Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Appalachian State Provost Claims to be Unaware of App PAC

Guest post by Mata Hari: 

Mark Ricks and Tommy Sofield,
members of the AppState
Board of Trustees, at the
Appalachian PAC launch party.

The plot surrounding App PAC thickens. At the meeting of the Faculty Senate that took place yesterday, faculty asked Provost Heather Norris about App PAC. To be clear, they asked only after Norris tried to leave without answering any questions — their modus operandi vis-à-vis faculty, students, and community since Covid. But the faculty did manage to get a question asked — about what App PAC is, about why Mark Ricks and Tommy Sofield, two AppState Board of Trustees members, are shown as being involved on the PAC’s Facebook page, and how this might relate to the university’s real estate ambitions. Norris was clear: she said she could not answer the questions about the PAC because she was unaware of its existence.

Another faculty senator asked if anyone could answer the question about App PAC. The silence during the Zoom meeting was quite deafening. Provost Norris and Chancellor Sheri Everts said nothing — Everts adopting her preferred public demeanor of fiddling with her phone while the questions build. 


But no one — no one — in administration was willing to answer the question. Even to the point of allowing an embarrassing silence to endure after the question was repeated.


It's an interesting question whether the university did, in this context, violate public meetings laws. As Attorney General Jeff Stein has noted in his open meetings report, simply asking for public documents is sufficient to establish that a request has been made.


In any case, it will be interesting to see just how long App State remains silent on App PAC.

No comments: