Jul. 1—USC Aiken's new chancellor officially started Thursday and is ready to listen and learn from the community around him.
Dr. Daniel Heimmermann was named the school's new chancellor in April and his official first day was July 1.
"I've been overwhelmed by the support that this community has for this university, because the community realizes how integral this university is to the future of the Aiken community, and South Carolina, indeed, I would argue the nation," Heimmermann said.
He began working closely with the former USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan on Monday, asking questions and getting to know the campus, the pressing issues facing the university and the community.
"I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Heimmermann to Aiken," Jordan said in an April news release. "His commitment to student success, to adding new degree programs that address the workforce needs of the region, in addition to his warm personality, deep experience and student-first management style, will be compatible with USC Aiken's trajectory, culture and goals."
On Wednesday, Heimmermann and Jordan visited the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia and met with other USC chancellors, USC President Harris Pastides and the provost there.
Throughout the week, he said, Jordan brought him up to speed quickly and he plans to continue the advancements that she started.
"I certainly want to make sure we finish some of the important initiatives that Dr. Jordan started specifically the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, as well as the DreamPort we are working on with the (S.C.) National Guard," Heimmermann said.
Heimmermann said there is tremendous optimism and support in the community for this university and the kind of impact it can make. He also hopes to continue the work the school has played in supporting the community through economic development or providing cultural and athletic access.
Heimmermann said Aiken is a great place to attract visitors, businesses, industries, and students, but he plans to talk to the USCA faculty and staff, as well as community leaders, to see what can be improved.
"We are going to continue to be intertwined with our community, supporting not just students who pay to take classes here, but also to be integrated into the community so we can support economically, culturally, socially and really make Aiken an even better place," Heimmermann said.