UofSC Board of Trustees approves deferred maintenance projects, new VP for Communications

The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees met virtually on Friday, April 24. Here’s a roundup of decisions they made during the teleconference.

New vice president for communications announced

Larry Thomas, head of Texas external affairs for BP, was selected as the new vice president for communications at the University of South Carolina on Friday, April 24. Thomas comes to Columbia from Houston, Texas where he led BP’s external affairs, community engagement, legislative affairs and business support activities for multiple business units in Texas. A native of Taylors, South Carolina, Thomas has a master’s degree in public administration from Valdosta State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. In his new role, Thomas will lead the university’s central marketing, branding and public relations efforts. Thomas begins his appointment as the vice president for communications on May 15, 2020.


Athletics extends several coaching contracts, hires new assistant football coach

The Board approved one-year contract extensions for eight athletics coaches: Bobby Bentley, assistant football coach; Mike Peterson, assistant football coach; Perry Clark, assistant men’s basketball coach; Chuck Martin, assistant men’s basketball coach; Lisa Boyer, associate head women’s basketball coach; Curtis Frye, head men’s and women’s track coach; Bill McDonald, head men’s golf coach; and Beverly Smith, head softball coach. They also approved the hire of a new assistant football coach, Des Kitchings, who will replace former assistant coach Bryan McClendon. 


University contracts and gift agreements approved

The following contracts were approved/renewed:

  • a revenue-generating agreement with Shorelight intended to establish virtual classrooms for international students;
  • a gift of 500 end-user licenses from Xpoda to the College of Engineering and Computing, which assists students learn to develop apps;
  • an agreement between University Development and SSB Consulting, intended to improve the university donor database and generate donations from employer matches;
  • renewed agreements between the university and Microsoft, as well as between USC Upstate and the USC Upstate Foundation;
  • a new software licensing agreement for the School of Medicine Greenville that would allow students to continue simulation training;
  • lease agreements with Founder’s Federal Credit Union for ATM space behind the Russell House and with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division for use of the volleyball practice facilities in case of COVID-19 hospital overflow;
  • an extension of a cost-saving voluntary separation program for the College of Education;
  • a gift agreement establishing the Lee and Brad Poole Aquatic Center at USC Upstate.


Deferred maintenance projects continue, some new projects delayed

In a cost-savings measure to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the board agreed to temporarily delay several construction projects, including Campus Village. Some critical deferred maintenance projects were approved, including:

  • New roof and chiller for the School of Medicine, Medical Park 15 building;
  • New roof for the Coker Life Science Building;
  • Continued restoration of the historic Taylor House located in front of the School of Law on Senate Street.

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