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Dr. Louis Whitesides
Dr. Louis Whitesides

Vice President for Public Service & Agriculture/Executive Director, 1890 Research & Extension1890 Administrative Building803-536-8351

Louis Whitesides

As vice president for public service and agriculture, Whitesides provides leadership and coordination in the development, implementation, operation and assessment of the 1890 Research & Extension programs that support creative scholarship, community engagement and research throughout the University. With a budgetary responsibility of over $20 million, he manages a staff of 114 faculty, staff and students. Additional responsible include ensuring the university's 1890 Research and Extension activities are administered in accordance with relevant state and federal policies, rules and regulations with a view toward maximizing all available state and federal resources to support the university's mission.


  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) International Business / Argosy University – Sarasota
  • International Projects Completion Czech Republic, China, Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Thailand.
  • Master of Science (MS) Management/Southern Wesleyan University. MS Business Management
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) Computer Science / South Carolina State University Minor: Mathematics


Born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Dr. Whitesides is an accomplished higher education administrative professional and the Vice President and Executive Director of the SC State University 1890 Research & Extension Program; a federal and state supported program set to transform the lives of South Carolinians by conducting problem-solving research with the intention to provide quality lifelong learning opportunities. 

Whitesides has a built a career founded on strong academic merit; featuring a Doctor of Business Administration in International Business (University of Sarasota), MSc. in Business Management (Southern Wesleyan University), BSc. in Computer Science (South Carolina State University), and completed Post-Doctoral training at Cornell and Harvard universities. He is adept in all matters development as well as the application of business and economic development models across different countries. 

Whitesides has a history working with renowned corporations such as the Family Health Centers, Inc. in South Carolina and the American Yard Products (now Husqvarna). Leveraging the wisdom of this experience, he learned the skills in leadership, teamwork and organization unique to the corporate world and brought them to bear in his federal career to serve the people of South Carolina. Serving in his executive capacity, Whitesides is a direct report to the president and a member of the president's cabinet with a budgetary responsibility of over $18 million, and manages a staff of 107 faculty, staff and students.

Whitesides has managed to maintain communications with funding agencies as well as partnership organizations and advises university administrators, faculty and staff on trends and factors affecting faculty competitiveness. Among his most significant responsibilities and achievements include providing leadership and coordination in the development, implementation, operation and assessment of the 1890 Research & Extension Program with the sole intention of supporting creative scholarship, community engagement and research throughout the university.

With deep industry knowledge, coupled with an analytical, detail-oriented approach, Whitesides is equipped to understand the needs of the most discerning situations, delivering an experience rooted in service, integrity and expertise. His strong leadership and coordination skills make him a keen advocate for the institution and those he serves, proactively seeking out new opportunities to enhance his services and continually attain excellence. Whitesides has a unique ability to build and maintain excellent working relationships, an attribute that has contributed greatly to his success. He is a friendly and easy to get along with kind of person, using effective and efficient communication skills, attention to detail, time management and organization and always bringing his best self to the task with a positive attitude in order to get things done. 

Whitesides is motivated by the desire to become a global expert in his field and has traveled extensively to countries such as the Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, China, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bermuda and Dominican Republic. This grants him a sophisticated and nuanced perspective that elevates his current work. 

Research Interests

Accessing international markets for rural limited resourced small farmers. “Every year the United States makes gains in the international trade of agricultural products. International markets are additional opportunities for American producers to increase sales. With record exports, which according to USDA passed $196 Billion in 2022, opening new markets is essential to a continued contribution to a strong rural economy.  There are barriers that farmers, especially small to midsize, face that are sometimes left out of the overall strategy for accessing new markets our governmental agencies implement.”

Extension Courses Developed

  • The steps to establishing a new non-profit organization, including incorporation, bylaws, employer identification number, and tax exempt status.
  • Board Training & Development helps both board members and staff understand the role of the board in fundraising, public relations, and planning, as well as relationships of board to staff.
  • Strategic Planning provides participants with practical, hands-on experience in strategy formulation through discussion and participation in developing a mission, establishing goals, identifying strengths and challenges, and developing an action plan with accountabilities.
  • Managing Conflict in the Workplace is designed for employees and bosses to help them understand when to ignore conflict, when to manage it, and when to actively resolve it. Tips will be given on understanding conflict and why it occurs, as well as, how to resolve conflict and learn from it.
  • Team Building is an active workshop involving participants in examining interrelationships on the job and utilizing differences to enhance team effort.
  • Non-Profit Management Issues deals with a variety of issues from personnel to budgets. This workshop is designed to provide some tips in the areas of board selection and training, working with volunteers, personnel, policies and procedures, and daily operations.
  • Time Management allows employees and employers to look into how they use their time, how it can be used more effectively, and what can be done to maximize output while minimizing wasted time.
  • Community Visioning assists communities in developing a vision for the future, setting priorities, and developing action steps to reach their goals.
  • Grant Tips is a comprehensive overview of grant seeking. Discussions include the grants climate, what projects are best suited for grant funding, and the process from research to implementation. The sections of the proposal will be covered along with general tips for writing, preparing, and submitting the proposal.

Certifications & Training

  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA), 2013 Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC)
  • Food Systems Leadership Institute, 2020 - Current North Carolina State University / Raleigh, NC
  • Executive Leadership Certificate, 2016 Certification / Cornell University; Ithaca, NY


Dr. Louis Whitesides on LinkedIn