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The Leadership of Change

To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students,

A lot has changed over the last 125 years.  The landscape of higher education continues to evolve, reacting to the complexities and conflicts of the modern world. Yet in the face of rising adversity, NC State has built a reputation for being a dynamic research institution responsive to global need, while remaining true to our vision as a land-grant institution committed to driving economic innovation.

We have grown in number and stature, expanded our campus and resources, and switched names a few times along the way.  But change isn’t limited to the span of decades or centuries.  As we are all well aware, NC State, our nation and the entire world have encountered considerable turbulence in just the last five years, and we have responded with renewed vigor and enthusiastic leadership to create a path for a more powerful and proficient university.

1905 Patterson 1
A lot has changed over the last 125 years, including a higher education landscape that continues to evolve.

This August, I gathered university leaders to reflect on NC State’s pathway to the future.  At this retreat, we engaged in facilitated conversations about transitions underway here on campus in order to think creatively about leadership during times of change. These conversations resulted in a renewed focus on our Strategic Plan and the comprehensive goals it sets for our entire community. I am proud of our university’s faculty, staff and administrative commitment to using this plan as the compass of NC State, guiding our pathway for the future.

There are several strategic changes currently underway at the university. The most visible changes relate to the new College of Sciences, the transformed Division of Academic and Student Affairs and our emerging Business Operating Centers. These structural shifts are intended to enhance fluency and success across the university by increasing productivity and building on natural, interdisciplinary and multi-departmental synergies.

Our educational and organizational innovations are being noticed by university and college presidents across the nation, who have, for the first time, ranked NC State among the U.S. News and World Report’s top ten “Up and Coming” universities. “Up and coming” refers not only to our upward trajectory as one of the nation’s best public research institutions, but more importantly to our initiative in boldly maneuvering the university during challenging times, positioning it for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

The results of our efforts have been noticed, and we are being recognized as a model for the future of higher education. Additionally, we have been tapped as the Fifth Best Value among public national universities, continuing our long-standing commitment to providing an affordable, world-class education.

These benchmarks confirm our forward progress and positive momentum as a leading institution of academic excellence. They also remind us of how important it is to embrace change, viewing it positively and with a commitment to continual self-evaluation in order to ensure we remain a dominant and positive force in educational advancement.

Randy Woodson
NC State University

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