Dayton T. Cole, General Counsel

Dayton Cole has served as the chief legal officer at Appalachian State University since 1988.  He has provided legal services to the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, and other institutional offices and employees on a wide range of legal matters, including governance, employment, intellectual property, real estate, State and federal constitutional issues, civil rights, administrative law, and regulatory compliance.  His scholarship includes editorial contributions to a legal ethics handbook, an article on legal audits, and a legal handbook for North Carolina teachers.  Dayton is a native of Texas.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in business administration from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University at San Marcos) and his Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law.  In 2009, Dayton received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys.  Dayton has been engaged in community and professional service through a variety of national, state, and local organizations, including Hospitality House, Boy Scouts of America, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and Watauga Opportunities, Inc.

Barbara L. Krause, Deputy General Counsel 

Barbara Krause began serving as Appalachian State’s Deputy General Counsel in February 2013.  Prior to arriving at Appalachian, she served for seven years under the president of Skidmore College as the Executive Director for the Office of the President and Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives; prior to that, she served for eleven years at Cornell University in roles that included the Judicial Administrator (campus conduct officer), Associate University Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Corporation, and Senior Advisor to the President.  Barbara began her legal career as an associate and later as a partner in a Portland, Maine, law firm, where she represented schools and towns.  Barb received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, where she played on the women’s basketball team and was a two-time captain, and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Cornell University Law School.  Barb is thrilled to be in the North Carolina mountains and enjoys hiking, golf, and working around her new home.  

Jennifer D. Chrisohon, Assistant General Counsel 

Jennifer Chrisohon began in her position as Assistant General Counsel for Appalachian State University in July 2013. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Jennifer served as Deputy General Counsel to the North Carolina Department of Labor for over 8 years. In that role, Jennifer provided legal advice on personnel issues, federal and state wage and hour laws, occupational safety and health and other regulatory areas such as boilers and elevators. Jennifer began her legal career at the North Carolina Attorney General’s office in the Education Section representing the state institutions of higher education in litigation matters.  She obtained her undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law.  When Jennifer is not providing legal services to the university, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her son or rooting on Appalachian’s many athletic teams.

Anita K. McGowan, Paralegal

Anita McGowan began working as a Paralegal in the Office of General Counsel February 2009.  Prior to that, she worked in a corporate law office after transitioning her career from law enforcement.  Anita is an Army veteran who initially served as a military policewoman and she is a former Special Agent with U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command.  She has served in various leadership roles throughout her military career and received numerous awards and honors.  After serving in the Army, she was a sworn law enforcement officer in South Carolina, working investigations and training as a certified basic skills instructor and firearms instructor.  Anita received her undergraduate degree from Catawba College and her paralegal certificate from UNC-Charlotte.  Anita loves the outdoors, sports, the Arts, volunteering locally, living in Boone and working at Appalachian.    

Kathy C. Deas, Executive Assistant 

Kathy Deas has worked as an Executive Assistant to Dayton Cole, General Counsel, since July 2007, after transferring to the Office of General Counsel when the Compliance Office and the Office of Equity and Diversity realigned.  Prior to joining the university, Kathy worked at the Employment Security Commission until 2004 and now has over 28 years of State service.  Kathy is a Boone native and one of the few campus members who was actually born on campus in Founders Hall, formerly the Watauga County Hospital.  Kathy holds a Family Law Certificate and a Wills and Estates Certificate from Caldwell Community College.  Kathy serves on the Staff Council at Appalachian.


Office of General Counsel Appalachian State University
B.B. Dougherty Administration Building, Third Floor
438 Academy Street
P.O. Box 32126
Boone, NC 28608-2126
828-262-2751 (phone)
828-262-8056 (fax)

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