UNC President Erskine Bowles placed Woodson's name in nomination Friday morning during a regular meeting of the board.
In recommending Woodson to the Board of Governors, Bowles said: "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 has also 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."
Woodson, 52, will assume his new duties no later than May 1, succeeding James H. Woodward, who has served as chancellor on an interim basis since June of 2009.
Woodson was raised in Fordyce Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1976 and went on to earn a master's degree from Cornell University in 1981. In 1983 he earned a doctorate and began his academic teaching career as an assistant professor of horticulture at Louisiana State University.
Two years later, he was recruited to a similar position at Purdue.
Woodson went on to serve the university for 25 years.
His last position at Purdue before being named NCSCU chancellor was as executive vice president and provost, the university's chief academic officer.
"My job will be to make sure that the broader community, the alumni, the legislators - the people that love NC State - feel good about the institution based on transparency, openness and honest conversation," Woodson said.
People at NC State had a chance to get to know the new chancellor Friday.
He mingled with students, faculty and alumni at a reception on campus.
"NC State is just a great fit," Woodson said. "This was not a difficult sale for me."