The administration building was the first built.

Chancellor

 Chancellor Brendan Kelly, Ph.D.

  •  Chancellor Brendan Kelly, Ph.D.

    Since becoming chancellor of the University of South Carolina (USC) Upstate in March 2017, Dr. Brendan B. Kelly has articulated an ambitious vision for the university aimed at creating transformative opportunities for students and the communities of South Carolina’s Upstate region and beyond.

    Chancellor Kelly and his leadership team have positioned USC Upstate as a top public, regional comprehensive university in the southeast – one that is focused on maximizing the institution’s ability to educate students, is deeply connected to industry, and is purposefully involved in the community. The university is highly ranked for excellence in performance by U.S. News & World Report, at No. 2 among Top Public Regional Universities in the South, and has been named a College of Distinction. 

    Engaging hundreds of members of the local community, Dr. Kelly initiated a stakeholder-based strategic planning initiative to develop a blueprint of USC Upstate’s future. Resulting from those efforts was Up. Together: USC Upstate Strategic Plan 2018-2023, which outlines three priorities: Providing rigorous, career relevant and accessible education; enhancing the quality of life in Upstate South Carolina; and being a university of choice for faculty, staff, students, and the community.

    Prior to joining USC Upstate, Dr. Kelly served the University of West Florida (UWF) where he led and managed the Division of University Advancement, as well as directed the School of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and chaired the Department of Communication Arts at UWF. He joined the UWF faculty in 2004, serving as director of the nationally recognized UWF speech and debate program. Specializing in speech communication training, Dr. Kelly has taught courses in political communication, speech communication, communication ethics and various areas related to strategic communication.

    Multiple honors have been bestowed upon him throughout his professional career, including the UWF Distinguished Teaching Award, induction into the National Forensic Association Hall of Fame, National Forensic Association Eddie Myers Distinguished Service Award, Eastern Michigan University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, induction into the Eastern Michigan University Forensics Hall of Fame, UWF Faculty Excellence award in Student Affairs, and recognition by the US Department of Defense as a Patriotic Employer.

    Dr. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in communication from Eastern Michigan University, and a doctorate in rhetoric and political communication from Wayne State University in Detroit. He and his wife, Dr. Tressa Kelly, who serves as USC Upstate’s First Lady, have three children: Bree, Liam and Kieran.

  • Video Media Covereage of USC Upstate Chancellor Dr. Brendan Kelly.


    September 10, 2018

    As the largest regional comprehensive university in the Upstate, USC Upstate plays a role far beyond educating students. Chancellor Brendan Kelly explains the critical role USC Upstate plays as an economic engine and talent developer.


    September 24, 2018

    The Upstate economy is expanding rapidly. USC Upstate Chancellor Brendan Kelly discusses how talent management and developing intellectual capital for the future positions the university as a great partner with area industries.


    September 10, 2018

    As the largest regional comprehensive university in the Upstate, USC Upstate plays a role far beyond educating students. Chancellor Brendan Kelly explains the critical role USC Upstate plays as an economic engine and talent developer.


    October 8, 2018

    The Upstate region is experiencing unprecedented economic growth and population expansion. Chancellor Brendan Kelly discusses how USC Upstate focuses on industry and community needs that are specific to this region.


    October 22, 2018

    Being a great regional partner means that USC Upstate is responsive to the needs of industries and communities. Chancellor Brendan Kelly shares ways in which USC Upstate is helping to shape the leadership of the future by providing transformative experiences for students.


    November 12, 2018

    Transformative experiences and high-impact learning opportunities abound at USC Upstate. Chancellor Brendan Kelly explains the non-traditional perspective that is needed to provide an education of the head and the hands.


    November 26, 2018

    Every dollar invested in USC Upstate is a dollar invested in the state of South Carolina. Chancellor Brendan Kelly talks about how the USC Upstate Foundation’s support of innovation can impact how well students are prepared for their chosen careers.


    December 10, 2018

    Ever wonder how Chancellor Brendan Kelly spends his free time?