N.C. State chancellor gets $1.5M performance bonus

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N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson is receiving a $1.5 million bonus after meeting goals set in a 2015 contract, university officials said Tuesday. The UNC System Board of Governors approved the payout last week.

When the contract was created by the N.C. State Board of Trustees in 2015, Woodson and his wife Susan said they would donate the money back to the university. They have since provided $1.15 million to a tuition scholarship fund for dependents of university employees, $100,000 to the Extraordinary Student Opportunity Fund and other donations to university programs.

Trustees raised the money for the package so no state, tuition or other university funds were used for the award, according to a statement from the university. Woodson didn’t ask for the retention package but “greatly appreciated the board’s show of support.”

“As a result of his extraordinary leadership, Chancellor Woodson exceeded expectations and well surpassed those goals” set in 2015,  Trustees Chair Stan Kelly said in the release. “North Carolina is fortunate to have such a strong and effective leader at the helm of North Carolina’s largest university.”

Metrics measuring Woodson’s performance included raising at least $500 million in new gifts for the university’s endowment; achieving a 78% graduation rate for undergraduates within six years of entering N.C. State; achieving $575 million in annual research investment; boosting international study opportunities; and meeting compliance guidelines.  

Since Woodson became chancellor in 2010, the university has enjoyed some major success:

  • Freshman applications for enrollment increased by more than 65%
  • The university’s five-year graduation rate has increased from 67% to 82%.
  • Donor giving has set records and helped triple the size of NC State’s endowment.
  • Research expenditures have increased 45%, including a record $549 million in the most recent fiscal year. That was slightly less than the performance target in Woodson’s contract.
  • Startups launched annually based on N.C. State research increased from six to 21.

N.C. State’s board includes some of the state’s most influential citizens including Anne Goodnight, whose husband James Goodnight co-founded Cary-based SAS Institute; retired General Raymond Odierno of Pinehurst; and former Waste Industries CEO Ven Poole of Raleigh.

Woodson was executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University before coming to Raleigh. His base salary is $664,387, according to the UNC System salary database. He also received an annual bonus of $200,000 in recent years provided by a university-affiliated foundation.

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