The Lowcountry Graduate Center needed a burst of new energy to expand programs and bring in more students, College of Charleston provost George Hynd says.

And he thinks an administrative restructuring will bring the first jolt.

The center, which was launched in 2001 to expand graduate opportunities in the Lowcountry, is a collaboration between The Citadel, the College of Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Hynd said the state's Commission on Higher Education approved changes to the center's bylaws late last year.

The key change is a restructuring of the management team. Voting members of that body now include the presidents and provosts from the College of Charleston, The Citadel and MUSC. The center director and a representative from the commission are non-voting members.

Students probably won't notice any changes in the short run, Hynd said. But plans for the center include offering more graduate programs and other continuing education opportunities.

Samuel Hines, provost at The Citadel, said the center will offer programs from all three institutions designed to meet local demand. And center leaders will work closely with local industry.

Hynd said the College of Charleston is the center's fiscal agent, and the other two institutions also have a stake in its success. The new governing system allows those directly responsible for the center's financial and academic health to have more oversight of its programs and operations, he said.

The College of Charleston's north campus and the center are both housed in a building on International Boulevard in North Charleston, he said.

Now, some of the center's employees also work for the College of Charleston, and the cost of their salaries is split between the two institutions. The new leadership system will make the line between those two programs less fuzzy, he said.

The north campus offers undergraduate programs, he said, and the college also hopes to expand those in the future.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or