Paul Meggett – Appalachian State University
Paul Meggett describes himself as a builder.
“I do my best when I can take a concept and help build it,” he says. “I like to help grow and nurture ideas and see where they go.”
Since being hired in 2018 as general counsel at Appalachian State University, he’s enjoyed becoming part of the community and getting to work on, and develop, unique partnerships and projects.
Meggett works daily on a wide range of matters, including those related to academics, housing, athletics and entertainment. What unites these efforts isn’t the size and scope of the projects, but the collaboration that makes them all possible—and the culture they help create.
“I’m proud to work alongside Chancellor Sheri Everts and her leadership team to open opportunity and access for all our students,” Meggett says. “No matter what we’re doing, making this university as accessible and inclusive as possible is always a top priority.”
Preparing tomorrow’s workforce
Just as nurse practitioners are crucial at hospitals, veterinary clinics need high-quality technicians.
According to a study by Banfield, there’s a critical shortage of veterinary professionals, especially in rural areas. In early 2021, App State and Banfield announced a multimillion-dollar commitment to develop a new four-year online degree program at App State for licensed veterinary technicians that will address the market demand—particularly in rural communities—for skilled veterinary professionals. The program is expected to begin in fall 2022.
“Here at Appalachian, it’s not just about innovating for innovation’s sake,” says Meggett. “We want to offer access to higher education to all, benefit our community, and supply our state’s workforce with well-educated and skilled employees.”
Meggett helped negotiate the contract with Banfield and is now assisting with the accreditation process. “App State is recognized as the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast,” Meggett says. “This program is an example of our commitment to providing opportunities for our students.”
Building minds and infrastructure
Located in Boone, North Carolina, App State is part of the University of North Carolina System. In fall 2020, the university surpassed an enrollment of 20,000 students for the first time. As App State adds new programs and the student population continues to increase, the university is in the final phase of a public-private partnership to add more residence halls and parking.
The three-phase $191 million project—which will provide between 2,100 and 2,300 beds—involves tearing down or renovating seven residence halls and building four new ones, as well as a parking deck. By partnering with RISE: A Real Estate Company for construction of the project, and Beyond Owners Group for financing, the university has saved time and money, Meggett says.
He worked with outside counsel on over 90 contracts for the project, as well as on regulatory approvals. He also negotiated the lease which ensures App State ultimately owns and manages the buildings.
While academics and housing are important, Meggett has also been having fun working on projects related to student extracurriculars. App State recently completed construction of a new end-zone building at its Kidd Brewer Football Stadium, which includes a state-of-the-art locker room for the football team, a weight room, and a conference room and event space that can hold up to 1,000 people.
The football field was also upgraded with new turf and more than 1,000 additional seats. Over Labor Day weekend, the field was transformed into an outdoor concert venue, with alumnus and country singer Luke Combs performing. Meggett helped negotiate the contract with Live Nation, the concert promotor, and his team assisted the many departments involved in managing the event by providing legal advice and ensuring regulations were followed.
Meggett and his team negotiated vendor contracts and ensured points of sale were compliant with the law. They also worked on insurance coverage and security for the event.
Meggett says one of his favorite things about App State is that it doesn’t think small. Having enjoyed a long career in the UNC System, Meggett says he especially likes working with App State Chancellor, Sheri Everts. He says she pushes the university to “be its own jewel” and encourages staff to think creatively.
It’s a mindset he’s come to employ with his own team.
“I don’t have to be the person out front or the one with my name on a building,” Meggett says. “If I can leave work every day knowing I’ve added value for this campus and our community, that’s what keeps my juices flowing.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Fall III 2021 Edition here.
Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!
Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing