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Greenville Business Magazine

Clif Flynn named provost at USC Upstate

Sep 14, 2017 02:05PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Dr. Clif Flynn, who was named the interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs in July 2015, was recently promoted to provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. Flynn has served the University of South Carolina Upstate for nearly 30 years in roles ranging from faculty member to department chair to administrator. 

“For nearly three decades, Dr. Flynn has demonstrated servant leadership and gained respect at USC Upstate, across the state, and throughout the country,” said Dr. Brendan B. Kelly, chancellor of USC Upstate. “Dr. Flynn is the chief academic officer of this institution and he offers precisely the strong leadership skills that academic affairs needs to innovate and move forward.”

In his role as chief academic officer, Flynn is a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet with responsibility for all academic programs at USC Upstate, which enrolls nearly 6,000 students who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education. Additionally, Flynn has oversight for the library, information technology and data services, faculty recruitment, development and evaluation, and academic program development and approval.

“USC Upstate is on the cusp of great things,” said Flynn. “Passion, commitment, and vision will take this institution to great heights and allow us to celebrate many victories.”

Flynn came to USC Upstate in 1988 and has served as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, director of graduate studies, chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies, and professor of sociology.

He has published several articles in the areas of human-animal studies, family violence, and corporal punishment of children. Currently, his research examines human-animal interaction, with a focus on animal abuse and its relationship to family violence. In 2008, he was selected as a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Flynn is the editor of “Social Creatures,” one of the first anthologies in human-animal studies (Lantern Books, 2008) and his most recent book is “Understanding Animal Abuse: A Sociological Analysis,” (Lantern Books, 2012).

Flynn earned a Ph.D. in family studies and a M.S. in child development and family relations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Davidson College.

About USC Upstate:

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional, comprehensive university that offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education, informatics, and nursing. These are degrees that help students to transition easily to careers in the Upstate region. USC Upstate is committed to fulfilling regional and state workforce needs and is a major engine of social and economic development. Learn more at