2021-2030 Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Plan Goals

The Strategic Planning Executive Steering Committee created this high-level executive summary that will guide the university over the next 9 years. Listening sessions were held in January and February.

Students use the iPearl Immersion Theater in Hunt Library.

Click here for a PDF version of NC State’s mission and proposed vision, values and strategic plan goals.

Our Mission

As a research-extensive land-grant university, North Carolina State University is dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. By uniting our strength in science and technology with a commitment to excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines, NC State promotes an integrated approach to problem-solving that transforms lives and provides leadership for social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina and around the world.

Approved by: NC State University Board of Trustees, 4/22/11, UNC Board of Governors, 6/10/11.

Our Vision

As a preeminent public research university, NC State University will be increasingly recognized nationally and internationally for its innovation in education, research, scholarship and engagement that solves the world’s most critical challenges. NC State will be known as a diverse, equitable and inclusive community that has a transformative impact on society and advances the greater good.

Our Values


In innovation, education and discovery, reflected in our unwavering commitment to pursue research and scholarship that solve problems and advance the greater good.


In how we respect and care for all at our university, value the contributions of every member of our Wolfpack, promote health and well-being, and help one another succeed.


Through a culture that promotes personal excellence and institutional equity by seeking, welcoming and supporting individuals and ideas from a broad diversity of backgrounds.


In thought, expression, inquiry and dialogue as a critical part of our mission to pursue and disseminate knowledge while promoting civil and respectful discourse.


In all we do, reflected in our commitment to the highest standards of ethical behavior and our dedication to transparency and accountability in governance.


Across colleges, disciplines and perspectives, and in how we partner with a broad range of organizations to find solutions to challenges at home and around the world.


In our commitment to wise stewardship of resources, prudent financial planning and environmentally responsible operations.

2021-2030 Strategic Plan Goals

Goal 1

Empower students for a lifetime of success and impact.

Goal 2

Ensure preeminence in research, scholarship, innovation and collaboration.

Goal 3

Expand and advance our service to the citizens of the state and beyond ー defining the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university.

Goal 4

Champion a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in all we do.

Goal 5

Drive institutional effectiveness through transformative technologies, cutting-edge processes and actionable data.

Goal 6

Be recognized as the leading university for innovative partnerships,  entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving.

Goal 7

Elevate the national and global reputation and visibility of NC State.

Expanding On Our Goals

Red mortarboards viewed from above during graduation ceremony.

Goal 1: Empower students for a lifetime of success and impact

NC State graduates will acquire specific knowledge, skills and experiences - as well as the values and dispositions - to not only excel professionally, but also be leaders in advancing a productive and civil society. As a forward-thinking institution, we will be a leader in the digital transformation of higher education, designed to deliver value to our students and ensure the resiliency of our institution. Our students will be entrepreneurial, independent and inclusive thinkers, strong in their disciplines and experienced in interdisciplinary collaboration, prepared to contribute impactfully in a diverse, global society. As our graduates progress through their careers, NC State will provide relevant lifelong learning opportunities to assist in their personal and professional development to ensure they are not simply NC State alumni, but rather NC State students for a lifetime.

student researcher in lab

Goal 2: Ensure preeminence in research, scholarship, innovation and collaboration.

NC State’s community of researchers and scholars, infused with our unique combination of innovation and collaboration steeped in a tradition of deep thought and practical application, is a key strategic advantage. We are strongly committed to our disciplines and to working across traditional disciplinary boundaries. We will devote attention and resources to developing and leveraging our spheres of excellence to enable maximum impact and expand and enhance our excellence in response to societal need and the public good. We will focus on the critical institutional support required to advance operational excellence in our internal assessments, processes and procedures to most effectively support NC State researchers and scholars to advance the university’s mission. With continued commitment to research, scholarship, innovation and collaboration, NC State will respond to — and provide solutions for — the world’s greatest problems, ensuring its place as a preeminent research institution.

Goal 3: Expand and advance our service to the citizens of the state and beyond ー defining the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university.

NC State’s roots as a land-grant university has impacted countless individuals and communities since our inception in 1887. NC State’s service has expanded beyond our traditional roots in agriculture and industrial extension to touch a variety of disciplines - from education to business to global health. We are committed to advancing our service to the citizens of our state by delivering broader, tangible impacts that improve the lives of individuals every day. We commit to serving as a solutions center for the social, economic and environmental challenges facing our state, nation and world.

Goal 4: Champion a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in all we do.

NC State believes that institutionalized inequality and racism is unacceptable in our nation and state, and on campus. We commit to creating systemic and sustainable change across the university that improves our campus culture and empowers NC State to be a truly inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all. As an institution, we must assure an equitable, accessible and welcoming environment so that all members of the Wolfpack community - specifically those in under-served populations - feel safe, respected, valued and a sense of belonging in every corner of campus. We will work to ensure diverse perspectives are embraced at all levels, in all processes, and through all decisions. We will work to promote the health and well-being of our campus community. We seek to invest our minds and our hearts at the individual level, and our capacity and resources at the institutional level, in order to bring about and sustain needed change in a way that champions equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being at NC State.

Goal 5: Drive institutional effectiveness through transformative technologies, cutting-edge processes and actionable data.

NC State strives to exceed university best practices through customer service, employee engagement and resource management using collaborative processes to leverage data and technology. We will pursue emerging technologies that connect and empower our campus community. We will be agile and flexible in adapting to change and the evolving needs of our students, faculty and staff. NC State commits to utilizing actionable intelligence to engage in more strategically focused planning and decision-making activities that benefit our students, staff, faculty, partners and the broader community. We will attain greater efficiency and effectiveness to ensure the resiliency of our institution.

Memorial Belltower

Goal 6: Be recognized as the leading university for innovative partnerships, entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving.

At NC State, we recognize that many of society’s toughest problems can only be solved through powerful multi-disciplinary partnerships and an entrepreneurial approach. Our partnerships are numerous and varied, including academic, industry, government and non-profit. These partnerships are seen right here on campus, as well as across the state and around the world. We will aggressively pull down barriers and achieve success through an ongoing commitment to innovative partnerships that bring together the brightest minds in industry, government and the academy to creatively tackle the great global challenges. Through innovative partnerships, academics, co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities, we will continue to fuel and elevate NC State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Goal 7: Elevate NC State’s national and global reputation and visibility.

NC State has the opportunity to greatly amplify awareness of our strong brand and elevate our reputation to help achieve strategic goals and advance the university to unprecedented levels of success. To that end, we will establish and continuously promote an inclusive campus-wide culture of teamwork, intentionality and awareness regarding brand and reputation strategies and tactics. We commit to leading and supporting university-wide systems and efforts that elevate regional, national and international awareness and impact of NC State’s differentiators, competitive advantages and broad excellence. We will empower the campus community and key partners to be impactful brand champions. We will position NC State as a national and international leader in key areas of strength and opportunity that will continually advance the brand and reputation of the university and help achieve the goals of the new strategic plan.

Upcoming Listening Sessions

Below is a list of listening sessions that were held with the campus community.

  • Wednesday, January 6 – Staff Senate Meeting
  • Monday, January 11 – Office of Finance and Administration Business Partners Meeting
  • Thursday, January 14 – Council of Deans Meeting
  • Friday, January 15 – Office of Finance and Administration Leadership Meeting
  • Wednesday, January 20 – University Research Committee Meeting
  • Thursday, January 21 – Research Operations Council Meeting
  • Monday, January 25 – Graduate Student Association Council Meeting
  • Tuesday, January 26 – Faculty Senate Meeting
  • Thursday, January 28 – Human Resources Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Friday, January 29 – Lead Communicators Meeting
  • Monday, February 1 – Vice Provosts Meeting
  • Tuesday, February 2 – All Department Head Meeting
  • Wednesday, February 3 – Student Senate Meeting
  • Friday, February 5 – Information Technology Meeting
  • Monday, February 8 – University Diversity Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Wednesday, February 10 – Joint International Operations Council and Committee on International Programs Meeting
  • Thursday, February 11 – Open Listening Session with Staff (2)
  • Thursday, February 11 – Open Listening Session with Faculty
  • Friday, February 12 – Open Listening Session with Staff
  • Friday, February 12 – Open Listening Session with Faculty
  • Tuesday, February 16, noon- 1 p.m. – Open Listening Session with Faculty and Staff
  • Wednesday, February 24 – Engagement Operations Council Meeting
  • Wednesday, February 24 – Chancellor’s Liaison Meeting
  • Monday, March 1, 10:30 – 11:30 am – Open Listening Session with Students
  • Monday, March 1, 5 – 6 pm – Open Listening Session with Students
  • Tuesday, March 2, 11 am – noon – Open Listening Session with Students
  • Tuesday, March 2, 7 – 8 pm – Open Listening Session with Students
  • Friday, March 5 – Board of Visitors Meeting