Chancellor says N.C. State needs to raise its profile

Posted April 14, 2010 4:37 p.m. EDT
Updated April 14, 2010 6:31 p.m. EDT

— New North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson says one of his top priorities is to raise the university's national reputation, meaning administrators, faculty and students can no longer be modest about their achievements.

"The state motto is 'To be rather than to seem,' in other words, don't be boastful, just be practical," Woodson said. "N.C. State has taken that to a new level.

"My sense is to work hard and to be world-class and to remind people of who you are," he said.

Woodson spent 25 years at Purdue University – like N.C. State, it's a land-grant university known for its engineering and agricultural sciences schools – as a plant researcher and university administrator. He said he wasn't looking to leave but is glad to be in North Carolina.

"I grew up in Arkansas, and I know what pine pollen is all about," he said with a laugh. "It was quite welcomed last week to experience pine pollen in its most amazing sense."

The 14th chancellor in N.C. State's 123-year history, he was hired after former Chancellor James Oblinger resigned in the wake of the controversy over the hiring and promotion of former first lady Mary Easley.

"The most important thing for N.C. State and for me as chancellor is to restore confidence and trust in the leadership of the institution, and the best way to do that is to do my job and to do it transparently and effectively," Woodson said.

A self-described "huge" sports fan, he said he's committed to excellence in athletics as well as academics.

"We need to be competitive as any university in the country in recruiting the best academic talent in the country, and we are," he said.

Watch the complete interview with Randy Woodson on WRAL's "On the Record" with David Crabtree at 7 p.m. Saturday.