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College of Arts and Sciences

The Horseshoe at USC

Office of the Dean

The Office of the Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences leads the college through operating the budget and human resources offices, directing the use of the college's facilities, coordinating external relations and alumni relationships, and overseeing academic planning for the largest college at the University of South Carolina.

Organization and Responsibility

The College of Arts and Sciences leadership is divided among deans who oversee specific academic and administrative areas within the college. Advancement and alumni relations, human resources and budget offices assist in the management and administration of the college.


Lacy Ford, Ph.D., Dean

Dean Ford provides academic and administrative leadership to the largest college of the University of South Carolina. He provides oversight for budget, curriculum development and policies and procedures.

Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Instruction, Community Engagement, and Research

Dr. Benitez-Nelson fosters undergraduate research opportunities by enhancing the value of an Arts and Sciences degree.  She develops strategies to encourage community engagement on and off campus and works with University Housing, the Honors College, and the College’s Academic Advising Team to promote innovation on campus.  Her responsibilities include liaising between the dean’s office and the departments of Biology, Mathematics, the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment, and Statistics. Dr. Benitez-Nelson reviews all third year, tenure and promotion, post tenure review files, as well as sabbatical requests and nominations for named professorships and faculty awards for the sciences.

Cynthia Davis, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Arts, Humanities and Academic Initiatives

Dr. Davis’ responsibilities include liaising between the dean’s office and the departments of English; history; languages, literatures, and culture; philosophy; religious studies; theatre and dance; and the School of Visual Art and Design, as well as all centers and institutes related to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Dr. Davis reviews all third-year, tenure and/or promotion, and post-tenure review files along with hiring requests, administrative annual reviews, sabbatical requests, and faculty and student awards and honors for arts and humanities. She is also tasked with generating and implementing college initiatives designed to more effectively communicate the value of degrees in arts and sciences to a variety of audiences.

Loren Knapp, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Advising, and Retention

 Dr. Knapp is responsible for representing the college in all matters related to undergraduate services, including working with the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support and serving on a wide-range of committees.

Tracey Weldon Ph.D., Associate Dean for Diversity, Interdisciplinary Programs and Social Sciences

Dr. Weldon is the academic liaison between the dean’s office and the departments of anthropology, criminology and criminal justice, political science and sociology as well as interdisciplinary programs within the college. In her role overseeing diversity and inclusion, she provides input into decision making, strategic planning and hiring initiatives to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity. Dr. Weldon also works with the USC Chief Diversity Officer and other members of the university’s Council of Academic Diversity Officers (CADO).

Hanno zur Loye, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. zur Loye oversees all graduate directors within the college, college grants administration, college outside professional activties, and annual CAS SmartState reports. Dr. zur Loye serves as the liaison for the USC Office of Research, the College Institutional Review Board, and CAS departments in regards to budget-related matters, the CAS undergraduate computing and research operation, the college machine shop and the college electron microscopy facility. His responsibilities include liaising between the dean’s office and the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geography, Physics & Astronomy, and Psychology for which he reviews all third year, tenure and promotion, post tenure review files, as well as sabbatical requests and nominations for named professorships and faculty awards for the sciences.

Elise T. C. Ahyi, Assistant Dean for Academic Policy, Planning, and Administration

Ms. Ahyi is responsible for managing college-level academic administrative policies and procedures, dean's office administration and planning, and internal CAS communications.

Derlene Lowder, Chief of Staff and Assistant Dean for Administration, Faculty Data and Research

Ms. Lowder is responsible for budget oversight, analysis and reporting of data collection, as well as development and implementation of strategies to support the college.

Ginger Nickles Osborne, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Academic Planning and Enrollment

Dr. Nickles Osborne allocates and manages college-level curriculum development and review including academic program and course proposals, all resources pertaining to graduate assistants, non-tenure track instructional staffing, adjunct staffing and summer instructional staffing. 


Office of the Dean Administration

Sally McKay, Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations

Laura Najim, Associate Director of Internships, Stewardship and Scholarships

  • Internships
  • Scholarships
  • Stewardship

Amanda Hernandez, Communications Manager

Trudie Wierts, Administrative Coordinator

Vinnie Suarez, Senior Director of Development
Dena Byerly, Development Coordinator
Rebecca Lancaster, Director of Development
Ashley Lindsay Smith, Director of Development

Kathy Fitzhugh, Director of Finance, Budget, and Grants

  • Academic unit budget oversight
  • Internal grants administration
  • SmartState financials
  • Analysis, reporting and data collection

Susan Klie, Assistant Director of Finance, Budget, and Grants

Patty Brabham, Senior Budget Analyst

  • Account memorandums – processing
  • College-wide lab fee submissions to Bursar
  • Maintain the college commitment database and reimbursements to departments
  • Analysis and preparation of college-wide budget transfers
  • Semi-annual "A Fund" reviews
  • Carry-forward preparation in conjunction with budget director
  • Reconciliation of summer school between departments and college
  • Quarterly financial reviews of E-fund accounts
  • Quarterly financial reviews of restricted funds
  • Maintenance of dean-level accounts (to include new faculty startup costs)
  • Deposit receipting
  • Journal entries – college wide approver

Wendy Roberts, Budget Analyst

  • Dean’s office business functions
  • Dean’s office budget development
  • Monitor Dean’s office accounts
  • Deposit transmittals
  • Dean’s Office Educational Foundation accounts
  • Time and effort reporting
  • Account memorandums – preparation
  • P-Card Liaison

Alysia Bridgman, Finance, Grants, and Operations Manager

Jan Miron, Grants Manager

Bob Ellis, Business Administration and Operations Manager

Rhonda Stephens, Business Administration and Operations Manager

Barbara Delaney, Receptionist 

LaTasha Robinson, Director of Human Resources.

Manages all HR operations of the college to include but not limited to:

  • the hiring and reappointing of faculty, staff, students, and temporary employees
  • promotions for non-tenure track faculty, tenure and promotion, post-tenure review, third-year review, retention actions, sabbatical leaves, dual employment, ECOM processes, resignations, retirements, and oversight for awards, professorships, and endowed chair appointments
  • process, at the college level, all leaves of absences, including FMLA, LWOP, personal leave, military leave, jury duty, bereavement leave, etc. for all faculty, unclassified staff, and classified staff
  • employee relations for staff and faculty
  • the preparation and monitoring of the college's personnel budget; advises on matters related to the human capital management processes of the college and university

Stephanie Marrs, Human Resources Associate
HR actions for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to include: 

  • Summer ECOM
  • Research Grant Positions for Staff and Faculy
  • Time Limited Positions for Staff and Faculty
  • Temporary Positions for Staff
  • Student Hires
  • PBP 4/5 Actions for RGP, TL, and Temp Staff positions
  • PBP 7 for RGP, TL, and Temp Staff positions
  • Oversee and manage the College’s EPMS processes annually for FTE Classified Staff

Betty Helms, Human Resources Associate
HR actions for Natural Sciences to include:

  • Summer ECOM
  • Research Grant Positions
  • Time Limited Positions
  • Temporary Positions for Staff and Unclassified Positions, excluding TFACs
  • Student Hires
  • PBP 4/5 Actions for RGP, TL, and Temporary Positions, excluding TFACs
  • PBP7s for RGP, TL, and Temporary Positions, excluding TFACs

Cheri Shinn, Human Resources Associate

  • Administrative Appointments/Reappointments
  • Affiliate Hires (Staff, Faculty, and Visiting Scholars)
  • Appointment/Reappointments of FTE Non-TT Faculty and Unclassified Staff
  • Tenure Track Faculty and TFAC Hires and HR Actions
  • FTE Unclassified Staff Hires and HR Actions
  • Dual Employment (Faculty and Unclassified Staff)
  • Tenure and Promotion Assistance
  • Post-Tenure Review Assistance
  • Third Year Review Assistance
  • Emeritus Requests
  • Sabbatical Leaves Paperwork Submission
  • PBP 4/5 Actions for FTE Faculty and Unclassified Staff
  • PBP7s for FTE Faculty and Unclassified Staff  

David Mullaney, Director, Information Technology Services

Richard England, Network and Systems Manager

Randolph Franklin, User Support Technician

Richard Kemp, Macintosh Support Specialist

Felicia Smalls, Operations Manager

Jason Dean, Evening Operations Manager

Johanna Lewis, Applications Support Specialist

Zach White, College Web Developer

Christian Price, Sciences IT Support Manager

Lee Hallman, IT Support Manager for Biology

Jerry Branch, PSC Computing Lab Manager

Jun Zhou, Director of Research Computing
Glen Dufour, Applications Analyst
Michael Milligan, Applications Analyst

Allen Frye, Director of Mechanical Prototype Facility

John Moring, Director of Space and Facilities Operations

Gary Bennett, Coordinator of Buildings and Services
Brian Grabski, Assistant Coordinator of Buildings and Services
Charles Barnett, Chief of Services Crew
Luther Johnson, Services Crew Member

Dawn Hiller, Student Services Manager, Director of Students - Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts 
Jennifer Shiver, Student Services Manager, Director of Students - Science, Math, Statistics
William "Lane" Kennedy, Student Services Program Coordinator
Doug Roberts,
Student Services Coordinator
Jodie Salter, Student Services Coordinator
Theresa Ashley, Administrative Assistant

Administrative Staff

Sarah Livingston, Office Manager and Assistant to the Dean
  • Assistant to the Dean (appointments, travel, correspondence)
  • Member of CAS Communications Team
  • Coordination of Chair and Director Annual Evaluations and Reappointment Evaluations
  • Coordination of CAS Faculty Initiatives Process
  • Collaboration with advancement and alumni relations
Sarah Gottshall, Administrative Assistant
  • Associate Dean Benitez-Nelson
  • Associate Dean Davis
  • Associate Dean Weldon
  • Associate Dean zur Loye