As Dean of Extended University, Dr. Chris Nesmith oversees the military associates degree program at Fort Jackson, as well as the bachelors degree programs in Liberal Studies and in Organizational Leadership for Palmetto College. As Associate Provost, he works closely with the Chancellor, the faculty, and other administrators of the Palmetto College Campuses to plan, develop, and implement Palmetto College, the university’s online degree-completion program, and to provide leadership and support for the teaching, scholarship, and service missions of the Palmetto College Campuses of the University of South Carolina.
Currently in his 13th year with the university, his academic and administrative career has focused on providing access to educational opportunities for working adult and underrepresented students, as well as on developing, implementing and growing innovative academic programs and delivery methods and formats. His first position at the USC was as Coordinator of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program and Instructor of English with Trio Programs from 2003-2007. He was hired as Director of the Evening Program and Assistant Professor of English with Extended University in 2008, earning tenure in 2013. That same year he was named Assistant Vice Provost for Extended University, prior to his current appointment in January 2015.
Nesmith holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Arts from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, both in English, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in Nineteenth-century American Literature. His research interests are primarily in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, as well as young adult literature and children’s literature. He is currently working on projects that deal with nineteenth and early twentieth century travel writing for children and the construction of national identity. He has published in several scholarly journals and presented papers at regional and national conferences. He teaches freshman composition courses, American literature survey courses, and children’s and adolescent literature. His other teaching interests include online learning and incorporating technology into the classroom to improve student learning. He served on the board of the South Carolina Association for Continuing Higher Education from 2008-2014, and as its President in 2012.