Former UNC Charlotte Chancellor James H. Woodward. Photo courtesy of
UNC Charlotte.

On Nov. 9, former UNC Charlotte Chancellor James H. Woodward will receive the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor.

Since 1964, the awards have been used to recognize contributions in the areas of fine arts, literature, public service and science. Gov. Roy Cooper will present the award at a banquet and ceremony to be held in Raleigh.

Woodward served as UNC Charlotte’s chancellor for over 15 years. Next month, he will be recognized for public service.

Woodward received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. in engineering from Georgia Tech. Woodward also obtained an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Woodward taught at North Carolina State University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he first served as the dean of the School of Engineering, then senior vice president for academic affairs.

During his time as chancellor, Woodward had a significant impact on the academics at UNC Charlotte. Woodward secured funding that led to the implementation of 12 doctoral programs, and developed the Campus Master Plan, which produced $300 million in capital investment.

Woodward also expanded the UNC Charlotte community by adding distance education and weekend courses to better serve non-traditional students. Center City, the first UNC Charlotte facility constructed apart from main campus, was also established to provide more opportunities for graduate education.

The College of Information Technology and The College of Health and Human Services were also created during Woodward’s time as chancellor. A number of buildings on campus were also constructed during this time, including the E.K. and Dorrie Fretwell building and the James H. Barnhardt Student Activity Center. The Irwin Belk Track and Field Center was also completed during this time. In 2005, Woodward was honored by the naming of the UNC Charlotte technology building as Woodward Hall.

Under Woodward’s leadership, the Charlotte Research Institute was created, with the goal of enhancing the technological infrastructure of the Charlotte region through collaboration industry and government. Through the institute, UNC Charlotte faculty have developed numerous research initiatives in the areas of bioinformatics, energy production, information security and automotive engineering.

During his career at UNC Charlotte, the university’s endowment grew from $14 million to $95 million. Enrollment at the university also increased rapidly. One of Woodward’s missions was to maintain a large, diverse student body.

After his time at UNC Charlotte, former UNC President Erskine Bowles appointed Woodward as the interim chancellor at North Carolina State University in 2005.

Outside of academia, Woodward likes to work with nonprofit organizations that focus on disadvantaged youth, hike and travel. Woodward also enjoys spending time with his three children, six grandchildren and wife Martha.

Evan Moore is a news writer for the Niner Times, and has been working with the paper since January 2015. He is a sophomore communications major and journalism minor from Denver, North Carolina. Evan is also a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.