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Originally published: 2013-09-16 11:26:58
Last modified: 2013-09-16 11:27:42

Our View: Forums highlight responsibility

The search for Appalachian State University's chancellor is well under way, and Boone and Watauga County communities are uniquely positioned to voice an opinion about the school's next leader.Indeed, it is our responsibility to lend that voice to this search.

We have no doubt that the 21 individuals selected for the chancellor search committee, in addition to the professional services of an outside recruitment consultant firm, will bring a critical mass of diverse and educated experience to the process. But the application of public forums -- following Friday's first forum there are five remaining, scheduled for two days near the end of September -- will provide what those individuals and entities cannot muster: local and community opinion.

Apart from those directly affiliated with the university, it is the residents of Watauga County who live most closely with the direction and leadership of ASU. The tone and timbre of that leadership reverberates throughout our communities both positively and negatively. A university leader who fails to recognize this will be neither successful nor a good fit for town and gown.

Because of this, the option to offer thoughts, feelings and opinions during this search process is truly no option at all. If we are to ensure that we have done all we can to promote the positive leadership of a community partner that swells our town to nearly double its population, it is our duty.

ASU, Boone, Watauga County and our surrounding environs face myriad challenges in growth, economics, security and sustainability as we move forward. Certainly, each of us has something to say about the leadership of the university which forms an integral part of the partnership.