There are good people out there - let's find one...
Dr. Randy Woodson, Purdues current provost, will take on new duties as chancellor at North Carolina State University as early as May 1.
Some information about him:
"Dr. Woodson brings the understanding of the importance of land-grant universities and their role in our world. His extensive leadership experience as an executive officer, administrator and faculty member at Purdue afford him the appreciation for NC State's own land-grant mission and its vital importance to the people of North Carolina. We are excited to have Dr. Woodson and his family joining NC State and look forward to his leadership."NC State chancellor Jim Woodward
"There is not a doubt in my mind that Randy Woodson is absolutely the right person to lead North Carolina State today and in the years ahead. Over the past 25 years, he has accumulated a wealth of academic and leadership experience at one of the best land-grant institutions in America. At each step along the way, he has proven himself to be an engaged and effective leader who promotes openness and collaboration, strategic thinking and creative problem-solving, and a real-life commitment to academic excellence and student success. He also has earned a reputation for great integrity, sound judgment and an unwavering commitment to the special mission of the land-grant university. I am convinced that Randy Woodson brings the right mix of experience, expertise, skills and passion needed to be a truly great chancellor for NC State, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to join our leadership team."
University of North Carolina system president Erskine Bowles
"At heart, Randy comes from the ranks of faculty and knows what it means to be faculty. In many ways he exemplifies the best of what a university professor should be, and in a way it is great for someone who comes to the position of dean, provost or president. His intellectual rigor and gentle sense of humor brings people together. ... Randy is a special person. He is a great people person with an uncanny ability to work with people to forge a consensus view."
Robert J. Joly, head of Purdue's horticulture and landscape architecture department (via JCOnline.com 1.8.10)
"Randy is, I think it's fair to say, universally respected and liked here and it's a significant loss for us, and a big gain for [NC State]."
Michael Dana, a professor in Purdue's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (via The News & Observer 1.7.10)
"He's been a wonderful provost. He thinks like a faculty member first and like an administrator second. It's a great thing from a university's perspective. I can say with full confidence that there is never a negative word about him."
Howard Zelaznik, chairman of Purdue's faculty (via The News & Observer 1.7.10)
It is encouraging to learn that there are people like this in academia who still want to be chancellor/president. Finding someone like Randy Woodson in the near future is going to be critical for the University of Minnesota. It is also very important that we look for an outsider. Continuing down our current path, without the careful correction of someone without an ax to grind, would be a very bad mistake. That is what the good places do. Look at the effect that Biddy Martin is having at Wisconsin and David Skorton at Cornell. It is hard to believe that the best of all university presidents can be found at the University of Minnesota - again...