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Driving Student Success with Strategic Planning


To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students,

As the academic year draws to a close, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the last twelve months and examine where we’ve been, the accomplishments we’ve earned and the direction we are taking. The students, faculty, staff and alumni of NC State all witnessed great achievements this past year. Whether it was in the classroom, the laboratory or the athletic field, there is much to be proud of – accomplishments that will help propel us into the future.

Central to our road to our future is the university’s strategic plan. That document — The Pathway to the Future: NC State’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, will guide the university’s vision and decision-making through the end of the decade.

At the core of that plan is the reason why we are here: Student success. We invest in the leaders of tomorrow and it pays big dividends. Our students are at the forefront of achievement with prestigious scholarships, innovative discoveries to improve people’s lives and breakthroughs that address some of society’s most pressing issues. They are achievements that develop bright minds and serve the people of North Carolina and beyond.

Our students excel, earning prestigious scholarships like Goldwater and Udall Scholarships, others were named National Science Foundation fellows. Our students participate in service projects that help the community and raise significant financial donations for hospitalized children. Those are just a few of the almost countless examples.

While we look back on those achievements, we also look to the future. It is with the understanding that the challenging economic conditions of the recent past still affect us, and will for some time. Just as we invest in our students, we are investing our time to thoughtfully find innovative ways to adapt. We search for opportunities to operate more effectively. Establishing shared business services for human resource and travel will be more efficient and is an example of being good stewards of our financial resources.

Our culture of continual improvement uncovered ways of helping students operate more effectively, as well. We merged Student Affairs and Undergraduate Academic Programs to improve services to students while creating increased efficiency. We made major upgrades and improvements to the internal transfer process by creating a centralized Change of Degree Application that allows students to see if they meet transfer requirements. We created an Enrollment Wizard which simplifies the enrollment process by allowing students to track courses and align all aspects of their schedule. It ensures students have opportunities to take challenging and enriching courses.

Very soon the 125th graduating class will be handed their diplomas and embark on the next chapter of their lives. I always enjoy hearing about their individual stories, their triumphs and goals. They are the reason we are here so we celebrate all they have achieved as they look back as alumni to their alma mater that will always be with them.


Randy Woodson
NC State University