New Strategic Plan Unveiled, Will Guide A&T Through 2030

By Todd Simmons / 03/09/2023 University Advancement

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 9, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University today unveiled an ambitious new strategic plan that builds on its exciting growth as a doctoral, research university and as an 1890 land grant institution.

“Preeminence 2030: North Carolina A&T Blueprint” is the third strategic plan completed under the leadership of Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. The previous two were the basis for profound, positive change at N.C. A&T, raising the university’s academic profile, expanding research initiatives, enhancing the university’s financial strength and growing enrollment so effectively that A&T became America’s largest historically Black university (HBCU) and a nationally ranked doctoral research institution. Indeed, with an enrollment of 13,487, A&T is the largest that any HBCU has ever become.

The new plan “embraces the university’s vision of transforming lives through teaching and learning, civic outreach, interdisciplinary research and innovative solutions to global challenges.

It frames the university’s ambitions through 2030 around five new goals in transformative engagement, leadership and innovation, performance excellence, collaborative and inclusive culture and responsive, impactful scholarship. The plan also incorporates the ethos of an initiative launched in 2022, The Aggie Experience, which focuses on the university’s commitment to an organizational culture of excellence.

A structured process involving numerous stakeholders and working groups, data collected over the past several years and analysis of trends specific to A&T’s aspirations provided the foundation to build the 2030 plan, which was unanimously approved by the A&T Board of Trustees last month. Implementation is beginning.

“Our community partners are increasingly requesting our help,” said Martin. “Through this plan, we will answer that call in a spirit of agency that centers us as influencers, knowledge producers and thought leaders,” write Martin and A&T Board of Trustees Chair Hilda Pinnix-Ragland in the plan’s introduction.

“We look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of A&T to turn the ideas articulated in the plan into a bold new reality.”

The first plan under Martin, “A&T Preeminence 2020: Embracing Our Past, Creating Our Future,” debuted in 2011 and began an unprecedented ascent for A&T, as students, faculty and staff responded to Martin’s call to be nationally competitive with other doctoral research university peers. With many of the plan’s goals having been achieved well before 2020, A&T undertook a refresh in 2018 with “A&T Preeminence: Taking the Momentum to 2023.”

Significant accomplishments grew out of the university’s disciplined commitment to the plans, including:

  • Enrollment growth from 10,631 in 2010 to 13,487 – a 27% increase – while also raising the entering GPA and SAT scores of new first-year students from 3.0 to nearly 3.8 and 900 to 1,058, respectively. Four-year graduation rates doubled to 36%, while six-year graduation rates improved from 44% to 57%.
  • Addition of numerous new academic programs, including a Ph.D. in applied science with eight different concentrations, a Ph.D. in agricultural and environmental sciences and master’s degrees in physician assistant studies, health psychology, cybersecurity, data analytics and accountancy, and a diversity of certificate programs.
  • Growth in research contract and grant funding from $60 million to $97.4 million – a 62% increase – while also increasing the number of patents earned by A&T researchers. Between 2018 and 2022 alone, for instance, faculty successfully landed 29 new patents.
  • Growth in A&T’s endowment/managed assets from $28 million to about $160 million, largely on the strength of the Campaign for North Carolina A&T, which ended in 2020 having raised $181.4 million, making it the most successful capital campaign ever for a public HBCU.
  • Expansion of A&T’s physical plant through new buildings such as the 150,000-square-foot Student Center, the Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex and Research Facility 3, a new discovery, testing and advanced manufacturing center on Gateway Research Park’s South Campus.

 Due in part to the success of the previous plans, strategic planning has taken on special importance at the university. More than 600 individuals took part in crafting the new plan, from participating in focus groups and surveys to working on committees formed around the plan’s five goals.

The plan also includes A&T’s ambition to attain the R1-Very High Research Activity descriptor in the Carnegie Classifications of Higher Education Institutions. To move upward from its current R2-High Research Activity classification, A&T will further expand the range and production of its doctoral programs and grow research funding and expenditures, as well as increase its performance in additional related metrics.

Media Contact Information: thsimmons@ncat.edu

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