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Borkowski to Retire as Appalachian Chancellor, Will Assume Faculty Position in School of Music

061103borkowski_dl.jpgBOONE–Francis T. Borkowski, chancellor of Appalachian State University since 1993, today announced plans to step down effective June 30 and to return to teaching following a one-year sabbatical leave. An accomplished conductor and clarinetist, he will be joining the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music faculty as professor of music.

Borkowski has been on medical leave of absence for the past several weeks.

“Following considerable personal reflection, Kay and I believe that now may indeed be the appropriate time for us to move to the next stage of our career and lives,” Borkowski told his administrative cabinet this morning.

University of North Carolina President Molly Corbett Broad responded to Borkowski’s announcement: “With a mixture of sadness and professional admiration, I have accepted Dr. Borkowski’s decision to retire as chancellor. For the past decade, he has been an integral force in the continued growth and prosperity of Appalachian State University. Under his leadership, Appalachian has risen in academic stature, intensified its outreach efforts to the public schools, and strengthened its connections to the surrounding region and the state. I am most grateful for his many contributions to the University.

“I am confident that Appalachian remains in capable hands,” President Broad continued. “I am pleased that long-time Provost Harvey Durham, who has served as acting chancellor in Chancellor Borkowski’s absence, has agreed to defer his planned retirement in order to continue as interim chancellor. He understands the many challenges and opportunities before Appalachian, and is exceptionally well qualified to lead it in the months ahead.”

The Appalachian Board of Trustees, working closely with President Broad, will soon form a search committee of trustees, faculty, students and alumni to locate a permanent successor to Chancellor Borkowski. Once its search is completed, the Board of Trustees will forward the names of finalists to President Broad for consideration. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the president, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors, the policy-making body of the 16-campus University.

“Appalachian has gained national and, indeed, international recognition in so many aspects and, in my mind, has certainly become the premier comprehensive university that we first envisioned in 1993,” Borkowski said. “As Kay and I embark upon new roles here, it will be rewarding to watch the university-with new leadership and the continued support of the entire Appalachian Family-advance to ever greater levels of achievement.”

Borkowski became the fifth chancellor at Appalachian in August 1993 and has served in that position longer than all but one of the current chief executive officers of the 16 constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina.

During his tenure as chancellor, Borkowski enhanced the university’s academic climate and its national and international reputation through his support of a variety of programs and initiatives, including Freshman Seminar and the university’s summer reading program.

He has broadened the university’s educational and cultural outreach to the region through the Appalachian Learning Alliance, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Improvements to the campus infrastructure during his tenure include construction of a new science building, convocation center, student apartments, alumni center and parking deck, and renovations to the student union, campus bookstore, residence halls and various academic buildings. In addition, the campus community broke ground in April for a $47-million library and information commons that will be completed in 2005.

He also expanded the university’s global reach through internationalization of curriculum, faculty and student exchanges, and expansion of partnerships with international universities, including those in Costa Rica, China, Poland and Mexico. The international studies program at Appalachian has been identified as a model international studies program by the American Council on Education.

Before coming to Appalachian, Borkowski was president of the University of South Florida for five years. Earlier, he had served as executive vice president and provost of the nine-campus University of South Carolina from 1978 to 1988, first vice chancellor and dean of faculties at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne from 1975 to 1978, and associate dean of faculties at Ohio University from 1970 to 1975. He began his administrative career in 1969 at Ohio University when he was named assistant dean of the school of music.

Earlier in his career, Borkowski established and conducted the West Virginia University Wind Symphony and conducted the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra. He is a former clarinetist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Woodwind Quintet, and principal clarinetist with the Jacksonville, Fla., Symphony Orchestra.