As Vice Chancellor Charles Moreland retires this summer after a 38-year
career at NC State including ten years as quarterback for research and
graduate studies, he calls one last play. Go long, he advises.
Focus on the future. Be tenacious. And be patient. Its
his version of Wayne Gretzkys famous quote about skating to where
the puck is going to be.
While the astounding pace of change on NC States research scene
during Morelands tenure might make one question his patience, he
has clearly proven his focus and tenacity. NC States research expenditures
increased 70% on his watch, now topping $290 millionexceptional
for a university without a medical school. Ranked in the top 50 public
and private universities in research and development expenditures ten
years ago, NC State now ranks in the top 30. Moreland has also transformed
the universitys technology transfer operation which today holds
a premier national ranking with 235 patents and 35 spin-off companies.
Always pushing for new initiatives, Moreland led the creation of The
NC State Model for industry partnerships in innovation, entrepreneurship
and economic developmentso successful that NC State received a $500,000
grant from the National Science Foundation to disseminate the model to
other universities. Morelands key challenges in building the model
university foundations to invest in a seed venture capital fund for university-affiliated
start-up companies and getting office and lab incubators open on the Centennial
Under Morelands leadership, the university also began taking equity
in lieu of part of the license fees for companies that commercialize university
patents, giving the institution an upside benefit when those companies
are profitable. With a legendary sense of humor and an aversion for both
micro-management and unnecessary meetings, Moreland also catalyzed a cross-campus
effort to streamline the research proposal and administration process,
now electronically based.
It should not be forgotten that Charlie has also been a fantastic
classroom teacher who was so important to bringing excellence to what
was not a very strong chemistry department when he came here in 1964,
remembers longtime friend Bill Tucker, who joined the chemistry faculty
one year before Moreland arrived. His satisfaction comes from accomplishment,
not recognition. Thats what makes him such a great team player.
Moreland has played a key role in promoting faculty research in nanotechnology.
His persistence is credited for persuading university officials to begin
construction of Partners Building III, a new building for nanotechnology
researchers to break ground on Centennial Campus this fall.
While he credits the success to an outstanding faculty and administrative
team, his staff and his boss are unanimous in their praise for his decision-making