To: Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

Mike Mullen
Vice Chancellor and Dean

Subject: University College Implementation
Date: June 30, 2015

Re: University College Implementation

I am writing to update you on the progress of the University College formation, which is a reorganization of the academic functions in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) to better serve all students and NC State.

As you may know, on August 22nd, 2014, Provost Arden and Vice Chancellor Leffler appointed the University College Implementation Team. The charge for this team was

“…to create a University College by fall 2015 that brings together the First Year College, unaffiliated academic departments in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs not currently housed in a college and provides an administrative home for interdisciplinary minors and certificates not currently housed in a college.”

As has been announced by both Chancellor Woodson and Provost Arden in several forums recently, the University College will be established effective July 1, 2015. The University College seeks to promote the academic success of all students, and especially exploratory and transitional students, by creating a community of practice (i.e. academic advisors, faculty, as well as academic and student affairs professionals) with shared assumptions, beliefs, scholarship, and best practices. This community of practice will exist within the context of a structure that:

  • Elevates the First Year College from a program among programs into an umbrella concept and   organization called the University College which replaces the current Academic Programs and Services (APS) unit,
  • Provides a home for exploratory and transitional students through the current First Year College which will become the Exploratory Studies Program,
  • Promotes the academic success of all students, including high-achieving students and student athletes, who benefit from academic advising, academic coaching, tutoring, honors, scholars, undergraduate research and creativity, fellowship advising and other high impact programs,
  • Aligns the operational oversight of unaffiliated academic departments (Music, HES, ROTC) and programs (Environmental Science BS) in DASA and provides clear lines of communication to the Vice Chancellor and Dean for Academic and Student Affairs,
  • Continues to provide administrative leadership to the campus for undergraduate curricula, general education, and assessment services.

There have been a number of organizational steps taken to make this transition. Effective July 1, 2015, the following organizational elements will be in place.

  • The DASA Academic Programs and Services sub-division will now become the University College the reports to the Vice Chancellor and Dean for DASA.
  • The First Year College will now be the Exploratory Studies Program. Students admitted to NC State with no major declared will now be admitted to the University College Exploratory Studies Program. Students who are transitioning after their first year at NC State, to include non-matriculated students, internal transfer students and other transitional students still exploring their options will also be provided advising services through Exploratory Studies. As part of this move, Carrie McLean, has been promoted to Assistant Dean and Director for Academic Advising and reports to the Vice Chancellor and Dean. The staff in Exploratory Studies will continue to teach USC courses, provide walk-in and virtual advising, and to provide leadership and support for advising through Academic Advising Services as they always have.
  • The First Year College Village will become the Exploratory Studies Village.
  • All DASA Academic Departments will be moved into the University College structure. Health and Exercise Studies and ROTC units will move from the DASA Student Development, Health and Wellness subdivision, and Music will move from Arts NC State into the University College. This brings them into alignment with the Environmental Science BS program that has been in APS since the inception of DASA. Department Heads/Directors/Commanders will be direct reports to the Vice Chancellor and Dean.
  • Academic Administration and Curricula will continue to be the focus of Associate Vice Provost Dr. Barbara Kirby who will report to the Vice Chancellor and Dean; she will continue to provide high-level administrative support and leadership for the academic units in the University College and for undergraduate curriculum processes on campus. She has been supporting the academic departments and units listed above since the inception of DASA and this brings those departments into organizational alignment. In addition to providing ongoing support to academic departments and units, her portfolio will have the following programs:
  • Office of Undergraduate Courses and Curricula and University Academic Standards
  • First Year Inquiry
  • EcoVillage
  • Global Perspectives Certificate
  • We are establishing an Academic Success cluster in the University College under the leadership of Associate Vice Provost Dr. Carrie Zelna who reports to the Vice Chancellor and Dean. Dr. Zelna will continue to provide leadership for the DASA Office of Assessment, and the student success programs now under her leadership are:

a.  Accelerated Summer Programs (START)

b.  College Advising Corps

c.  Disability Services

d.  New Student Programs

e.  TRiO Programs

f.   University Tutoring and Writing Center

  • The Academic Support Program for Student Athletes (ASPSA) will formally move into the University College while continuing to report directly to the Vice Chancellor and Dean. This will strengthen the collaborations between ASPSA, Exploratory Studies, and the Academic Success units in the University College. The Assistant Dean and Director for ASPSA will lead this unit. Currently, Katie Sheridan serves as the Interim Director in this position.
  • Our Academic Enhancement programs will also be placed in the University College. These include our University Scholars, University Honors, Undergraduate Research, and Fellowship Advising units. An announcement regarding leadership for these units will be forthcoming prior to the start of the academic year.

Links to the University College and Exploratory Studies websites are provided below:

University College:

Exploratory Studies:

These web sites are not complete; we will continue to develop these during the summer. My office will continue to spread this news through traditional, digital and social media so that students, faculty and staff are aware of the changes. Be assured that our partners can expect the same level of service and collaboration as always, and we will continue to improve how we serve students and the campus during the coming year. Please share this information with those who may be interested or need to know about these changes.