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Provost’s Corner: September 2016


Dear faculty and staff,

The academic year is in full swing! You’re already making an impact on campus through your work, and should be proud of these efforts.

This is our first digital newsletter and I hope that you find the content timely and relevant. The Provost’s Office wants to use this as an opportunity to keep you fully informed of academic happenings at NC State. In each newsletter, you’ll find out about our many activities and initiatives that make us a world-class research institution. Each one aligns with our strategic plan that provides NC State with a pathway toward the future.

We’re committed to enhancing student success and our work is paying off. Nearly 94 percent of our first-time freshmen are returning for their second year, and our current six-year graduation rate is approaching 78 percent. We’re well on our way to meeting our goal of an 80 percent graduation rate by 2020.

We’re also focused on investing in faculty, with outstanding results. The 2016 fiscal year closed with $349 million in sponsored program awards, 13 percent more than the previous year and a university record. More than 2,600 faculty projects were active by July 1, which represents more than $1 billion in research funding. Large-scale projects represented $425 million in research funding requests, an increase of 190 percent over the previous year. Our faculty have groundbreaking ideas, and they’re executing them extremely well.

Faculty research success includes members of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence program, who enhance interdisciplinary scholarship on campus. This fall, we’re welcoming ten new cluster hires to campus. These cluster hires are part of a group of nearly 160 new faculty members joining the university for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Our faculty greatly contributed to the university’s research “rising star” designation by Nature. NC State is 31st worldwide and third in North America on the Nature Index’s list of 100 institutions with increased contributions to academic journals. Faculty members contributed to more than 220 journal articles last year to the top 68 academic journals surveyed.

Staff have also made great strides in enhancing NC State’s national and international reputation. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of library staff, NCSU Libraries was awarded the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Ours was the only academic library honored this year and the first academic library to receive the medal in twenty years.

With all of our research and other efforts turning into successful results, it is clear why NC State is a place where we truly “Think and Do.” Together, we’re building upon a solid foundation of academic excellence to create success now and in the future.

To keep up with all academic and faculty/staff-related developments, follow @NCStateProvost on Twitter.

Until next time,

Warwick Arden
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

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