NC State University


Raleigh, NC

Client Challenge

Despite spearheading the world-renowned Research Triangle Park, conducting internationally recognized research in many science and technology fields and turning its research discoveries into practical benefits for the people of North Carolina and well beyond, North Carolina State University needed to learn more about the views and interests of its constituents in order to develop effective institutional strategy.


Our Approach

NC State chose Art & Science Group to lead the University through a market-informed strategic planning process. In monthly meetings, we tackled the university’s fundamental positioning issues. Our research began with in-depth interviews with national leaders in academia, business and government, to identify the challenges requiring leadership from a comprehensive land-grant university, such as NC State. We went on to conduct a quantitative survey of prospective students to understand current perceptions of NC State, learn more about the competition and to test the appeal of positioning options we developed with the client committee. Based on the results of both studies, we recommended that NC State identify itself with a set of major global challenges — among them energy and the environment, and economic development and social equity.


The Results

As our work concluded, NC State’s leadership crafted an academic and research plan that linked directly to these positioning strategies. Deans of NC State’s schools and colleges embraced the plan and developed strategies, funding proposals and hiring plans centered on the issues driving institutional positioning. The University also invested in a dramatically different web presence.