North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson delivered an impassioned state of the university address Tuesday in which he bridged the past and present – celebrating 125 years of impact as a land-grant institution and praising students, faculty and staff for a variety of recent first-time successes.
“NC State continues to transform lives on campus, in North Carolina, across our nation and throughout the world, every day,” the chancellor told a packed house in Stewart Theatre on NC State’s campus. “We have a great story to tell.
“We teach and train a career-ready workforce. We discover and transfer new knowledge to the marketplace. We drive economic development. We produce graduates who don’t just take jobs, they create them.”
Woodson spent a significant portion of the remarks praising a long list of accomplishments from the university community over the last year in the areas of research, student achievement, faculty investment, operational efficiency, donor recruitment, athletics and more.
The chancellor cited recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report that place NC State in the top five best values among public universities and one of the top universities with the lowest debt load. He mentioned the Wall Street Journal which placed NC State graduates among the top 20 most desired by recruiters, and a Fox Business report that called NC State a top value among only a handful of U.S. colleges – the only in North Carolina.
“One measure that sets us apart is the value attributed to an NC State education,” said Woodson. “We are consistently recognized as a best value for our combination of outstanding academic quality and affordability – and our graduates are among the most desired by job recruiters. That’s a powerful combination.”
The chancellor highlighted a number of firsts for the university within the last year, including:
- The strongest incoming freshman class in NC State’s 125-year history this fall, with average SATs over 1,200 and weighted GPAs over 4.3.
- NC State became the only university in the nation leading two active National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers, with the announcement of an $18 million NSF grant in September.
- $380 million in research activities last year, despite a shrinking pool of competitive research grants, which “makes NC State among the most productive research universities in the nation,” Woodson said.
- NC State received the highest federal award for community service, the Presidential Award, as part of the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
- Best year for giving in school history, including the addition of 3,000 new donors – which makes NC State the nation’s leader in attracting new donors, according to a survey of the nation’s 60 best public and private universities.
Woodson closed his remarks with a call to action: asking the university community to stand with him in support of higher education and public research institutions – particularly when tough economic times threaten funding. He talked about historical significance of land-grant universities and the vital role universities like NC State play in driving economic success.
“In our economic climate, it is important to talk about how seriously we take our mission to build on our land-grant legacy to create innovative, economic progress,” Woodson said.
“We have great momentum, and we have a history of service and achievement second to none. Because of all of you, our students, faculty and staff, NC State is an amazing place, a transformational university, one in which we should all be proud.”
A full transcript of the chancellor’s remarks, along with audio and video from the event will be available at the following link after 2 p.m. today: http://go.ncsu.edu/fall-forum