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Selection of new USC Aiken chancellor expected Friday

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The search for a new chancellor at USC Aiken is soon to end, with applicants narrowed down to four finalists.

The chair of the search committee, USCA professor Dr. Thomas Reid, said the Board of Trustees will vote on its final selection Friday.

Current USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan announced in October that she will retire June 30 after serving in the role since 2012. The search for the next chancellor kicked off in November, when the search committee and third party firm Academic Search met via Zoom.

The new chancellor is slated to assume office July 1.

Here is some information about each of the candidates below. More details, bios and curricula vitae of the four finalists are available online at


Dr. James Conwell is a finalist for the chancellor role at USC Aiken. He is the vice president and chief operating officer at engineering firm Childress Engineering Services. (Courtesy of USC Aiken)

Dr. James Conwell

Dr. James Conwell is the vice president and chief operating officer of Childress Engineering Services, an engineering firm in Texas. Prior to this position, Conwell was the president and chief executive officer of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from 2013 to 2018.

Conwell earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, with minors in electrical engineering and mathematics, according to his curriculum vitae.

According to his bio, he has years of experience in both academic and commercial or industrial settings. At Rose-Hulman, Conwell created a "cutting edge" academic program, developed a Center for Diversity and Inclusion and had "substantial success" in fundraising, according to his bio.


Dr. Daniel Heimmermann is a finalist for USC Aiken's chancellor role. He is the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas Permian Basin. (Courtesy of USC Aiken)

Dr. Daniel Heimmermann

Dr. Daniel Heimmermann has been the provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Permian Basin since 2014. Prior to that, he served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mississippi University for Women.

Heimmermann earned his Ph.D. in early-modern European history from Marquette University.

At UT Permian Basin, Heimmermann led the creation of multiple undergraduate and academic programs, according to his bio. Multiple new colleges were also established under his leadership, including colleges in engineering, nursing, business and health sciences and human performance.


Dr. Charles Patterson is a finalist for the USC Aiken chancellor position. He is president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. (Courtesy of USC Aiken)

Dr. Charles Patterson

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Charles Patterson has served in his current role since 2019. He recently served as the senior advisor for executive outreach at the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office from 2017 to 2019.

At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Patterson earned his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.

Enrollment at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania has increased under Patterson's leadership after a nine-year enrollment decline, according to his bio. While working for Federal Student Aid, Mansfield was "responsible for the development and execution of outreach and engagement efforts with higher education executives across the country and abroad," according to his bio.


Dr. Carolyn Stefanco is a finalist for USC Aiken's chancellor position. She is an associate member for the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong in Australia. (Courtesy of USC Aiken)

Dr. Carolyn Stefanco

Currently an associate member of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong in Australia, Dr. Carolyn Stefanco recently served as president of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, from 2014 to 2020.

Stefanco earned her Ph.D. in history from Duke University, with U.S. women's and social history as her major fields, according to her curriculum vitae.

According to Stefanco's bio, she has devoted her time to fundraising, community service and economic development for a variety of causes. She has launched initiatives to prepare diverse young women for leadership roles and created endowed student scholarships, according to her bio.

Blakeley Bartee covers the education beat at the Aiken Standard. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2020. You can follow her on Twitter: @blakeleybartee.

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