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Originally published: 2013-07-02 14:57:05
Last modified: 2013-07-02 14:57:50

ASU can build on goals, priorities

The current plate set before Appalachian State University Chancellor Ken Peacock would be enough for any CEO to digest during a career:

Break ground and provide a solid foundation for the College of Health Sciences.

Position the university's athletic program for a smooth, and financially sound, transition to the Sun Belt Conference.

Put plans in place to ensure the success -- and a final $47 million -- of the $200 million fundraising goal of Campaign for Appalachian.

Peacock, however, doesn't have a career full of time to implement these and other priorities he outlined as his administration's goals for 2013-2014. 

He has maybe 12 months.

The best news to come out of Peacock's resignation letter in April was that he would stay at the helm of ASU until a replacement was found. This is critical to ensure a smooth transition between administration changes. A new draft timetable suggests that replacement could be at work by July 2014.

The second best news was the release of Peacock's priority of goals June 21. Not only does this list reflect Peacock's commitment "to advancing Appalachian" during his final months, but it neatly outlines most -- faculty relationship issues are not addressed in this list, but will undoubtedly be a future priority -- of  the challenges to an incoming chancellor and the skill set needed to continue on the path of turning those challenges into opportunities.

Given Peacock's history of positioning ASU for ever-higher growth, and the benefit his current goals mean to the university, we are encouraged that the chancellor will indeed be able to advance his priorities during his remaining time at ASU. 

But the task now before ASU's board of trustees and University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross is a priority that supersedes even Peacock's goals: finding a chancellor to continue the work of the past nine years.