About UNC Tomorrow

University of North Carolina Tomorrow

  Leading, Connecting, Transforming

Our Mission
The University of North Carolina is dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people.[1]   In order to efficiently and effectively fulfill its three-pronged mission of education, research and scholarship, and public service in the 21st century, the University should proactively anticipate and identify the needs facing our state both now and into the future, and, consistent with its mission, develop and implement responses to those needs.


Our Goals
Our goal is to produce a more proactively responsive University focused on meeting the challenges of the state. To achieve this goal, we must answer three basic questions:
1.      What challenges facing our state do North Carolinians want UNC to respond to?
2.      How can UNC best respond to these challenges?
3.      How can UNC sustain this focus over the long-term?
 To answer the first two questions, we identified what challenges our state faces both now and in the future, how we are currently meeting them, where there are gaps, and how we can close those gaps efficiently and affordably.  We examined issues facing our state in areas such as community and economic transformation, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship, education, health, environmental and natural resources, cultural and societal enrichment through the arts and humanities, and civic engagement. We have begun to identify ways to meet those needs through programs and curricula, scholarship and research efforts, and public service engagement.
Recognizing that the needs of our state will evolve over time, we must do more than become more demand-driven – we must remain demand-driven. To answer the third question, we have identified systemic changes in our own processes, such as academic programming and long range planning, so that we can, in future years, identify needs proactively, respond nimbly, and assess our effectiveness.
Our work has remained centered on the three prongs of UNC’s mission: Teaching, Research and Scholarship, and Public Service.   Recommendations and responses are identified within each of these areas. 
Our Process
The UNC Tomorrow Initiative is an on-going process.  Formally launched in February 2007, our work was divided into four phases.  Implementing the University's responses to the needs of North Carolina will continue long into the future as the needs of our state continue to evolve and change.
1)     Preparation                February – July 2007
Work with campuses to analyze what they are currently doing to meet present and future challenges facing our state and their region and how they identify those challenges; conduct internal review of existing resources; and synthesize and update existing reports and studies.
2)     Assessment                August 2007 – January 2008
Solicit input from people across the state through a series of 11 Community Listening Forums; solicit input from our faculty and students through a series of 11 Faculty Listening Forums; solicit additional input through conversations with business, nonprofit, community, policy, and governmental leaders to hear from them what they need from UNC over the next twenty years; Commission issues report and recommendations to the UNC Board of Governors.
3)     Response                    February 2008 – December 2008
Develop responses at the campus and system level to the needs of North Carolina identified by the UNC Tomorrow Commission's report and recommendations.  Campus and system responses should be focused to ensure that they are consistent with UNC’s mission as well as identify and address systemic changes to internal processes needed to ensure continued focus in future years. 
4)     Implementation         January 2009 – January 2012
Implement responses at the UNC and campus level by integrating responses into missions, programs, and curriculum, and assessing progress toward goals.
Our Partners
·         The UNC Board of Governors provided oversight for the initiative, ensuring that the work remained appropriately focused, and participated in campus-related work and regional public meetings. The Board has final approval of all recommendations, and In January 2008, unanimously adopted the UNC Tomorrow Commission's Final Report and Recommendations.
·         Campuses formed work groups to analyze past response to the state’s needs, determine campus capacity to respond going forward, and to follow, inform, and respond to the findings of the Commission. Campus participation is on-going and includes administration, faculty, and students.
·         The UNC Tomorrow Commission made up of business, education, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the state was charged with learning “what the people of North Carolina need from their University” and making recommendations to the Board of Governors.
·         Faculty will provide both research and advice to the Commission through UNC Tomorrow  Scholars Council.  The Council researched issues and trends impacting the state, facilitated and synthesized input received from the public, advised the UNC Tomorrow Commission in developing its recommendations, and guided the preparation of the Commission's final report and recommendations.
·         UNC General Administration directed the day-to-day work of staff, campuses, the Commission and the Scholars Council throughout the initiative.
   Process Flow Chart


[1] N.C.G.S. 116-1(b)