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Evolution of Science Education

To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students,

Between summer school, camps and new student orientations, our campus is humming with activity. Fortunately, I‘ve been able to grab a few moments of relaxation here and there, and I hope you have as well. Time away to recharge is invaluable, keeping us energized for our studies, our careers and our families.

There are two recent changes at NC State that I am really excited to tell you about – this month marks the launch of the new College of Sciences and the realignment of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  These are very transformative changes, and are part of our ongoing implementation of The Pathway to the Future: NC State’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan. They are part of the evolution of the university and better position us to address some of society’s grandest challenges through high-impact research, teaching and service.

In the sciences, some of today’s most pressing issues lie at the intersections of disciplines – integrative work in biology and mathematics allows us to better model disease growth in human cells; interdisciplinary efforts across the agricultural and life sciences help us to address the complexity of feeding a growing global population given finite amounts of fresh water and arable land. And if we wish to stand at the forefront of science, technology and scholarship, we must organize ourselves in ways that allow us to nimbly navigate these vital intersections.

The College of Sciences, now home to the physical and chemical sciences, the mathematical and statistical sciences, the biological sciences and the earth-system sciences, combines the programs of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences with several of the biological sciences programs from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In CALS, a new Department of Applied Ecology and a renamed Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences provide new collaborative opportunities for students and faculty. Through these changes and related investments, NC State is emerging with two stronger colleges. Comprehensive strategic plans recently developed in both colleges set the stage for bold work to come.

One of NC State’s greatest strengths is our ability to innovate, looking at problems from multiple viewpoints, pooling our gathered insights and generating and applying new knowledge as we work together across disciplines. Through the creation of the College of Sciences and the changes in CALS, we’ve taken two more big steps in the right direction. Stay tuned for great things.


Randy Woodson
NC State University