USC Upstate sits on 330 acres.

Alphonso Atkins Jr.

As Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, Alphonso Atkins Jr. serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for USC Upstate. As a member of the Office of the Chancellor and senior member of the chancellor’s cabinet, Mr. Atkins works closely with college leadership to advance and promote the core values of equity and inclusion by examining campus climate, accountability structures and college and divisional policies and procedures to help embed effective organizational practices and foster equitable and inclusive learning and working environments. He provides leadership, strategic direction and counsel related to creating inclusive business practices, producing equitable student outcomes, identity affirmation and unlawful discrimination and harassment policies. Mr. Atkins also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator and previously held the role of Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator at the Community College of Rhode Island.

A licensed attorney, Mr. Atkins, most recently served as principal and owner of a small boutique law firm which bears his name. His legal practice focused on civil litigation and mediation services in the areas of employment, media, family and higher education law. He served as a frequent adviser and organizational consultant to non-profit organizations, colleges and universities as well as small businesses across the country. Atkins formerly served as a member of the Labor and Employment practice group for the international law firm Faegre, Baker and Daniels, LLP.

Mr. Atkins also served as Regional Diversity Officer and was awarded full professorship in Communication Studies at Ivy Tech Community College; the largest singly accredited community college in the nation, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2015, Atkins was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Fellowship in World Religions and Culture in conjuncture with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) where he had spent nearly a decade as Director of Forensics and a member of the Communication faculty in the IU School of Liberal Arts.

  • Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) Indiana University, McKinney School of Law (2007)
  • Master of Arts (M.A) Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University-Mankato (2001)
  • Certified Culinarian (C.C) Le Cordon Bleu North America, Western Culinary Institute (1998)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Speech Communication and Humanities from Northwest Missouri State University (1994)
Licenses and Certifications
  • State of Indiana Bar (admitted May 2009-current)
  • Indiana Supreme Court; United States Northern and Southern Federal District
  • 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals
  • Certified Public Policy Mediator, State of Indiana Board of Law Examiners (2010)
  • Certified Title IX Administrator, ATIXA (2016)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Fellow-World Religions (2015)
  • Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor’s Award for Diversity (2012)
  • Edward P. Archer Award (Labor and Arbitration) (2007)
  • Finalist, George Dix Award for Legal Writing and Scholarship (2007)
  • Indiana Council of Legal Education Opportunity Fellow (2004)

Mr. Atkins is married to Kara Glennon and they have one daughter, Kat and two pets; Charlie, a toy Poodle and Thomas the wonder cat.