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Appalachian Trustees Approve Millennial Campus

parrot.jpgBOONE–The Board of Trustees of Appalachian State University today approved designating a portion of university property as a “millennial campus” to strengthen the link between Appalachian’s educational and research programs and regional economic development initiatives.

Subject to approval by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, a 2.3-acre site located approximately a mile from Appalachian’s main campus will become the Appalachian Millennial Campus. University Hall, a 34,600-square-foot facility located on the property, currently houses Appalachian’s Division of Continuing Education, the Appalachian Regional Development Institute and the Appalachian Cultural Museum, and serves as focal point for varied economic development, training and public outreach activities.

Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski said creation of the millennial campus will enable Appalachian to leverage existing facilities and teaching resources in providing expanded learning and development opportunities for faculty and students, while fulfilling the university’s public service and outreach mission more effectively and efficiently.

“The Appalachian Millennial Campus is a natural extension of existing capabilities that will bring various educational and economic development initiatives together under one umbrella and create additional opportunities to enhance Appalachian’s teaching, research and public service mission while supporting economic growth and development across Northwest North Carolina,” he said.

“While Appalachian continues to concentrate primarily on undergraduate education as its traditional mission, the university has increasingly engaged in applied research on rural and regional development issues and provided assistance in helping build the economic capacity of this part of the state,” Borkowski said. “These efforts will become even more important as we confront the realities of a rapidly changing economic base and evolving work force needs, and seek to create new economic opportunities for citizens of the region,” he said.

He said that Appalachian’s initial millennial campus will serve as a base for coordinating resources with the needs of business, government and nonprofit organizations that engage in research and development partnerships with university faculty and departments. It should foster a variety of public-private partnerships and provide expanded opportunities to involve the 10 community college members of the Appalachian Learning Alliance in the university’s economic development and research activities.

Such activities may include assisting local governments and other organizations with technology development; conducting market research and public opinion surveys; originating work force development and training programs; and facilitating the university’s involvement with various economic development organizations. In addition, the millennial campus will promote and support development of business incubators across the region and encourage business development by identifying university resources to support applied research and other business needs.

Dr. Richard B. Parrott, director of Appalachian’s Continuing Education Division, will serve as administrative and program coordinator of the Appalachian Millennial Campus.

The North Carolina General Assembly authorized the UNC Board of Governors to designate real property held by, or to be acquired by, a constituent institution as a millennial campus of that institution through the Millennial Campus Act enacted in 2000.

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Picture Caption: Dr. Richard B. Parrott, director of Appalachian’s Continuing Education Division, will serve as administrative and program coordinator of the Appalachian Millennial Campus.