Local News

Chancellor Delivers 'State of N.C. State' Address

Posted September 27, 2007 4:49 p.m. EDT

— Chancellor James Oblinger delivered his “State of N.C. State” speech Thursday to share the university’s accomplishments and his vision for the future.

Deans, administrators and key faculty have developed a new strategic plan for the university, Oblinger said. The five areas of focus are:

  • Producing leaders for the state, nation and the world
  • Creating educational innovation
  • Improving health and well being
  • Fueling economic development
  • Driving innovation in energy and the environment

During the coming year, Oblinger said the university would give added emphasis to energy.

He pointed to the university’s energy research, including a green process called “Centia” that produces fuel from virtually any fat source, including animal fats, algae, waste greases and agricultural oils.

The process was licensed this year to Arizona-based Diversified Energy Corporation.

An energy council made up of students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry leaders will direct the energy-focused efforts, which will include:

  • Investing in faculty and graduate student support, including faculty cluster hires, in energy and the environment
  • Building a pilot plant for cellulosic ethanol at Lake Wheeler, near similar pilot plants for biodiesel and biomass production
  • Leading the energy policy discussion by bringing together national leaders at the annual Emerging Issues Forum in February
  • Installing a small solar power generation station near the RBC Center in partnership with NC Greenpower - “a first step toward helping North Carolina meet the latest renewable fuel standards for the state’s utilities”
  • Welcoming some of the nation’s top research and policy experts, such as Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, who will speak at NC State on Oct. 23.

Oblinger said the university has talked in-depth with higher education leaders from around the country about their perceptions of N.C. State and what the university can do to distinguish itself.

“One of the very clear messages that emerged from these conversations was this one: ‘N.C. State should define itself by what it is and what it can be … not by what it is not,’” Oblinger said.

Much of the chancellor’s speech focused on the need to tell the university’s stories.

“We are leaders. We have great stories to tell, true stories. Let’s all tell them,” he said.