Chancellor Sheri N. Everts spoke at Tuesday night’s Student Government Association Senate meeting, addressing the Appalachian family, the university’s strengths and what she would like to see improved.
Everts said she wanted to tell members of SGA “what they already knew, from an outsider’s perspective.”
“I’ve always chosen universities based on whether or not students are what matter most,” Everts said at the meeting. “When I was named your chancellor in March, you were everywhere and so welcoming and kind and talking about this thing called the Appalachian family, which I’ve seen such dramatic evidence of in my first few months.”
Everts said she learned the most about the reality of the Appalachian family on some of her toughest days as chancellor.
“The toughest thing about being a chancellor is losing a student – that was a really difficult time,” Everts said. “I think if there’s any good that comes from that time, it is that trying times that help you see what the university is made of.”
Everts said she has talked with various groups and students on campus and has heard one repeated concern that she would like to work on during her time as chancellor.
“One of the things I have heard repeatedly is associated with diversity,” Everts said. “Making progress in regard to student body numbers and diverse faculty and staff.”
Everts said when she left Illinois State University, 25 percent of the university’s student body was made of a diverse background, while six years ago the university only had 11 percent.
Everts said she would also like to work on include increased leadership opportunities for faculty and staff, increasing graduation rates and more online opportunities for students.
“She’s relatively new to the Appalachian family, but she has definitely put a lot of time, a lot of passion and effort to helping this university grow, as well as helping students,” SGA vice president Daniel Tassitino said.
Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter