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Where will NC State by in 2019

A few weeks back I asked members of the university communications team to tell me where they thought NC State would be in 10 years.  No, I’m not trying to emulate Zager and EvansHere’s the first batch of those responses.  I’ll roll out additional comments occasionally. Splendid ideas here.  I hope you enjoy.

By 2019, I expect NC State to have over 40,000 students. I expect the university to be recognized for its research on health and well-being issues, ranging from medical devices to the mental effects of aging. I expect the university to be well-known in the region as a key driver in North Carolina’s economy. I also hope that the university will have established itself as a leader in educating the next generation of video game developers, and hopefully playing a role in encouraging the growth of the video game industry in NC.

For one thing, NC State will be a lot bigger. Estimates call for the university to grow to 40,000 students by 2017. That presents a host of challenges – how to teach more sections of English 111, for instance, and in which classrooms – but some opportunities, too, especially in distance education. Without the proper leadership – from the state legislature, the UNC system and the university itself – NC State might stray from what it is now: a solid regional university that does a great job of educating students to be tomorrow’s workers and leaders in relevant disciplines; doing basic research to help solve common and vexing problems; and reaching a hand out to people across the state to serve them. There’s nothing wrong with that. It should be shouted from the rooftops. In 10 years, NC State won’t be Harvard or Georgia Tech or even UNC-Chapel Hill – and that’s a good thing.

December 2019 Calendar

* denotes a legal U.S. holiday.
Click on any of the holidays, events or observances listed in the calendar for more information.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
AIDS Awareness Day
2 3
4 5
Nat’l Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Human Rights Day
11 12 13 14
Wright Brothers Day
Pan American Aviation Day
National Regifting Day
19 20

Forefather’s Day

First Day of Winter

24 25
Christmas Day
Kwanzaa Begins

Boxing Day
27 28
29 30
New Year’s Eve

I think in 10 years, NC State (as will other schools) have greater offerings for distance education classes to handle the growth in student popular as well as the nationwide move towards using the web for educational purposes. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the classes students take would be online. This will create challenges in how to keep the “personal” aspect of school – collaboration with classmates, personal relationships with teachers and advisors, etc. I think NC State will be the “go to” place when it comes to issues such as medical textiles, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, 21st century and STEM education and veterinary medicine. I hope in the next 10 years, the NC State community will embrace what it is (a leader in research and technology) instead of focusing on what it is not.

In 10 years, I hope NC State will have a more diverse student and faculty population that’s more reflective of the community and world we live in – not simply due to the university’s outreach efforts alone but also due to minority students who have acquired an interest in science and math.  In 10 years, I hope NC State will have overcome it’s identity crisis, having aligned how it thinks about itself and what it does, so the university can do even more when tapping into its core strengths as a research university with strong ties to the community and the state, and as a viable contender in economic development.

Although the university does some of this now, it hasn’t truly accepted and embraced that this is what distinguishes NC State from many of it’s peers, and is worth considering as something empowering and good that would allow the university to do so much more for the state.  Hopefully, the university, in 10 years, would have further explored ways that the various colleges can collaborate and integrate their research to move beyond the limitations of previous research to find cures, and develop new and improved products. I also hope that NC State will occupy a healthier share of the online/distance-learning space and have a better infrastructure to support and enhance the online learning experience, from ease of registration to correspondence and interactions with classmates and instructors to delivery of e-textbook chapters to more user-friendly processes.  And hopefully in 10 years, all university software programs will be able to work together and be more user-friendly; it’s  email program and servers will be more reliable; units will have a more coordinated communications strategy; and Web Leave will be the sole timekeeping mechanism for the university – making paper timesheets obsolete.

In 10 years, NC State will enjoy a reputation as a national leader among land-grant universities for providing leaders who are able to solve problems and anticipate future needs.  The university’s focus will be on empowering students, faculty, staff and alumni to achieve their highest potential. NC state’s leaders will share a mindset of reaching national prominence rather than focusing on intrastate rivalries. Graduates will support and recommend their alma mater because it prepared them for meaningful careers.  They will excel in their fields, bringing positive attention to the university,  and they will be willing to financially support NC State because of their own successes and the fact that they are not saddled with high levels of educational debt. North Carolina residents will support NC State as a prime contributor to the economic prosperity they enjoy, given its continued success in creating and attracting industry, as well as its contributions during the recovery from the recession.

In 10 years, with the leadership of our new chancellor, NC State will have made significant progress in engaging the lion’s share of our alumni in supporting the institution, both financially and as boosters.  The chancellor will make a commitment – backed by alumni support – to attract the world’s brightest minds and give them the tools they need to solve some of society’s most complex problems.  Our first success along those lines will be the development of a practical smart grid through the work of the FREEDM Center, which will bring global recognition to NC State.

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