University of South Carolina

Carolina Spotlight: Donald Miles

Donald Miles first found his interest in higher education while working in the chancellor’s office as a USC Aiken student. The political science major had found his niche. After working at various colleges, Miles came to USC and he will be heading the Office of Institutional Assessment and Compliance. He’s got big plans to make Carolina a leader among colleges and universities. 

Finding a path: “When I was at USC Aiken, I worked in the chancellor’s office, directly for the chancellor. Tom Hallman was my chancellor at the time. When I started he was just inaugurated as chancellor, and I worked for his office all four years. That was my introduction to higher education and from that I knew that I wanted to work in a field that would allow me to give back to an institution that had given me so much.” 

USC’s heartbeat: “I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to stay on the pulse for what’s going on in the institution as a whole. We’re directly responsible for the SACS accreditation so at the end of the day, people are going to look to our office to make sure that we are in compliance.  Our office collaborates and engages with so many other offices on campus.  You get to know what kind of initiatives the university is taking on. You get to engage with faculty as well as staff.”  

An open office: “One of the main things that we’ll be doing is reshaping how we look at institutional research and assessment here at the university.  We want to be an open office where faculty and staff feel comfortable coming to us if they have a particular question about research, assessment or SACS compliance.”  

Data head: “We want faculty and staff to know that we are a resource to help them with whatever their needs are in assessment and research. In today’s higher education environment there’s more of a need for data than ever before. And we want to make sure we are putting data in the hands of those who actually need it so they can make sound decisions based on that data.” 

A leader: “We want to turn the University of South Carolina into a leader for assessment and institutional research best practice; that we have other institutions that will look to us instead of us bringing other folks in. I want us to be the industry leader.” 

Getting there: “Having a sound vision and direction for institutional research and assessment is what is going to take us to the next level. And that is something — not that we didn’t have before — but that vision is clearer now.  I am thankful to have this opportunity to take the Institutional Assessment and Compliance Office to the next level.”

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Posted: 09/17/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/17/13 @ 6:50 PM | Permalink