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Appalachian Student Research Forum

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs



The 2012 Keynote Speaker was

Dr. Brian Noland 

President of 

East Tennessee 
State University 


Video of President Noland's Keynote Address is available at


Dr. Noland

Dr. Brian Eugene Noland previously held the position of Chancellor of West Virginias Higher Education Policy Commission, which serves in both a governing and coordinating capacity over the local boards of 11 public colleges and universities.  During his five years there, he was responsible for developing and implementing the public policy agenda for higher education in that state, and was actively engaged in external relations and government affairs, serving as the spokesperson and advocate for higher education.  He was also responsible for the administration, management and development the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park.

Prior to living and working in West Virginia, Dr. Noland served as the Associate Executive Director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission from 1998 through 2006, where he was responsible for the oversight of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program.  This  responsibility included: functioning as the Deputy Director of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation; development and implementation of all statewide strategic planning initiatives; director of statewide GEAR-UP initiatives; director of the Performance Funding program; director of evaluation for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program; P-16 Council coordinator; legislative relations; media and external relations; director of enrollment services; data management; analysis, and research; state-level IPEDS coordinator; SREB State Data Exchange coordinator; and the production of scholarly research.

Dr. Noland earned his doctorate degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and both his masters and bachelors degrees from West Virginia University. His curriculum vitae is available at


Keynote Address Abstract

Research and ETSU: 
The Power of "What if?" Holds the Key to Our Future

Though only two words, "What if?" is a question of immensity, containing the power to lift academic institutions and individuals to previously unreachable heights. As a central building block of progress, "What if?" strikes to the heart of ETSU's future. This talk will address the rapid growth of research at the university in recent years, followed by Dr. Noland's perceptions regarding how it will further define and differentiate ETSU through the advancement of science, medicine and art, as well as its role in driving the economy of our region and state.

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