Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Suzanne Austin shared the following message with the campus community on Thursday, May 4, 2023, regarding signature academic programs:

Dear Campus Community,

I am proud to share with you that the following programs have been selected as part of a new initiative from Pillar 2: Academic Distinction of Tradition & Transformation, our 10-year strategic plan:

Signature Academic Programs

  • Department of International Studies (principal: Malte Pehl)
  • Department of Communication (principal: Ryan Milner)

Emerging Signature Academic Programs

  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program (principal: Allison Welch)
  • Public Health Program (principal: Kate Pfile)

I would like to thank members of the selection committee, chaired by Vice President of Development Cathy Mahon, for the committee’s hard work in reviewing a wide range of worthy programs. I would also like to thank all the faculty members for their time in gathering their materials for their proposals. As you might expect, all of the submissions represented exceptional programs that are differentiators for our campus, and it was a difficult task to narrow it down to these first four of this new initiative.

These four programs will receive a two-year investment for one-time, non-recurring expenses, to be used in FY24 and FY25. Uses for the funds might include targeted marketing campaigns, website enhancements or program-related equipment/technology.

Please join me in congratulating the faculty and staff in these four areas. I am excited to see them position their academic programs and the College of Charleston, as a whole, more prominently on the national stage.


Suzanne Austin
Executive Vice President and Provost
Division of Academic Affairs
College of Charleston