Campus Chancellors and Executive Deans
Each system campus is led by its own chancellor or executive dean who is committed
to the academic success of every student, and is dedicated to the local communities
in which they serve.
Susan Elkins — Palmetto College
Named chancellor of and chief administrative officer of Palmetto College in February
2013, Chancellor Susan Elkins coordinates the entire university system's degree completion
programs. Elkins is also responsible for the overall planning, resource allocation
and program evaluation of the USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC
Union campuses as well as the online bachelor’s degree completion programs offered
by the four senior campuses — USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, USC Columbia and USC Upstate.
Sandra Jordan — USC Aiken
Chancellor Sandra Jordan has been leading the University of South Carolina Aiken since
August 2012. Since her arrival at USC Aiken, the university has increased international
partnerships, added a Veteran and Military Support Center that has garnered national
recognition, increased student enrollment more than 6%, added a new engineering program
and an MBA, increased regional corporate and business partnerships, created a collegiate
structure within the university and increased fundraising to the highest levels in
the history of the institution.
Brendan Kelly — USC Upstate
Chancellor Brendan Kelly was appointed in March 2017, becoming the sixth chencellor
of USC Upstate. He was previously vice president for advancement at the University
of West Florida, where he led the units of University Marketing and Communications,
Alumni Relations, Development, Community Engagment and more. Chancellor Kelly is grateful
to be part of the next chapter of growth and development at USC Upstate, and believes
that the university is poised to enhance its contribution to the higher education
landscape of the USC system and the state of South Carolina.
Al Panu — USC Beaufort
With a career in higher education that spans nearly 30 years, Chancellor Al Panu was
appointed to his current role at USC Beaufort in June 2015. It was the vision for
USC Beaufort that attracted him to the chancellor position including of a distinctive
academic, student-centered and community-engaged education. Passionate about bridging
higher education and community, Panu is eager to expand USC Beaufort's efforts to
provide first-rate, world-class higher education to the Lowcountry region of our state.
Campus Executive Deans
Chris Nesmith — USC Salkehatchie
Professor Chris Nesmith became Regional Campus Dean in spring 2019. Nesmith came to
the University of South Carolina in 2003 as coordinator of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars
Program and instructor of English with Trio Programs. In 2013, he was named assistant
vice provost for Extended University, quickly followed by his appointment as associate
provost of Palmetto College in January 2015.
Walt Collins — USC Lancaster
Professor Walt Collins began his career at USC Lancaster in August 2002 as an Instructor
of French and English. Rising quickly through the ranks to assistant professor and
assistant dean of student affairs, Collins began serving as Regional Campus Dean on
April 15, 2013. He was also promoted to the rank of professor in August of 2015.
John Catalano — USC Union
Professor John Catalano is the first Ph.D. graduate of the doctoral program in Philosophy
at USC and currently serving as the acting dean for the University of South Carolina-Union.
Before this appointment, Catalano served as the Dean of USC Lancaster for a number
of years until he returned to the faculty, where he is an award winning teacher of
Michael Sonntag — USC Sumter
Professor Michael Sonntag became Regional Campus Dean of USC Sumter in 2014. A first-generation
college student, he earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 1997 from the University
of Arkansas. He has served on a variety of community development boards and committees,
and is a member of Rotary International.