Aug 8, 2022 - News

Local Limelight with N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson

Photo illustration of Randy Woodson in the center of a Polaroid photo under a green spotlight.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: North Carolina State University

Axios Raleigh's latest Local Limelight guest is N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson, who told us he has an addiction to buying guitars and was in a Led Zeppelin cover band called Zorro and the Blue Footballs in the '70s.

🍲 Favorite place to eat in the Triangle: My son's restaurant, Brewery Bhavana. My second favorite is Crawford & Son.

πŸ’» First read in the morning: I don't read email after 9pm, because I've learned if I do then something's going to keep me awake. So, the first thing I check is my email and then bounce back and forth between the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

πŸ“•Last great book you read: "Cuba: An American History" by Ada Ferrer.

The one thing you'd add to N.C. State's campus: This is a simple answer for me, because it's one of our biggest challenges. I would add a pedestrian-and-bike bridge across Western Boulevard connecting Centennial Campus and Main Campus.

  • We've got 10,000 to 15,000 students every day, trying to get between Centennial Campus and main campus.

β›° Favorite vacation spot: A little cabin in Ashe County. When we moved here, having spent a quarter of a century in the Midwest, we longed for the coast. But I’ve fallen in love with the mountains.

πŸŽ“ How you ended up in Triangle: Recruited from Purdue University to N.C. State as chancellor 13 years ago.

🚌 What do you think the Triangle is missing? We need better transportation. I think rail is the best option to connect the growing communities that make up the Triangle. I'd love to see better connections between N.C. State, Durham and Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park and the airport.

🎸 How you unwind at the end of the day: I play music. Either an acoustic guitar or I put my headphones on and play blues electric guitar.

🐺 What you're looking forward to: I'm looking forward to the return of about 38,000 students to N.C. State. And then, secondarily, I am excited about the football season.

πŸ”¬ How he thinks North Carolina high schoolers can better prepare for college: Have good science and math in their portfolio from high school.

  • And that's true for our humanities students as well, because we're one of those universities that's dominated by science, math and engineering. And so even our social sciences and humanities majors at N.C. State are steeped in the quantitative fields.
  • Increasingly, students are turning to community colleges to help with that as well. We transferred a lot of students from community colleges to N.C. State.
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