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Board of Trustees

  • Thad Westbrook

Annual Board Report

2023 Report from the Board Chair

January 17, 2024

To Members of the University of South Carolina System Community: 

The University of South Carolina (“USC”) System and the USC flagship university in Columbia celebrated momentous accomplishments in 2023, and the USC Board of Trustees fulfilled its responsibilities to the University System and to residents of the State of South Carolina by sustaining a governance environment in which higher education and academic research continue to flourish. 

The Board began 2023 with a sense of promise and excitement, as its members presided at the ceremonial investiture of President Michael Amiridis, the 30th President of the University of South Carolina, during the morning of January 20. Later that afternoon, the Board convened for its annual retreat, with a focus on President Amiridis’s strategic priorities for the next five years

USC enjoyed unprecedented and positive momentum in interest among applicants and their families in 2023, as prospective freshmen demonstrated remarkable excitement about the student experience and educational offerings at the flagship university in Columbia. The number of applicants to USC for fall 2023 reached an all-time high (and applications for fall 2024 have already surpassed the total received for fall 2023). 

The number of South Carolinians entering USC Columbia as freshmen in fall 2023 reached an all-time high as well. All 46 South Carolina counties are represented in this newest freshman class, which is the largest in the University’s history—with 7,316 first-time, full-time students. New transfer students, new Palmetto Pathway and Gamecock Gateway students, and new non-degree students added over 2,000 additional undergraduates to the total for fall 2023, bringing the total number of new students on campus to more than 9,300. 

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled at USC Columbia during the fall of 2023 totaled some 36,538 students, while enrollment across the USC System totaled 53,455. South Carolinians account for 65% of students across the USC System overall. 

Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees continues to create policies, approve strategies, and prioritize financial budgets to support these robust enrollment numbers, ensuring that each USC System institution fulfills its missions of teaching, research, creative endeavor, and service to the public. 

Other achievements recorded by the Board of Trustees during 2023 included the following: 

Finally, the Board completed an ambitious plan to review (and revise, as necessary) all of its Bylaws and policies. Combined with revamped orientation programs for new Trustees, continuing education for all Trustees, and access to Trustee development programs offered by national organizations, the Board ensures that its members are prepared to exercise their fiduciary duties in support of the USC System and in furtherance of the livelihoods of South Carolina households. 

The USC Board of Trustees looks forward to a prosperous 2024. With the support of alumni and stakeholders, the University of South Carolina will extend its history of access, excellence, and relevance. 

Forever To Thee, 

Thad Westbrook signature

Thad H. Westbrook

Board Chair

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.