Update from Appalachian State University

Friday, February 23, 2024

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with legislators representing the Boone and Hickory areas. North Carolina Senators Ralph Hise and Dean Proctor and Representatives Ray Pickett and Jay Adams joined me on the Boone and Hickory campuses. During these visits, I shared some of App State’s latest accomplishments and how legislative funding and their ongoing support continue to help our university excel.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Heather Norris and her Academic Affairs leadership team hosted UNC System leadership and executives from Project Kitty Hawk to meet with academic programs and administrative areas across campus. During these meetings, academic areas that have expressed interest in expanding online education and those areas that provide associated support services were able to learn more about their current partnerships with UNC System institutions to provide best-in-class online education, and engage in discussions around a potential partnership to attract and retain nontraditional learners who are not currently enrolled at App State — or who are enrolled with out-of-state providers.

We appreciate the UNC System’s vision in developing this Systemwide, full-scale resource to help UNC System institutions better attract, retain and meet the needs of adult learners over the age of 25 through workforce-aligned, online education.

Last week, university leadership also attended the myFutureNC conference to join discussions on the state’s progress toward its goal of 2 million North Carolinian adult learners attaining a high-quality or postsecondary degree by 2030. At App State, we are committed to our important work in helping attain this goal, which is reflected in our everyday work and in the academic strategic planning underway in the Division of Academic Affairs.

Yesterday, with a time-honored tradition, we celebrated the ‘topping out’ of the Holmes Convocation Center Parking Deck, placing the final beam on the top level of the structure. The deck will be completed and operational this summer, adding 460 safer, more accessible and readily available parking spaces for students, faculty, staff and visitors to the university, and will feature a connecting bridge from the deck to the Convocation Center’s upper concourse.

Joining us at the ceremony were Sen. Hise and Rep. Pickett, whose support allowed us the flexibility to fund the construction of this much-needed facility.

This is one of the first university projects to use an innovative, design-build delivery method, and App State student Dylan Reed — a senior building sciences-construction management major from Pfafftown and an intern with New Atlantic, the builder — is learning about it firsthand through his participation in the project. I’d like to thank New Atlantic President John Morrison for including us in the topping out ceremony and for the partnership that is allowing our students to gain valuable experience. A huge thanks also to the construction and building team, as well as to App State’s Facilities Operations and Parking and Transportation staff, who are ensuring this building is completed safely, efficiently and cost effectively.

I look forward to seeing our students at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory this afternoon for Student Appreciation Day at the App State Mountaineers baseball game against Siena College. Venue parking and concessions for App State students are on me! Just show your ID for parking, entry to the game and a concessions voucher. It’s going to be fabulous weather for a baseball game in Hickory, and I look forward to joining our students in cheering on our team!

Sheri Everts