Taking Giant Steps:

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Strategic Plan

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is uniquely embedded in history and place. Our current strategic plan is nested within the context of both.

First Editorial Board of the State Normal Magazine. 1897

Our Story

Opportunity and excellence.  From our beginnings as a normal school for women, through our evolution into a college for women and then to a co-educational university, UNCG has provided high quality postsecondary education to students who have historically encountered barriers to accessing four-year higher education programs.  We currently serve a richly diverse student body and are recognized for providing not just access, but also support for success, for all our students. Through our research and creative activity, we are recognized for addressing inequities across key domains in which significant demographic gaps remain, such as health and education.  Opportunity and excellence sit at the core of our approach to transformation.

Student-oriented.  From our beginnings as a teacher’s college to our current emphasis on experiential learning and undergraduate research, the practice of teaching, the use of impactful pedagogy, and a focus on all aspects of students’ lives – both within and outside the classroom – has been and remains at the core of our institution.

Research intensive.  A more recent part of our history, UNCG has embraced the call to engage in scholarship and creative activities that advance our disciplines, address societal challenges, and contribute to the larger pursuit of intellectual inquiry by both faculty and students.

Shared place and fate.  As a public institution of the state of North Carolina, a substantial number of our students come from central North Carolina and surrounding areas.  As a key figure in the Greensboro landscape, we are intricately tied to our local and regional community.  We share a place, a fate, and a responsibility for being an active partner in the future of both.

Students gathering around statue

Plan History

Giant Steps began taking shape during the fall of 2014, when Provost Dunn organized a series of over 40 focus groups to gather input on the future vision for UNCG.  In the spring of 2015, Provost Dunn appointed a strategic planning committee and spearheaded the distillation of themes from feedback gathered through the focus groups.  An environmental scan and SWOT analysis also were conducted, and UNCG community then was given the opportunity to further comment on the narrative that emerged from these activities.  Upon his arrival in fall of 2015, Chancellor Gilliam collaborated with Provost Dunn to generate a proposed strategic framework for the University.  This framework was vetted via focus groups, meetings, and online outreach with key constituencies.  During the 2016 spring semester, Chancellor Gilliam took time to consolidate his growing knowledge of the strengths and needs of the University and to refine his thoughts on the future of the University based on his enhanced understanding.  After further feedback from the Provost and Deans on the framework during the early part of the Fall, 2016 semester, the framework was presented to and endorsed by the Board of Trustees.

Giant Steps is intended to serve as a framework to guide the direction of the University over the next five to ten years.  The giant steps of the University also are supported by strategic plans at the division, unit, and department level.  These plans typically are both strategic and operational in nature, as they rest with the individuals who do the daily work needed to move the University forward.

North Carolina Map outline

UNC System Plan

UNCG is proud to be one of the three original institutions upon which the University of North Carolina system was founded.  As part of a larger system comprising 17 institutions, our campus-specific efforts contribute to the larger mission and goals of the UNC System.  As outlined in Higher Expectations, the UNC System Strategic Plan, our efforts to increase access, facilitate student success, promote affordability and efficiency and generate economic impact and community engagement support the larger system goal of growing and sustaining excellent and diverse institutions.  The goals and associated metrics from the system plan are interwoven throughout Giant Steps.