About Interim Chancellor Jim Woodward

June 9, 2009
By Chris Richter

james-h-woodward1Yesterday at the press conference in the Park Center, UNC System President Erskine Bowles made a point to describe Jim Woodward, right, as “chancellor in the interim” rather than interim chancellor. Chancellor Woodward will be leading NC State through a challenging period in which it will be rebuilding its leadership team and dealing with difficult budget-related decisions.

Woodward, who was chancellor of UNC-Charlotte from 1989 to 2005, already has some experience at NC State. During the 1968-69 school year, he was an assistant professor of engineering mechanics. From Raleigh, he moved to the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), where he worked his way up to senior vice president. He has bachelor’s, master’s and a doctoral degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from UAB.

Woodward helped to lead a transformation of UNC-Charlotte. As Business North Carolina wrote in 2004:

Appearances weren’t UNCC’s only problem. Though academically solid, it was a second-tier school, the first choice of few top students and a commuter campus for back-to-school housewives and community-college transfers. “One point Jim made to me repeatedly,” [Molly] Broad says, “was that Charlotte was the biggest and most important city without a major research university in the country. He was absolutely right.”

And he had set about changing that before Broad became UNC president in 1997. He persuaded the university system’s Board of Governors in 1993 to allow UNCC to offer two doctoral programs in engineering and one in math. “We’ve just got permission to plan our 13th doctoral program,” he says now. “That’s the single most important thing during my years here. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be sitting here, because we couldn’t have built a major university.”

The Charlotte Observer wrote about him today, as did Technician. We’ve already posted an article from the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. In 1999, Woodward talked at length with the UNC-TV program Black Issues Forum. And after the jump you can see a picture of Woodward Hall, a science and technology building on the UNC-Charlotte campus that’s named for Chancellor Woodward and his wife, Martha.


(Photographs courtesy of UNC-Charlotte)


One Response to “About Interim Chancellor Jim Woodward”

  1. June Brotherton says:

    Chancellor Woodward will do a fine job as Chancellor in the interim for NC State. I am retired now, but in my former role as assistant to the chancellor and legislative liaison for NC State, I had the opportunity to observe and talk with him on several occasions. Whenever the assistants to the chancellors from all of the campuses would meet, I always heard great things about Chancellor Woodward. My observation is that he is a leader, has great vision and the ability to motivate people to implement that vision, is focused, decisive and fair, and he certainly understands his role as a chancellor of a public institution. He worked hard at UNCC to make UNCC’s activities transparent to the public and the news media. I think he will bring great stability, yet maintain forward progress, as we seek a new Chancellor. This has been a sad and trying time for all alums and employees of the university we love, but a thoughtful decision on interim leadership has been made, and I hope he will have everyone’s support.

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