Posted January 14, 2019
Did you know that the University of South Carolina has a $5.5 billion impact on the state annually? Or that for every $1 South Carolina invests in higher education, $25 is returned to its economy?
UofSC is a critical determinant of South Carolina’s economic well-being. Despite that, state funding for higher education continues to decrease each year. To date, there are only three states that have cut funding for higher ed more than us. Aside from its impact on South Carolina’s economy, state funding also helps the university — and the CIC — hire the best faculty, offer the best classes and keep the cost of tuition down.
That’s why your participation on Carolina Day is so important.
Carolina Day is an annual event that brings faculty, staff, students and alumni together to remind legislators how critical state support is for the university. This year’s event is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 30. Instead of gathering at the State House as in days past, we now participate via social media, sharing #UofSCImpact stories with the state’s legislators and leaders.
This year, we’re excited to host all of the university’s communicators — as well as some friends from the local media — in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications for Carolina Day. By that point, we hope to be putting the finishing touches on the Social Media Insights Lab — formerly known as the Carolina Command Center — so that folks can get a sneak peek of what’s in store.
The lab is a perfect example of the CIC’s impact. For starters, students will have the opportunity to take classes in the lab and learn how to use its professional-grade software, Crimson Hexagon. Experience working with big data is increasingly important to employers in both the communications and information industries, so we’re dramatically expanding the careers available to students after they graduate.
It will also give the university’s faculty a leg-up on research — after all, Crimson Hexagon’s users can pull data from its archive of more than 1 trillion posts. Have you ever wondered how public opinion about a specific product or idea has changed over time? The power to answer questions like those will be right at our professors’ fingertips.
And, of course, there will be opportunities for us to help local businesses and organizations — we may even be able to help communities in South Carolina by providing valuable data on topics such as climate or tourism.
With that said, I invite you to join us on Jan. 30 to tell our legislators that a stronger USC means a stronger South Carolina.
P.S. Speaking of the Social Media Insights Lab, Kaitlyn Park will be joining us this month as our-first ever manager. Kaitlyn previously worked as a digital analyst at SCETV and has experience translating social media analytics into data-driven strategies. Welcome, Kaitlyn!