The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina (UofSC) invites letters of recommendation and applications for the position of President. The University of South Carolina seeks an entrepreneurial President who has a vision to inspire academic achievement, administrative excellence, and creative productivity with a commitment to South Carolinians. The President serves as the chief executive officer for the flagship Columbia campus and for the entire UofSC System.

UofSC is a globally recognized, high-impact research university committed to a superior student experience and dedicated to innovation in learning, research, and community engagement. With eight campuses across 20 locations, including a Carnegie One research institution, three top-ranked regional comprehensive universities, four two-year Palmetto College campuses, and Palmetto College Online, the University of South Carolina System offers more than 450 degree programs and enrolls more than 51,000 students, serving a diverse population of students with widely varying backgrounds and career goals. As the state’s flagship system and leading educator, UofSC confers approximately 65% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public colleges and universities in South Carolina, and is uniquely positioned to meet the state's educational, cultural, health, and research needs. The University has 300,000 living alumni around the world.

Founded in 1801, the research university in Columbia is among America’s oldest and most comprehensive public universities and the largest campus in the UofSC System, enrolling nearly 27,000 undergraduate students and approximately 8,000 students in graduate and professional programs. At the heart of its mission lies the University’s responsibility to the state and nation to promote the creation and dissemination of knowledge, cultural enrichment, and an enhanced quality of life.

Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and service institution, UofSC’s Columbia campus is one of only 32 public universities to receive both the top-tier research and community engagement designations. The flagship campus has profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of South Carolina as home to the nation’s top public honors college; #1 rankings in international business and sports sciences; 100 health science degree programs; the largest teacher education program in the state; distinguished programs in aerospace research, engineering, data and computer science; a nationally recognized incubator and start-up culture; and, more than $250 million in funded research. With 47 nationally ranked academic programs and 320 degree options, the Columbia campus leads the way in providing students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked research, scholarship, community outreach, and artistic creation.

UofSC’s campuses have been recognized for their commitment to diversity, including being a recipient of INSIGHT Into Diversity’s HEED award for seven consecutive years and ranking among the top three-percent of all universities for graduating African-American students. UofSC is also known as military friendly, with programs serving ROTC and active duty students, veterans, and a Palmetto College location at Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army’s largest basic training installation.

UofSC is committed to cultivating successful leaders, new generations of bold thinkers, and committed problem solvers through both on-campus and online degree programs. The University is driven to build healthier, more educated communities, inspiring a better way of life for the State of South Carolina and beyond. The Education Trust named UofSC as one of the nation’s top institutions in closing the achievement gap and the Brookings Institute ranked UofSC as one of the best universities for providing upward mobility for its students.


The President is responsible for leading UofSC’s flagship system of eight institutions in 20 geographic locations.  The President is the executive head of the institution and responsible for furthering the mission of the University and exercises broad responsibilities for the academic, student, financial, philanthropic, and all other dimensions of the institution to promote its development, effectiveness, and efficiency. The President will be a dynamic leader and passionate advocate for the University and its system campuses. The President will have an earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution and higher education experience.

The new President should possess the following:

  • Vision, integrity, leadership skills, and experience to engage the entire campus community in maintaining the highest standards of quality and academic excellence in an atmosphere of collegiality and consensus building;
  • A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Keen interest and deep appreciation for higher education, including teaching, research, scholarship, administration, or experience in higher education;
  • A comprehensive understanding of higher education and the operations of a large, complex research university;
  • A commitment to the State of South Carolina, working closely with governmental leaders to strengthen the institution, as well as its contribution to economic development focused on support of workforce development;
  • Demonstrated success as a senior leader in a collaborative work environment;
  • A strong appreciation for shared governance;
  • Fiscal acumen with demonstrated success in navigating amongst the shifting financial landscapes;
  • A strategic planning mindset;
  • A strong commitment to transparency, collaboration, and shared decision-making and excellent communication skills including the ability to collaborate effectively and build consensus across multiple constituencies;
  • Successful track record in fund-raising and developing external and community relationships;
  • A record of sustained involvement in university-wide student success initiatives and commitment to student success;
  • The commitment and ability to foster growth of the academic enterprise, ensuring its quality and competitiveness;
  • Ability to recognize, develop, recruit, and retain talented faculty and staff;
  • A commitment to environmental sustainability efforts;
  • Appreciation for the contributions that intercollegiate athletics and the arts make to the University and its students.

Application and Nominations

The Presidential Candidate Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, resume/CV and contact information for at least five professional references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University of South Carolina. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to March 8, 2019.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
770-804-1996 ext. 102 or 109 |  

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, protected veteran status, or genetics. 

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