Watauga Democrat: Everts Announces More Changes to Cabinet

BOONE- Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri N. Everts on June 22 announced additional changes among top administrative positions at the campus.

An email from Everts to ASU faculty and staff indicated that the changes were spurred by the upcoming departure of Susan Pettyjohn, vice chancellor for university advancement, who is retiring at the end of June.

"I wanted to share with you some organizational changes within University Advancement and the Office of the Chancellor that build upon our staff expertise while producing a budget savings during this time of transition," Everts said.

Randy Edwards, who has served as Everts' chief of staff since she became chancellor in July 2014, will now serve as the interim vice chancellor for advancement. Edwards will supervise development operations, the Appalachian State University Foundation, Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving, the email stated. Edwards will continue to supervise Auxillary Services, University Sustainability, the Small Business and Technical Development Center and New River Light and Power until a new vice chancellor for business affairs begins work on campus.

Prior to serving as chief of staff, Edwards was dean of the Walker College of Business for nine years.

"Randy has many years of experience with development at Appalachian, and I thank him for serving in this interim role while we begin a national search to fill this position," Everts said.

Human Resources will report directly to the chancellor, according to the email.

Debra Covington, who has served as the interim special assistant to the chancellor since July 2015, will become the acting chief of staff and director of marketing for the university, Everts announced.

As part of the change, University Communications will no longer be a part of the Division of University Advancement and instead will report to Covington and the Office of the Chancellor.

"This shift recognizes the elevated role communications has played and will continue to play in the daily operations of the university," Everts said. "I thank Debbie for taking on this new leadership role."

Hank Foreman, currently senior associate vice chancellor for University Advancement and chief communications officer, will take on new responsibilities as both senior associate vice chancellor for arts engagement and special assistant to the chancellor for strategic initiatives.

"This will allow him to continue enhancing the nationally recognized history of cultural and artistic excellence at Appalachian through the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Schaefer Center," Everts said, as well as assist the Office of the Chancellor in implementing strategic initiatives.

The appointments announced this week are the latest in a string of changes within the chancellor's cabinet in the past six months. 

In February, Matthew T. Dockham was hired as the new director of external affairs and community relations, replacing Susan McCracken, who left the role in August 2015 to become director of ASU's Career Development Center.

Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Greg Lovins retired April 1 after 25 years at ASU and accepted a new position at South Carolina's Landers University. Tim Burwell, previously the vice provost for resource management in the Division of Academic Affairs, stepped into the role of interim vice chancellor for business affairs as a national search is being conducted for the position. In May, the search committee announced three finalists for the position.

In May, Willie Fleming was named the chief diversity officer, a role formerly held by Bindu Jayne. Jayne was hired as ASU's chief diversity officer and associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and compliance in June 2014. She retains the title of associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and compliance, according to the chancellor's website.

And earlier this month, Vice Chancellor for Student Development Cindy Wallace was dismissed after 12 years in the position and 32 years at ASU. Leroy Wright was appointed interim vice chancellor for student development as a national search is being conducted to fill that position.

By Anna Oakes anna.oakes@wataugademocrat.com