Dr. William R. "Randy" Woodson was named the 14th chancellor of North Carolina State University on Friday, Jan 8, 2010.
Woodson arrived at NC State from Purdue University, where he served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. He took on the role of provost in May 2008, after serving nearly four years as the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. Prior to that, Woodson was the associate dean of agriculture and director of the Office of Agricultural Research Programs at Purdue from 1998 to 2004.
Woodson's career has been shaped by the land-grant university system, receiving BS, MS, and PhD degrees in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and Cornell University, respectively. He joined the Purdue faculty in 1985 as a professor in the Department of Horticulture after beginning his academic career at Louisiana State University in 1983.
Prior to his administrative appointments, Woodson served as head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue and was a visiting scholar at the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse, France.
Woodson and his research group contributed a substantial body of knowledge to the field of plant science, which is published in over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His research focuses on the biochemical and molecular basis of plant senescence and the role of the plant hormone ethylene in these processes. This research spans the gap between basic plant biochemistry and molecular biology to the application of this knowledge in the field of horticulture.
Discoveries in Woodson's program led to the development of molecular approaches to improve post-harvest storage and shipping of horticultural products, increasing the useful life for the consumer. His research has been featured in stories published in BusinessWeek, The Futurist, and Discover.
Woodson has received a number of professional honors during his career, including the Purdue University Agriculture Research Award, the American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Researcher Career Award, and the B.Y. Morrison Medal from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. He is a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science.
Woodson and his wife, Susan, have three children.