Skip to Content

Office of the Provost

Osborne Administration Building

About the Office of the Provost

Organization and Responsibilities

The individual responsibilities and duties of officers are listed below.  For more information about reporting offices and programs, see a complete organization chart [pdf].



Helen Doerpinghaus headshot

Helen Doerpinghaus, Ph.D., interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost

Interim Provost Doerpinghaus is the chief academic officer of the University of South Carolina. She oversees the schools and colleges of the USC Columbia campus. The Provost is charged with overall leadership of academic affairs of the university, including curriculum development and establishment of academic standards in the schools and colleges.  In her role as Undergraduate Dean, Dr. Doerpinghaus oversees review of the undergraduate general education requirements, the First-Year Reading Experience and provides guidance on undergraduate academic initiatives within and beyond the classroom.  She is responsible for the development and approval process for academic programs and courses.  

Lacy Ford Headshot

Lacy Ford, Ph.D., senior vice provost and dean of graduate studies

Dr. Ford is responsible for coordinating and advancing the interests of faculty, as well as the university's distance education programs within the colleges and schools on the Columbia and Regional campuses.

Allen Miller Portrait

P. Allen Miller, Ph.D., vice provost and director of international affairs

Dr. Miller is responsible for growing international recruitment among students and developing international relationships worldwide.  He also oversees the Rule of Law Collaborative and manages the University of South Carolina Press.

Harry Ploehn Portrait Photo

Harry Ploehn, Ph.D, vice provost and director of academic planning

Dr. Ploehn is responsible for the development and coordination of faculty grant programs, and is the Provost's Office chief liaison for both the Office of Research and the SmartState Program. He also oversees research space and the development and assignment of buildings. Dr. Ploehn coordinates the Classroom Enhancements and Space Needs and Planning (SNAP) committees for the Office of the Provost.


Additional Members of Provost's Executive Council

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., vice provost for special academic initiatives and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Tayloe Harding, Ph.D., associate provost for community engagement
William F. Hogue, Ph.D., vice president for information technology and chief information officer
Meera Narasimhan, M.D., D.F.A.P.A., associate provost for health sciences
Dennis Pruitt, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs, vice provost and dean of students


Office Staff

Office staff can be emailed by clicking on the individual’s name below.

Appointments with Provost and Vice Provosts

Belinda Atkerson, executive assistant to the provost
 -Appointments with Provost
- Council of Academic Deans (information, scheduling, agendas, etc.)

Sarah Livingston, administrative coordinator
 - Appointments with Lacy Ford
 - Communications and marketing

Beth-Anne Rogers, administrative coordinator
- Appointments with Harry Ploehn

Patsy Yarborough, administrative coordinator
 - Appointments with Helen Doerpinghaus
 - Phi Beta Kappa program

Trudie Wierts, administrative coordinator
 - Appointments with Allen Miller
 - Provost office events

Academic Administration

Mary Alexander, director of academic administration
 - Provost office budgeting
 - Academic unit budget oversight
 - Administrative management of the Office of the Provost
 - Post-award internal grants administration
 - SmartState financials

Academic Resources

Judi R. Horne, academic resource manager
 - Human resources coordination
 - Endowed chairs and named professorship coordination
 - Sabbatical leave

Derlene Lowder, M.Ed., director of academic research
 - Analysis, reporting and data collection
 - Blueprints
 - Dean review coordination
 - Pre-award internal grant program coordination
 - SECU liaison
 - Staff support for faculty initiatives

Terrie Smith, Ph.D., director of faculty affairs
 - Tenure and promotion, post-tenure review, and third year review coordination
 - Family friendly requests
 - Non-tenure track faculty criteria policies and procedures coordination
 - Faculty Senate committee membership list updates

Communications and Information Resources

Geniese James, director of information resources
 - Main Office of the Provost sites:
   Tenure & Promotion, University Policies, Focus Carolina, Carolina Core, First-Year Reading Experience,
   Undergraduate Studies, USC Connect, Global Carolina, Academic Programs Proposal System

 - Security and technology resources
 - SharePoint development and support
 - Website design and development

Sarah Livingston, administrative coordinator
 - Appointments with Lacy Ford
 - Faculty awards coordination
 - Communications and marketing
 - Web communications

Debra Richardson, administrative coordinator
 - Emeritus status requests
 - University policy updates
 - Website calendar and announcements

 Roseanne Shaw
- Calendar & Space Reservation System


Reporting Administrators

Reporting to Senior Vice Provost Helen Doerpinghaus
Novella Beskid, M.Ed., director, Fellowships and Scholar Programs
Shelley Dempsey, M.Ed., MBA, director, Evening Program
Kristia H. Finnigan, Ph.D., director, Academic Programs
Christina Friend, Ph.D., faculty director, Center for Teaching Excellence
Donald Miles, MPA, executive director of Institutional Research and Assessment
Kirk Randazzo, Ph.D., faculty director, Carolina Leadership Initiative
Irma Van Scoy, Ph.D., executive director, USC Connect

Learning Community Principals

Preston Residential College: Bobby Donaldson, Ph.D.
Capstone: Patrick Hickey, Ph.D.
Green Quad: William J. Jones, Ph.D.

Reporting to Senior Vice Provost Lacy Ford
Steve Adams, director, Distributed Learning Support Services
Janice Breuer, Ph.D., faculty civility advocate
Jessica Elfenbein, Ph.D., senior associate dean, Graduate School
Murray Mitchell, Ph.D., associate dean, Graduate School
Joel Samuels, J.D, deputy director, Rule of Law Collaborative

Reporting to Vice Provost P. Allen Miller
Magdalena Grudzinski-Hall, Ph.D., director, Study Abroad
Jonathan Haupt, M.A., director, USC Press
Jody Pritt, M.A., director, International Student Services
Alexandra Rowe, Ph.D., director, English Programs for Internationals
Gordon Smith,  Ph.D., director, Rule of Law Collaborative

Learning Community Principal

International House at Maxcy College: David Snyder, Ph.D.

Reporting to Vice Provost Harry Ploehn
Kate Shelton, director, Continuing Education and Conference Services