N.C. A&T Unveils Academic Reorganization

N.C. A&T Unveils Academic Reorganization

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has taken advantage of a significant opportunity to reorganize its academic programming. The reorganization will position N.C. A&T to award degrees that support careers of the future, meet the objectives of A&T Preeminence 2020 and increase its competitiveness in the global marketplace.

As a land-grant, doctoral higher research institution, we must maintain the most strategic academic structure and program inventory necessary to advance teaching, learning, research and engagement.

The rationale for the academic reorganization is to enhance increased:

  • Undergraduate and graduate enrollment
  • Faculty research and scholarly productivity
  • External funding
  • The number of students receiving national fellowships
  • Program and university national and international rankings

To begin the process, a four-member External Review Committee (ERC), comprised of current and former university faculty and administrators, was charged with providing recommendations that would:

  • Greatly enhance student success (retention and progression toward graduation)
  • Provide more opportunity for innovative teaching, research and engagement
  • Strengthen and enhance the visibility of academic programs
  • Enhance synergy and collaboration in curriculum and research
  • Provide effective and efficient use of resources

The ERC submitted a report that resulted from the committee’s analysis of university data as well as input from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders. The report was submitted to the Internal Academic Restructuring Steering Committee (IARSC) — comprised of representatives from each college and school, undergraduate and graduate students, the faculty and staff senates and the library — that was charged with:

  • Responding to the ERC report
  • Identifying new programs consistent with market and enrollment trends
  • Identifying existing programs inconsistent with market and enrollment trends
  • Developing framework for the ongoing review of academic programs

IARSC recommendations were presented to stakeholders via town hall meetings, chancellor’s forums and university communications. The following eight recommendations were reviewed and approved by the N.C. A&T Board of Trustees on Feb. 19, 2016, and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on April 15, 2016:

  • Utilize a uniform naming convention for academic units reporting directly to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs (i.e., colleges instead of colleges and schools)
  • Create the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Create the College of Health Sciences
  • Create the College of Science and Technology
  • Reorganize the School of Education (to become a college that also includes Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and licensure coordinators)
  • Align licensure concentrations under their disciplinary bachelor’s degrees (e.g., the physics licensure would be a concentration under the physics degree program)
  • Explore areas of opportunity in doctoral programming (e.g., agriculture and environmental sciences, social work, bioengineering)
  • Conduct ongoing academic program analyses based on productivity, relevance and student demographics

In April 2016, an Executive Transition Team (ETT)—comprised of representatives from Business and Finance, Information Technology Services, Advancement, Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Facilities, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Affairs, Division of Research and Economic Development, University Relations and Enrollment Management—was formed to implement the reorganization.

The expectation is that the reorganization will:

  • Capitalize on the synergy among similar disciplines
  • Increase competitiveness of academic programs
  • Cultivate collaboration and interdisciplinary research
  • Generate greater visibility for programs in agriculture, liberal arts and more
  • Simultaneously building upon our strong foundation of STEM- related programming
  • Enhance synergy and collaboration in curriculum and research
  • Provide effective and efficient use of resources
  • Foster operational efficiencies and institutional performance
  • Create opportunities for new and innovative programming