Harris Pastides served as the 28th president of the University of South Carolina through July 31st, 2019. He was elected to that position by the university’s board of trustees on Aug. 1, 2008. His election marked the first internal candidate for the presidency of the university in over a half-century. Previously, Dr. Pastides had served as vice president for research and health sciences and Dean of the Arnold School of Public Health. He and his wife, Patricia, first came to the university in 1998.
Dr. Pastides sees USC as a place for producing leaders who can have extraordinary impacts at the local and global levels. His guiding philosophy for students, faculty and staff was “participate, innovate and lead.” His personal priorities are leadership, health, rule of law, K-12 education and energy. Dr. Pastides currently serves as the Southeastern Conference representative on the NCAA board of directors.
Under his leadership, the university’s student population grew to record levels at the Columbia campus and among the system’s regional institutions. Entering freshman SAT averages showed continued growth as have their average GPAs. In athletics, the University of South Carolina’s men’s and women’s teams have enjoyed extraordinary successes across the array of sports in the university system in the past two years.
Before joining the university’s faculty, Dr. Pastides was a professor of epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his master’s of public health and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University.