Yesterday 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)