability into our classrooms and our research.

Appalachian’s long-recognized, strong foundation of teaching and research combined with our pioneering spirit creates a special place committed to making real and powerful differences locally and globally.

I am inspired by the ways our community embraces the challenges and complexities of our great academic endeavor. We are moving together toward a brighter future that enhances the lives of the extended communities in which we work and live— Boone, the state of North Carolina, and far beyond.

In the coming weeks and months, you will see more efforts supporting our priorities, which are:

Support for faculty and staff,

Wellness, health and safety for our campus community,

Increasing the diversity of our student, faculty and staff populations,

Articulating the ways Appalachian defines sustainability (stewardship),

Integrating global learning into and beyond our classrooms,

Innovative and creative opportunities for our students to engage in and showcase their research,

Emphasizing the significance of the difference we 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 our world-class faculty, staff and students, and,

Maintaining a focus on slow and steady enrollment

We are making important progress and we have a clear direction ahead. Together we will move forward to reach and exceed our goals.

I welcome each of you back to campus for the fall semester. I am excited and energized to continue the work we began last year. We have momentum.

I wish you all a productive, healthy and happy semester. Thank you for all you have done to welcome me to this community, and for sharing your invaluable insight into our great academic endeavor.