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

Free Speech — Alive and Well at NC State – April 28, 2016

One of the great benefits of a university campus is the free and open exchange of ideas. At NC State, we strive to foster free speech in an environment where members of our community can learn from one another and where all are treated with dignity and respect.

Earlier this week, the Alliance Defending Freedom organization based in Arizona filed a lawsuit against NC State over our student speech and distribution of materials policy. The Alliance group claims the policy is unconstitutional and unfairly enforced. Unfortunately, there is some misinformation being spread about the facts of this case.

To be clear, this lawsuit is without merit; the implication that an organization has been treated differently on our campus because they are a religious group is false. In fact, over the past year alone the university issued more than 20 permits to the student group in question, and no group has ever been denied a permit based on religion.

NC State University issues hundreds of permits each and every year to religious, political, healthcare, public and special interest oriented groups. Over the past 3 years, NC State University issued 2280 permits to student and non-university groups to either speak or distribute information on campus. Of those issued, close to 500 were issued to faith-based groups or individuals. None of these individuals or groups have ever been denied the right to speak or distribute materials based upon their message content or beliefs.

The university – along with all universities – is allowed to manage requests by speakers or those wanting to distribute materials based on permissible time, place and manner concerns. We do this to manage the volume of requests, pedestrian traffic concerns, prevent overlapping time and location bookings, and ensure the university can carry out its primary mission of teaching our students. NC State reviews requests solely for time, place and manner considerations without regard to messaging or beliefs.

Our University has a long history of engaging, thought-provoking discussions, public debate and the protection of varying viewpoints.  NC State is committed to ensuring this proud history continues, and that one of our institution’s core values -- freedom of thought and expression – will always remain alive and well at this great university.


Randy Woodson
NC State