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Trustees OK Strategic Plan

Wolfpack 2030, a plan charting NC State's course for the rest of the decade, includes a focus on diversity and seeks to raise the university's visibility as a preeminent public research institution.

The Talley tower

It’s official. NC State’s Board of Trustees has endorsed the university’s next strategic plan, a roadmap for the decade designed to match lofty ideals with concrete goals.

The plan, Wolfpack 2030: Powering the Extraordinary, retains much of the focus of the previous plan, Pathway to the Future, adopted in 2011. The new plan maintains the university’s commitment to student success, advanced research, strategic partnerships, community service and organizational excellence. And it breaks new ground, prioritizing efforts to ensure a healthy and inclusive campus culture and to drive NC State’s reputation and visibility.

“This is an exciting plan that builds on our very successful 2011-20 plan and positions us to move forward to the next level,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden.

A Commitment to Systemic Change

The new plan, drafted during a global pandemic and a time of increasing concern about racism and inequity in the United States, is decidedly optimistic.

“We commit to creating sustainable systemic change across the university that improves our campus culture and empowers NC State to be a truly inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment for all,” the plan says.

The good news is that NC State has a track record for staying focused on its strategic goals. The university met or exceeded many of the targets in its 2011-20 plan in areas such as enrollment growth, undergraduate retention, degrees awarded, donor giving, national rankings and research commercialization. Including diversity and inclusion as part of the university’ vision and as a top-level goal in the new plan will help elevate those issues, making them central to discussions of everything from budgeting and resource management to student success and employee engagement.

In addition to diversity and inclusion, the plan’s vision statement adds scholarship and engagement to the previous language, which identified education and research as key NC State strengths making it “a preeminent public research university.”

Inclusive Process

Work on the plan began at a strategic planning retreat for faculty, staff and students in September 2019. After that, the planning committee sponsored dozens of meetings, listening sessions and other opportunities for input from the campus community.

“We worked very hard to engage the campus in the strategic planning process and the final plan is better because of those efforts,” Arden said. “We had over 160 people on nine task forces and held 30 listening sessions to get feedback on the draft vision, values and goals.”

“Having a strong strategic plan is critical to the success of the university,” Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “Having input from our community to inform the goals and values has allowed us to build a plan that will help NC State continue its mission for the good of our students, state and world.”

The plan’s seven goals are:

  • Empower students for a lifetime of success and impact.
  • Ensure preeminence in research, scholarship, innovation and collaboration.
  • Expand and advance our engagement with and service to North Carolina and beyond, defining the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university.
  • Champion a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in all we do.
  • Improve university effectiveness through transformative technologies, cutting-edge processes and actionable data.
  • Lead in developing innovative partnerships, entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving.
  • Elevate the national and global reputation and visibility of NC State.

In the coming months, Margery Overton, senior vice provost for institutional strategy and analysis, will lead an effort to develop implementation strategies and a web-based metrics dashboard.

If you have questions regarding the strategic plan, contact