I hope you had a restful break and are ready to begin a new year. As we consider what is to come in 2011, I can’t help but be excited. It is not going to be without its challenges, but 2011 is shaping up as a year of opportunity for NC State.
We’re already starting the year with great momentum. Not only did the Wolfpack earn a victory at the CHAMPS Bowl in Orlando, but we also announced the largest gift in the history of the university in December. NC State graduate Lonnie C. Poole, Jr. and his wife, Carol Lynn, gave $40 million to the university.
A gift of this magnitude is transformative for NC State and sets a tone for the year to come. At no time in our history has our ability to raise private funds been more important.
We remain committed to our tradition of providing a quality, affordable education. However, as we see our state funding shrink, maintaining quality and affordability becomes a difficult balancing act.
Growing our endowment is one of the priorities in the university’s strategic plan, which will be final later this semester.
You’ve heard me talk about the strategic plan since arriving, and I have been so impressed with the dedicated work of our taskforces and the involvement of the campus community.
As we start a new year and chart a new direction, I ask that everyone stay engaged and informed in the final strategic planning phase. Take time to read the task force final reports.
Consider the ideas on the table, how they affect you and how they best serve NC State. Join me at the next Chancellor’s Forum on January 27 at 2:00 in the Talley Ballroom and share your thoughts, or submit your questions and comments on the strategic plan web site.
The state legislature will convene soon and all eyes will be on the budget. Responding to the constraints of a reduced budget will not be easy for the university.
But remember, we are NC State — a responsive, relevant and resilient institution. We have a history of thinking big and taking action. There are some big ideas in the strategic plan draft, and we’ll need big ideas as we take on our budgetary challenges.
I’m counting on you to strap on your seatbelt and join me on the ride to make 2011 a year of great achievement and forward movement for NC State. The year is ours; let’s make it count.
NC State University