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College of Information and Communications

Our Leadership

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Shirley Staples Carter

Dr. Shirley Staples Carter

In December 2018, Dr. Shirley Staples Carter was named associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the College of Information and Communications. 

In this capacity, Carter provides primary leadership for diversity, equity and inclusion in the CIC. She works with college and school leadership to facilitate the development of programs, policies and practices to promote critical understanding of diversity and equity issues across the college, local community, state, and nation.

As the thought leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the college, Carter reports to the dean and works directly with college and school leadership, faculty, staff and students to create a vision and strategy supporting the CIC’s commitment to be a diverse, welcoming, safe and inclusive learning, teaching, and working environment.

Carter also implements systems, processes, and other infrastructure to support, encourage and promote all CIC/SJMC/SLIS diversity and inclusion strategies and goals.

As the CIC representative on the Council of Academic Diversity Officers, Carter works with the USC Office of Diversity and Inclusion to implement the university’s Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan based on three key components: composition, achievement, and engagement and inclusion.


Faculty Leaders

Dr. Ken Campbell

Dr. Ken Campbell

Dr. Ken Campbell joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1988, becoming the school’s first African American tenure track faculty member and director of the school’s Southeastern Multicultural Newspaper Workshop, a summer program which trained minorities for jobs on newspapers. 

Campbell’s research focuses on the media coverage of racial issues and African Americans, as well as the historical portrayal of African Americans in the media. That interest led him to help launch the J-school’s biennial Media and Civil Rights History Symposium in 2011, which he now heads.

The University of South Carolina MLK Day planning committee honored him with a 2018 Social Justice Award, which is given to individuals who exemplify the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Nicole Cooke

Dr. Nicole Cooke

Dr. Nicole Cooke joined SLIS in fall 2019 as the Augusta Baker Chair in Childhood Literacy, a position named for the pioneering African American children’s librarian who served as the university’s storyteller-in-residence for 14 years.

The position is responsible for promoting community literacy and leading statewide outreach efforts. This means working closely with the South Carolina Center for Community Literacy at SLIS, which is home to the university’s childhood literacy program, Cocky’s Reading Express.

But Cooke also sees the chair as a chance to transform SLIS into the destination graduate library education program for students wanting to focus on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

Dr. Clayton Copeland

Dr. Clayton Copeland

Dr. Clayton Copeland is director of the  Laboratory for Leadership in the Equity of Access and Diversity at the School of Library and Information Science.  LLEAD focuses on universal design in digital and built environments along with skill development and job training for those who self-identify as differently able. 

Copeland also helps manage the Linda Lucas Walling Collection for Universal Access, which is designed to provide self-instruction on selecting and evaluating materials for children with disabilities and materials about children with disabilities.

Copeland is a part of is a partnership with the university’s School of Medicine to conduct research on libraries’ roles in providing disaster support. 


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