By Bill Poovey
Published Feb. 8, 2016
A planned University of South Carolina, Upstate, expansion in downtown Greenville will provide undergraduate courses, focusing initially on an urban and regional studies program, Chancellor Tom Moore said today. Speaking to dozens of people at the West River Street location, Moore said there will be “multiple programs.”
“The most important thing is an opportunity for us to engage in the vital life of downtown Greenville, to engage our faculty and students in that,” Moore said. He said the downtown location is a “perfect laboratory” for the urban and regional studies program.
|Greenville developer Phil Hughes, president of Hughes Investments Inc., is providing the space on River Street and has committed to use the lease payments for a speaker series intended to benefit Greenville. (Photo by Bill Poovey)|
“The folks at Clemson up the street — up the other street — are very excited … about this being a feeder program for their masters’ degrees there,” Moore said. He said USC Upstate’s expansion in Greenville will provide students “for public administration master’s degree programs, and one of those might be in our future as this program takes off and serves people.”
“They love this program,” Moore said of the welcome by Clemson to Greenville, which Clemson University President Jim Clements has described as “Clemson’s second home.” Clemson has hundreds of students in College of Business and Behavioral Science graduate level classes such as real estate and entrepreneurial centers at Greenville’s One Building on Main Street.
Moore said the 6,000-square-foot space on West River Street will also offer other undergraduate courses and will recruit for USC Upstate’s other locations. Moore said there will be no changes in the 6,000-student university’s programs at University Center of Greenville, a commuter campus on Pleasantburg Drive.
Moore said the timing of the expansion to downtown Greenville is largely due to Phil Hughes, president of Hughes Investments Inc., offering the West River Street space at an “unbelievable lease rate.” Moore did not provide the lease amount, but said he told a state legislator, “We’re not going to be spending a whole bunch of money.”
Moore said Hughes has agreed to put the lease payments into a foundation account and use the money to start a Hughes Upstate Speaker Series.
“How good is that? For a metropolitan university to engage that closely with one of the major developers in this part of the world,” Moore said. He said the speaker series will “enrich and enliven the life of downtown Greenville.”
Hughes said the USC Upstate expansion is a “real opportunity for Greenville and it’s easy to see that for cities of the future, one of the most important components will be education.” Hughes has graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and is lecturer-adjunct faculty member at Clemson.
Moore, who last year announced he is leaving the chancellor’s job when a successor is named, said a search is ongoing. He said USC Upstate is “an engaged metropolitan university. We bring what we know to communities where we reside and use community based research to make the lives of people better where we are. It’s what we do.”