President, University of South Carolina

Harris PastidesDuring the past decade, the University of South Carolina’s 28th president, Harris Pastides, has led USC’s flagship system of eight institutions in 19 geographic locations to higher achievements and unprecedented growth.  “In our ongoing push for excellence,” he says, “our chancellors, deans, faculty and staff continue to move Carolina toward world-class status and global recognition.”

Under Pastides’ tenure the university has seen the USC Honors College rise to the No. 1 public honors college in the nation; celebrated continual top rankings in undergraduate and graduate international business, public health, engineering, nursing and others; rapidly increased research funding; and surpassed a $1 billion capital campaign goal.

An unwavering advocate for a superior student experience, Pastides encourages engagement beyond the classroom through leadership, service learning, international experiences, internships and undergraduate research. During his tenure, innovative programs like Palmetto College, On Your Time Graduation, Gamecock Gateway, Gamecock Guarantee and the Gamecock Student Athletic Promise provide greater access, flexibility and affordability to South Carolinians seeking a higher education degree. To date, more than 90,000 degrees have been awarded systemwide during Pastides’ presidency.

In 2016, Pastides became one of seven Fulbright alumni to receive the inaugural Global Changemaker Award — given in recognition of his ongoing commitment to transform society and humanity through his work. The son of Greek immigrants, Pastides also received the 2017 prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor which pays homage to the immigrant experience and the contributions made to our nation by immigrants and their children.

Today, Pastides serves on many local, state, national and international boards including the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the Fulbright Program and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He is a past chair of the NC AA Division I Board of Directors and currently serves as the vice president of the Southeastern Conference.

Prior to joining the university’s faculty as dean of the Arnold School of Public Health, then advancing to vice president for Research and Health Sciences, Pastides was a professor of epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received two masters’ degrees and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Yale University. President Pastides and the first lady, Patricia Moore-Pastides, live on USC’s historic Horseshoe.