Resiliency, renovations and continued advocacy

Monday, March 2, 2020

Last month I traveled to the UNC System Board of Governors Meeting, where I continued to advocate for funding for salary increases and for infrastructure repairs and renovations at Appalachian. I shared details about these critical budgetary issues in a previous issue of my newsletter, which is available here.

On campus, Interim Provost Heather Hulburt Norris met with the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee last week and will share an update with campus soon.

While we continue to utilize every avenue to address our challenges, we are fortunate for our academic achievements, the integrity of our faculty, staff and students, and the support we have garnered to maintain and improve our campus infrastructure. We have many points of pride to share, including:

  • Since 2010, our university has retained our distinction as a Military Friendly® School, and we were designated a Top 10 school for 2020–21. Our university values empowering the student veterans and active-duty military members enrolled at our university and ensuring they have access to needed resources and support.
  • Our construction projects are progressing smoothly and showing visible progress every day. Our project management team and site crew led a small hard hat tour of Sanford Hall last month. To see firsthand the extensive interior renovations taking shape — on time and on budget — click here.
  • The National Campus Safety Summit named the Appalachian State University Police Department (APD) as one of the top 25 university departments in the country for “increasing the safety and security of their campus community” and “making a difference in student safety” — two critical priorities for our university.

As part of our emergency preparedness practices, Appalachian’s emergency response team routinely monitors situations that could affect campus. At this time, the team is monitoring COVID-19. Though incidents in the United States are low, we remain vigilant. Our staff is in regular contact with the UNC System and local and state public health officials, and we are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

Appalachian has a resource and information website for those in our campus community who are seeking information and guidance related to our university’s preparation and response to COVID-19. Please refer to the information on this site as the definitive source for the latest information specific to Appalachian State University.

At this time, we are closely monitoring travel guidance, restrictions and advisories from the CDC and U.S. Department of State (State Department). We are directly assisting students, faculty and staff who are traveling or have plans for international travel for university-approved educational or business reasons. As many students prepare to travel for spring break, we encourage consideration of CDC and State Department guidance.

Students with international travel-related financial aid questions or questions regarding academic requirements related to international travel should contact the Office of International Education and Development.

It is important to remember that students, faculty and staff have friends, family and loved ones in areas that are at higher risk than in the United States and to remain compassionate about their worries and concerns about their loved ones.

I am appreciative of the faculty, staff and students who make possible our many accomplishments and sustain the resilient spirit of Appalachian.

/s/ Sheri Everts

Sheri Everts, Chancellor