Chancellor Woodson talks diversity & more

Chris Hart-Williams | Editor-in-Chief


NUBIAN MESSAGE: What advice would you give an incoming N.C. State student?

CHANCELLOR WOODSON: I think that the most critical advice is that this is a big place. I think the most critical thing for freshman is to try to find sort of their niche. I think it insures that they’re more likely to be successful if they become more involved in a community on campus, that could be your major, that could be a club, it could be the floor on your residence hall, but something that helps get themselves connected to others here on campus. That’s number one. Number two is go to class. For students that come here particularly right out of high school this is sort of their first experience with independence and it can get away more quickly from you than you think. So you’ve got to stay more on top of your school work and making sure that you know and have good time management skills.

Woodson speaking candidly with with Chris Hart-Williams in his Holladay Hall office. 

NUBIAN MESSAGE: What would you say to students about diversity here at N.C. State?

CHANCELLOR WOODSON: Diversity we define it broadly here at N.C. State. It’s socioeconomic diversity, it’s ethnic diversity, it’s cultural diversity. Most of our students that come to N.C. State will have never been in a more diverse environment than they are on our campus. N.C. State this next Fall will have our lowest proportion of white students in the freshman class ever in our history. We have a growing number of Hispanic students, we have a growing number of Asian students, and thankfully our freshman class for African American is going to be 20 percent higher this fall than it was last fall.

We are starting to really focus on making sure that we have a diverse environment. But for me, at a university you ought to be able to explore diversity in a more real way than you ever have in your life. Why is diversity important to us? It’s because that’s the way the world works now. We want our students, when they leave N.C. State, to be prepared to work with people from all cultures and backgrounds if they are going to be successful.

NUBIAN MESSAGE: What should do you plan to discuss in your Fall address?

CHANCELLOR WOODSON: N.C. State has a strategic plan we are trying to follow. We call it a path way to the future, its sort of a road map for how N.C. State wants to continue to develop as a institution. So during my Fall address I will discuss the progress we’ve made in the past four or five years and the steps we are taking to continue to make progress in spite of some of the fiscal challenges we face because of the state budget. You can count on me talking about budget issues, you can count on me talking about where we are with staffing, with hiring and retaining faculty and critical staff.

NUBIAN MESSAGE: What do you think will be most impacted buy the state budget, cost of tuition or staffing?

CHANCELLOR WOODSON: Tuition is not going to increase this Fall for in-state students. We are going to do everything we can to hold tuition low and fees.  If the state keeps cutting us we are going to and currently have to figure out how to operate with less money and become more efficient.  We are going to have less money this year than we did last year.

NUBIAN MESSAGE: What do you say to members of the state legislature concerning the funding of public universities such as N.C. State?

CHANCELLOR WOODSON: What I say to them all the time is that they need to give us maximum flexibility to use the money that we have to its highest and best use.