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

Three years into the Strategic Plan

To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students:

In what seems like the blink of an eye, four exciting years have passed since I arrived at NC State. Very early on after that, we began putting our strategic priorities in order. The path to even greater success for NC State is through intelligent planning, making the best decisions and making smart investments. As we embark on the next three years of our strategic plan, I thought I’d pause to reflect on some of our progress thus far.

You have heard me talk about our ten year plan before and its focus on five key areas: Student success, faculty and infrastructure investment, research solutions, organizational improvements and partnerships and outreach. We’ve made some great strides towards our goals.

A new Enrollment Wizard and Advising Dashboard have made the registration and advising process more effective and efficient. We created a new Distance Education tuition model to make the costs of online courses equitable with standard classes. And the new Division of Academic and Student Affairs streamlined two existing divisions for greater efficiency and student success.

Through the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence and the University Faculty Scholars Program we are recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty who are working to solving the world’s problems while they also prepare the next generation of scholars and researchers.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we opened the James B. Hunt Jr. Library – the most advanced library in the world; created the College of Sciences and reorganized the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to be stronger and more focused. We also reimagined the university-industry partnership model with the opening of the Eastman Innovation Center which sets a new standard for interdisciplinary research and collaboration.

Putting together a long-term plan isn’t simply creating a list of goals and mapping them to a timeline. Setting goals is relatively easy. Making them happen takes relentless focus and unwavering commitment from the entire organization.

The last three years have been incredibly successful for NC State and the next three years of our strategic plan will bring us even greater success.

In the coming weeks I will have more information about our strategic direction for the next three years and the next group of goals we are setting our sights on. Stay tuned.


Randy Woodson
NC State