USC System Mission Statement
The primary mission of the University of South Carolina System is the education of the state’s diverse citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. This public university system serves students from its flagship Columbia campus, three comprehensive universities (Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate), and four regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union).
The University of South Carolina System offers degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; business; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail, and sport management; information and communications; law; medicine; music; nursing; pharmacy; public health; and social work.
With a flagship campus recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and community engaged institution and nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and an eight-campus system that confers nearly 40% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public institutions in South Carolina, the university has a profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of the state. The University of South Carolina System provides all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked research, scholarship, service, and artistic creation.
USC Union Mission Statement
The Union regional Palmetto College campus is a branch campus of the University of South Carolina Columbia. Union has as its mission to provide higher education and intellectual leadership for its service area. At the heart of this mission is a teaching faculty of high quality dedicated to excellence in instruction, scholarship, public and professional service, and creative endeavor which enrich the classroom experience. The Union regional Palmetto College campus offers a varied curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and focused on preparing students to continue their education in the University of South Carolina System and throughout life.
The Union regional Palmetto College campus recruits students prepared to succeed in completing a baccalaureate‐ level education. While the institution does not offer remedial instruction, it is nonetheless able to admit most students who apply due to the close working relationship between students and faculty. The Union regional Palmetto College campus was established to encourage higher education in the counties of Chester, Cherokee, Fairfield, Laurens, Union, and York. The original design of the institution incorporated a flexibility that has allowed changes in institutional capability with increasing educational demands of constituents.
Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, the institution awards the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and provides for the completion of selected bachelor’s degrees on campus through cooperative agreements and delivery structures with other University of South Carolina System institutions. The Union regional Palmetto College campus also provides general education and upper division coursework applicable to baccalaureate degree programs offered through colleges and universities nationwide. In addition to academic coursework, the mission of the campus includes non‐ credit courses, seminars, and workshops made available to the community for cultural enrichment and professional development.
The traditions of cultural diversity and freedom of thought are valued at the Union regional Palmetto College campus. In a learning environment that develops respect for racial, geographical, intellectual, and economic diversity and an awareness of individual, societal, and global responsibilities, Union promotes courses, activities, and attitudes which influence the life of the mind in men and women and instill in them a thirst to continue learning throughout life.
The Union regional Palmetto College campus emphasizes the development of the whole person and especially seeks to foster in students the disciplines essential to an educated citizenry. Core competencies, including the ability to communicate through effective writing and articulate speech; computational and quantitative mastery; creative and critical thinking; and the duties of citizenship are strategically integrated within the curriculum. Classroom experiences, student activities, and physical education programs also provide opportunities for cultural enrichment, leadership development, intellectual growth and interpersonal relationships, all contributing to a sense of self‐reliance and a joy of learning.
The University of South Carolina Columbia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) are branch campuses of the University of South Carolina Columbia; the branch campuses’ accreditation is dependent on the continued accreditation of the University of South Carolina Columbia. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of South Carolina Columbia.
USC System Officers
Harris Pastides, Ph.D., President
Leslie G. Brunelli, M.B.A., Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Christopher D. Byrd, M.Ed., Vice President for Human Resources
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Vice President for System Planning
Douglas R. Foster, M.S., Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Joan T. A. Gabel, J.D., Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
J. Cantey Heath Jr., M.A., University Secretary and Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Jancy L. Houck, M.A., Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations
Derrick E. Huggins, B.S., Vice President for Facilities and Transportation
Patrick M. Lardner, B.S., University Treasurer
Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D., Vice President for Research
Walter H. Parham, J.D., General Counsel and Executive Director of Compliance Programs
Dennis A. Pruitt Sr., Ed.D., Vice President fofr Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Academic Support
Edward L. Walton, B.A., Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer
Union/Laurens Commission for Higher Education
C. Richard Denton, Chair
Deborah Littlejohn, Vice Chair
Brenda C. Childers, Secretary/Treasurer
Patricia C. Craine, Member
J. Steve Hudson, Member
Lewis Jeter, Member
Stephen H. Lowe, Ex Officio
Timothy Svedlund, Member
Terry J. Wade, Member
William J. Whitener, Chair Emeritus
USC Union Administration
Stephen H. Lowe, Ph.D., Interim Dean
Susan P. Jett, A.A, Human Resources Director/Assistant to the Dean
Michele S. Lee, B.S., Business Manager/Budget Director
Terry E. Young, M.Ed., Director of Enrollment Services
Robert E. Holcombe, M.Ed., Director of Financial Aid
Wesley C. Belk, M.B.A., Director of Information Technology
Thomas W. Simpson, M.S., Institutional Effectiveness Officer
William E. Moore, M.A., Career Start Program Director
Issaia Butler, M.A., TRIO Program Coordinator
Tanja R. Black, Administrative Specialist, Bookstore
Keith Camp, Information Resource Consultant, IT Department
John C. Crocker, Career/Transfer Counselor, Opportunity Scholars Program
Michael B. Greer, Admissions Recruiter, Student Affairs
Tony Gregory, Health & Safety/Security Officer, Dean’s Office
Alice Hooper, TRIO Administrative Specialist, Opportunity Scholars Program
Carlyne Puckett, Administrative Specialist, Academic Affairs
Kristie Roberson, Fiscal Technician, Business Office
Sharon L. Rupp, Library Manager, Library
Naida M. Shields, Administrative Specialist, Student Affairs
Pamela B. Wilbanks, Certification Specialist, Career Start
Donald R. Lawson, Maintenance Supervisor
Nathaniel Nash, Buildings and Grounds Specialist
Eddie Smith, Buildings and Grounds Specialist
USC Union Full-Time Faculty
Valarie A. Burnett, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biology, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Tara J. Fatemi, Instructor, Biology, M.S., University of South Carolina
Avery M. Fouts, Assistant Professor, Religion and Philosophy, Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
Randall K. Ivey, Instructor, English, M.A., University of South Carolina
Helene Maire-Afeli, Instructor/Laboratory Manager, Chemistry and Biology, Ph.D., Kansas State University
J. Layne Mayon, Instructor, Spanish, M.A., Texas Tech University
Denise R. Shaw, Assistant Professor, English and Women’s Studies, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Thomas W. Simpson, Instructor, Mathematics, Statistics, and Engineering, M.S., University of South Carolina
USC Union Part-Time Faculty
Stephen R. Buchanan, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, Ed.D., University of South Carolina
Allan D. Charles, Professor Emeritus, History and Political Science, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Richard Anderson, Theatre, M.A.T., University of South Carolina
Thomas Bishop, Music, B.A., Limestone University
Gerard R. Bowles, Art History, M.F.A., East Tennessee State University
Philip K. Carter, Geology, M.S., University of Washington
David J. Corley, English, M.Ed., Converse College
Susan E. Corley, History, M.Ed., Converse College
Travis Dalton, Computer Science, M.B.A., Western Carolina University
Ted R. Fansher, Sociology, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Greer, Michael B., Political Science, M.P.A., University of South Carolina
Neill M. Hance, Drama, M.F.A., University of North Carolina
Brandy M. Hicks, Mathematics, M.S., Clemson University
Robert E. Holcombe, University Studies, M.Ed., University of South Carolina
Debra H. Jones, Computer Science, M.B.A., Jacksonville State University
Donald Knight, English, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Mary W. Lawson, Business Administration, M.B.A., Winthrop University
Stephen A. Lemons, Religion, M.Div., Erskine Theological Seminary
Mary L. Mason-Gibbs, Foreign Languages, M.A., Colorado State University
Oliver Warren Mowry, Jr., Criminal Justice, J.D., University of South Carolina
Norman Pigeon, Marine Science, M.S., Naval Postgraduate School
Robert R. Redman, Accounting and Management, M.B.A., Golden State University
Heather S. Rush, Psychology, M.S., Augusta State University
Charles T. Sublett, History, M.A., Appalachian State University
William D. Taylor, Computer Science, M.B.A., Jacksonville State University
Jason Chad Ulmer, Management, M.S.M., Southern Wesleyan University
The University is dedicated to providing all undergraduate students with a common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience. This general education curriculum provides the foundation for subsequent specialized study in the student’s major discipline area. The University of South Carolina is in the process of updating this curriculum, ensuring that it remains current and prepares students for productive and meaningful engagement as world citizens equipped for life-long learning. The current general education goals are outlined below:
- Students communicate clearly in written English, demonstrating their ability to comprehend, analyze, and interrogate critically.
- Students perform basic mathematical manipulations, display facility with the use of mathematics in framing concepts for mathematical analysis, and interpret data intelligently.
- Students demonstrate an understanding of physical and/or life science phenomena and the use of scientific methods and theories.
- Students demonstrate an understanding of the processes of human behavior and social and cultural interaction, as well as the use of social and behavioral science perspectives to interpret them.
- Students demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of culture over time and its relation to the present.
- Students communicate orally and in writing in another language.
- Students demonstrate an appreciation of literary, visual, or performing arts and their cultural context, as well as express informed personal responses to artistic creations.
Similar to the other USC regional campuses, the Union campus was established as a result of local initiative. The Union County Commission for Higher Education was created by an act of the state legislature in the spring of 1965, and a contract was immediately signed by that commission with the University of South Carolina, an arrangement which guaranteed University-quality education at a low cost for area students within commuting distance of the campus. A former public secondary-school building was secured by the commission, and local funds were made available to renovate the structure. Scheduled classes began in September 1965 for the original freshman class of 51 students. In September 1967, 160 students registered at the campus, and enrollment has continued to climb.
Centrally located near the downtown business district, USC Union occupies a seven-acre tract fronting the east side of Main Street. Established to meet the educational needs of Union, Laurens, Cherokee, York, Chester, Fairfield, and Newberry counties, the campus has grown to its present enrollment of over 500 and a physical plant consisting of five buildings, which house administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories, a library, a campus shop, and a gymnasium. In addition, USC Union shares a facility with Spartanburg Community College where additional courses are offered.
The Union campus has traditionally focused on offering the first two years of courses for most University curricula, and the campus continues that tradition today. As a consequence of its expanding role as a unit of USC, upper-level courses are increasingly available, including both junior- and senior-level courses, as well as graduate courses.
Union-area residents realize the beneficial aspects of a local regional campus and have been enthusiastic supporters of both the campus and its programs. Both the city and county governments have generously increased their support of the campus and have provided much-needed funds for both physical-plant and equipment needs. Several local organizations provide scholarships for USC Union students, and the campus has been the recipient of numerous gifts of goods and services. The campus and the surrounding area have continually maintained this mutually supporting relationship, the result of which has been a high-quality, comprehensive program of higher education for area citizens.
The physical plant consists of five buildings.
Main Building. The Main Building was a secondary public school originally constructed in 1909, renovated in 1965, and completely restored in 1991. It currently houses classrooms; an auditorium; administrative and faculty offices; biology, chemistry, and computer science laboratories; a student lounge; and the campus bookstore.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Central Building was built in 1891 as the first modern public-school building in Union County. After several additions and incarnations as a high school, middle school, and elementary school, it was secured for USC Union by the Union County Commission for Higher Education in 1975.
The library, which houses over 34,000 books and 17,510 e-books, periodicals, newspaper subscriptions, as well as an extensive collection of recorded music, has occupied the front half of the Central Building’s lower floor since 1981.
Renovations were completed on the Central Building in the fall of 1988 and, in addition to the library, it now houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, a telecommunications instruction classroom, and a community room for meetings and receptions.
Truluck Activity Center. Completed in 1969, the activity center provides space for athletic and social activities. The center contains a basketball court, office space, and physical-fitness equipment. The center has a seating capacity of 500.
Founders House. The former Child Development Center, renamed Founders House to honor local leaders who have had a special relationship with USC Union, has recently undergone a complete renovation. The University’s Career Start grant program is housed there. The house has two offices
Main Street Building. A newly-purchased building on Main Street will house additional university facilities in the near future.
From its beginning, USC Union has recognized the importance of developing all facets of the individual. In keeping with this goal, the campus has offered a wide array of extracurricular activities, including the Student Government Association, the African American Association (AAA), numerous other clubs, a competitive intramural program, service organizations, and frequent social functions.