UofSC charts course to increase diversity, expand research and teaching prowess

University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen unveiled a comprehensive new plan Thursday to firmly establish the school as one of the nation’s preeminent flagship institutions, serving the residents of the state while building its stature as a research and economic powerhouse.

The ambitious multi-year For South Carolina plan was crafted by dozens of administrators and educators from across the university’s eight institution system. The goal is to significantly expand access for South Carolina students, especially minority and historically underserved residents, while bolstering research, education and outreach in key areas that will grow the state’s economy.

The plan identifies eight distinct priorities, each with detailed objectives for success. They include:

  • Attract, inspire, challenge and enable our students to become innovative thinkers and transformative leaders;
  • Assemble and cultivate a world-class faculty and staff;
  • Create new pathways to research excellence in order to become eligible for membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities;
  • Build a diverse, inclusive, supporting, and inspiring campus culture with the highest ethics and integrity in accordance with our Carolina Creed;
  • Harness the power, attributes and institutional diversity of an integrated and interoperative USC system that enhances access, success and affordability for every S.C. eligible student;
  • Spur innovation and economic development through impactful community partnerships;
  • Construct a physical and virtual campus infrastructure that ensures academic excellence and preeminent student life;
  • Build teams that win with character and integrity.

“The rapidly changing higher education landscape means public institutions must offer clear benefits in order to remain worthy of the significant investment made by students and taxpayers,” Caslen said. “The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting loss of revenue institutions nationwide are facing only accelerates this change. As the flagship university, we have an obligation to chart a bold new path forward to better serve the people of our state, the nation and the world during uncertain times.”

The plan, which was unanimously endorsed by the university’s Board of Trustees in June, allocates more than $100 million over five years to current and future initiatives specifically targeted to achieving its goals. Those include pursuing new research and education opportunities essential to growth industries in South Carolina, expanding programs to attract and retain a diverse mix of students and faculty to better reflect South Carolina’s population, and offering innovative degree options for non-traditional students.

“I commend President Caslen and our systemwide leadership team for their vision in developing this plan,” said UofSC Board Chairman John C. von Lehe, Jr. “The University of South Carolina has long been an indispensable asset to our state, and this ambitious path forward ensures we will build on that legacy for many years to come.”

 

For more details, visit the For South Carolina website.