Chancellor Randy Woodson delivered an impassioned state of the university address Tuesday to a packed house of students, faculty and staff in Stewart Theater who heard the chancellor bring historical perspective to NC State’s land-grant mission and highlight the local, national and global impact the university has made over the last 125 years.
The Chancellor spent a significant portion of the remarks praising a long list of accomplishments from the university community over the last year. He noted NC State’s recent high rankings as one of the best values among public universities and one of the top national universities with the lowest debt load for students.
“Think about that: we’re among the top in quality, best in value — and our graduates are among the most desired by job recruiters. That’s a powerful combination,” the Chancellor said.
Chancellor Woodson mentioned how this year’s incoming freshman class was the most academically strong in the university’s 125-year history with average SAT scores over 1200 and weighted GPAs over 4.3 He called last year the best fundraising year in history with the university bringing in $111 million. The Chancellor praised the university’s success in research, citing $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,” he said. NC State also became the only university in the nation leading two active NSF Engineering Research Centers.
The Chancellor closed his remarks with a call to action; urging the university community to stand with him in support of higher education and public research institutions. He talked about historical significance of land-grant universities and the vital role universities like NC State play in driving economic success. He implored the crowd to challenge those who support cuts to higher education funding in tough economic times.
“We teach and train a career-ready workforce. We discover and transfer new knowledge to the marketplace. We attract partners in government and industry, and drive economic development. We produce graduates who don’t just take jobs, they create them.”
“I hope you will join me in communicating directly, clearly and often about the substantial impact and absolute importance of public research universities like ours to the future prosperity of our state and nation.”