The 14th chancellor of NC State, Dr. Randy Woodson, stands at a podium against a black background.


Fourteen chancellors have led NC State since its founding in 1887. Under the leadership of Dr. Randy Woodson, North Carolina’s largest university has bolstered its reputation as a pre-eminent research enterprise.

Chancellor WoodsonDr. Randy Woodson, the 14th chancellor of North Carolina State University, is a nationally recognized scholar and academic leader and oversees the largest university in North Carolina with more than 34,000 students and a budget of $1.4 billion. Under his leadership, NC State has built upon its reputation as a preeminent research institution and has witnessed many transformative changes – The opening of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus, the launch of the College of Sciences and the completion of the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

Even in the face of unprecedented financial challenges, these advances were made possible thanks to Woodson's Strategic Plan, which aligned the university for greater effectiveness, efficiency and most importantly, greater student success.

As the landscape of funding for public universities continues to change, NC State consistently ranks in the Top 5 best values among public universities in the U.S., according to publications like the Wall Street Journal and the Princeton Review.

Chancellor Woodson has extensive experience as a member of university faculty and administration with a reputation for consensus building throughout his 30 year career in higher education. He came to NC State from Purdue University, where he most recently served as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Woodson is an internationally renowned plant molecular biologist specializing in reproductive processes in agricultural crops. He earned his undergraduate degree in Horticulture from the University of Arkansas and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Physiology from Cornell University.

Randy and Susan Woodson have three adult children.

Full Biography

Looking Down the Road

To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students:

In my last Chancellor’s letter to the campus community, I looked back on all the progress we have made on our Strategic Plan over the last three years. Never one to stand still, NC State is moving forward on the next three years as we push our success to new heights.

We recently released the implementation plan for the next three years of our strategic plan, and I hope you will go online and review it.

While there are many action steps we use to reach our goals as we move forward, we will continue to focus on increasing student success and investing in faculty while also improving institutional effectiveness as we grow and realign our resources.

For example, we will always search out new opportunities to provide high impact interdisciplinary academic experiences to our undergraduates and I firmly believe we have found another one in the new First Year Life Sciences program. It’s an excellent opportunity for students to explore the seemingly limitless career avenues in the life sciences. It’s been so successful, that College of Natural Resources Dean Mary Watzin and Vice Chancellor Mike Mullen are leading an effort to create a similar program for first year students in Environmental Sciences.

We will build on the success of the 12 interdisciplinary clusters we’ve been growing over the last three years through the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, with 35 outstanding faculty hired to date. I’ve initiated a new call for proposals to identify four to six additional clusters and funding for approximately 15-20 faculty lines with successful clusters to be announced by the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

We will also be focusing on and preparing for the launch of our public campaign. The university’s endowment has grown 76 percent in four years and annual giving is on the rise, which is, of course, great news. I’m also happy to report that our number of annual donors is up to about 24,050 from our baseline of just under 21,000 in 2011.

It will be important in the campaign to grow our base of donors and continue to bring in big gifts and partnerships that allow us to invest in our students and our faculty. The funds raised during the campaign will help us provide impactful experiences for our students enabling them to reach their highest potential. Generous gifts will also allow us to further invest in our faculty and the advancement of their cutting-edge scholarship.

Finally, we will continue to make the best use of our resources through the ongoing Strategic Resource Management process.

I know we will have many great accomplishments during the next three years and I look forward to sharing them with you in my future letters to the campus community.

In closing, Susan and I hope that you and your friends and family have a wonderful holiday season that is filled with joy, peace and prosperity.


Randy Woodson
NC State