Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AppState Chancellor Resigns in the Middle of the Semester


AppState's PR office announced yesterday that Chancellor Sheri Everts is resigning. Her last day will be this coming Friday. 

It's a sudden and unprecedented leave-taking by an administrator who was reviled, high and low. Well, maybe not in the highest places in Raleigh, but most of the AppState faculty had come to distrust her. Along with the students. In recent weeks she had been the target of repeated campus protests.

North Carolina System President Peter Hans will announce an interim chancellor before April 19.

Back on April 3rd, The Appalachian student newspaper published an editorial complaining about Everts' ill-advised initiative to buy a big building in Hickory and expand the AppState campus to that satellite location. The editorial was prophetic about her jumping ship:

Have you ever heard the expression “jump ship”? When things are getting bad so you run to another thing to escape? How about the billionaires that are attempting to leave Earth and live on another planet because Earth is becoming a toxic wasteland? See the connections yet? Everts is jumping ship, running away from the problems she caused at App State.

She continues to ignore student complaints and push back, causing chaos on the main campus, while painting everything as good. Then, she continues to put money into the Hickory Campus, advertising it as though it is as good as App State, hoping to gain more money and more students, because App State’s main campus can not hold more students.

In its coverage of her resignation, the News&Observer was more comprehensive in detailing the push-back against her at AppState:

Everts’ time as chancellor was not without controversy. In August 2020, amid the then-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s Faculty Senate passed a vote of “no confidence” in Everts, citing a lack of competency, transparency and concern for the wellbeing of students. 

Everts was “frequently isolated from and unable to effectively communicate with faculty, and has failed in her basic tasks of strengthening institutional finances, providing goals, operating in a transparent fashion, embracing shared governance, and pulling the university community together in a common mission,” the faculty’s no-confidence resolution stated. 

More recently, Everts drew the ire of students and alumni for her decision to “upgrade” the university’s “expression tunnels” — officially, the Rivers Street tunnels — by removing the art, paint and other designs in the tunnels and adding brighter lighting and cameras to monitor the area. 

She also faced criticism by student groups, including the Appalachian State College Democrats, for a variety of actions they called “attacks on free speech and expression.”

1 comment:

Mike said...

I wasn't alone in anticipating at the outset of her chancellorship that bad things would result when she closed off access to her office on the third floor by locking doors and the elevator to her floor and moving offices to make her sanctuary complete. Her most recent gaffes go beyond the tunnels and no-confidence motions: there is the disaster of keeping open Wey Hall during dangerous renovations, which are still going on despite obvious toxicity in the air making many sick; and her exceptionally obtuse support for Applachian's own 911 emergency system. The latter earned her opprobrium from the Board of Trustees who faulted her decision-making process. She treated the Town and County as if they were standing in front of her closed elevator.