The Daily Gamecock

Donna Arnett named USC's new provost

The USC smokestack located next to the Horseshoe is a notable landmark on the university’s campus.
The USC smokestack located next to the Horseshoe is a notable landmark on the university’s campus.

Donna Arnett is USC's new provost, the board of trustees voted on Thursday. 

The provost is the chief academic officer and oversees the schools and colleges at USC's Columbia campus, according to the university's website

Arnett will begin on Aug. 1 and make $465,000 annually, according to university spokesperson Jeff Stensland. 

"My goals are to ignite success, listen to the facility and students about how innovations brought on by the pandemic's remote instruction might shape the future of teaching and learning, build upon the university's already strong academic offerings and foster a climate of inclusive excellence across campus," Arnett said in a statement the university released. 

Currently, Arnett is the dean of the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and a professor in the department of epidemiology. 

She has been at Kentucky since 2016, where she served as chief executive and academic for the college and reported directly to the provost. She received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina.

Prior to the announcement, the university named three finalists, who visited in March. 

The other finalists were Sacha Kopp and Valerie Kinloch. Kinloch would have been the university's first Black female provost. 

The university held online forums for each candidate where faculty, staff and students were encouraged to attend and provide feedback to the search committee. 

Arnett will take over for Stephen Cutler, who has been the interim provost since June 2021 when former provost William Tate left to become the president of Louisiana State University. 

Along with Arnett, the university also hired Julius Fridriksson as the school's vice president for research. 

Fridriksson is a stroke and aphasia researcher with the Arnold School of Public Health. He has been the interim head of the Office for Research since last summer. 

"It is a great privilege to be in a position to make sure my fellow faculty members receive the targeted, effective help they need to excel," Fridriksson said in a statement the university released. 

The two will work closely with President-elect Michael Amiridis, who will start this summer. 

"We are fortunate to have professionals of such high caliber to lead the university," Amiridis said in a statement the university released. 

Editor's Note: This article was updated on April 14, 2022 at 3:50 p.m. 


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