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College of Sciences Update - Implementation Teams & Strategic Planning

Memo from the Provost

Date: January 16, 2013

To: University Leaders

From: Warwick A. Arden, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Subject: Update on College of Sciences - Implementation Teams & Strategic Planning

As I have detailed in previous updates, the College of Sciences Steering Committee has made several major decisions in the last year regarding faculty and staff, academic programs and financial resources transitioning to the new College of Sciences (COS), with a great deal of support provided by the Academic Programs, Personnel and Policy and Budget and Finance Implementation Teams. Two additional implementation teams have also been hard at work over the last few months to identify and address other important issues related to the creation of the new COS.

COS Implementation Teams

The COS Student Support and Outreach Implementation Team, chaired by Vice Chancellor and Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Mike Mullen, has met several times since early September to discuss both short-term and long-term actions and initiatives. With the creation of COS, approximately 43% of the total undergraduate students in CALS will move to COS, with the vast majority of these students being in a Biological Sciences or Zoology major. This move presents significant challenges for the new College of Sciences as they work to continue to provide services and programs that were in place in CALS. The transition also provides opportunities to develop initiatives that will not only serve students moving to COS, but to develop programs that serve the interests of all students.

Several short-term issues for current and prospective students were addressed, including COS signage needs for the University Open House in October; development of a new web presence,, for prospective students and others; and the transition of students from the CALS Honors program to a new honors program housed within COS. Long-term issues that were identified and are being addressed include the enhancement of advising processes for first year students in both colleges; transitioning career services to better serve COS and the university; moving HealthPAC to a central home; working out the logistics of the Jefferson dual-degree/scholarship program; developing a Common First Year Program in Life Sciences; and developing a framework for a BA to accompany the BS in Biological Sciences.

The COS Space, Infrastructure, and Shared Resources Implementation Team, chaired by Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development Terri Lomax, began meeting in October. Four subcommittees have been set up to investigate and address transition issues related to teaching labs, lab animal facilities, information technology and the need for shared central facilities and equipment. The solutions being considered include the centralized scheduling and reporting of 210 labs and classrooms and combining the management of some facilities and equipment across colleges.
The implementation team has surveyed the faculty transitioning from CALS to COS and reviewed current floor plans. Based on the information gathered, the team does not see an urgent rationale to relocate existing faculty, especially since most individuals have good synergies in their current locations. They do, however, see a growing need to identify locations for new faculty joining CALS, COS and other colleges through the University Strategic Plan with the needs of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program being most imminent. Efforts to identify those locations are currently being pursued by the University Space Committee working with the college deans.

One recommendation that has emerged from this implementation team is to transfer the Biological Resource Facility (BRF, including the animal facility it oversees in Toxicology) to COS, which should facilitate the BRF receiving AAALAC accreditation for biomedical research leading to increased research funding. The team also recommends that procedures be developed that will more easily allow revenue to be recouped from surplus or trade-in of old equipment to provide upgrades to research capacity and free up valuable research space.

The COS Communications, Development & Alumni Relations Implementation Team, to be chaired by Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of University Development Steve Watt, will begin meeting shortly and I will provide more information on their efforts in my next update.

COS and CALS Strategic Planning

The ultimate goal of this transition is for NC State to emerge with two exceptionally strong colleges and become a stronger university overall. You may also recall that the Steering Committee did not recommend specific administrative structures within COS or CALS. To those ends, as the details of the transition are being finalized, Deans Dan Solomon and Rich Linton are concurrently and cooperatively embarking on strategic planning processes to determine the organization and vision for the two colleges based on significant faculty and stakeholder input.

COS: Dean Solomon has engaged the services of Art & Science Group, LLC to assist in the planning and positioning of the College of Sciences. During November and December, senior members of the firm met with internal stakeholders from across the campus and, informed by those meetings, they are now scheduling interviews with representatives of comparison institutions and other “thought leaders” from across the country. The goal of these interviews is to gather information about the competitive landscape the College will be entering and to help identify the key challenges and opportunities for competitive advantage relative to the College’s more established counterparts at other leading universities. These interviews will help establish an aspirational and shared vision for the new college and determine an organizational structure best suited to achieve it. Additional meetings with groups of College of Sciences faculty and staff are ongoing. The intention is to have the structure established in February. Updates will be posted at as they become available.

CALS: Dean Linton has engaged the services of Tecker International, LLC to assist in the strategic planning process for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Marshall Stewart will lead the strategic planning efforts in-house and has temporarily stepped away from his duties as head of the 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences Department to do so. In December, the planning efforts began with a steering committee design session and a department heads dialogue to outline the planning process and to initiate conversations regarding the future direction of the College. A series of listening sessions are scheduled in January and February to get stakeholder input from across the various CALS internal and external constituencies. Two two-day retreats will then be held with representatives from internal and external stakeholder groups in February and March. The goal is to have a draft strategic plan available for review by April. Visit for more information about the CALS strategic planning process.

Deans Solomon and Linton and the CALS and PAMS leadership teams are also working closely with each other and the COS implementation teams to ensure a seamless transition for personnel and programs July 1, 2013 as well as for new and returning students in Fall 2013.

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