Sandra J. Jordan, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University, has been named chancellor of the University of South Carolina Aiken.
USC President Harris Pastides made the announcement Thursday.
Jordan will begin her new term July 1 pending approval at the Board of Trustees’ June meeting, according to a news release. She succeeds Thomas L. Hallman, who is retiring after 12 years as chancellor.
“USC Aiken’s mission, unwavering dedication to student success and vibrant partnerships with the community, make this an exceptional and exciting position,” Jordan said.
Hallman’s last day is June 30. He was appointed interim chancellor on July 1, 2000 and was named the third Chancellor of USC Aiken on Jan. 1, 2001.
Jacob Cook, a 2010 USC Aiken graduate who serves on the university’s alumni council, said he hopes Jordan continues to grow the university while maintaining the unified atmosphere. He added that female leadership will bring a fresh perspective to the university.
“Dr. Hallman has done a great job. It’s exciting to see somebody new coming in to build on what he’s done,” Cook said. “She’s only the fourth chancellor. She’s really got a chance to leave her mark.”
Jordan has served in her current role at GCSU since 2009. She formerly held teaching and administrative appointments at University of Montevallo, Eastern New Mexico University, Murray State University and Mississippi University for Women. From 1986 to 1989, she taught as an assistant professor of art history at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. and also directed the Monsanto Gallery of Art at Lander.
At GCSU, Jordan oversaw the university’s four academic colleges, graduate programs and numerous other centers and academic units. She expanded the number of courses taught and increased support for undergraduate research and civic engagement. The school experienced a 300 percent increase in external funding through grants and contracts.
Todd Glover, a 1996 USC Aiken graduate, would like to see Jordan bring her previous success with funding and grants to USC Aiken.
“She could bring a lot to the campus in funding opportunities for study,” said Glover, the North Augusta city administrator.
Supporting the community and continuing alumni engagement are other areas Glover hopes the new chancellor will make a focus.
“She’s got some big shoes to fill but I think the community will get behind her quickly,” he said. “I’m happy to see she has some South Carolina ties.”
Last year, Jordan was appointed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to a task force to redesign the model for funding higher education in the state. She also serves on numerous boards, civic clubs and the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities board of directors.
Jordan earned her bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Alabama and her doctorate in art history from University of Georgia.
“Her background leading a distinguished faculty and advocating tirelessly on behalf of students gives her the experience and vision necessary to take the helm at a thriving campus like USC Aiken,” Pastides said. “She has the personality and disposition to make new friends for USCA and play an active role in the community.”