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Center for Teaching Excellence

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University Information

About USC

The primary mission of the University of South Carolina is the education of the state’s citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina system is the largest in the state, serving more than 50,000 students from its flagship Columbia campus, three senior campuses (Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate), and four Palmetto College regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union).

The University of South Carolina is a public institution offering degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and service institution, nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and conferring approximately 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 its state. The university 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.

In addition to our Columbia campus, the University of South Carolina system includes three additional advanced degree-granting institutions and four Palmetto College regional campuses. The communities served by these campuses are populated by individuals from diverse educational, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds living in a mixture of town, small city and rural settings.

Our four-year campuses award bachelor’s and advanced degrees, and each is separately accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. USC Aiken, USC Beaufort and USC Upstate are all overseen by a campus Chancellor. The four regional Palmetto College Campuses—Lancaster, Sumter, Salkehatchie, and Union—are accredited with USC Columbia by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Each Palmetto College regional campus is overseen by a campus dean, each reporting to the Palmetto College Chancellor.  

View an organizational chart of the USC System.

The Provost is charged with the oversight of the University of South Carolina's graduate and undergraduate academic programs as well as curriculum development, program assessment and university accreditation. They are also responsible for leading the formulation and implementation of system-wide academic affairs policies relating to faculty hiring, retention, tenure, promotion and development.

The Provost manages strategic planning processes and provides budgetary oversight for all USC Columbia academic units and academic support areas.

The Office of the Provost website provides links to important information for faculty, including all Faculty Manuals.

General Education (Gen Ed) provides the common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience required for all Carolina undergraduates. General Education offers students broad exposure to the liberal arts and sciences and secures the foundation for subsequent specialized study in the students’ major discipline areas. All university system faculty are encouraged to learn more about the Carolina Core, a revision of the General Education curriculum. The Carolina Core assists in developing competency in communication, analytical reasoning and problem-solving, scientific literacy, information literacy and the arts. Topics in global citizenship and multicultural understanding, as well as values, ethics and social responsibility are also explored.


University Policies are formal policies and procedures at the University of South Carolina that have campus-wide or system-wide application. The university uses a standard policy format and a uniform review and approval process for University Policies to improve communication, promote administrative consistency and efficiency, and ensure compliance with pertinent state and federal laws as well as state and regional accreditation requirements.

The Faculty Senate is a governing body established by the Board of Trustees with representative faculty members selected by each college or school. Information about USC’s Faculty Senate, including links to the faculty manual and other policies and procedures, can be found on the Office of the Faculty Senate website.

Policies and procedures relating to faculty may be separately maintained and distributed in the relevant campus-specific Faculty Manuals. Campus chief academic affairs officers are responsible for ensuring that all faculty manuals are kept up-to-date and revised to reflect newly approved University Policies within six months of approval.

The Office of the Provost provides administrative support for a variety of programs and committees dedicated to faculty interests and the pursuit of excellence in research, teaching and service. The Faculty Advancement page has links to information on tenure and promotion, grants, teaching resources and more.

The administration at the University of South Carolina was inspired to take action after a string of violent incidents began occurring on college campuses in the late 1980's. A task force of students, faculty, and staff was formed to respond to these disturbing events and explore ways to cultivate a culture on our campus that prioritized integrity above enmity. 

In 1990, The Carolinian Creed was established as the university’s social honor code. The Creed approached these issues in a unique way; instead of limiting student’s rights, it empowered students to set an example for all to follow.

As faculty members, you serve as ambassadors of the Carolinian Creed. You are encouraged to incorporate the Creed into your work at the university. As Carolinians we oppose intolerance by promoting integrity within our campus community. Our common values are formed upon the foundation of our creed, which emphasizes openness and civility. Visit The Carolinian Creed website for more information, and to read the Carolinian Creed.

Academic ethical behavior is essential for an institution dedicated to the promotion of knowledge and learning. All members of the university community have a responsibility to uphold and maintain the highest standards of integrity in study, research, instruction, and evaluation.

The Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity promotes academic integrity, upholds the University of South Carolina Honor Code, and supports the ideals set forth in the Carolinian Creed to foster a better living and learning environment in the university community.


Office of Sponsored Awards Management (SAM) is a good place to get started in organizing your research endeavors at USC. SAM supports faculty and staff by facilitating proposal submission, award negotiation and administration of externally funded sponsored projects. 

The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) provides support for the University of South Carolina research community by assisting its researchers in staying abreast of, and in compliance with, regulatory requirements. Information on using human subjects in your research can be also found through the ORC webpage. If you have questions about compliance or regulations related to your research, please contact the ORC office for assistance.  

Links to additional research tools and news can be found on the Division of Information Technology's Research Computing site.

A Listserv is a group email discussion system. People who wish to join the discussion can subscribe to the group Listserv. Whenever a member of the group posts an email to the Listserv, a copy is sent to all group members. It's a way to broadcast information to a selected group of people.  The Division of Information Technology maintains the Listserv system, which is available to faculty, departments, colleges and organizations of the University of South Carolina. 

USC Printing Services is staffed and equipped to serve the university community with high quality single and multi-color printing, finishing, and binding. The full service print shop is located at 1600 Hampton Street, and the Quick Copy Center is located in the Russell House.

The Office of the Faculty Ombuds serves as a confidential, neutral, informal and independent resource for faculty concerns and conflicts. The Faculty Ombuds is available to all tenured, tenure track and non-tenure track faculty members within the USC system, except for USC Upstate, which has its own faculty ombuds. The Faculty Ombuds is available to listen to concerns, clarify issues, develop options and provide information. The ombuds advocates for fair and equitably administered processes and does not advocate on behalf of any individual within the university.

Division of Law Enforcement and Safety

The USC Division of Law Enforcement and Safety protects and serves the Carolina Community and is committed to the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. It is comprised of professionals in law enforcement, compliance and professional standards, environmental health and safety, and risk management who work diligently — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — to protect the people and property of the University of South Carolina. It's values — human life, integrity, excellence and accountability — assure their commitment to provide a safe and secure environment.

In emergencies dial 911 or 777-4125 from campus land lines to reach the USC Police Department. If you dial 911 from your mobile phone, you will be connected with a City of Columbia dispatcher. Tell them that you need to reach the USC Police Department to be connected immediately.

To learn procedures for campus emergencies and what you should do to keep yourself as safe as possible, visit the Division of Law Enforcement’s Emergency Procedures website.

Don’t walk alone after dark. Early evening to late evening, travel only in groups of three or more in well-lit and heavily traveled areas. If you must walk alone, call for a police escort (803-777-4215) or use the APO Escort Services (803-777-3825). 

For safe evening rides, Rides On Demand runs from 6:00pm - 6:00 am, Monday through Friday and 11:00pm - 6:00 am on Sunday nights. Call 803-777-1080 to request a pick-up. 

At the University of South Carolina, we want you to stay safe on campus. The Rave Guardian Safety App is a mobile app that turns any cell phone into a personalized protection network. It connects you directly with USCPD during an emergency and provides important information instantly. 

Fast-Response Panic Calls instantly connect with USCPD or with local 911. If the call is placed to USCPD, Rave Guardian automatically delivers your complete caller profile to our telecommunications personnel. The app also sends GPS coordinates pinpointing where the call was made. If you can’t be reached you after the call comes in, USCPD will use the GPS coordinates the app sends us and your profile picture to locate you.

The RAVE Guardian Safety App is available on the Apple App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices. Make sure you use your email address when registering. 

The Carolina Alert emergency notification system communicates emergency conditions that require immediate awareness or action. Depending on the level of the emergency, the system uses multiple methods, including text messages, social media posts and the website, to keep you informed. Every incident is unique; therefore, different communication media will be activated based on their reach, effectiveness, and location. Faculty should register to receive Carolina Alerts for up-to-the-moment campus safety news. To register to receive alerts log in to From the home screen, select Update Account Settings.  Once you validate with the security question, select Emergency Notifications and complete all applicable fields.

Please note that the university will only send text messages in the event of a true emergency. For other safety-related information, follow Carolina Alert on Facebook and Twitter.

Remember you’re in South Carolina—predicted weather, regardless of whether it transpires or not, may affect the university schedule. For up-to-date weather alerts follow Carolina Alert on Twitter and Facebook, and consult USC online at Weather Related Announcements and Updates.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.