The UNC Board of Governors made it public today that the new Chancellor at NC State will be former Purdue Provost and administrator Dr. William “Randy” Woodson. Please look here for a small statement from Chancellor Woodson from this morning’s BOG meeting.
“I think the most important thing going forward is to get to know the institution; take the time to learn the culture, to learn the leadership team, get to know the leaders in the state so that they have confidence that the university is in good hands,” said Woodson. “It’s really about the confidence in the leadership.”
Scattered below are a few quotes from the News and Observer’s story on the same.
“I’m proud to be part of the Wolfpack Nation,” Woodson proclaimed after a standing ovation from a crowd that included NCSU leaders and the chancellors of the other universities in the system.
There’s obvious reason for us as alumni to be skeptical of any administrative hire at our University. We’ve certainly had more than our fair share of disappointment over the last few months. This hire, however, is hopefully going to be of the sort that in years to come we will look back on and wonder how fortunate we were to land someone of Chancellor Woodson’s caliber. The University, riddled by scandal, can go nowhere but up in many ways. To that extent Chancellor Woodson’s job will be easy. It’s like being hired to follow the Les Robinson years as NC State basketball coach and then failing to be “successful” given the context. It’s hardly possible. Woodson will be successful here and ultimately held in high esteem as long as he can avoid lunch date with a Federal Grand Jury.
What convinced Bowles, he said, was Woodson’s combination of attributes, including his people skills, vision, experience and passion.
Woodson, he said, had earned a reputation for great integrity and sound judgement as he rose through the ranks to become Purdue’s provost.
Nonetheless, we wanted an outsider and that’s what we have in this hire. Upon information and belief, Woodson is a man of great integrity who will objectively assess the “leadership” and “culture” and have the gumption to make any necessary decisions he sees fit. The bottom line: Woodson’s professional reputation is on the line without a network of support in the “culture.” I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before some fat gets trimmed.
Woodson said he wanted to become more familiar with NCSU before talking much about any changes he might make, but said one thing he knew he wanted was for the university to do a better job of telling it’s story.
Rumor has it that the guy is full of personality. That’s a huge upgrade from where we were. His job, in part, is to sell our University to the country, to potential students, to industry both in the state and abroad. That cannot be done effectively without having an administration that can be of and with the people. That obviously starts at the top. I, for one, welcome a guy who is willing and able to talk to those who need to hear what our University offers and represents.
As we’ve pointed out here countless times at SFN, perhaps the most obvious face of a university is its athletics programs. If you ask ten people on the street what their thoughts are about any university, nine of those folks will immediately turn to athletics in their description. That’s because in our culture college athletics is a media darling and cash cow. It’s been mentioned to me that Chancellor Woodson not only understands this (which is so obviously apparent to all of us but previously ignored by past NC State administrators) but that he embraces it.
He described himself as a passionate supporter of college athletics and said he understood its importance and tradition at NCSU
A friend of mine (and staunch Tar Heel mind you) has a close family connection to Purdue athletics. Here is some insight from his email to me regarding Chancellor Woodson:
Talked to my (ommitted) about this the other day and he said the guy is a great guy, personal friend, very conservative, and the all the coaches wanted him to be the (head guy) at Purdue because he is a very big athletic supporter. (Omitted) is actually close with him and said he will be the best Chancellor NCSU has ever had. He will promote athletics, revenue programs and said you might even have a chance now taking it to the next level. Good news for the Pack.
The follow up communication makes me even more giddy. Read, comprehend and savor what this means for NC State athletics.
This guy is the number two guy at Purdue behind their lady President and the head coaches have been trying to get him promoted to President for years. Purdue’s President is the equal to State’s Chancellor. The guy will shake it up no doubt. He was the old Agriculture head and from a “fit” perspective he will slide right in Raleigh. I actually just called (source) again and talked some more about it and the word is that NSCU better take care of him because when they (have an opening) that Purdue will try to bring an Indiana boy back home to run their school. All word of mouth of course. You may or may not know but Big 10 athletics is the real deal. Makes the ACC look like a joke from top to bottom with revenue and non revenue sports. Forget Carolina and Duke basketball. You have to look at the big picture. He will do very well and am sure he will make some changes. I do know one bullet point that (source) mentioned is that every coach likes this guy which is very different in an academic setting. Usually a fit for power with the administration. Atheltic success is a mentality that is built throughout the school. For instance look at Purdue’s program from top to bottom. Every other sport is ranked. They have no world beaters (well basketball is #4 right now) but they know how to run it like a business. Non of the sports are great (like a Carolina or Duke basketball program) but they all compete each year never sucking (hotdogs) like we see with every couple years with UNC and NCSU football. More importantly their administration embraces the athletic program and gets what truly makes the school money. The ACC schools are a joke putting all of there eggs into one sport for each respective school. In that regard this big time Big 10 guy can only help the Pack. He might just be the guy to turn the corner in a couple years. Whoever picked him did their homework….. as Purdue is bummed in the loss. Losing a guy like this can effect them adversely as well.
It’s only natural for our fan base to be wary. We’ve been burned so many times before. However, we are also some of the most loyal fans a worthy administrator could ask for. It seems that Chancellor Woodson is more than deserving of our support. Further, given the tone of the email set out above he is likely someone who will not only help our athletics department creep from the depths of the ACC cellar, but will potentially help us make significant strides to becoming an all around top-notch athletic program.
Statefansnation.com welcomes Chancellor Woodson and is excited about the future of NC State and NC State athletics while under his care. “Here, Here” to Interim Chancellor Woodward (thanks so much for all you’ve done for NC State), Erskine Bowles (that took some effort for me to say but it’s necessary in this isolated instance) and all of those who had a hand in bringing Chancellor Woodson to Raleigh!!!
I know a number of SFN authors, SFN readers, prominent alumni, not-so-prominent alumni, coaches, and students who will gladly put on the rubber boots, grab a shovel, and help Woodson shovel some shit when the time is right. Let the clean-up and rebuilding begin!