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History of North Carolina State University, Part II

In the midst of the Depression, the General Assembly of 1931 attempted to promote economy and to prevent unnecessary duplication among the three leading state institutions of higher education by establishing a single consolidated administration for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, and North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro.

Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president of the University of North Carolina, was elected president of the consolidated university, and Dr. Brooks, with the title of vice president, continued as chief administrative officer at State College. Among the consequences of consolidation were the phasing out of the School of Engineering at Chapel Hill and the School of Science and Business at Raleigh.

A general college, later called the Basic Division, was established to provide two years of basic courses in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as a foundation for students in the various degree-granting technical and professional schools.

Colonel John W. Harrelson


Colonel John W. Harrelson, Class of 1909, was the first alumnus to become administrative head of State College. Under the consolidated organization his title was Dean of Administration; later it was changed to chancellor.

During Harrelson’s administration the institution experienced the beginning of extraordinary growth in the aftermath of World War II. Two new schools were established: the School of Design and the School of Forestry.

Carey H. Bostian


A multimillion-dollar expansion program was completed during the administration of Carey H. Bostian, and the program of student activities was greatly enlarged, as enrollment passed 5,000.

John T. Caldwell


The faculty and student population more than doubled during the administration of John T. Caldwell, and another new school was organized: the School of Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics (now the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences).

The School of General Studies, the successor to the Basic Division, was renamed the School of Liberal Arts and was authorized to offer a full range of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the humanities and social sciences. The name of the institution itself was changed in 1965 to North Carolina State University, signifying its new role as a comprehensive university.

Caldwell retired as chancellor in 1975, but afterward he continued to teach in the Department of Political Science.

Joab L. Thomas


NC State’s enrollment passed 20,000 during the administration of Chancellor Joab L. Thomas. The School of Veterinary Medicine was established, the name of the School of Liberal Arts was changed to School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and North Carolina State University was recognized as one of two major research universities within the statewide University of North Carolina.

Bruce R. Poulton


Bruce R. Poulton became chancellor in the fall of 1982. A major expansion of the university’s research budget, the establishment of a substantial endowment to provide enlarged resources for research equipment and endowed professorships, and the addition of the 1,000-acre Centennial Campus occurred during this administration.

All of the schools were renamed colleges except for the School of Design and the Graduate School. In addition, the School of Education became the College of Education and Psychology.

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