Woodson: Your best brand is the graduates

A nice event summarized here in Technician. (Thank goodness they weren’t trying to write about sports).

Woodson said when he arrived at N.C. State after working in various capacities at Purdue University for more than 25 years, he said he knew this university was “world class and had real strengths,” but said he saw it as a case of “where the sum of the parts weren’t greater than the whole.”

Woodson said the accomplishments of the faculty members at N.C. State were astounding, and unlike Purdue, which had three elected members to the National Academy of Sciences at the time when he left that institution, N.C. State had 11 elected members of the NAS, and 11 members elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Despite these accomplishments, Woodson said N.C. State was not getting the attention it deserved, and it was having trouble keeping its best faculty members.

Because of this, Woodson said he has been especially interested in improving N.C. State’s brand, because although it may seem trivial, maintaining a strong brand name is critical in keeping the best faculty members and researchers. The rise in reputation is what has brought national attention to the institution, and culminated in significant research initiatives, Woodson said.

Among these include President Barack Obama’s announcement that N.C. State would lead a $140 million consortium concentrating on semi-conductor applications, as well as the initiative announced last year for a $60 million National Security Agency laboratory to be installed on Centennial Campus.

Woodson dismissed the notion that the U.S. News World Rankings measure the quality of an education a university offers.

“U.S. News does nothing to measure the quality of the faculty,” Woodson said. “All it measures is how much money you spend on your students and the size of your classes.”

Woodson said there is not a single public university in the top-20 colleges in the United States, according to U.S. News.

“Do you believe Berkeley is not as good as Duke?” Woodson said. “U.S. News is not a good metric for the quality of an institution’s education. People’s perception of the University drive their decisions. It drives students and it drives faculty, and it’s hard to maintain a world-class faculty when they feel they are not at a world-class recognized institution.”

Woodson said he considers other metrics to measure a university’s success.

“How much is your research recognized around the University?” Woodson said. “How often are The New York Times and the Washington Post citing your scientists for the work they do. While it’s hard to capture, I want to lead an institution where we have the ability, and we have the programs which haven’t been clearly articulated to the rest of the world.”

“Your best brand is the graduates, and what they do, and how proud they are of the University,” Woodson said. “I went to Silicon Valley, where the Chief Operating Officer of Apple [Jeff Williams] is an N.C. State graduate. I threw an alumni event, and we had 200 people there, and it was the first time a chancellor of this University had been in California to hold an event like that.”

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    A nice event summarized here in Technician. (Thank goodness they weren’t trying to write about sports). Woodson said when he arrived at N.C. State aft
    [See the full post at: Woodson: Your best brand is the graduates]


    I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again:

    I love me some Randy.


    Proud to be a NC State Alum.

    What is the ROI on a NC State degree? 13.9% – 11th in the nation

    Payscale College ROI Ranking.

    #1 in the State of North Carolina!


    Just a side note about the good Chancellor – apparently he is a bit of a homebrewer. I ran into him at Atlantic Brew supply a couple of weeks ago (ACC Tournament Weekend). Just spoke in passing with him, but he sounded like a super nice\down to earth guy.


    Great article.

    Woodson seems to be doing a very good job.


    Having had the great pleasure of personally speaking to Randy Woodson on several occasions in several different settings, I can tell you that he’s a hell of a (Renaissance) man. He’s exactly what our University needed. He can talk to anyone on their level and he’s personable and sincere.

    I’ve said this before but when we hired him I reached out to the Purdue golf coach who was once at Chapel Hill through his son. The assessments of Woodson as a University administrator and leader were something you don’t hear often from anyone critiquing anything: completely 100% positive.

    With him at the helm, the golden age of NC State University is ahead. It’s an exciting time to be an alum.


    Looking forward to meeting Dr. Woodson next week as the Houston Chapter of the NC State Alumni Association hosts a reception for him at Space Center Houston. The head of the Physics Department is supposed to speak. Let’s see how many of the 600+ Alumni in the greater Houston slug their way down the Gulf Fwy for the event.

    As for the brand, our neighbor, who thinks she wants to major in Bio-Medical Engineering is strongly considering NC State even though her mom went to Wake and her dad is an Aggie.


    I had the privilege of attending NCSU when John Caldwell was Chancellor. Randy Woodson reminds me very much of John. And, to me, that’s saying quite a bit for Randy.


    For the first time in the past 20 years, we have a Chancellor who actually is focused on the right things, has a plan and has the leadership abilities to actually bring it to reality.

    We need to keep Woodson a long, long time.


    Or in U*NC’s case, the “graduates.”


    So did the University have to kiss the ring of the NSA in order to get the semiconductor deal? Not at all happy about having the NSA running their crap on my alma mater’s campus.

    Excuse me while I turn my Rockwell/Paul mode off…


    Ha, I can remember a day when I was significantly to Wally’s right! 😀


    I have bookmarked the ROI page and will happily trot that out whenever a *nx student, alum or fan has anything to say about the quality of one education vs another.


    Grads are the best brand, love it! NCSU grads are proud of our school and we know our degree is worth more today than yesterday.

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