vision & mission


To be a leader in ethically grounded, interdisciplinary data science and artificial intelligence research and educational practices that serve our local and global community.


We commit to excellence in education, research, and community engagement to shape and lead the future of data science education, research, and practice. We will teach our students to be responsible and ethical data science practitioners, leaders, researchers, and innovators in an increasingly data-driven and global society.


As one of the first Schools of Data Science in the nation, we will be a thought leader in the field. We believe transparency is critical to developing trust in data science in all communities. To frame our actions, we commit to:

Academic Excellence: Providing an exceptional academic experience for all students of data science that enhances their lives and careers while simultaneously improving our communities.

Interdisciplinary Research, Discovery, and Innovation: Using data and data science in interdisciplinary ways to generate new knowledge, understanding, and advancement in relationships with our communities and industry partners.

Community Engagement: Forging non-profit, government, and industry partnerships that strengthen and prepare our data science students to be engaged and impactful citizens in the communities in which they live and work.

Integrity and Respect: Adhering to the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards, ensuring a collegial culture that embraces civil discourse. Treating all members of the School and the community with respect, fairness, and dignity.

Student Success: Championing data science education for all and ensuring a consistent culture where students, faculty, and staff feel supported and empowered to learn, grow, and succeed.

Access and Economic Mobility: Providing equal access to excellent data science education for students from all backgrounds, as well as being an engine of change to improve the economy, society, and well-being of our region and state.

Sustainable Environment: Stewarding the scarce resources of our world by ethically, responsibly, and justly conducting our programs and protecting the natural environment through resilient and sustainable practices.

Four Pillars

1. EDUCATION (Data Literacy, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence)

Definition: Empowering individuals through data literacy, data science pedagogy, and research to constructively engage with their communities.

Goal: Transform lives through data science education

Actions for 2025:

  • Undergraduate
    • Increase enrollment in the BS program while strengthening capacity through strategic recruitment of personnel and allocation of resources.
    • Initiate a system of continuous improvement for studio course curriculum and implementation.
    • Develop and teach the third and fourth studios that include the development of a capstone course that integrates community projects.  
    • Launch and mature the Sports Analytics Certificate program.  Launch the BS in Sports Analytics.
    • Create elective undergraduate courses.
  • Graduate
    • Optimize enrollment in MS to balance resources and demand.
    • Establish and launch a new Ph.D. in Data Science program.
  • Minors
    • Develop data literacy courses and minor (BHEF).
    • Explore partnerships with departments for interdisciplinary minors with data analytics and artificial intelligence at the core.
  • Student engagement
    • Encourage the BS students to create their own student organization. 
    • Maximize student engagement in advising activities and participation in the data science student organization.
    • Continue to support and encourage participation in the Sports Analytics Club.
    • Facilitate applied learning opportunities.
  • End Transition phase of SDS
    • Stabilize SDS processes.
    • Ensure appropriate faculty engagement and structure such that SDS is on a sustainable path.


Definition: Ethically grounded, systematic investigation to create knowledge that serves the interests of the local and global community.

Goal: Create opportunities through applied interdisciplinary research that utilizes data science and artificial intelligence methods that are grounded in the needs and values of our broad community.

Actions for 2025:

  • Expand collaboration, grant proposals, and funding awards with interdisciplinary SDS teams.
  • Identify physical and virtual spaces to collaborate with campus, community, and industry partners.
  • Build research, education, and infrastructure partnerships with the Charlotte Regional Data Trust [DTSC capstone, board membership and committee participation]. 
  • Foster a unique culture of identity among the multidisciplinary affiliate and joint faculty of the School of Data Science to promote faculty collaboration, engagement and advancement of pedagogy and research in data science.
  • Facilitate industry input and collaboration through joint research projects and seminars.


Definition: Both the physical environment and the cultural alignment of those within the local and global data science community.

Goal: Engage the Charlotte and campus communities by creating accessible pathways for research and practice.

Actions for 2025:

  • Recruit, retain, and graduate community-engaged data science students
  • Develop a culture of community service within SDS
  • Move community data stewardship program beyond the pilot stage
  • Develop engagement plan for NPOs and local NGOs (e.g., Girls Who Code)
  • Continue to evolve and grow community-focused conferences
  • Continue hosting Analytics Frontiers and Women in Data Science conferences
  • Address enrollment gaps and foster educational success in data science for underserved North Carolinians
  • Expand internship programs and opportunities for our undergraduate students
  • Facilitate hiring of graduates through industry engagement and resume book distribution


Definition: The ability of students to find and complete their educational path through data science and artificial intelligence education.

Goal: Develop/Refine curricula and processes to streamline educational pathways to enable student progress, improve student retention, increase timely graduation, and lower student debt. 

Actions for 2025:

  • Expand scholarships and endowments with a focus on supporting students with need
  • Continue to build a national reputation for the appropriate use of data and data science
  • Develop a plan to reach and recruit high school students from all areas of North Carolina and the Southeast U.S.
  • Build out articulation agreements with community colleges across North Carolina
  • Encourage and build partnerships with public-facing University assets including athletics