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On Aug. 1, 2008, as Harris Pastides began his presidency at the University of South Carolina, he promised to accelerate USC’s momentum as a world-class university. He has kept that promise. Indeed, under Pastides’ watch, the USC system is now uniquely positioned to meet the state’s education, cultural, health and research needs.
Today, USC Columbia, a Carnegie top-tier research university, is also ranked as South Carolina’s top global university. Its freshman classes have grown continuously while posting the highest SAT scores in university history. The USC Honors College has been named the No. 1 public honors college in the nation and Carolina is home to top programs in areas such as undergraduate and graduate international business; public health; engineering; nursing; and hospitality, retail and sport management.
An unwavering advocate for a superior student experience, Pastides encourages engagement beyond the classroom through leadership, service learning, international experiences, internships and undergraduate research. Innovative programs like Palmetto College, On Your Time Graduation, Gamecock Gateway and Gamecock Guarantee are providing greater access, flexibility and affordability to South Carolinians seeking a higher education degree. To date, 78,651 degrees have been awarded systemwide during Pastides’ presidency.
Committed to civil and substantive campus conversations, Pastides exemplifies the ideals found in the Carolinian Creed. His unqualified support of diversity and inclusiveness is reflected in bold new initiatives such as The Center for Civil Rights History and Research and the Welcome Table SC, both critical steps in creating an era of greater unity of purpose.
Pastides serves on many local, state, national and international boards including the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and the Fulbright Faculty Programs. He is the immediate past chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the university’s faculty as dean of the Arnold School of Public Health, Pastides was a professor of epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his master’s in public health and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University. President Pastides and the first lady, Patricia Moore-Pastides, live on USC’s historic Horseshoe.