Harris Pastides began his presidency at the University of South Carolina on Aug. 1, 2008. Just a few months later, the Great Recession began. Strong in the face of adversity, Pastides promised to accelerate USC’s momentum as a world-class university. He has kept that promise. Today, serving in his eighth year, USC is experiencing remarkable growth and positive change.
USC Columbia’s freshman classes have grown continuously while posting the highest average SAT scores in university history. USC’s Honors College has been named the No. 1 public honors college in the nation, and the Carnegie top-tier research university has also been ranked the top global university in the Palmetto state. In addition, it is home to top programs in areas such as undergraduate international business; public health; engineering; nursing; and hospitality, retail and sport management. Carolina’s Promise, USC’s historic capital campaign successfully exceeded the $1 billion goal by $43 million through gifts and pledges from 136,850 generous donors.
An unwavering advocate for a superior student experience, President Pastides encourages engagement beyond the classroom through leadership, service learning, international experience, internships and undergraduate research.
In January 2015, during a time of great reform and transformation, Pastides was selected to serve as the chairman of the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors. He also serves on many local and state boards including the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.