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

New Beginnings

To the Faculty, Students and Staff,

Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year at NC State. I hope you are ready for what is sure to be another exciting and memorable year, filled with academic challenges and opportunities.

I especially want to offer a warm welcome to the 4,200+ new freshman and transfer students joining us, along with 2,800 new graduate students, which includes more than 1,100 new international graduate students.  You’ve made a great decision to come to NC State, and I encourage you to make the most of everything an education here has to offer.

The newly renovated Talley Student Union is now up and running and has hosted all of our new students during freshman orientation sessions during the summer. It’s already become a very popular location with our students, and nearly everything is now moved and operational.

Mark your calendar for Sept. 9. From 2-5 p.m. we’ll have the public dedication of the Talley Student Union.

Another big change to our campus is a new unit called University College (UC). It brings together the First Year College, unaffiliated academic departments in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs that are not currently housed in a college and provides an administrative home for interdisciplinary minors and certificates not currently housed in a college.

The UC provides a home for exploratory and transitional students, promotes the academic success of all students, including high-achieving students, who benefit from academic advising, tutoring, honors, scholars, undergraduate research and other UC high impact programs.

The new academic year is also a time of tradition at NC State, with annual events that bring the Wolfpack together. And many of these events take place right at the start of the semester, during our annual Wolfpack Welcome Week.

One example is our yearly Convocation, taking place on Monday, August 17. We’ll gather at PNC Arena for a spectacular pep rally event, complete with musical performances, Class of 2019 t-shirt giveaways, and a talk by the author of this year’s common reading selection. It’s always a high energy event as we celebrate new beginnings and Wolfpack Pride.

Another hallmark event is Packapalooza – an all-day block party and street festival on Hillsborough Street. It’s truly a sight to see, with hundreds of vendors, university organizations, and sponsors providing everything needed for a blowout celebration of all things NC State. Last year 55,000 members of the Wolfpack Family were in attendance, enjoying musical performances, games and prizes, and other activities throughout the day.

A new academic year always brings new and innovative experiences to NC State and introduces a new class to Wolfpack traditions. As you can see, the 2015-2016 academic year is no exception, and there’s a lot to look forward to this year. I hope you are all ready to get started and looking forward to the fall semester as much as I am.


Randy Woodson