Derham Cole joined USC Upstate in December 2018 as associate vice chancellor for finance and administration. Prior to appointment at the university, the former Spartanburg attorney served for 10 years as a state representative for District 32 in Spartanburg County. During his tenure in the S.C. House, Cole was chairman of the Ways and Means Higher Education Budget Subcommittee, the Ways and Means Proviso Subcommittee, the Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation, and other subcommittees and committees. In 2018, Gov. Henry McMaster awarded Cole the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.
In addition to his years of public service, Cole has represented clients in business transactions and litigation since 2010 as a member of the Wilkes Law Firm, P.A. in Spartanburg. Prior to that, he was with the Cole Law Firm, LLC; the firm of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, both in Spartanburg; and the firm of Leatherwood Walker Todd & Mann, P.C. (now Fox Rothschild, LLP) in Greenville.
Cole earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics and a Juris Doctor/Master of International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He is a member of the Spartanburg County Library Board of Trustees and has served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and the Chapman Cultural Center. He was named Legislator of the Year by the S.C. Human Service Providers Association in 2016.