SC State to Inaugurate 10th President, Dr. George E. Cooper

Friday, March 06, 2009


The SC State family, alumni, stakeholders, friends and community will join together for the inauguration of Dr. George E. Cooper, 10th President of SC State, on Friday, March 27, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton (SHM) Memorial Center.

On July 16, 2008, Dr. George E. Cooper became the 10th President of South Carolina State University. Dr. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Husbandry from Florida A&M University, a Master’s of Science in Animal Science from Tuskegee University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana. With over 40 years of professional service in Higher Education, Dr. Cooper brings to the position of President notable administrative, academic, and finance experiences.

Prior to joining SC State, Dr. Cooper served as Deputy Administrator for Science and Education Resources Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. In this role, he was responsible for the coordination of over $140 million in grant programs in the areas of education, research and extension for land-grant universities and other eligible institutions. Dr. Cooper’s duties also included the coordination of projects in international development that promoted collaboration between faculty and staff from partner institutions. During his tenure at USDA, Dr. Cooper previously served as Deputy Administrator for the Partnerships Unit, Acting Deputy Administrator for Communications, Technology and Distance Learning, Principal Animal Nutritionist, and Coordinator of Strategic Planning.

Further, Dr. Cooper served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Animal Science at Alabama A&M University, Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Applied Sciences at Tuskegee University, Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Agriculture and Home Economics at Tuskegee University, Animal Nutritionist with Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center, and Animal Nutritionist with USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

Under Dr. Cooper’s leadership, South Carolina State University has reassessed it land grant mission and will execute its mission in the context of changing societal needs, thus reaffirming the university’s covenant with the public and expanding its focus on globalization. His broad responsibilities include leadership in the coordination and implementation of planning, development and assessment of all university activities. The President exercises complete and total direction of the Institution and the administration of its affairs; ensures efficient, orderly and progressive development in all initiatives and affairs of the University; has general supervisory responsibilities over all university activities and personnel; and ensures completeness, efficiency, and accountability in all university matters.

President Cooper currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce. While at USDA, he served on the Advisory Committee of the Joint Experiment Station Committee and the Organization, Policy and Academic Committee on the Organization and Policy Leadership Development Program. Dr. Cooper continues to participate on a number of advisory committees serving the needs of academic, research and extension programs at land grant colleges and universities. He has traveled extensively in Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean— reviewing, planning and evaluating efforts related to agriculture.

Dr. Cooper is a member of Andrew Chapel Baptist Church in Orangeburg, SC. He is married Diane Shaw Cooper, and they have two daughters, Nikki and Carey.