Skip to Content

Office of the Provost

Excellence Initiative


The Excellence Initiative promotes transformative teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement, pursuant to the core mission of the University of South Carolina and its strategic goals. In the face of stagnant state support, the University will launch this initiative by reallocating 3% of its own resources to the academic and research mission, to spur discovery and innovation, deepen existing areas of excellence, and reward preeminent levels of productivity.  The unified fiscal sacrifice this effort requires will not be easy, but it will allow the University of South Carolina to strengthen and broaden its impact as a leader in higher education with the anticipation that the state and others will join us in this initiative.

Advisory Committee

The Excellence Initiative Committee serves in an advisory role to Provost Gabel and President Pastides.  This Committee is charged with reviewing proposals and assessing their potential to be transformative and to provide a sustainable and lasting impact on the university.


  • Stephen Cutler, dean of the College of Pharmacy (co-chair)
  • Claudia Benitez-Nelson, distinguished professor, School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment
  • Doug Foster, chief information officer, Division of Information Technology
  • Jennifer Mandelbaum, graduate student, Arnold School of Public Health
  • Leah Moody, member, USC Board of Trustees (ex officio)
  • Prakash Nagarkatti, vice president for research and distinguished professor, School of Medicine
  • Todd Shaw, chair, Department of Political Science
  • Tracey Weldon-Stewart, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Weidner, chair, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Sara Wilcox, professor, Arnold School of Public Health

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.