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ROTARY MEETING: Dr. Rusty Monhollon, The State of Higher Education in South Carolina
November 1, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Rusty Monhollon is President and Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. He began his duties there in July 2019.
Before coming to South Carolina, Monhollon was the Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. There he oversaw the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies related to academic programs, assessment of student success, and institutional performance. He led the Missouri Reverse Transfer Initiative, which resulted in more than 1,000 students receiving associate degrees. Monhollon also led the state’s efforts to implement best practices in remedial education, including the use of multiple measures for placement, gateway courses aligned to programs of study, alternative modes of delivering remedial education, and sending consistent messages of constitutes college readiness to high school students, to name a few. Since 2013, the overall rate of remediation in Missouri has declined by nearly 36 percent, and by 42 percent in mathematics. He also oversaw the Missouri Math Pathways Initiative, which was implemented in the fall of 2018 with 25 of 27 public institutions participating, and the state’s Corequisite at Scale effort, which included three-fourths of all public institutions.
Monhollon also headed up the effort to implement a statewide core transfer curriculum known as CORE 42, which was implemented in the fall of 2018. The CORE 42 is a library of nearly 100 courses guaranteed to transfer course-for-course among all public institutions, which will result in fewer “wasted” credits and unnecessary credit hour accumulation, and will also include the development of appropriate academic maps aligned to CORE 42 .
Before joining the MDHE in 2009 as a Senior Associate, Monhollon was Associate Professor of History and Director for the Masters of Arts in Humanities program at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. He has held teaching appointments at Washburn University, Rockhurst University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, teaching courses in twentieth-century America, the 1960s, race and race relations, the civil rights movement, and American popular culture. His first book “This is America?”: The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas (Palgrave, 2002), received the Edward H. Tihen Publication Award from the Kansas State Historical Association, and was nominated for the Phi Alpha Theta Annual Book Award, both in 2003. He also the editor of Baby Boom: People and Perspectives, published by ABC-Clio in 2010. Additionally, Monhollon has published many articles and reviews and given numerous professional presentations.
Prior to entering academia, Monhollon worked as a welder and machinist, and was the general manager of a custom steel fabrication shop. A native Kansan, Monhollon began taking college courses in the evening while working full-time, and received his baccalaureate degree at Washburn University of Topeka, with a dual major in History and Political Science. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in History from the University of Kansas. He and his wife Sonja Erickson have four children (two still at home) and three grandchildren.
The Executive Director provides the leadership required for the Commission to meet its responsibility for coordinating an efficient and responsive higher education system in this state. All decisions of the Commission focus on ensuring that the higher education system provides accessible, affordable, and excellent academic programs throughout South Carolina…
Duties of the Executive Director include:
a. serving as the professional administrator and executive secretary of the Commission;
b. advising the Commission on all educational matters, recommending policies and implementing procedures, directing all operations of the Commission office;
c. keeping minutes of all Commission meetings;
d. recommending a staff organization and managing daily operations;
e. hiring staff personnel for all positions;
f. representing the Commission in groups, bodies, agencies, and organizations as approved by the Chair; and
g. performing such other duties as may be assigned by the Commission.
Reporting to the President & Executive Director are the Offices of (Communication & Governmental Relations, Academic Affairs, Fiscal Affairs, Research-Data & IT, Student Affairs).