Talley Student Union


At NC State, we’ve put our strategic plan to work, and it’s driving our unprecedented momentum.

The Pathway to the Future

Setting goals is one thing. Achieving them requires focus and commitment. In “The Pathway to the Future: NC State’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan,” we’ve set a bold agenda for the university and built the framework to fulfill it.

At NC State, we focus on intelligent planning: making the right decisions and making smart investments that will help us achieve our strategic goals.

Randy Woodson, Chancellor, NC State

Our strategic plan may be a product of the 21st century, but it’s deeply rooted in the vision that launched NC State in 1887. As a comprehensive research university in the land-grant tradition, we’ve always been dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. We aspire to preeminence in higher education and we work to create economic, intellectual and societal prosperity for North Carolinians.

While those historic commitments date to our founding, the roadmap to fulfilling them is always evolving. “The Pathway to the Future” represents the latest evolution of that mission, and it focuses our energies on meeting five strategic goals:

  • Enhancing the success of our students through educational innovation
  • Enhancing scholarship and research by investing in faculty and infrastructure
  • Enhancing interdisciplinary scholarship to address the grand challenges of society
  • Enhancing organizational excellence by creating a culture of constant improvement
  • Enhancing local and global engagement through focused strategic partnerships

Collaborating Across Campus

NC State is a massive place. Our campus is home to 34,000-plus students, 2,300 faculty members and 6,200 staff employees. Before we could get all of them moving in the same direction, we invited them to help set that direction.

In the summer of 2010, we launched a 10-month process that engaged all our communities — students, faculty and staff — in a rigorous, transparent study of our present and future. Under the leadership of Provost Warwick Arden and then-Chair of the Faculty Margery Overton, nine task forces investigated a wide range of areas vital to the future of the university, including student success, graduate program growth, faculty excellence, research and scholarship, and resource allocation.

In public forums and online, the task forces carried on a dialogue with campus and produced more than 100 pages of strategies and recommendations for moving NC State forward in student outcomes, faculty excellence, research, interdisciplinarity, innovation and other key areas.

The final plan does far more than collect and organize those recommendations. By identifying specific strategies and accountability measures for each goal, it also establishes a framework for consistently measuring our progress.

A Strong Foundation

As our strategic plan reshapes NC State, its effects ripple out into the world with every new graduate, every research paper published, every partnership launched. We’re investing in interdisciplinary research and scholarship, building impactful public-private partnerships, and supporting student and faculty excellence.

Those investments are paying off, in record-breaking freshman retention, fundraising and external research support. We’ve laid a strong foundation, but there is much work left to be done.