Francis T. Borkowski, a musician, a conductor, and an educator, was elected as Appalachian State University's fifth Chancellor in 1993. He served as Chancellor for ten years until his decision to step down from the position in June 2003.
Receiving his Ph.D. in Music from West Virginia University in 1967, Borkowski taught at Ohio University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne and at University of South Carolina. He has performed as soloist, conductor or in ensembles in over 600 music performances. Between 1969 and 1993, he worked in administrative positions, being assistant director fo the School of Music at Ohio and the Associate Dean of Faculties. At Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, he was first Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Faculties. At University of South Carolina, he was Executive Vice-President and Provost of nine campuses. He served as President of the University of South Florida which included five campuses before coming to Appalachian State University to become the Chancellor in 1993.
As Chancellor, he supported diversity and increasing minorities and women in higher education, international academic activities, fine and performing arts, and external fundraising efforts. Under his leadership, he expanded the University's outreach to the region through the Appalachian Learning Alliance, th Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival. He expanded partnerships with international universities and supported internationalizing the curriculum. Improvements to the campus under his tenure included the Holmes Convocation Center, a new science building, renovations to the student union building, and planning for the new library.