University of South Carolina

Adviser for diversity, online student services named

By Peggy Binette,, 803-777-7704

John Dozier has been named chief diversity officer and special adviser for online student services for the University of South Carolina.

Dozier, who brings more than seven years of senior higher education management experience to the position, will lead the university’s efforts to enhance the diversity of the faculty, staff and student body and strengthen and develop support services for a growing online student population. He will start June 1.

With Dozier’s appointment, the university deepens its resolve to being an inclusive and diverse institution. Last fall USC was recognized as one of the nation’s top universities by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine.

“Having Dr. Dozier on board demonstrates our commitment to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the university community and in our interactions with public constituencies. He has the experience, knowledge and commitment to help move the university forward in our diversity efforts,” says Christine Curtis, senior vice provost and ex-officio member of the university’s Diversity Committee, which is chaired by Professor David Simmons.

Dozier, 42, says he looks forward to enhancing the university’s success in creating a diverse learning community.

“When we do this, our students will benefit by learning in a setting that is reflective of the environment in which they will likely work and live. I hope to build upon a learning and working community that celebrates our political, cultural, religious and social differences as a characteristic that makes us a better university,” Dozier says.

A Columbia native, Dozier worked with the City Colleges of Chicago for 10 years, having served as vice president of academic affairs and student services, vice chancellor and chief information officer and ultimately, as president of Kennedy-King College.

Dozier will bring his experience in developing student services to meet new and changing needs to USC as it continues to expand online course and degree offerings, including South Carolina Palmetto College.

Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic support, says it’s essential for the university to offer the same high level of support services for students studying online as it does for students on campus.

“Dr. Dozier has the expertise and the experience to help us expedite the development of our online student services, and not just for our new Palmetto College, but for all our future online educational programs, which are rapidly gaining a life of their own,” Pruitt says.

Dozier says he looks forward to working with Pruitt and Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins to meeting the needs of an online population.

“We must be flexible in in our considerations for how we provide student support services by ensuring that the services are available when and where our online students are,” Dozier says. “We must develop processes for admissions, registration, advising, financial aid, academic and career counseling that are online student focused and provide the same high quality experience for online student that we provide for our face-to-face students.”

In his new role, Dozier also will be working closely with technical colleges to strengthen the bridge programs with the university to ensure access and a smooth transition for students.

A graduate of Columbia High School, Dozier earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from South Carolina State University and a master’s degree in business administration and doctoral degree in education administration, both from DePaul University. After returning to South Carolina in 2011 as vice president of academic affairs at Denmark Technical College, he joined Umatch, Inc., a software company for higher education, as its vice president of operations. While at Umatch he and his wife launched The Language Buzz, a foreign language and cultural learning center.

Dozier says education is his passion.

“Education made sense for me, and I found that my corporate experiences allowed me to evaluate and approach educational challenges from a different perspective. My career in higher education hasn’t been work -- it has been a passion,” Dozier says. “To bring my experience back home to serve my community through what we create here at the University of South Carolina is a source of great personal pride.”

Dozier lives in Columbia, with his wife Victoria, a 1991 USC engineering graduate, and their three children.

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Posted: 05/30/13 @ 6:15 PM | Updated: 05/30/13 @ 6:39 PM | Permalink