The General Standards of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS, soon to become the College of Sciences, COS) for promotion to the rank of full professor are given in http://policies.ncsu.edu/rule/rul-05-67-706 and partially copied below. A very brief interpretation of guidelines for promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor is as follows:
2.1 Initial appointments as assistant professor are made on the basis of accomplishments, promise and ability in teaching, scholarly activity, and engagement and extension, as appropriate.
Initial appointment as associate professor, promotion to associate professor, and the conferral of tenure are based on performance: demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and engagement and extension, as appropriate. Excellent teaching is most apparent when high expectations are set and students meet these expectations, and when students demonstrate high levels of learning. Generally, this involves an instructional format that inspires students to participate and go beyond the minimal expectations for satisfactory performance. Grant support is an important external recognition of a person's research; it is an expression of confidence by experts in the field that the work is worth doing. Likewise, peer reviewed publications attest to the quality and significance of an investigation. These accomplishments, along with invited talks and assessments by external experts, are among the measures of impact of a faculty member's research.
Appointment as, or promotion to associate professor, or the conferral of tenure, requires demonstrated accomplishment, not merely the potential for accomplishment.
Appointment as or promotion to professor is based on sustained excellence in teaching, scholarly productivity, and engagement and extension as appropriate. All of the qualities that apply to the rank of associate professor should be present with more substantial expectations and evidence of major impact. It is important that external measures of the importance of current work be obtained, and in this sense all areas such as peer reviewed publications, talks, grants, teaching and departmental participation should be strong.