Chancellor's Report 2012 Innovation in Education

Innovation in Education

NC State’s transformation from a small state college into a leader in educational innovation began around the turn of the 20th century under Daniel Harvey Hill Jr., the university’s third chief executive. Hill envisioned NC State’s students as an educated workforce that could “skillfully and unhesitatingly lead the industrial progress of our people.” The university’s first library building, constructed during the Great Depression, is named in his honor.

Today, NC State’s commitment to progress is just as strong. Nowhere is that commitment more inspiring than on Centennial Campus, where the library of the future is now a reality. Named for another educational visionary — James B. Hunt Jr., four-time governor of North Carolina — the ultramodern facility is nothing less than the best learning and collaboration space in the nation.

Anchoring the research park’s academic oval, the Hunt Library provides a wealth of advanced technology to students studying engineering, textiles, materials science, computer science and other scientific disciplines. The library includes more than 100 technology-rich group study rooms, a game lab supporting NC State’s nationally recognized program for video game development, a black-box theater visualization lab and an innovative robotic book retrieval system that stores more than 1 million books in a fraction of the space required by a traditional library.

But you don’t have to be a student at NC State to benefit from the university’s commitment to educational innovation. A revolutionary cloud-computing network developed at NC State, the Virtual Computing Lab, is being adopted by schools around the country to increase educational access and reduce pressures on school budgets.

Universities and colleges nationwide have also used a pedagogical approach developed at NC State, called SCALE UP, to measurably improve student performance in tough subjects like physics and chemistry. From grade school through graduate school, on campus and across the nation, NC State is transforming the very nature of education.