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Lowell named new campus dean of USC Union

Union, S.C. – Randy Lowell has been named dean of the University of South Carolina Union.

His appointment was announced on Friday, July 23, by Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins, who cites his exemplary record of progressive administrative leadership and teaching experience at USC Union.

“As USC Union moves forward in advancing its mission to our students, their families and surrounding communities, Dr. Lowell is the ideal person to lead the campus into a new era,” Elkins said. “His leadership experience working in both faculty and key administrative roles at USC Union, particularly his strong leadership as interim dean since the early months of a global pandemic, are strong assets for a campus that is responsible for bringing an affordable, accessible and flexible higher education to South Carolinians.”

Prior to his service as interim campus dean, Lowell served for four years as associate dean for academic and student affairs. During his time in both roles, the campus experienced record enrollment growth, significantly expanded course offerings and the Union campus had an 81.6 percent success rate for first-time, full-time freshmen entering in 2016. That rate is currently the highest in the state among all 20 two-year technical and Palmetto College campuses.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead USC Union,” said Lowell. “I look forward to building upon our current momentum by providing enriching experiences for a growing student body, attending to the needs of the community that supports our success and working collaboratively with colleagues across the system to benefit USC Union, Palmetto College and the University of South Carolina System.”

Lowell was unanimously recommended for the position by an eleven-member search committee, led by USC Lancaster Dean Walt Collins, representing a cross-section of stakeholders from USC Union’s campus and community.

Lowell comes to this new role at USC Union with progressive experience and accomplishments at the campus. He began his teaching career at the Union campus in 2012, where he taught psychology, later achieving tenure. He holds the academic rank of Professor of Psychology. Lowell was named associate dean for academic and student affairs in 2016 and was appointed interim campus dean in 2020. In 2019, Lowell was named USC Union Distinguished Teacher of the Year, as voted on by his colleagues and students. In addition, he is a 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Research Service Award from the UofSC Columbia Office of the Vice President of Research.

Raised primarily in the Raleigh, N.C., area, Lowell is a University of South Carolina alumnus, having earned a Ph.D., master’s and bachelor’s degrees in experimental psychology. He is married to Dr. Emily Lowell, a clinical assistant professor in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia and a psychologist in the developmental pediatrics clinic.

Lowell's tenure as dean of USC Union will officially begin on August 1, 2021.

The University of South Carolina Union serves students from a campus in downtown Union, S.C., a location in Laurens, S.C., through online and hybrid courses and dual credit courses for high school students. 

The University of South Carolina Palmetto College includes four two-year regional Palmetto College campuses at USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC Union; 19 online bachelor’s degree completion programs in partnership with UofSC Columbia, USC Aiken, USC Beaufort and USC Upstate; and online and hybrid programs offered through three Palmetto College Columbia locations.

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