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Palmetto College

Faculty and Staff

Ron Cox, Ph.D.

Title: Dean
Department: Palmetto College Columbia
Palmetto College
Phone: 803-777-9425
Office: 901 Sumter Street
Byrnes Building 304
Columbia, SC 29208
Ron Cox


A native of Hebron (Williamsburg County), South Carolina, where my family has lived since the 1740s, I graduated from East Clarendon High School in Turbeville, SC in 1985.

From there, I attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, earning a bachelor's degree in history and graduating summa cum laude in 1989. At Wofford, I was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

I earned my master's degree and Ph.D., both in history, from the University of South Carolina - 1992 and 1996, respectively -- studying under Dr. Walter Edgar. My research interests focused on Civil Rights-era South Carolina, specifically examining how the Palmetto State dealt with challenges and changes to its Jim Crow system in the early 1960s.

Hired in 1992 as an instructor of history at USC Salkehatchie, I entered the tenure track as an Assistant Professor in 1995, was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure in 2001. In 2000, I accepted the position of Director of the USC Salkehatchie Walterboro campus, my first venture into the world of administration.

From 2002 to 2019, I served as Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs at USC Lancaster, and in 2015 was promoted to the rank of Professor of History. I continued to teach a variety of classes, including European Civilization, US History, Civil War & Reconstruction, Old South, New South, and I developed a course, PALM 493 - South Carolina Studies - for the BLS and BOL degrees offered through Palmetto College.  Since July 2019, I have served as Dean of USC Palmetto College Columbia.

I am a member of the Regional & Branch Campus Administrators (RBCA) professional organization, as well as a member of the Southern Historical Association, the South Carolina Historical Association, and the South Carolina Historical Society.

A resident of Columbia, I am married. My husband David and I are parents to three wonderful young adults (Holbrook, Sarah, and Christopher), as well to Roophus Adolphus, the dog who adopted us in 2017.  David currently serves as Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.