Update from Appalachian State University
This week, App State’s transition into summer has begun. While campus feels quieter with many of our faculty and students on a break from classes, there is much taking place.
Staff are busily preparing for new student orientation sessions, which begin next week and will continue throughout the summer, and we will see the return of some students and faculty for Summer Sessions, which begin May 23.
Earlier this week, staff enjoyed conversation and camaraderie at our May Staff Connect event. Similar to the Faculty Club, these events are held regularly throughout the year and bring together staff from across campus. In a relaxed, professional environment, members of our staff use these events to network, meet others, learn of professional opportunities, share expertise and exchange ideas. They are also a great way for new staff members to get to know others outside of their departments. Staff Connect invitations are emailed directly to all SHRA, EHRA and non-student, temporary staff members, and I encourage you to come to one in the future, especially if you have not yet attended.
We also held a reception this week to recognize the contributions of our University Planning and Priorities Council in building the strategic plan that will guide App State through the next five years. This council consists of nearly 60 individuals representing every department and division on campus, as well as leaders from Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government and Alumni Council. Since the Fall 2021 semester, this group has been actively seeking input from the areas they represent, as well as holding open listening sessions for the entire campus to provide input. They have incorporated all of this feedback into the development of the plan, and the process is nearly complete. The final version of the strategic plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval at their June meeting. I extend my sincere appreciation to the members of UPPC for their work, to Provost Norris and Vice Chancellor Foreman for their guidance and leadership, to Dr. Lee Ball for chairing the committee, to Dr. Mike McKenzie and Heather Langdon for their strategic planning leadership and to Adryona Nelson for providing logistical coordination and support. Additionally, thank you to everyone who has participated in the development of this plan — it has been a comprehensive, transparent and collective effort that has allowed everyone who wants a voice in the process to have one.
I would also like to highlight the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Steering Committee and extend my appreciation to Dr. Carolyn Edy for serving as App State’s Faculty Director for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As Provost Norris announced earlier this week, App State is preparing to initiate a new, five-year Quality Enhancement Plan to take effect by Fall 2024, as part of our accreditation process, and has selected the topic “Climate Literacy and Response-Ability: Cultivating Resilient and Just Communities” as the first step. On behalf of the entire campus, thank you to everyone who submitted proposals, and to those who worked to review them, provide input and ultimately make a recommendation to my leadership team and me. We appreciate your valuable contributions to our university’s accreditation process. I look forward to campus engagement in the process continuing in the Fall 2022 semester.
We also continue making exciting progress toward opening our App State Hickory Campus for students in Fall 2023. Yesterday, I joined a meeting with Hickory City Council members, providing updates on App State’s academic successes and planning for the Hickory Campus. I have established a Hickory Campus Advisory Council of campus and community leaders to help evaluate the needs of the community and greater area. Their experience and expertise will assist in making App State Hickory a true collaboration supporting the Greater Hickory metro area.
Finally, a reminder that App State’s Student Health Service is open and continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines and boosters upon appointment for faculty and staff as well as students. They also offer free COVID testing for students and home testing kits for purchase. Please remember, if you are feeling unwell, stay home, monitor your symptoms and get tested. More information is available on our university’s COVID website.
Summer at App State does not mean slowing down! As we prepare for the Fall semester, we are also setting the course for the future of our university for generations to come. Thank you for your participation as we advance our founding mission of increasing access to education.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor