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App State’s greatest strength

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As we all know, App State is looking for a new leader. Someone who can simultaneously manage the daily operation of a state-run institution; balance the conflicting interests of more than 2,800 faculty and staff, 17,000 students and 100,000 alumni; attract a wide array of private dollars from a wide array of private donors for a wide array of public and private interests; build bridges with state representatives and political power players whose support for programs and expansion projects is crucial; and maybe .. just maybe .. enjoy a private life.

To better define the interests of all these various interest groups interested in this interesting process, the university conducted a survey. Its results are, uh, interesting, and sometimes predictable.

For example, athletics has a cameo.

Q6 What should be the next Appalachian State chancellor’s priorities?

  • “Q6c Preserve academic excellence” received the highest value generally across all respondent groups (4.56).
  • “Q6n Preserve athletic excellence” was next to the lowest value (3.56), particularly for faculty and staff respondents; alumni respondents valued this item the highest of the groups (3.95).

There’s also a contrast in the latest fad among higher education types.

Q6 What should be the next Appalachian State chancellor’s priorities?

  • Just over half of respondents indicated agreement to “Q6i Expand online education/e-learning,” with considerable variation across respondent groups, ranging from 58% for alumni respondents to 26% from faculty respondents.

But forget academics and football. The greatest strength of App State is something over which App State has no control. Its greatest strength is …….. Boone.

Q3 What are the key strengths of Appalachian State?

  • 91% of respondents expressed agreement to “Q3f Location, place.”

Special place, no doubt. But also kind of an odd answer. Or is it?

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