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ASU Chancellor-elect Sheri Noren Everts, center, addresses the Faculty Senate on Monday, with Faculty Senate Chairman Andy Koch at left and ASU Provost Lori Gonzalez at right.

PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES



Originally published: 2014-04-29 18:58:47
Last modified: 2014-04-29 18:59:50

ASU chancellor-elect meets faculty

by Anna Oakes

Appalachian State University Chancellor-elect Sheri Noren Everts met with the Faculty Senate on Monday, speaking generally about the university's strengths and challenges and taking a few questions.

Everts said she has been attending University of North Carolina system Board of Governors and ASU Board of Trustees meetings during the past month to prepare for her term as chancellor, which begins July 1.

Declining state funding for North Carolina's public universities is an ongoing challenge, Everts said, but she noted that she comes from Illinois,  where the percentage of the budget coming from state appropriations is even lower.

Another challenge in higher education is in the area of enrollment, she noted.

"Enrollment competition is now a national issue," she said, but added that ASU's enrollment is at its strongest ever -- referring to undergraduate enrollment numbers.

Asked by Faculty Senator Greg Reck if she was concerned about the exodus of faculty from campus, Everts said her current institution, Illinois State, was proud to employ the largest percentage of tenure-track faculty on campus in its history -- but that it still saw talented faculty departing.

She said she was concerned but could not speak to the specific issues driving faculty departures at ASU at this time.

Elicka Peterson-Sparks asked Everts why she would want to relocate to North Carolina, with a governor she described as having a "Reaganesque" attitude about higher education as "subsidizing intellectual curiosity."

"There are always challenges everywhere," Everts said. "The North Carolina system is, if not the best, one of the best in the nation. That reputation is out there nationally."

The meeting was the last gathering of the Faculty Senate for the 2013-14 academic year, with new members and officers elected.

Government and justice studies professor Andy Koch was elected to a third consecutive term as Faculty Senate chairman for the 2014-15 year, with communications professor Paul Gates re-elected as vice chairman and health, leisure and exercise science lecturer Travis Erickson elected as secretary.