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Palmetto College

Faculty and Staff

Susan Elkins, Ed.D

Title: Chancellor
Palmetto College
Phone: 803-777-7695
Fax: 803-777-8840

1420 Pendleton Street
Thornwell Administration Annex, Suite 339
Columbia SC 29208

Susan Elkins


Dr. Susan Elkins was named Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Palmetto College in February 2013. The Chancellor serves as the chief administrative officer of Palmetto College, which includes the coordinated distance education offerings of the College and the University of South Carolina’s four associate degree-granting regional campuses – USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC Union. The Chancellor is responsible for the overall planning, resource allocation, and program evaluation of the four Palmetto College campuses and the online bachelor’s degree completion programs offered by the four senior campuses of the University of South Carolina System – USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, USC Columbia, and USC Upstate.

Dr. Elkins previously served as Vice President of Extended Programs and Regional Development and Dean of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Tennessee Technological University (TTU). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from TTU and completed her doctoral work in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Elkins served TTU by leading outreach and service efforts in the 42-county service area, first as Director of Continuing Education in 1991, Director of Extended Education beginning in 1992, then as founding Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education in 2002 before being named Vice President in 2006. As a result of numerous internal and external partnerships with campus colleges and schools, along with external partners such as community colleges, Tennessee Technology Centers, K-12 school systems, and business/industry partners such as Volkswagen, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority, enrollment increased substantially during her tenure.

Other innovative efforts involved partners such as:

  • The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)
  • Battelle for Kids
  • The State Department of Education
  • The State Department of Economic and Community Development
  • The State Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • The Appalachian Regional Commission

Prior to Susan’s tenure at Tennessee Tech, she worked with Career Development programs for high school students in various Upper Cumberland counties and taught middle school math in her hometown school system in Gainesboro (Jackson County), Tennessee.

Dr. Elkins was also a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the TTU College of Education. Her publications and numerous presentations have focused on leadership, continuing higher education, and student success issues such as retention and dropout prevention. She was involved in research and service projects totaling approximately two million dollars. Elkins has spent her career of over 35 years focusing on student access and success issues in K-12 and higher education, coupled with internal and external partnerships involving P-16 education, business/industry, and government.


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