As we entered 2010, North Carolina State University’s academic and athletic rankings had never been worse. The University’s overall performance and perception amongst its large alumni base was in as deep of a valley as possibly could be imagined.
Enter new Chancellor, Randy Woodson…followed by new Athletics Director, Debbie Yow and you immediately have a re-energized alumni community lining up behind some very impressive and focused leaders.
Yesterday, Chancellor Woodson gave his “State of State” address that was covered here by Technician.
Woodson said the summer hiring of Athletic Director Debbie Yow was a tremendous achievement, and it’s already paying dividends.
“Debbie Yow is doing a fantastic job; she’s making sure student athletes are engaged in athletics, but also concerned with what happens off the field. Debbie wants to see all of our athletes excel as students,” he said.
The search for a permanent provost is still moving ahead, and Woodson said that hopefully, “that position will be filled in the coming weeks or months.”
Woodson also addressed the recent U.S. News and World Report college rankings, in which N.C. State fell from 83 to 111. Woodson said “I’m not a guy that manages toward rankings,” but he was not completely dismissive of the drop. I don’t think any of us were excited to see N.C. State drop out of top 100. [The ranking] does not reflect the quality of the institution, faculty or students,” Woodson said.
The report showed that as enrollment has increased, so has class size. “The faculty is not big enough for the size of the enrollment; classes are too large,” Woodson said. And with budget belts tightening statewide, Woodson said that raising the endowment is the elixir that will help cure future budget ills.
“We have to grow the endowment; it’s one of the smallest in our peer group. Our endowment is around $450 million, and it should be above $1 billion. It’s important to this institution to invest in the future so these budgetary waves we have to ride are a little easier,” Woodson said.
There was a silver lining to recent college rankings, however. The Wall Street Journal ranked N.C. State as 19 on its list of the 25 top universities for recruiters.
The only negative? Dr. Tom Stafford remains in his position – despite SFN being told at the beginning of the year that the ‘esteemed’ Dr. Stafford would finally be put to pasture.
Our message forums have hosted a lot of conversations in the last few months about recent rankings and the direction of the University. We always encourage our readers to supplement their ‘NC State time’ on the internet with visits – and sharing your thoughts – on our boards.