In 1992, our departments of accounting, business and economics, which were split between the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, came together to become NC State’s newest college: the College of Management. As a faculty member in our accounting department, I am one of a handful of folks who have been able to say that I’ve been with the college since the beginning.
What a ride it’s been.
In reflecting on the last 30 years of Poole, I am reminded that since the beginning, we’ve always held true to who we are as a university: an innovative, tech-driven, land-grant institution. Instead of bending our mission to match our peers, we’ve leaned into what makes NC State one of the premier institutions in the country – and blazed our own path. We applied the Think and Do mindset to every area of our college, listening to the multifaceted needs of our industry partners in order to launch graduates into the marketplace who are ready to make an immediate impact in the industry. Despite our relatively young “age,” Poole College has earned a reputation as one of the top schools for entrepreneurship, analytics, supply chain management and more.
Instead of bending our mission to match our peers, we’ve leaned into what makes NC State one of the premier institutions in the country – and blazed our own path.
Naming gifts from Ben Jenkins, Lonnie and Carol Poole and Judy and Steve Zelnack gave us the extra resources we needed to propel us forward and excel. While none of these individuals are graduates of our program, they were some of our earliest advocates who saw our vision and were willing to steward their finances to help us get where we wanted to go. And they believed in us enough to stake their names on it.
Now, like myself, they are seeing the fruits of that labor. When I first set foot into Nelson Hall, I remember thinking that we would never fill the building. Today, we’re bursting at the seams. Our college receives the second most applicants (behind engineering) because potential students want to be a part of what we are doing. Our rankings and reputation continue to climb, as well.
Despite our relatively young “age,” Poole College has earned a reputation as one of the top schools for entrepreneurship, analytics, supply chain management and more.
Poole College’s newest strategic framework positions us well for the future and meets the needs of the next generation. We will continue to engage in our land-grant mission by partnering with businesses and industry to see future needs and remain agile enough to continually update our programs to ensure our graduates have the skills that employers want. We will work hard to expand our high-impact experiences so that all our students leave our college career-ready and prepared to work in a diverse, fast-paced environment.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to celebrate our past 30 years – but I’m even more excited for what lies ahead.
Always looking forward,
Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean
Poole College of Management