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Division of Human Resources

University President

The University of South Carolina has begun a national search for its 30th president. The president serves as the top officer for the USC system and the Columbia campus.

Presidential Search Updates

Scheduled Outreach

  • October 20, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, will meet with members of the USC Columbia Educational Foundation Board of Directors to discuss the presidential search.
  • October 25, 2021 – The Women’s Leadership Institute at USC Columbia will convene to discuss the presidential search and to prepare recommendations for the Presidential Candidate Search Committee. Search Committee member Lauren Smith will attend the Institute’s meeting and then communicate the Institute’s findings to the full Search Committee at a later date.
  • November 3, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, will meet with the Faculty Senate to provide an update regarding the presidential search.
  • October 13, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, met with members of the USC Columbia Development Foundation Board of Directors to discuss the presidential search.
  • September 24, 2021 – committee meeting with members of the Funk & Associates search firm in which they received an update on the 30 stakeholder engagements held to date, then entered executive session to discuss potential presidential candidates with the search firm. Search Committee Chair Thad H. Westbrook emphasized that the Committee intended to evaluate the state and quality of the pool of candidates overall and that the Committee was not yet prepared to determine which candidates might be interviewed. Recruitment of candidates will continue into November.
  • September 17, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, delivered an update to the Board of Trustees about the presidential search.
  • September 16, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, hosted a virtual town hall to inform the University of South Carolina System community and members of the public about the presidential search.
  • September 13, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, met with USC Columbia development and fundraising officers to discuss the presidential search.
  • September 9, 2021 – The Presidential Candidate Search Committee released its presidential leadership profile, which describes the position of President of the University of South Carolina, forecasts the opportunities awaiting the next President, and outlines the traits and qualifications desired of candidates for President. The Search Committee also released a summary of 5,928 responses to an online presidential search survey that were received between late June and early August.
  • September 3, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, met with faculty leaders at USC Columbia during the Provost’s fall retreat to discuss the presidential search.
  • August 27, 2021 – Committee and several members of Funk & Associates met. Committee Chairman Thad Westbrook gave an overview of the outreach efforts to date, which include 28 listening sessions.
  • August 25, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee; Mark Cooper, immediate past chair of the USC Columbia Faculty Senate and a member of the Search Committee; and Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean of USC Columbia’s College of Engineering and Computing and a non-voting advisor to the Search Committee; met with the executive leadership of USC Columbia's Graduate Student Association.
  • August 20, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with members of USC Columbia's Community Advisory Committee to discuss the search.
  • August 20, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with chancellors from across the USC System to discuss the search.
  • August 20, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm held a virtual town hall for participants across the USC System to discuss the search.
  • August 20, 2021 – Representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees to discuss the search.
  • August 19-20, 2021 – The committee and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm held two town halls on Aug. 19 and one town hall on Aug. 20 to give the university community additional feedback opportunities. View the recordings online:
  • August 19, 2021 – The committee and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm held two meetings with senior leaders at USC Columbia to discuss the search.
  • August 19, 2021 – The committee and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with the Council of Academic Deans at USC Columbia to discuss the search.
  • August 19, 2021 – The committee and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with the Staff Assembly at USC Columbia to discuss the search.
  • August 19, 2021 – The committee and representatives from the R. William Funk & Associates executive search firm met with the Faculty Senate at USC Columbia to discuss the search.
  • August 5, 2021 – Committee meeting with representatives of executive search firm R. William Funk & Associates, who gave brief remarks expressing optimism about the search for potential presidential candidates. The committee continued the discussion of potential presidential candidates with the search firm in executive session. Several committee members gave highlights about the community and stakeholder input process, which will continue with a schedule of events to take place on Aug. 19 and 20.
  • August 4, 2021 –  Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee; Dr. C. Dorn Smith III, Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and a member of the Search Committee; and representatives from executive search firm R. William Funk & Associates met with the leaders of USC Columbia’s Faculty Senate and American Association of University Professors chapter to discuss the presidential search.
  • July 28, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, spoke with members of the Board of Visitors to seek input regarding the presidential search.
  • July 23, 2021 – Lisa Johnson, Chair of the USC Upstate Faculty Senate and a member of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, hosted a virtual forum for USC Upstate stakeholders regarding the presidential search.
  • July 21, 2021 – Lou Kennedy and David Seaton, alumni who serve as non-voting advisors on the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, joined Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, to speak with members of the Midlands Business Leadership Group to seek input regarding the presidential search.
  • July 20, 2021 – The Search Committee selected the recruiting firm R. William Funk and Associates to assist in the search for potential presidential candidates.
  • July 13, 2021 –  Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee, along with David Seaton, an alumnus who serves as a non-voting advisor on the Search Committee, conducted a listening session regarding the presidential search with the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
  • July 12, 2021 – Alex Harrell, Student Body President at USC Columbia and a member of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, hosted a virtual forum for students regarding the presidential search.
  • July 12, 2021 – Committee meeting in which the committee discussed potential executive search firms during executive sesstion.
  • July 8, 2021 – Alexandra Roach, Search Committee member and Chair of USC Aiken’s Faculty Assembly, facilitated a virtual discussion with faculty and staff at USC Aiken regarding the presidential search.
  • July 1, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, met with USC Columbia’s Community Advisory Committee to seek input regarding the presidential search.
  • July 1, 2021 – Committee meeting in which the committee heard brief updates about the stakeholder input solicitation process, and then went into executive session to discuss potential executive search firms.
  • June 30, 2021 – Brian Canada, Chair-elect of USC Beaufort’s Faculty Senate and a member of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, facilitated a forum for faculty and staff at USC Beaufort regarding the presidential search.
  • June 28, 2021 – Ernest Jenkins, Search Committee member and Chair of the Palmetto College Campuses Faculty Senate, hosted a forum for Palmetto College faculty and staff.
  • June 25, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, provided an update regarding the presidential search to the Board of Trustees.
  • June 25, 2021 – Search committee member Lauren Smith and members of the Columbia Staff Senate hosted a forum for all university system employees at the Russell House Theatre and via Microsoft Teams. Access a video recording of the meeting.
  • June 24, 2021  – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, addressed the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors to seek input regarding the presidential search.
  • June 24, 2021 – Committee meeting in which board member Leah Moody was appointed as the committee’s diversity and equity advocate. Committee members also gave brief overviews of the progress made in soliciting university community input on the search process. In executive session, the committee discussed options for working with an executive search firm.
  • June 23, 2021 – Search committee members Gloria Boutte and Mark Cooper  hosted a virtual forum for Columbia faculty to allow faculty the opportunity to share what qualities the committee should seek in presidential finalists.
  • June 23, 2021 – Hossein Haj-Hariri, USC Columbia Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, and a member of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, met with his peer academic deans at USC Columbia to hear their opinions about the qualities desired of candidates for President of the University of South Carolina.
  • June 16, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, spoke at a virtual Alumni Town Hall sponsored by the University of South Carolina Alumni Association to seek input regarding the presidential search. Watch the video recording of the Alumni Town Hall.
  • June 10, 2021Committee meeting
  • June 4, 2021Committee meeting
  • June 2, 2021 – Thad H. Westbrook, Vice Chair of USC’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Candidate Search Committee, spoke to the USC Columbia Faculty Senate about Board Policy BTRU 3.01 (“Presidential Candidate Search Committee”) and the outlook for the presidential search. A video recording of that June 2 meeting is available.
  • May 21, 2021 – In an email to members of the USC Columbia community, Interim President Harris Pastides provided a link to this webpage and encouraged members of the Carolina family “to stay informed about” the presidential search.
  • May 21, 2021 – Presidential Candidate Search Committee formed

 

Search Committee Information


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