PERSPECTIVES Fall 2000: From the Dean
Perspectives On Line
NC State University Fall 2000 Contents Page Features Acres of Opportunity Fresh Markets Rediscovering Discovery On Higher Ground A Positive Alliance Noteworthy News Awards Alumni Giving From the Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
From the Dean


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  A formula for success

Measures of success can be quantitative, qualitative and quite relative. Needs met, results attained or even progress made can often be the nebulous parameters within which success lies.

In our College, success had its genesis in the late 19th century, with the founding of the land-grant missions of teaching, research and extension.

For us, the blend of T+R+E continues to be the formula for success. This issue of Perspectives exemplifies the power of that formula in generating results, meeting needs and making progress.

There’s a place on Lake Wheeler Road, not far from the main N.C. State campus, that promises to put this formula to work eloquently and dynamically and on a grand scale. The massive Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory provides a setting where thousands of students from departments spanning the College make many thousands of forays into hands-on learning experiences. Read here how this facility is an academic oasis in the city, where pastoral sensibilities and urban technology blend. It’s a microcosm of the diversity of the College’s teaching, research and extension endeavors, as well as a site for community and university engagement.

In the College, through research and extension, we have promoted the movement of producers into niche markets or alternative enterprises. In the feature “Fresh Markets,” you will read how Bill Jester, an area specialized agent for commercial fruits and vegetables, has been on the front line, providing research-based information to help farmers select and implement alternative enterprises to increase their income -- with results that mean success for his clientele and the College.

The Organic Unit at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, the largest facility of its kind in the country, defines research-based strategies for the fastest growing agricultural sector, organic farming. Being there with the answers -- providing information and guidelines for producing high-value alternatives to traditional crops -- will help spell success for organic producers. The article “On Higher Ground” introduces you to the College faculty and student interns who are part of the research and education program at CEFS and the efforts to incorporate environmental aspects into production agriculture research.

All of us who have taught know that success can be measured by something as simple as the feeling of satisfaction that comes with sure and steady improvement in a student’s academic performance or just that look of enlightenment when a student masters a complex concept. Like ripples from a stone tossed into the water, the positive effects of Prof. John Meyer’s course, Entomology for Educators, emanate from his classroom to the classrooms of the teachers who learn from him. This successful course is the subject of the feature “Rediscovering Discovery.”

Finally, success may be measured in the trust our stakeholders put in the College to provide the research to make quality of life better for citizens of the state. In the Noteworthy/News section, read about the recent $15 million research grant to the waste-management program to find alternatives to hog lagoons, an investment that demonstrates faith in our capability to produce results.

Providing the answers in the lab, in the classroom, in the field, in the community — that’s where our T+R+E success formula is a dependable mainstay for the citizens of North Carolina.


James L. Oblinger
Dean, College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences
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