Update from Appalachian State University

Friday, March 22, 2024

This week, as part of our accreditation process, App State hosted the on-site reaffirmation committee from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The delegation met with university leadership, as well as faculty, staff and students, and conducted a focused evaluation of the university, including our Quality Enhancement Plan. It was a productive and positive visit, and we look forward to the final results of our evaluation in December.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is an integral component of our ongoing comprehensive planning and reflects our commitment to enhance overall institutional quality, by prioritizing an issue for improved student learning outcomes and success.

App State’s 2024–29 QEP was prepared with input from faculty and staff from every academic department and college and is focused on advancing the university’s position as a leader in local, regional and global engagement in climate resilience. The QEP ties into the university’s 2022–27 strategic plan and will prepare students across all disciplines to be career-ready when they graduate, strengthening their ability to envision and implement positive action in their professions and communities.

I’d like to thank Dr. Shea Tuberty, QEP director, Laura England, QEP associate director, and Dr. Carolyn Edy, faculty SACSCOC director and chair of the QEP Steering Committee, for their leadership with the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan. A very special thanks to Executive Director of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning Heather Langdon for serving as our institutional accreditation liaison. It’s an incredible amount of work and we greatly appreciate her efforts and expertise.

This morning, the Walker College of Business hosted the 65th Boyles Distinguished Lecture Series, and I had the pleasure of joining Edward Boyles, son of Harlan E. Boyles, for whom the lecture series is named, in presenting keynote speaker and 1991 App State alumna Tammy DeBoer with the Eagle Award in appreciation for her participation.

Recognized as one of the most influential women in mass market retail, Tammy is president of the Harris Teeter supermarket chain and has amassed a wealth of experience in operations, merchandising, marketing and leadership in her career. Today, she shared a dynamic and thought-provoking talk on the power of people and cultivating a thriving company culture, and we appreciate her wisdom and insight.

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Brooke Elizabeth Christian, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences and 2005 App State graduate, for her selection as the App State recipient of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award. She joined the department in 2015 and teaches courses in chemistry and biochemistry. In recognition of her outstanding service to the profession, Dr. Christian will receive a $12,500 cash prize, and she will be recognized by the Board with a commemorative bronze medallion. Thank you, Dr. Christian, for your commitment to fostering the next generation of scientific minds.

This week, Women’s Basketball Head Coach Angel Elderkin shared her decision to step down after leading our student-athletes for 10 seasons. Coach Elderkin leaves App State with the second-most wins in program history and having coached 11 All-Sun Belt honorees during her tenure, including the first alumna in program history to sign a WNBA contract — Pre Stanley. In 2017, Coach Elderkin was awarded the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, which recognized her leadership and tenacity during her fight against cancer. She has been an excellent mentor and role model for our students, and I wish her the very best.

Finally, I want to congratulate Coach Dustin Kerns, his staff and the App State men’s basketball team on an exceptional season. They fought hard on Wednesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. Though the outcome of this game was not what we hoped for, the team has represented App State students, faculty, staff and alumni well through a record-setting season of 27 wins and exemplified strong Mountaineer determination and character.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended our home games and those who traveled to support Coach Kerns and Coach Elderkin and the men’s and women’s basketball teams this season. A huge thanks to our Hayes School of Music Basketball Band, whose members brought their heartfelt support, passion and tremendous talent, adding to a great fan experience on the road.

As we head into the final weeks of the spring semester, I hope you can balance your academic responsibilities with enjoying the warmer weather and signs of spring across the mountains and foothills.

Sheri Everts