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Aerial view of Lake Wheeler Road Field Lab

Growing Our Future 2023-2030

We have opportunities to solve grand challenges that impact us locally, within North Carolina, nationally and globally.

What will the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) need to look like in 10, 15, 20 years? We’ve created an agile, ambitious and attainable strategic plan that will ensure CALS remains the premiere land-grant college that draws students, faculty and staff to learn, work and tackle the grand challenges facing our world.

The strategic plan is organized into three broad focus areas: People, Programs and Innovation.


At CALS, one of our top priorities is to recruit, retain and invest in our students, faculty and staff. In this effort, we strive to grow and reinforce a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being; efficiently connect our community through CALS communications; and create a career-ready workforce through professional development and networking. We aim to make long-term, strategic investments in our people and the systems, processes and infrastructure that enable them to do their best work in learning, conducting research and serving all of our many stakeholders.


We want to transform education and instructional delivery systems to serve all student needs through hybrid, virtual and face-to-face programs and provide more paths to CALS through HBCUs and community colleges. In addition, we strive to expand international programs through partnerships and collaborations.


Population growth, health disparities, food inequities, evolving farming practices, and climate change are real challenges requiring distinct strategies and solutions. CALS is uniquely positioned to address these challenges by staying at the forefront of science and discovery, aligning research, teaching and Extension to benefit a more sustainable North Carolina, and then sharing lessons learned with billions throughout the world. Sustainability in education is crucial in meeting these needs, and our learners are eager to be a part of a sustainable future. Our research agenda is aggressive and touches all elements of sustainability, including biological systems, the environment, food stability, infrastructure, resilience and more.