Chancellor discusses upcoming plans for university in BOT meeting


Sarah Brittain, Reporter

App State board of trustees met Friday to discuss the national spotlight App State has claimed, projects it’s completed and are planning as well as the social impacts the university has had on the community. 

Chancellor Sheri Everts began her report with a statement about App State’s win against Texas A&M and ESPN’s College GameDay, hosted by the university.  

“It really is a three-hour commercial that I don’t have to pay for,” Everts said.

Everts then spoke about college rankings for 2020-23 by the U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes and

These publications “have recognized App State for academics, innovation, benefits for student veterans, programs to enhance the first year experience and other aspects confirming App State’s position as an educational leader for both the nation and the Southeast,” Everts said. 

Everts also spoke about finished and upcoming projects. She announced the completion of the New River Hall and the Child Development Center. 

“This expansion is hoping to meet the high demand for childcare with exceptional quality care for the children of staff, faculty and students,” Everts said.

Everts announced that there will also be new faculty and staff housing, a zero carbon energy system and a conservatory for biodiversity education and research.

Everts said the conservatory will “build on existing opportunities available to the Department of Biology’s teaching and research facilities.” Construction is planned to begin in summer 2023 and will open in fall 2025. 

Along with the conservatory, Everts shared that there will be a replacement of I.G. Greer Hall. 

“App State will need approximately 132,000 square feet of space dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math in order to meet projected demands by 2030,” Everts said.

This will result in a multi-story STEM building in the heart of campus. Everts said it cannot be renovated cost-effectively because “it does not have good bones.”

She then spoke about App State’s partnership with Hickory and said the Hickory campus should be open to students in the 2023 fall semester. 

“App State is on a trajectory of excellence that will continue for generations to come,” Everts said. “We continue to innovate in response to the needs of our state and our region and we remain true to our founding mission to provide access to education.” 

James Harris, a board member, followed Everts with reports about the academic affairs committee. He began sharing information given by Sandy Benoit, dean of the Walker College of Business, about “innovative programs for students, work centers and other points of pride” such as cybersecurity analytics. 

Harris also talked about the social impacts App State has had, such as the Rural Community Capacity Program, which he states “will provide educational programs and technical assistance and focus guidance to the staff of local governments and rural and distressed communities to increase the area’s capacity to plan, implement and manage economic development programs and opportunities.” 

He also referenced the Business for Good Residential Learning Community that “allows first year first generation students who plan to major in the business the opportunity to share coursework and live together in the residence hall.”

The BOT concluded the meeting with James Barnes, a member of the board, reporting on the nominating committee. Barnes said the group “approved unanimously” that the current officers, Kimberly Shepherd, Mark Ricks and Tommy Sofield should serve another term. 

Everts concluded by thanking the attendees for “supporting our students, faculty and staff, and thank you for believing in our vision.”