Tierney Bates Named Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

April 26, 2022 at 11:47 am

The University of South Carolina Upstate today announced Tierney Bates, Ph.D., as its new vice chancellor for student affairs. Bates, an award-winning student affair professional, has more than two decades of progressive leadership experience in higher education administration. He will lead the university’s Division of Student Affairs and work across the institution to provide strong, effective management of initiatives that affect the quality of life for USC Upstate students. Bates will join the USC Upstate community on July 1.

“I am very excited that Dr. Bates is joining our team in this important role,” USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. said. “His experience and track record of visionary leadership will ensure that our students and aspirants will experience programs and services that continue to ensure their success and make USC Upstate a university of choice.”

Bates most recently served as assistant vice chancellor for special projects and interim executive director for university career services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since January 2020. He provided leadership and vision for the University Career Services department and staff responsible for assisting undergraduate and graduate students when they select a major and career direction.

In 2019, Bates was vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at Virginia Union University. Prior to that, he served for two years as assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at North Carolina Central University. From 2013 through 2016, he was director of The Cultural Center at the University of Louisville. 

Bates has also served as vice president of programs and services with the National Urban League and held various positions at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Bowling Green State University, and Baldwin-Wallace University.

“I am honored to join the USC Upstate family as vice chancellor for student affairs,” Bates said. “I look forward to working with Chancellor Harris, his cabinet, the Division of Student Affairs staff, students and the Upstate community on creating a co-curriculum journey focused on every student experiencing Upstate excellence and pride”

Bates has earned a reputation as a focused leader, innovator, speaker, and fundraiser, and a leading voice on diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is active with the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and even received the 2020 NASPA Region III HBCU/MSI Outstanding Professional award. He was a two-time faculty favorite at the University of Louisville and recognized by the Knoxville News Sentinel as one of the city’s “40 under 40.” Bates serves on the board of the Melvin Ce. Terrell Foundation, McKinney Diversity Board Advisors, and the University of Akron National Alumni Association.

Originally of Cleveland, Ohio, Bates earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Communications with a minor in African American History from the University of Akron. He received his Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron, his Master of Business Administration from Bryan College, and his Ph.D. from Spalding University. Additionally, Bates is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the American College Personnel Association, the National Black MBA Association, Southern Association of College Student Affairs, National Association of Colleges and Employers, and 100 Black Men of Triangle East.