Carmichael to retire from USC Salk
by The Press and Standard | September 6, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 5, 2018 at 8:41 am
Dr. Ann C. Carmichael, dean of the University of South Carolina Palmetto College’s USC Salkehatchie Campus, has announced her retirement, effective December 31, following a 35-year career in higher education. She has served as USC Salkehatchie Campus dean since 2000.
“Dean Carmichael is a consummate leader who has brought out the best in USC Salkehatchie students, faculty and staff and she has worked diligently to make the Palmetto College Campus a stellar institution within the USC System,” said University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides. “I celebrate her work and I am certain that her retirement will bring a new chapter in a successful life.”
Prior to her appointment as campus dean, Carmichael served the USC Salkehatchie Campus for nine years as director of the Salkehatchie East Campus in Walterboro and development coordinator for the institution’s multi-million-dollar capital campaign. She previously served as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of students at Charleston Southern University and dean of students at Judson College in Marion, Ala.
A University of South Carolina alumna, Carmichael earned her Ph.D. in counseling from the university; she also attended USC Union. In addition, she has earned a master’s degree in student personnel services from Clemson University and is also a Fellow of the Riley Institute at Furman University.
Under Dean Carmichael’s tenure, USC Salkehatchie — which has campuses in Allendale and Walterboro — has boasted record student enrollments, with one of the highest increases in the state over a five-year period (2007-2013). To complement that growth, Carmichael has hired strong faculty who have been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for their outstanding teaching and research. Those faculty members not only teach students on the two campuses, but also dual credit programs at 18 high schools throughout the region. The college credit earned by those high school students saves thousands of dollars for families seeking to support their children’s desire to complete a post-secondary education.
Carmichael worked to develop partnerships with USC Columbia and USC Aiken to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing and engineering, respectively, on-campus to accommodate students who may not be able to leave the region for a variety of reasons to complete a four-year degree. Over 100 nurses have graduated with the BSN degree and over 75 percent are living and working in Salkehatchie’s five-county service region. Students also have the option to complete one of 14 bachelor’s degree completion programs through USC Palmetto College Online; Salkehatchie is one of four Palmetto College Campuses in the USC System.
Salkehatchie’s athletics programs compete in the NJCAA Region X Conference and, under Carmichael’s tenure, sports offerings have increased from one to seven. Student-athletes compete in softball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball (in Allendale), men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball (in Walterboro).
The university has also significantly improved the appearance of both the Allendale and Walterboro Campus, and the campuses’ footprints extended beyond their existing borders to initiate a “college town” approach to growth in both communities by providing local student housing. Campus leaders collaborated with private developers, municipal and civic leaders to build The Reserve, a student housing complex on property adjacent to the USC Salkehatchie West Campus in Allendale. The facility, which opened in 2015, had a 90-percent occupancy rate during its first year of operation. A similar partnership in Walterboro has developed the historic Albert House into Salk Place, a downtown student housing complex.
“Dr. Carmichael has made a profound mark on USC Salkehatchie, Palmetto College as a whole, the university, our communities and our state,” said USC Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins. “Her stellar leadership has ensured that USC Salkehatchie serves students throughout the region, and her work has positively impacted economic and community development across the Low Country.”
In addition to working to ensure the academic successes of the campus’ students, Carmichael also worked to ensure that Salkehatchie played an integral role in the revitalization of a region that comprises five of the state’s poorest rural counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton and Hampton.
Carmichael worked with community members to establish the Salkehatchie Leadership Institute, the community-outreach arm of the institution that assists municipalities and community groups with economic development and other projects that strike directly at the quality of life experiences by residents of the region. The institute also provides leadership development programs for adults and STEM programs for youth, including robotics teams and a summer aviation camp offered in conjunction with the Lt. Col. Hiram E. Mann Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. and The Boeing Company.
In 2007, Salkehatchie received a USDA rural development grant to restore the Carolina Theatre, a 1920s-era Art Deco-style cinema in downtown Allendale, S.C. The Carolina Theatre officially reopened as a performing arts venue in 2013.
Carmichael worked with SouthernCarolina Alliance to secure the region’s continued development as a federal Promise Zone designee. The South Carolina Promise Zone designation for the six counties served by USC Salkehatchie has enabled the counties to gain priority for grants from 13 federal agencies. The university has been able to work with the Town of Allendale, Savannah River Council of Governments, SouthernCarolina Alliance and other entities to create and secure funding for “University Mile,” a recent streetscape project in downtown Allendale.
Cumulatively, Carmichael has helped secured over $11 million in external funding through grants and private support to further campus and community growth.
Carmichael is active in the greater Salkehatchie region community, recently serving as chair of the Walterboro-Colleton Chamber of Commerce, the SouthernCarolina Regional Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors and chairman of the Savannah River Site Redevelopment Authority Board. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for Colleton Medical Center, the Colleton Literacy Board of Directors, and has served as honorary chairman for the March of Dimes. She is currently co-chair of the advisory board for The Art of Community: Rural SC, an initiative of the South Carolina Arts Commission. Carmichael was also recognized by the Walterboro-Colleton Chamber of Commerce as Outstanding Contributor to the Field of Education in 2000 and 2014, and she received the chamber’s Innovation Award in 2015.