Editorial: Peacock will be remembered for student involvement

Kevin Griffin

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the majority of the editorial board.

After nine years as chancellor of Appalachian State University, Kenneth Peacock announced Thursday that he is stepping down, but will remain in his office until a successor has been appointed.

Peacock’s legacy is of great importance to all of us at the university. In many significant ways, he has shaped the school that we all love.

We at The Appalachian would like to give an honest appraisal of Peacock and his tenure, crediting him for the good he has done while not overlooking some of controversies.

Peacock’s time at Appalachian has seen great growth for the university. According to the chancellor’s official biography, private investment has seen an enormous increase in the past nine years. The Campaign for Appalachian, a fundraising program started in 2011, has raised nearly $155 million for the university.

Peacock played a major role in creating the Appalachian ACCESS scholarship program to help underprivileged students attend the university. His work with the athletic program has made us nationally known.

Peacock’s rapport with students has earned him great respect on campus. He was known to have a great memory for the names of the students he would meet.
Images of the chancellor crowd-surfing and doing push-ups during touchdowns at football games have illustrated his pride for the school and the playfulness that has endeared him to so much of the student body.

Students have marched to the chancellor’s house off Bodenheimer Drive for times of celebration, whether it was to carry football goal posts after Appalachian stunned Michigan or when a large crowd of students marched to Peacock’s house early May, 2011, when the United States received news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.

While he did many positive things, we must not forget some of the more questionable actions that took place during his tenure. Last year, the chancellor rejected the findings of a faculty committee that claimed the academic freedom of Jammie Price had been violated by the university. This is an issue that has provoked anger, and is a significant event during his tenure and should not be forgotten or brushed aside.

We believe Peacock has had a positive influence on this campus in so many ways, but we should remember the full legacy, including the parts that are less potentially less admirable.

We wish the chancellor the best of luck in his time remaining at Appalachian and hope he makes the best decisions for the sake of the students.