Ruth Dial Woods is a native of Robeson County, North Carolina. She attended public schools in Robeson County before attaining a B.A. Degree in English and Spanish from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, a MA.Ed. in School Administration from Pembroke State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration at South Carolina State University. She has completed the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001.
Dr. Woods served the public schools in Robeson County for 27 years as a teacher, educational media specialist, director of federal programs, and assistant and associate superintendent. After serving as an adjunct professor in the fall of 1993, Dr. Woods joined the full time faculty at Fayetteville State University where she taught educational leadership in the master of school administration degree program, curriculum and leadership in the doctoral program in educational leadership, coordinated the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program and the Master of School Administration Degree Program and administered the School of Education’s Title III Teacher Education Program. In 1977, she received the Teacher of the Year Award for the Department of Educational Leadership and Secondary Education and the School of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award. In August 1977, Dr. Woods retired from teaching, but served as a consultant to the University-School Partnership Project and administered PROJECT REAP (Recruitment of Minorities for Advancement in the Profession), a partnership program of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Fayetteville State University. More recently, Dr. Woods served as a program consultant for the Lumbee Tribal Council of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina as a part-time Tribal Administrator with administrative responsibilities for oversight of $9T million in housing and other tribal programs.
Dr. Woods has extensive experience in rural economic development and rural manpower development. She was engaged in US Department of Labor pilot and demonstration programs in the rural manpower development under the auspices of the North Carolina Fund and North Carolina Manpower Inc. She held several administrative positions in community action programs and rural manpower development. She was instrumental in the successful transfer of comprehensive rural manpower development programs to the North Carolina Manpower Program $1 Million + annually into Robeson county for job training and employment services prior to the spin off of JTPA and to her employment programs to the North Carolina Employment Services. She has served on the advisory board of Region N Council of Governments and coordinated the infusion of The Pacific Institute’s Investment in Excellence for the 90s, an employment skills training and preparation program for youth and unemployed and underemployed recommended by the National Alliance of Businesses in to JTPA programs administered by Region N council of Governments.
Dr. Woods is the recipient of numerous community, civic, state and national awards. She has balanced her academic life with service to others. Active in civil and human rights, Dr. Woods self-defines as American Indian, humanist, activist, and feminist. Selected honors and awards include the Leo Reano Award for Service to Education from the National Education Association; the North Carolina Human Relations Award from the North Carolina Association of Educators; the Community Leadership Award from the North Carolina Human Relations Commission; the Henry Berry Lowry Award from Lumbee Regional Development Association; the governor’s Distinguished Woman of North Carolina Award, and the Woman of Distinction Award from United Tribes of North Carolina.
Dr. Woods is the first woman to receive an at-large appointment by the North Carolina General Assembly to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in 1985, and in March, 1999, was the only woman in the field of 10 candidates and the second highest vote-getter in the at-large category to again receive an appointment to this distinguished Board.