Local News

Welcome celebration held for new N.C. State chancellor

Posted February 17, 2010 9:04 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2010 3:37 p.m. EST

— Students and faculty at North Carolina State University were given a chance Wednesday to meet the school's chancellor-elect during a welcome celebration at Reynolds Coliseum.

William R. "Randy" Woodson, 52, will take up the helm at N.C. State in early April. He has served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., since May 2008.

“It’s a challenge when you're transitioning from one role to another because you've got a lot of work to do at home, but you're working hard to get prepared for your new job too,” Woodson said Wednesday.

Like N.C. State, Purdue is a public, land-grant university known for its engineering and agricultural sciences schools. 

Former Chancellor James Oblinger resigned from N.C. State in June amid questions over his role in hiring then-first lady Mary Easley in 2005 and questions about a lucrative payout he arranged for N.C. State's former provost, who also resigned over the Easley flap.

James Woodward, the retired chancellor of UNC-Charlotte, has served as N.C. State's chancellor in recent months.

Students with whom WRAL News spoke with Wednesday said they are ready for new campus leadership.

“I’m looking forward to a fresh start on campus. I think it is great to have him, and I’m really excited,” N.C. State student Sarah Beitzel said.

An Arkansas native and the son of teachers, Woodson received a bachelor's degree in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and master's and doctoral degrees from Cornell University. He began his teaching career at Louisiana State University in 1983.

Two years later, he moved to Purdue, where he became a respected researcher and teacher in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. He served as director of agricultural research from 1998 to 2004, when he was named dean of Purdue Agriculture.

Woodson's annual salary at N.C. State will be $420,000.