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Chancellor Unveils Faculty Hiring Program

Chancellor Randy Woodson has unveiled a plan to attract top faculty to NC State and enhance interdisciplinary research and teaching.

The Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program will award $5 million, in partnership with colleges, to hire individual scholars or groups of up to three faculty members working in strategically important areas.

“This is a way for us to attract leading scholars in areas of emerging strength,” Woodson told faculty and staff who attended a forum at Witherspoon Student Center on Wednesday.

The program will help NC State achieve one of the highest priorities in its strategic plan: hiring tenured and tenure-track faculty. In the last 15 years, NC State has seen increases of 30 percent in undergraduate enrollment and 48 percent in graduate enrollment, while the number of tenure-track faculty grew by just 2 percent, Woodson said.

“That’s not sustainable.”

Request for Proposals

Current faculty will take the lead in shaping the program by submitting proposals for hiring colleagues in key areas.

“It’s a different way to think about hiring,” Provost Warwick Arden said earlier this week. “Faculty may identify opportunities for us to lead in a particular area of scholarship if we add a person with a different skill set, or bring in someone who’s an academic leader who can help us reach the next level.”

Proposals from faculty will be routed through college deans for approval and the commitment of matching funds. Monday, Dec. 5, is the submission deadline for the proposals, which should be five pages or less, he said.

Extra consideration will be given to proposals that meet specific criteria:

  • Interdisciplinary efforts that involve more than one college
  • Hiring of clusters of up to three faculty
  • Arrangements for new faculty to share resources and infrastructure
  • Ability to bring academic leaders to campus
  • Significant cost-sharing by colleges
  • Alignment with the university’s strategic priorities

A committee with faculty members from every college, chaired by Senior Vice Provost Duane Larick and Vice Chancellor Terri Lomax, will review the proposals before they are sent to the provost and chancellor. The goal is to carry out searches in the spring with an eye to having new faculty on campus for the fall 2012 semester.

“The strength of our faculty is one of the driving forces at NC State,” Arden said. “We cannot grow as an institution unless we continue to develop our faculty strength.”

On Further Review

At Wednesday’s forum, Woodson presented a photo montage of recent university events and  accomplishments.

A Wolfpack movie trailer featured the new strategic plan— all 11,115 minutes, 5,993 words and nine task forces of it. Woodson encouraged participants to take part in several follow-up efforts that are part of the ongoing process. In November, the university will take the next step when the Board of Trustees reviews the proposed implementation plan which will include metrics to measure progress.

An academic science task force led by Dr. Margery Overton will submit its review by year’s end, and another committee is developing metrics for an undergraduate and graduate program review.

Woodson asked those with questions about the business services realignment to become familiar with a new acronym, BORST, short for Business Operations Realignment Steering Team.

The university will hold a general faculty meeting from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Talley Student Center Ballroom to continue the discussion about upcoming changes at NC State.