COLUMBIA, SC – July 1, 2009 – Dr. Michael Amiridis, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina, has been named the university’s vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Amiridis, who joined the university in 1994 as an assistant professor, will succeed Dr. William “Ted” Moore, who has served as interim provost since Jan. 1. Moore will become chief financial officer and vice president for finance and planning.
University President Harris Pastides said Amiridis’ appointment comes after a two-month internal search. In addition to Amiridis, the finalists for the university’s top academic post included Dr. Mary Ann Fitzpatrick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Davis Baird, dean of South Carolina Honors College.
“Each candidate has impressive academic and leadership skills, and I believe that we could not have found more qualified candidates in a national search,” Pastides said.
“I have known Dr. Amiridis in several capacities since I came to the university nearly 11 years ago, and I’ve had the privilege of watching him take on new challenges and handle each with professionalism, leadership and collegiality,” he said. “I am confident that these qualities will ensure his success as our academic leader.”
Amiridis said it is a privilege to have been chosen to serve as the university’s provost.
“When I first arrived at the University of South Carolina 15 years ago, I could never have imagined as an assistant professor that I would reach the provost’s position one day,” he said. “Today, I’m honored to be chosen to serve in this role, and I accepted President Pastides’ offer with a great sense of responsibility toward the institution and its constituencies.”
Amiridis’ research focuses on heterogeneous catalysis, a field of chemistry with industrial and environmental significance. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the private sector.
As dean, Amiridis has been instrumental in increasing the college’s enrollment by more than 25 percent over the past three years and creating new academic programs in biomedical engineering, engineering science and nuclear engineering. He has worked to create successful international programs in Japan, Taiwan, Egypt and Jordan and strengthened the college’s record in outreach activities for K-12 students. He also pioneered programs to increase the representation of women and minorities in the sciences and engineering. In South Carolina, he has a strong record in economic development through the S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence program.
Amiridis earned his diploma from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received awards for teaching excellence.
At Carolina, Amiridis has received Mortar Board’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Samuel Litman Distinguished Professor Award and the Michael J. Mungo Graduate Teaching Award. In 1995, the National Science Foundation awarded Amiridis the prestigious CAREER Award.
Amiridis is married to Argiri Aggelopoulou Amridis, and they have a daughter, Aspasia, and a son, Dimitri.
Amiridis will begin his responsibilities by Aug. 15.