BOT sworn in

BOT sworn in Jeffries Chesson, Fairley Bell Cook, Bailey Gardin, James Harris, Bonnie Schaefer and Steven Wyatt were sworn in at the start of the Sept. 24 BOT meeting by Judge Rebecca Eggers. Schaefer was sworn in via Zoom. Also pictured is former chair Scott Lampe.

BOONE — The Sept. 24 meeting of the App State Board of Trustees saw the swearing in of new members and the approving of an easement on Howard Street.

Jeffries Chesson, Fairley Bell Cook, Bailey Gardin, James Harris, Bonnie Schaefer, Steven Wyatt and outgoing chair Scott Lampe were sworn in at the start of the meeting by Judge Rebecca Eggers. Gardin is the App State student body president and has a seat on the board during his term.

“Congratulations to all the trustees,” Lampe said. “We’re pleased that you’re with us here on the board.”

After the new members were sworn in, the board jumped right to work with remarks from App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. She began her remarks by acknowledging the contributions of former Chancellor John Thomas, who passed away at the beginning of the month.

After remembering Thomas, who was a mentor to her, she went into the day-to-day operations of campus.

“As you entered the Student Union today, you were able to experience something we have dearly missed on our campus until recently: the buzz of activities related to a fully in-person semester,” Everts said. “In addition to classes, homework, group projects, club meetings and socializing on the mall or in other favorite spots on or off-campus, we are back to holding events.”

Everts told the trustees that the App State Police Department recognized its fourth class of 14 graduates from the program’s summer Appalachian Police Academy.

She also told the board how it was 617 days since the school first began monitoring COVID-19 and 497 days since the emergency operations center was activated.

“Since Jan. 16, 2020, most of my team have not had a single day in which they were unplugged and disconnected from the 24/7/365 crisis that is COVID-19,” Everts said. “I want to thank them in this setting for this work. It is never-ending. Each day brings new information which requires adjusting, changing, and continuing to respond to the effects of a global pandemic. COVID respects no weekends, no holidays, no birthdays, no family emergencies. It is relentless.”

Everts’ full remarks to the board can be found at chancellor.appstate.edu/messages/id/225.

After her remarks, the board heard from the Academic Affairs committee who brought a motion to the floor to approve a Wayne Sumner Distinguished Professorship, which passed unanimously.

The Athletics Committee then presented and had no motions to bring to the floor in open session. During their committee meeting, chair Tommy Sofield said the board heard from Athletic Director Doug Gillin on the conference realignment and the changing landscape of college athletics.

The Business Affairs Committee then presented and had various items for the board to bring to vote. The first item was an easement on Howard Street at a request from the Town of Boone for its revitalization project. The town requested permanent drainage and pedestrian easement as well as temporary construction easement, which passed unanimously.

The next item from the committee was approval of capital projects for repairs to Anne Belk and Holmes Convocation Center. According to the committee, $3,031,676 was approved by the state to be utilized as repair or renovation funding, which was approved unanimously.

Next, the board voted on an approval to demolish Bowie and Eggers residence halls as part of the P3 housing project. It passed with one board member in dissent.

The board then approved five more capital projects. The fifth and final item from the business affairs committee was the approval of two cell phone leases on the millennial campus. Verizon has a lease to build a cell tower on campus and AT&T and Carolina West will be renting additional space on it. Rental proceeds will be deposited into the Millennium Fund.

The board also heard from the governance committee. Prior to moving into closed session, Kimberly Shepherd was named the new chair and Mark Ricks was named vice chair.

The App State BOT will next meet on Friday, Dec. 3.

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