U.S. News ranks Moore School International Business No. 1

Columbia Regional Business Report
Published Sept. 13, 2011

The same month that it breaks ground on its new Darla Moore School of Business building, the University of South Carolina has been recognized for having the nation’s top undergraduate international business program by U.S. News & World Report.

Across the USC system, USC Aiken is No. 1 among public regional colleges in the South, and USC Upstate is ranked No. 3. USC Columbia also was ranked No. 54 for public universities and also featured in the section, “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” for a second year.

Clemson University was ranked No. 25 for public universities, according to the report.

Clemson was cited for its commitment to student success, garnering recognition for learning communities and writing in the disciplines.
Additionally, Clemson is among the top “up-and-coming schools” that have made “the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities,” U.S. News said.
“Being ranked among the nation’s top 25 universities for the fourth consecutive year is a significant accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of Clemson faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Clemson President James F. Barker.

The Moore School’s undergraduate program earned the No. 1 ranking for the 15th consecutive year, and the school itself moved up one spot to 42 for overall business education nationally.

“The Moore School is delighted to have retained our best-in-class No. 1 ranking for our undergraduate international business program while further improving our overall undergraduate programs ranking,” Dean Hildy Teegen said.

“Our faculty and staff continue to lead with our innovative curriculum and programming in ways that clearly resonate with students, employers and our loyal alumni. We are proud to advance our economic development mission by educating the most noteworthy leaders for global business right here in the heart of the Palmetto state.”

USC also earned accolades for the second consecutive year for its student-enrichment offerings. A section titled “A Focus on Student Success” cites USC for having one of the nation’s best programs for First-Year Experience and Learning Communities.

Leadership, Sustainability Focus of USC, Duke Energy Program

The University of South Carolina and Duke Energy have established an Executive-in-Residence Program that will bring some of the corporation’s top leaders to campus to discuss sustainability and leadership during the academic year.

Created around the theme, “Leadership in Sustainability,” the program will bring together university leaders, faculty, students and staff with Duke Energy executives from the fields of energy and environmental policy, economic development, power distribution and delivery, communications and government and regulatory affairs.

USC Provost Michael Amiridis said the partnership with Duke Energy is an outstanding example of a public-private partnership that will enhance understanding of the importance of leadership and sustainability.
“As one of the largest power companies in the United States, Duke Energy has consistently demonstrated leadership in the area of sustainability,” Amiridis said. “By inviting their executives to spend time on campus to interact with students and faculty, we expect to help our students and faculty expand their understanding of these complex themes and, hopefully, come away with an enhanced appreciation of the critical importance of leadership and sustainability for success in the global marketplace.”

Catherine Heigel, president of Duke Energy South Carolina, said Duke Energy was pleased to collaborate with USC on developing leaders for the energy sector.

“Duke Energy is committed to serving customers and communities in a way that is affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible – a difficult assignment that we take very seriously,” said Catherine Heigel, president, Duke Energy South Carolina. “We are excited to collaborate with the University of South Carolina to develop the energy leaders of the future who will balance these important objectives over the next several decades.”

The program will get under way in September and conclude with a public energy forum in February. Six executives are scheduled to visit the campus, speak to undergraduate and graduate students, tour research facilities, talk with faculty and administrators and deliver a public lecture. Each executive will be hosted by a college whose academic offerings match the visiting executive’s background and experience.  The first two Duke Energy participants in the Sustainability in Leadership Program and the dates they will visit are:

Sept. 13 — Janice Hager, vice president of integrated resource planning and regulated analytics (College of Arts and Sciences). “Building A Sustainable Energy Future.” 3:30 p.m. Russell House Theatre.

Oct. 6 — Jim L. Stanley, “Wired for A Sustainable Energy Future” senior vice president of power delivery (College of Engineering and Computing) 3:30 p.m. Amoco Hall, Swearingen Engineering Center.

Amiridis said the Leadership in Sustainability Program, which is the first of its kind at USC, brings an important dimension to the university’s leadership programs, particularly the newly minted Carolina Leadership Initiative.

“Leadership is an increasingly important trait for individuals to have if they are going to be successful in any endeavor they choose,” Amiridis said. “By addressing topics such as responsibility and integrity within the broader realm of sustainability, the Leadership in Sustainability Program complements the Carolina Leadership Initiative and is one more way that our students can gain valuable preparation for life after Carolina.”

37 South Carolina Communities Get Funding for Improving Sewer and Water Services

The South Carolina Department of Commerce today announced that approximately $16.3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds have been awarded to 37 communities across the state. These projects will benefit more than 23,000 residents.  A full list of grant recipients is listed below.

“The CDBG program consistently has a positive impact on communities across our state that lack resources for community development. These resources not only help improve residents’ quality of life, but also help create a more competitive environment for bringing jobs and investment,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

The projects receiving grants were selected through a statewide competitive process.  Communities receiving CDBG funding are required to provide at least 10 percent matching funds.

To secure grant funding, communities must demonstrate how they are ensuring healthy and safe neighborhoods. The projects include extension of water lines to serve residents without public water resources, improvement to existing water and sewer systems to upgrade services and conform to environmental and health requirements, and development of drainage infrastructure to prevent water overflows and damage to property. These strategic capital investments address public health, safety or environmental quality concerns.

Approximately 82 percent of these funds will be invested in 31 communities in the state’s less developed counties in South Carolina. In all, 15,000 low- to moderate-income households will benefit from these improvements.

All grants awarded through the CDBG program must meet at least one of three objectives:

  • Benefit low and moderate income people.
  • Aid in eliminating or preventing poor neighborhood conditions.
  • Meet urgent community needs where there are threats to public health and welfare, and where other financial resources are not available.

The grants funds are allocated annually to South Carolina from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The Department of Commerce administers the CDBG program for the state.  The program assists communities in providing housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities.  Grants are awarded to local governments to carry out a wide range of activities addressing housing and community development needs.  More than 70 percent of the funding will assist the state’s lower income residents.

Community Development Block Grants will be awarded to the following communities:

Town of Andrews – Pump Station Upgrades                                                       $500,000

Beaufort County – Burton Water Extension                                                         $422,500

City of Bennettsville –Sewer Line Upgrade                                                          $497,500

Town of Blacksburg – Youngs Grove Road Water Extension                               $500,000

Town of Blackville – Water System Upgrade                                                       $495,000

Cherokee County – River Drive Water Upgrade and Extension                             $500,000

City of Clemson – Old Central and Charleston Avenue Sewer Upgrade                 $305,550

City of Denmark – Wastewater Lagoon Improvements                                         $495,500

Town of Elloree – Tee Vee Road Water Extension                                               $484,590

Town of Estill – Ruth Street Pump Station Upgrade                                             $422,500

Georgetown County – Marysville Sewer Improvements                                        $500,000

City of Greenwood – Southeast Waterline Upgrade                                             $405,610

Greenwood County – Panola Mill Village Sewer Upgrade                                     $500,000

City of Hardeeville – Drainage Improvements                                                      $500,000

Town of Harleyville – Water Line Upgrade                                                           $500,000

City of Hartsville – Water Line Upgrade                                                               $241,938

Town of Heath Springs – Water System Upgrade                                                $461,385

Town of Hemingway – Baptist Road Water Extension                                          $283,331

Town of Iva – Sewer Upgrades Phase III                                                            $443,737

Town of Jonesville – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade                                  $500,000

Laurens County – Joanna Mill Water and Sewer Upgrade                                     $500,000

City of Liberty – Woodside Sewer Upgrade                                                        $500,000

Town of Lockhart – Water and Sewer Upgrade                                                    $500,000

Town of Perry – Water System Upgrade                                                            $499,775

Town of Ridgeland – Ridgeland Water Tank Upgrades                                        $429,500

Town of Saluda – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade                                      $500,000

Town of St. Matthews – Water System Upgrade                                                  $321,947

Town of St. Stephen – Water Tank Upgrade                                                       $500,000

Town of Stuckey – Water Upgrade/Interconnection                                              $494,200

Town of Timmonsville – Water Upgrade                                                             $500,000

City of Union – Highway 49 Apartments Sewer Upgrade                                      $243,893

Union County – Monarch Mill Village Sewer Water Upgrade                                 $500,000

Town of Varnville – Mill Pond Pump Station Upgrade                                          $190,297

City of Walterboro – Jackson Street Pump Station Upgrade                                $340,900

Town of Ware Shoals – Waterline Upgrade Phase II                                             $450,848

Town of West Pelzer – Water System Upgrade Project                                        $447,500

Town of Williamston – Sewer Upgrade Project                                                   $447,611

 

South Carolina Business Rankings

South Carolina did extremely well on the latest 2011 Rankings Report from Business Facilities magazine, placing in five categories. South Carolina ranked 3rd for Economic Growth Potential, 5th for Best Business Climate, 2nd in Automotive Manufacturing Strength and 8th for both workforce training and low cost of labor. Source: Business Facilities, July/August 2011.

Labor Day Tourism Expected to Bounce Back in Myrtle Beach Area

By Dawn Bryant - dbryant@thesunnews.com

The Myrtle Beach area is expected to be bustling with vacationers this Labor Day weekend for one last hurrah of summer as the beach aims to bounce back from this past hurricane-hampered weekend.

Reservations already are pushing occupancy to at least 80 percent for this weekend – and that’s expected to tick even higher in the coming days – and some hotels already are expected to sell out.

“They are looking for a strong weekend,” said Stephen Greene, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association. “Obviously, it’s important because it’s our last hurrah for the tourism season.”

Some businesses are aiming to try to make up a bit for the lost business washed away last weekend by Hurricane Irene – which skimmed the Grand Strand coast late Friday and early Saturday before going on a destructive path up the East Coast. The Grand Strand got rain and wind Friday and early Saturday, but the sun was shining by late Saturday and there wasn’t any major damage. Still, lodging occupancy plummeted – though official numbers aren’t in yet – and there were no lines at area attractions as vacationers stayed away from the beach.

Tourism promoters along the Grand Strand and in Brunswick County, N.C., aren’t taking any chances with this coming season-ending weekend, running special ads and sending e-mails telling travelers – especially those last-minute planners – that the beaches survived Irene and are ready for them.

“We want to reassure them that we are fine, open and ready for visitors,” said Lynn Minges, the assistant secretary of tourism, marketing and global branding for the N.C. Commerce Department, which is launching a special campaign this week aiming to salvage the Labor Day weekend. “Labor Day is always a very important part of the summer season. It’s one of our most important weeks of the year.”

Myrtle Beach is among the top destinations for Carolinas travelers this Labor Day, along with Atlanta; Charleston; Asheville, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Washington, D.C., according to AAA Carolinas, which released its Labor Day travel predictions Monday. Overall holiday travel in South Carolina will decrease this weekend, though officials say it’s not Hurricane Irene-related; blaming it instead on higher air fares and economic worries.

About 424,200 travelers will drive to their destinations, a slight increase from the number who drove for last year’s Labor Day because gas prices have fallen since Memorial Day, the motor club said.

Lodging occupancy in the Myrtle Beach area this week already is trending about 15 percent higher than the week leading up to Labor Day last year, said Taylor Damonte of Coastal Carolina University’s Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism. Occupancy for the weekend is expected to be about 80 percent Friday, 90 percent Saturday and at least 85 percent Sunday, though those early predictions are expected to rise in the coming days with last-minute travelers booking their rooms, he said. Some of the vacationers who had planned to visit last weekend rescheduled as Irene approached and are coming for the long Labor Day weekend, helping fill hotel rooms, officials said.

“I would expect we would run at least 80 percent, but it may be better than that,” Damonte said.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, which logged about 20 calls Monday from travelers asking about the conditions in the area following the storm, extended its late-summer advertising push as reports about Irene continued, focusing on TV and online ads in markets where travelers are likely to drive here, chamber president Brad Dean said in an e-mail.

“We’re anticipating a strong finish to the summer season,” he said. “We’re hopeful the additional marketing, combined with aggressive packaging and promotions, will bring solid numbers to the Grand Strand this weekend.”

The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce got a few calls Monday from potential vacationers asking about the weather – the forecast is for sunny skies with highs in the mid-80s for Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a chance of storms on Monday in the Myrtle Beach area – and whether attractions will be open for Labor Day, which they will be, chamber spokeswoman Jennifer Prince said.

“I think it will be a good weekend,” she said.

 

USC RESEARCH FUNDING HITS RECORD $226.9 MILLION

Midlandsbiz – COLUMBIA, SC – August 30, 2011 – Bolstered by robust research efforts in several colleges, research funding at the University of South Carolina grew to a record $226.9 million in fiscal year 2011.

The amount is a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s record of $218.8 million.

Research funding from the National Institutes of Health increased by 9.2 percent to $39.3 million; funding from the U.S. Department of Defense jumped 20 percent to $18 million; and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy expanded by 10 percent to $13.6 million.

University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides praised the faculty for their achievements. “Competition for research funding becomes fiercer every year as budgets are cut and proposals are more competitive, so our faculty’s achievements are particularly gratifying,” Pastides said. “A vibrant research program is essential not only for a Carnegie top-tier university, but also for our state, where our initiatives in public health, education and fuel cells can have an enormous impact on the health, well-being and prosperity of our citizens.”

Colleges reporting significant growth in funding included USC’s College of Education (44 percent); the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (43 percent); the College of Engineering and Computing (18 percent); the College of Mass Communication and Information Studies (14 percent); the College of Arts and Sciences (9 percent); and the Arnold School of Public Health (9 percent).

USC Aiken, one of the university’s regional campuses, increased its collective funding by more than 38 percent, from $1.46 million to $2.01 million.

Notable research awards in the past year include the following:

  • $4.4 million to the department of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computing from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop low-cost, high- performance, durable fuel cell catalysts for the auto industry;
  • $2.8 million from NIH  to the Institute for Families in Society in the College of Social Work to conduct research aimed at refining software to aid children’s dietary recall accuracy, and ultimately increase the understanding of the link between diet and disease in children;
  • $2.8 million from NIH to the department of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health to identify factors that can generate novel preventive or therapeutic strategies in order to curb the rising prevalence of allergic diseases;
  •  $1.7 million from NIH to the department of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences to examine cardiac arrhythmias associated with hypertrophic myopathy, a common genetically-based disease of the heart that is a leading cause of sudden death in athletes and young people;
  • $1.4 million from NIH to the department of cell and developmental biology and anatomy in the School of Medicine to investigate new approaches to improving patients’ responses to implanted materials, medical devices and stem cells.

With one exception, USC has increased annual research funding every year since 1983. Carolina is one of only 63 public universities listed by the Carnegie Foundation in the highest tier of research institutions in the United States and the only one in the state of South Carolina.

Boeing Hits Another Milestone: Assembly Building Gets 1st Finished Aft-Body Section

BY BRENDAN KEARNEYbkearney@postandcourier.com 

Even before Hurricane Irene planning ramped up, it had already been a notably busy week at Boeing in North Charleston.  As the production campus near the airport continues to take final shape, so does the first 787 Dreamliner within its largest building.

Monday morning, workers wheeled into the massive final assembly and delivery building a completed aft-body section of what will become the first South Carolina-assembled Dreamliner.  Boeing has opened its main gate and welcome center to the facility. The wing cover over the top of the building’s main entrance extends over 400 feet to cover the main gate to the facility.  Whereas previous versions of the composite-shelled piece were constructed in the former Vought Aircraft Industries building and flown to Everett, Wash., to be assembled there, this aft-body was simply rolled north several hundred feet to the neighboring assembly building, which itself opened for business in June.

“The aft-body is now in final assembly, and it is the last major component to arrive before we start putting together our first 787,” Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said.  The Kansas-made forward fuselage, the Italian-made center fuselage and the Asian-made wings were already in “position zero” at the final assembly building as of last week. The engines won’t arrive until next month, as the plane proceeds through the U-shaped, eight-step production line.  Boeing expects the Federal Aviation Administration to certify its Dreamliner at its Everett factory on Friday morning, according to The Seattle Times newspaper. The 787 is more than three years behind schedule.

Also on Monday, Boeing opened its welcome center, the company’s International Boulevard entrance complex appropriately topped by a 400-foot wing.  The 16,500-square-foot building houses a staffed security checkpoint and visitor-badging office, as well as meeting rooms, according to Eslinger. Before this weekend, the security guard operated from a temporary booth, and visitor-badging was located in a temporary trailer just beyond the welcome center.  Other Charleston-area Boeing construction projects also are nearing completion.

“The Hub,” where Boeing workers will be able to buy food and Boeing-branded gifts, will be open by the end of September. But one important aspect of the new building between the campus’ principal production facilities is already open.  “We have just opened that up for a naming contest,” Eslinger said. She said it’s only right that the employee services center will be named by an employee.

The delivery center, where airlines will accept their Dreamliners, is slated for a November opening. And the interiors responsibility center, the facility in Palmetto Commerce Park where stow bins, partitions, video-control stations and other inside features will be manufactured, will open in December, Eslinger said.