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CofC welcomes Provost Austin

By Academic Affairs
Posted on 1 July 2020 | 10:05 pm — 

Please join us in welcoming our new Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Suzanne Austin.

Austin joined the College of Charleston’s leadership team on July 1, 2020. In this role, Dr. Austin serves as the chief academic officer of the College of Charleston and a key member of the President’s senior staff. Austin oversees academic programs, faculty affairs and many academic support functions, and works to ensure that the College of Charleston fulfills its institutional mission and goals.

Having served for nine years as the senior vice provost and senior international officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she has accomplished much in her tenure, such as leading an improvement of retention and graduation initiatives, establishing UAB’s first-ever Undergraduate Success Center, redesigned and expanded the structure of the UAB Honors College, created the Office of Student Engagement to focus on at-risk students, expanded the Office of National and International Fellowships, created UAB’s first LGBTQ staff position in Student Life, led the redesign of the academic calendar, created the Office of Service Learning and developed and launched the Office of Global Engagement, to name but a few.

Before that, she was an associate provost for academic affairs at the University of Delaware. During her time at UD, she held many titles: dean, faculty director of research, faculty fellow, department chair and professor. A noted historian, she is the author of many articles and books, including a book titled A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective (2003), a work that is probably more relevant today than we would like.

Growing up in Madison, Connecticut, Austin, from a young age, had an interest in learning about new places and people, a curiosity which ultimately drove her to study English and journalism as an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University before pursuing a graduate degree in history from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As she followed her career into academia, Austin became fascinated by the rich history and culture of Latin America – which led her on many international adventures.

Read more: Suzanne Austin named CofC Provost on The College Today.

Plan ahead for curriculum proposals in AY 2020-21

By Academic Affairs
Posted on 5 June 2020 | 2:25 pm — 

Plan now for your curriculum proposals in AY 2020-21, and please note the deadlines for specific types of proposals:

Click here for the undergraduate curriculum calendar.

Click here for the graduate curriculum calendar.

Proposals that do not arrive per the specified deadlines unfortunately cannot be considered. 2020-21 Curriculog forms will be available July 1, 2020.

Thanks in advance, and please contact Mark Del Mastro ( if you have any questions.

New Call Me MISTER Scholarship Honors Interim Provost Frances Welch

By |May 15, 2020|AcademicsAll News|

Dennis Wright says he never planned on being a teacher. It wasn’t until he was encouraged to enroll in the South Carolina Teacher Cadet program during his senior year of high school that his “eyes were opened” to a career in education.

“I realized that I could have an impact on the kids that need it the most,” says Wright, who is one of eight freshman students recruited to the College by Anthony James, director of the Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) program.

“Many of these young men have never had a minority male teacher, and part of my job is to visit high schools and let them know that teaching is a viable career,” says James.

Call Me MISTER is a state-wide program that was founded at Clemson University in 2000 and brought to the College of Charleston in 2007. Frances Welch, interim provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, worked with Acting Associate Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Andrew Lewis and South Carolina Representative and former MISTER Director Floyd Breeland to enroll a half dozen students that first year.

“I was so excited because I knew the statistics about the impact of this program,” recalls Welch, who was the dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance at the time the program launched. “If an African American male in grades PK-8 has at least one African American male teacher, he is three times more likely to complete high school and go to college.”

It’s the importance and wide-reaching impact of the Call Me MISTER program that inspired Steve and Kathy Parks to create a scholarship to support students majoring in teacher education who are participants in the Call Me MISTER program. The Parks’ named the scholarship the Fran Welch Teacher Education Endowed Scholarship in recognition of Welch’s dedication to the field of education and ongoing support of future teachers.

“Our Call Me MISTER program has grown significantly over the years and particularly with the addition of scholarships,” says Welch. “This new scholarship from Steve and Kathy Parks helps fulfill our vision for the MISTER program at the College.”

The Parks have long been supporters of education. Kathy Parks became involved with the College through the Teacher Leader program, which Welch started about 10 years ago.

“Dean Welch has a passion for the teacher education programs as well as exercise science and public health. Steve and I wanted to honor her commitment to the programs as well as her commitment within the greater Charleston area for education including Kids on Point and the Teacher Leader program with a scholarship in her name,” says Kathy Parks. “We chose Call Me MISTER students as the beneficiaries because we both feel strongly that this is an important program for the College and education in South Carolina. Slowly, with scholarships and time, the College is attracting more men of color to join their programs.”

The 2019 Call Me MISTER Signing Day celebration welcomed new students. (Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04)

Call Me MISTER provides tuition assistance, an academic support system to help assure student’s success, a cohort system for social and cultural support, and job placement support. James holds weekly group and individual meetings because he says, “being a minority on campus can be a tricky arena to navigate.” Wright says these meetings provide a safe space where he and his fellow classmates can talk about anything. They hold each other accountable, so no man gets left behind.

“Many of these kids are first generation college students, and paying for college is a pretty tall task, especially when you come from a disadvantaged background. Sometimes the students are fearful that they won’t be able to return the next semester because they don’t have the money and it’s heartbreaking,” James says. “This scholarship will remove that hurdle and allow them to focus on the most important thing, which is their academics. It will give them that peace of mind.”

So far, these efforts have worked. Graduates of the MISTER program are teaching in local elementary schools and have received awards and recognition. James encourages the Misters to think broadly about their impact and says, “you’re not great because of what you do, you’re great because of what you help other people do.”

The first recipient of the Fran Welch Teacher Education Endowed Scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2020. For more information on how to support this scholarship, please contact Lauren Whiteside Mann, senior development officer, at or 843.953.1718.

Congratulations to the 2020 ExCEL Award Recipients

By Academic Affairs
Posted on 15 April 2020 | 8:22 pm — 

Congratulations to the students, staff, faculty and community members who have received the 2020 Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards. Thank you for your commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence. Read more at

Outstanding Students of the Year

School of the Arts – Harlem Farr

School of Business – Kayla Kozak

School of EHHP – Akayla Sellers

School of HSS – Tanner Crunelle

School of LCWA – Isabel Crews

School of Sciences and Mathematics –Olivia Dzieciolowski

Honors College – Cookie Desai

The Graduate School – Delaney Drake

School of Professional Studies – Jeff Ballard


Outstanding Faculty of the Year

School of the Arts – Jason White

School of Business – Beatriz Maldonado

School of Education, Health, and Human Performance – Ian O’Byrne

School of Humanities and Social Sciences- Jenn Wilhelm

School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs- Lauren Ravalico

School of Sciences and Mathematics – Narayanan Kuthirummal

Honors College – Brooke Permenter

The Graduate School – Judy Millesen


Outstanding Student Awards

Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year – Deja Ford

Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year – Grant Riller

Septima P. Clark Award – Caliyah Parker

Eugene C. Hunt: Graduating Senior – Charlise Page

Eugene C. Hunt: Rising Senior – Reagan Williams

Lucille S. Whipper Award – Vanity Reid Deterville

Stephen C. Osborne and George P. Watt Jr. Bonner

Leader of the Year – Mason Barkley

SCAMP Student of the Year – Jabbarrius Ervin


Specialized Awards

Outstanding Staff Member of the Year – Celeste Granger

Administrator of the Year – Marla Robertson

The Unsung Champion – Nora Krasowski

Excellence in Customer Service – Bronwyn Barron

The Safe Zone Advocacy Award – Percival V. Haas

Demetria Clemmons Distinguished Mentoring Award – Page Keller

The Good Neighbor Award – Stephen Skardon, Jr.

Eddie Ganaway Distinguished Alumni Award – Tanya T. Harper

Leo I. Higdon Presidential Award – Jesse “Tripp” Keeffe

Harry M. Lightsey, Jr. Presidential Award – Carlin Nelson


Sustainability Awards

Student Sustainability Award – Sofia Troya Zambrano

Distinguished Faculty Sustainability Award – Todd LeVasseur

From the Office of Summer School

Faculty, Chairs and Program Directors: If a faculty member is scheduled to teach a lecture course in Maymester or any of the summer terms this year and  plans to deliver the course 100% synchronously, the course schedule type must be listed as “Online Study + Scheduled Online Meetings” with the approved Maymester or summer term meeting times for face-to-face sections. Otherwise, students can have course conflicts when they enroll in more than one course per term or in overlapping terms. If the course will be delivered 100% asynchronously, then the course schedule type must be listed as “Online Exclusively”. If the faculty member plans to offer your course mostly asynchronously but with some synchronous meetings, again the schedule type must be listed as “Online Study + Scheduled Online Meetings” but list the specific days and times of day for those synchronous meetings on the schedule too. All lecture sections will be delivered online this summer, and these three designations are the most user friendly for our students.

Additionally, faculty must take the self-paced express DE readiness course this month to teach a lecture section this summer unless they have already completed the usual six-week DE readiness course. Mr. Phillips expects the self-paced DE readiness course to be available starting next week, and our deputy CIO Zach Hartje will contact faculty who have not yet completed the usual DE readiness course and are scheduled to teach a lecture section this summer. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we prepare for this summer.

Contact: Michael Phillips, Director, Summer School, 843.953.4942,

Suzanne Austin Named CofC’s Next Provost

By Academic Affairs
Posted on 1 April 2020 | 8:45 pm — 

Suzanne Austin

President Andrew T. Hsu announced Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the appointment of Suzanne Austin as the College of Charleston’s next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Austin will succeed Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Frances C. Welch, who took on the role in May of 2019. Austin will begin at CofC on July 1, 2020.

With a career spanning nearly three decades in academia, Austin, who holds a doctorate in history from Duke University, has spent the last nine years serving as the senior vice provost and senior international officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she has led a series of initiatives focused on student success, faculty development, international programs and online learning.

“Suzanne Austin is an incredible addition to the College of Charleston’s leadership team. She possesses both a strong academic pedigree and a tremendous track record of success throughout her career,” Hsu said in a message to the campus community. “These attributes, combined with her laser focus on student success, faculty success and her experience in implementing and executing strategic plans, make her a great fit for our university.”

For Austin, the College’s forward momentum under Hsu along with the pending launch of the institution’s new strategic plan are what appealed to her most about joining CofC.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with all of the students, faculty and staff at the College of Charleston,” says Austin. “I’ve known about the College for a long time and have visited the campus several times over the years. I know what an excellent academic institution the College is, and the opportunity to serve the institution is very exciting to me.”

The College’s search for a new provost was led by Alicia Caudill, executive vice president for student affairs, and Simon Lewis, English professor and speaker of the Faculty Senate. R. William Funk & Associates assisted in the search. Members of the College’s search committee included faculty, deans and administrators from across campus.

Since joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2011, Austin has spearheaded initiatives to improve retention and graduation of students, established UAB’s first-ever Undergraduate Academic Success Center, redesigned and expanded the UAB Honors College, created the Office of Student Engagement to focus on at-risk students, developed and launched the Office of Global Engagement and expanded the Division of eLearning and Professional Studies, among many other successful academic efforts.

Austin hopes to help shepherd similar endeavors at CofC. During her visit to campus in March, Austin spoke with deans, chairs and faculty about opportunities for faculty development as well as possibilities related to new academic programs at the College.

“It’s clear there are many exciting initiatives already underway and these will continue to move forward over the summer and into the fall,” Austin says.

Prior to joining UAB, Austin spent 20 years at the University of Delaware serving in a variety of academic positions including as associate provost for academic affairs and faculty director for the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies.

Growing up in Madison, Connecticut, Austin, from a young age, had an interest in learning about new places and people, a curiosity which ultimately drove her to study English and journalism as an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University before pursuing a graduate degree in history from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As she followed her career into academia, Austin became fascinated by the rich history and culture of Latin America – which led her on many international adventures.

“Since I am a historian of Latin America, I love traveling in that part of the world,” says Austin. “I have lived in Mexico and Ecuador, but I love traveling everywhere.”

And her passion for understanding how the past intersects with the present made moving to Charleston, a location steeped in history, all the more attractive.

“I love traveling and exploring new places, and I am very excited about exploring the Charleston area,” she says.

As a historian of colonial Latin America, Austin has focused her research on the demography and epidemiology of the Andean region. Her 2003 book, A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective, studies disease among the native peoples of the New World before and after 1492 – a topic which has relevant parallels to current global events.

Nearly two decades after publishing A Pest in the Land, Austin says the impact of disease 400 years ago and what we are experiencing now with the coronavirus pandemic bears some striking similarities.

“The similarities around what happens to social networks and the delivery of social services during times of epidemic or pandemic disease are remarkable,” she says. “The source of stresses COVID-19 puts on individuals and on communities is similar in many ways to what occurred throughout Spain’s American colonies during the 16th and 17th centuries.”

But the ongoing disruptions around the world – and the related impacts on institutions of higher education like the College – are challenges that Austin is not afraid to tackle as she prepares to help CofC move forward.

“I think we’ll all come through this stronger – we may be different in some ways, but I think we’ll be stronger as institutions and as a nation,” she says.


Grading Policy for Spring 2020

Full Term or Express II Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

 College of Charleston | March 29, 2020
  • A notation will appear on undergraduate and graduate official transcripts indicating a significant disruption during the Spring 2020 semester
  • The deadline for students to withdraw from one or more full term or Express II courses will be extended. Students may withdraw from April 7, 2020 through April 22, 2020.
  • Faculty will use standard letter grades to submit students’ final course grades by May 1, 2020, by 5 p.m. This change in deadline is necessary to implement the new pass-fail grade type. Submission of all grades by this deadline is critically important.
  • A new pass-fall grade-type has been created for this semester. Students will be able to choose between the standard grade type (A-F) or the new pass-fall grade type (PS/NS) for each course completed in Express II or full-semester Spring 2020.
  • Undergraduate (PS/NS): If the pass-fail grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A through D-. A NS will replace standard grades F and WA.*
  • Graduate (PS/NS): If the pass-fail grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A-C. A NS will replace the standard grade F.

 Students will receive additional instructions about how to select the grade type for each course completed in Spring 2020. There will be a 48-hour period after final grades are visible to students in which students will make their selection for each course.  

  • In making the decision to retain standard grades or choose the new pass-fail grade type, students should talk with their faculty, advisors, and family. There are several factors to consider:
  • Students may choose the PS/NS option for one, some, or all their
  • A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations.
  • A NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.
  • Courses graded PS will fulfill major, minor, certificate, general education, and degree requirements.
  • The pass-fail grade type is only available for completed courses. An Incomplete (I) is not eligible for the PS/NS grade.
  • The pass-fail grade type is not available for audit, repeat, and courses designated P/NP (pass/no pass). EDLS 100 is not eligible for the pass-fail grade type.
  • Criteria for Dean’s List, President’s List, and Latin Honors remain unchanged; that is, only course credit earned at the College and graded with standard letter grades may be used to qualify.
  • This grading policy is in place for the 2020 Spring Semester.

*For South Carolina state scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE or SC HOPE), credit hours for the ”PS” grade do count towards scholarship eligibility, but not the GPA criterion since the GPA is not impacted by the “PS” grade. 

Please visit for more information. 


Continuity Website

All employees and students are encouraged to read the news and resources provided on the College’s continuity website.

Information about how to teach, learn, and work remotely is being updated daily.


Additionally, updated information about Library facilities and resources during the campus closure can be found at

Zoom – virtual classroom/meetings

The College now has an Institutional Zoom account that is available for all employees and students.

To activate your account, go to

Over the course of the next several days, we will be working on tutorials and information related to integrations with Microsoft Outlook.


Some time this week, we will have completed the OAKS integration so that it is available for teaching and learning through your course.

Spring Break Faculty Training Opportunities: Next week, during Spring Break, TLT will be offering a host of training opportunities to help prepare faculty for remote teaching and learning if we find ourselves having to sustain those practices for a period of time. These mix of face-to-face and online sessions are designed to introduce a short list of applications and best practices that can help get course materials online in a short period of time. The schedule and RSVP for these sessions can be found at

OneDrive and Teams Faculty/Staff Training Opportunities: In these one-hour Microsoft OneDrive (cloud-based storage) or Teams (collaboration) trainings, IT will share best practices and fundamentals. Faculty and staff can RSVP to to attend.

Microsoft OneDrive – March 13 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Online
Microsoft Teams – March 17, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Online
Microsoft OneDrive – March 18 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Online
Microsoft OneDrive – March 19 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Bell 519
Microsoft Teams – March 19, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Alumni Center
Microsoft Teams – March 26, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Online
Microsoft OneDrive – March 27 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., RSS 131
Microsoft OneDrive – March 31 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., RSS 131

In consultation with our academic leadership, our emergency management team, other state higher education leaders, the S.C. Governor’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the College has made the decision to suspend in-person classes the week following spring break and to extend our international travel prohibition through June 30, 2020.

All academic instruction, without exception, will be held online Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. Campus will remain open and operational during this e-learning week. However, all campus events (i.e., performances, conferences, guest lectures, student gatherings) are canceled through March 29.

Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home during spring break and the e-learning week (March 23-27). For those for whom this is not a realistic option, students are welcome on campus as detailed more fully on

For further details on e-learning, College operations and employee work arrangements, please go to


On behalf of the College, we appreciate your patience and flexibility during this very tumultuous time. Together, we will get through this!

Excerpted from the message from President Hsu sent to campus on March 12, 2020. 

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