Update from Appalachian State University

Friday, September 22, 2023

Budget news from Raleigh is, once again, excellent for App State, and we extend our sincere thanks to our legislators for securing important appropriations specifically for our Boone and Hickory campuses, as well as key compensation increases for university employees.

Thanks also to the UNC System Board of Governors, UNC System leadership and App State’s Board of Trustees, who have supported the funding priorities my leadership team and I have put forth to ensure we can continue to expand access to an exceptional App State education for the people of our region.

The new biennial budget bill continues a record of historically significant support for our university and demonstrates the confidence in the work we are doing. We expect the bill to become law in the next 10 days.

Earlier today, I sent a summary of employee compensation, as well as App State's appropriations, to faculty, staff and students. You can read the full information here.

These budget allocations continue the long-standing support for higher education by the State of North Carolina and represent the confidence in App State, in particular. On behalf of the university, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our elected officials, our Board of Governors and our UNC System leadership for their continued support of and advocacy for App State, and I encourage you to extend your personal thanks as well. I also thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students, which is being rewarded by the people of North Carolina.

Each year at this time, national publications release their rankings for colleges and universities, and I’m proud to report App State is once again recognized as a leader for our academics, innovation, value, benefits for student veterans and programs to enhance the first-year experience, among other accolades by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes magazine, Money.com, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Monthly magazine.

Notably, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Money.com and The Princeton Review recognized the university as among the best in the nation, and in the U.S. News rankings, App State earned:

  • The No. 1 spot on the Most Innovative Schools in the South list, for the 4th consecutive year.

  • No. 2 in Top Public Schools in the South, breaking our four-year streak of third place in this category.

  • No. 2 in Best Undergraduate Teaching Programs among Southern universities, for the seventh year in a row.

  • No. 2 in Best Colleges for Veterans among Southern universities — a distinction App State has held for three consecutive years.

  • Additionally, we advanced our ranking in the Top Performers on Social Mobility category by 33 positions over last year, to No. 38, and advanced three positions in the Best Value Universities in the South category, to No. 31.

These accolades underscore App State’s 124-year legacy as a leader and an innovator in higher education. They are a testament to the value of an App State education and to the efforts of App State’s faculty and staff, who work each day to enhance the quality of the student experience at App State.

Each year, App State commemorates the day that the United States Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in 1787 with events that include a reading of excerpts from the Constitution. Considered the birthday of the United States government, Constitution Day also celebrates U.S. citizenship. Thank you to everyone who joined our Constitution reading ceremony in person in Boone and via livestream from our Hickory campus, and a special thanks to the faculty, staff and students who participated in the reading.

Last week, we publicly recognized App State alumnus and current Board of Trustees Secretary Tommy Sofield and his family for committing a generous gift in support of App State athletics facilities enhancements, including a new multipurpose indoor practice facility. Tommy distinguished himself among his peers as a leader when he came to App State, starting a small business that employed other students while playing football and carrying a full-time class load. Since his graduation in 1976, he has become a pillar of the App State Community, well known for his kindness and generosity, as well as his business acumen. In 2007, Tommy and his family took the lead on supporting a facility to provide better training opportunities for App State student-athletes. This additional lead gift will continue to foster our Mountaineers’ competitive drive to excel in their sports as well as in the classroom, and will contribute to the recruitment, growth and development of future student-athletes for many years to come. We thank the Sofield family for their continued support and engagement with App State.

Tomorrow, App State’s Mountaineers football team takes on the University of Wyoming Cowboys in a nationally televised game at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. Mountaineers from across the country have joined together and been warmly welcomed in this lovely mountain town that’s located at more than twice the elevation of Boone. We look forward to a great football game tomorrow and extend a special thanks to the fans who have traveled to Wyoming to support our team. Roll ’Neers!

Sheri Everts