Former Provost Returns to South Carolina After Leading University of Illinois Chicago
Posted on: January 14, 2022; Updated on: January 14, 2022
By Jeff Stensland, email@example.com, 8037773686
Michael Amiridis has been named 30th president of the University of South Carolina. Amiridis was selected by the university’s board of trustees at a meeting on Friday (Jan. 14) to lead the state’s flagship.
Amiridis is currently Chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), which he has successfully headed since 2015. Prior to his leadership at UIC, Amiridis spent more than two decades on the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus, serving as professor, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, and the university’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost before leaving for Chicago in 2015.
“I am excited and honored to return to the University of South Carolina as the next president,” Amiridis said. “Through academics, research, and its vibrant culture, the university system is critical to the people of South Carolina and to the future of the state. I feel privileged to lead this great institution.”
UIC is part of the University of Illinois college system and is home to one of the largest medical schools in the country. During his tenure at UIC, Amiridis focused his efforts on enhancing the student experience, engaging diverse communities, increasing UIC’s national and international reputation, and creating a culture of entrepreneurship.
Under his leadership, UIC saw six years of enrollment growth, surpassing 34,000 students in the fall of 2021, while winning national awards for attracting an increasingly diverse student population. UIC earned record sponsored research awards, over $440 million in FY21. Amiridis also successfully completes a capital campaign this spring to raise more $750 million in donations for UIC.
Through academics, research, and its vibrant culture, the university system is critical to the people of South Carolina and to the future of the state. I feel privileged to lead this great institution.
Michael Amiridis, President-elect of the University of South Carolina
Amiridis will launch in South Carolina this summer. He replaces interim president Harris Pastides, who returned to college in May 2021 after serving as president for more than a decade. Amiridis was the Provost of South Carolina from 2009 to 2015, working with Pastides to advance academics and science at the university.
“The qualifications to become the next president of the university include experience in senior-level higher education, having ‘the walk’ in academic life, a commitment to issues of diversity and inclusion, expertise in budgeting and fundraising, taking joy in celebrating Gamecock Athletics and a deep understanding and love for South Carolina. In selecting Michael Amiridis, the Board of Directors found that person,” Pastides said.
After Friday’s vote, C. Dorn Smith III, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said Amiridis is the right leader to improve the entire university system.
“Today we have chosen a first-class scholar and administrator to lead our institution. dr. Amiridis understands the university community and has a proven track record of leading a large organization to new levels of success,” said Smith. “I want to thank everyone in the university community who has provided valuable feedback to the board during this important presidential quest.”
Amiridis, 59, is a resident of Greece and a US citizen. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 1985 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. He and his wife, Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis (MS, ’97, PhD, ’11), have two children, Aspasia (BS, ’19) and Dimitri (class of 2022).
About the University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a globally recognized, impactful research university committed to a superior student experience and innovation in learning, research and community engagement. Founded in 1801, the university is a premier research institution of the Carnegie Foundation that offers the No. 1 freshman student experience among public universities and more than 300 graduate programs. More than 50,000 students are enrolled at one of 20 locations in the state, including the Columbia research campus. With 60 nationally-ranked academic programs — including top programs in international business, the nation’s top honors college, and leading programs in engineering, law, medicine, public health, and the arts — the university helps build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and the rest of the world.
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Topics: University Leadership, University President