USC-Upstate Chancellor Tom Moore – who held several top leadership posts in 25 years at Winthrop University – choked up before announcing his intention to step down during the Spartanburg school’s annual University Day on Wednesday.
“I have told USC President Harris Pastides,” he said at the end of his address, “that it is my intention to step down at a time when he feels that USC-Upstate can recruit the kind of chancellor to lead this institution that this great university deserves.”
The move comes five months after the USC-Upstate faculty approved a vote of no confidence in Moore, 96 to 58.
A timeline for Moore’s departure has not been determined, USC-Upstate spokeswoman Tammy Whaley said. USC President Harris Pastides will determine when to initiate the search for Moore’s replacement, she said.
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Moore had been vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Winthrop for eight years when Pastides hired him in 2011.
“Chancellor Moore has served this university admirably during a period of tremendous momentum, but also a time of challenge for higher education,” Pastides said in a statement. “Tom and his wife, Marsha, have made the decision to spend more time with family and friends and to pursue their many interests.”
He said Moore will not be a lame-duck leader, and progress at USC-Upstate must continue.
Moore joined Winthrop in 1986 as chairman of the department of chemistry and physics, a post he held until 1994. In 1991, he also became director of the Master of the Liberal Arts Program. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2001 to 2003 and represented faculty on the Winthrop Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2000.
Moore and school officials said his interest, energy and optimism about the university are strong.
“I look forward to the year ahead of working with faculty, staff, students and community,” Moore said in a statement released after his address at the University Day event. “We have much work to accomplish, and I plan to focus on building a campus environment that promotes civility, shared governance and cooperation among faculty, staff and administration.”
After the USC-Upstate faculty’s no-confidence vote in March, Moore said he had many discussions and meetings about faculty dissatisfaction with his leadership, and he didn’t like what he found. Many faculty members were upset by his decisions to close the school’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and Burroughs Child Development Center.
The Women’s and Gender Studies center remains open, while Burroughs was closed last year.