UofSC Board of Trustees approves building renovations, faculty raises and more

The University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees met on Friday (Feb. 21). Here’s a roundup of approved actions and project updates:

New Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to begin June 15

The Board approved the employment contract for the university’s first Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Julian Williams. Williams, who most recently served as Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia’s George Mason University, was selected by President Bob Caslen following a national search process.

Funds approved for faculty salary increases

The Board approved a proposal by President Caslen to spend $7.4 million on salary increases, including compression raises and merit and retention raises for faculty in Columbia and Palmetto College faculty. The action is the first broad-based merit initiative for the Columbia campus in more than a decade.

New health sciences campus enters phase one approvals

The new health sciences campus entered the early stages of phase one approval. The Buildings and Grounds Committee presented a funding plan for two buildings for education and research. Construction in the BullStreet District will begin in fall 2023. The total project cost is projected to be $285 million, with about half coming from institutional funds. Approximately $85 million in funds were collected through the Excellence Initiative. The project will be voted on by the Board in April, and then must be approved by the state Commission on Higher Education, the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

Williams-Brice Stadium renovations remain on track

Work is progressing in the east, west and south zones of the stadium, with a goal of improving the fan experience. The project remains in budget and on schedule for completion by Aug. 28. Learn more about the changes from Gamecock Athletics.

Land to be acquired for intramural fields

The Board approved the acquisition of a $3.24 million, 300-acre parcel of land off National Guard Road near Williams Brice Stadium. The land is intended to support the development of intramural recreation fields and a golf practice facility for Gamecock Athletics. In addition to acquiring the land, the Board also approved funds for a development plan of the fields, which could include 4-5 natural turf fields with lighting, irrigation, gravel parking and restrooms.

War Memorial building poised for renovation

The Board gave initial approval to renovate the War Memorial building on the corner of Sumter and Pendleton streets. The project aims to restore the historic interior of the building, which was constructed in 1935. It will also include the replacement of mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems, renovation of the exterior walls and replacement of the roof. The building’s renovation is intended to shift it from office space to event and ceremony space. The renovation is  anticipated to begin late 2021.

Old law center gets new name

The former home of the law school will now be officially called the Science and Technology Building. The building reopened this January with state of the art chemistry labs, an open lounge and enhanced study space.

Donors make legacies with naming gifts

The Board approved the naming of several spaces in honor of South Carolina donors. In the athletics department, the DuBose Family Recruiting Work Room and the Michael W. Massey, Jr. Physician Office were established. Prisma Health also  gave $500,000 to the Sports Medicine Center.

New MOU establishes partnership with Prisma Health

A new memorandum of understanding with Prisma Health and the School of Medicine in Columbia and Greenville will allow for increased collaboration, including intellectual property patents and technology transfer support, operations development, cybersecurity, institutional insights, and strategic planning – all towards the shared goal of furthering research and innovation to improve health outcomes.

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