Among the news we bring in this Winter 2014 issue of Perspectives is an article on the fall celebration of the centennial of the Extension and Community Association (ECA). This year, the celebration continues as the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service officially turns 100 on May 8: It was founded in 1914, in conjunction with the national cooperative extension system, as part of the Smith-Lever Act.
As Dr. Marshall Stewart, our new director of College strategy and leadership, noted in remarks at the November state Extension conference, a centennial celebration gives a platform to focus on what we want to do in the future: We use the moment to look back but also to pivot and think strategically where we want to go.
As we embark on a new semester and a new year, we are making strides in implementing our Strategic Plan and continuing our focus on providing the best service to and experience for our students and our stakeholders. In this issue, we convey the many ways our research, teaching and Extension programs – as well as our faculty, students and alumni – are working to fulfill so many of our strategic goals. Through key partnerships and collaborations, essential research, community service and generous donor support of educational opportunities and activities, our CALS family is solving challenges and fulfilling needed outcomes. We are incorporating big ideas and carrying out our land-grant mission.
This past year, we added two new members to our administrative team: Dr. Steve Lommel, director of the N.C. Agricultural Research Service, and Dr. Sam Pardue, director of Academic Programs. They join Dr. Joe Zublena, director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, as associate deans working with me to direct the College as it pursues its strategic goals. In this issue, they outline their visions for their programs, along with the new opportunities that have come after the move of four of our departments to the new College of Sciences last summer and the restructuring of two CALS departments.
In Perspectives and online at our CALS News Center, we report the many activities that address the core strategic themes at the foundation of our evolving strategy: Enhancing the production, quality, accessibility and profitability of food, plant, animal and bioenergy products; ensuring environmental stewardship and sustainability of air, land, soil and water resources; creating a food supply that is safe, secure, healthy, affordable and of high quality; improving human health and well-being for individuals, families and communities; and preparing students and stakeholders for leadership and success in the global workforce.
Join us in looking at how our work is propelling us forward.