Dr. Brendan Kelly, a top administrator at the University of West Florida, will leave UWF early next year to become the chancellor at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The University of South Carolina’s board of trustees approved Kelly’s hire on Monday. The university will introduce Kelly as chancellor at a press conference on Tuesday, and Kelly’s first day in the job is tentatively set for March 1.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead USC Upstate,” Dr. Kelly said in a statement. “It is an excellent institution where I believe I can make important, positive contributions in the coming years. Tressa and I are thrilled with the new opportunity and are ready to meet our future in Spartanburg, South Carolina.”

Kelly, who joined UWF in 2004, currently serves as UWF’s vice president of university advancement, as well as president of the UWF Foundation, chief executive officer of the UWF Historic Trust, and as a member of the UWF president’s cabinet. As vice president of university advancement, Kelly is responsible for university marketing & communications, alumni relations, development, community engagement, and WUWF Public Media.

“Leaving UWF, the Division of University Advancement, and our team is bittersweet,” Kelly said. “I have been fortunate to be surrounded by incredible colleagues and we have accomplished some notable outcomes over the years. I am very proud of the work we have done and am grateful for the relationships we have forged.”

University officials selected Kelly from among 58 other applicants for the chancellor job. Kelly had previously been named as one of three finalists for the position back in October.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in communication from Eastern Michigan University as well as a doctorate in rhetoric and political communication from Wayne State University in Detroit.


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