Dr. Louis Whitesides, an accomplished Cooperative Extension professional, who has extensive knowledge in international business, is the new research administrator for the 1890 Research & Extension Program, SC State University officials announced today. A federal and state supported program, 1890 Research & Extension conducts problem-solving research and provides quality lifelong learning opportunities designed to help transform the lives of South Carolinians.
Whitesides assumed his new post on Jan. 19 after serving as senior extension director for adult leadership and community development for 1890 Extension.
“Dr. Louis Whitesides’ professional experience will serve the University well in its on-going commitment to meeting the land-grant mission of enhancing the quality of life for South Carolinians through the integration of research, teaching and service,” said SC State University President Dr. George E. Cooper.
As administrator for 1890 Research, Whitesides will manage, promote and supervise all aspects of the 1890 Research Program, including developing research priorities congruent to the University’s research goals, and encouraging faculty to produce and submit quality research proposals for consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 1890 Extension, Whitesides directed the conception and implementation of programs for which South Carolinians used to foster business and economic development opportunities. He was awarded more than $1.5 million in federal cooperative agreements and grants to administer programs in the areas targeted by SC State University. With his assistance, small business entrepreneurs across the state obtained over $2.3 million in loans and grants. He also worked with the 1890 Extension Program in overall planning, and in supervising all state and county administrative extension staff. Because of his efforts in research and outreach, the Southern Rural Development Center awarded Whitesides a community issues grant of which he serves as the project’s co-principal investigator with Dr. David Lamie, an associate professor of the Clemson University Institute for Economic and Community Development.
“I will use my breadth of experience to enhance the synergy among academics, research and outreach, and increase our research capacity,” said Whitesides. “The solutions identified by 1890 researchers, as a result of their fundamental and applied research studies, is the same research-based knowledge that 1890 Extension agents and SC State faculty use to educate the state’s citizens on ways to improve their quality of life,” said Whitesides.
Whitesides has completed extensive studies abroad on the development and use of business and economic development models of the Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, China, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bermuda and Dominican Republic.
In addition to his professional experience at SC State, Whitesides managed the risk and safety unit for seven of the healthcare facilities operated by Family Health Centers, Inc. in South Carolina. Among his duties, he coordinated the development and implementation of the facilities’ emergency preparedness program. Prior to that role, Whitesides was employed with American Yard Products (now Husqvarna) in Orangeburg, S.C., a $1 billon lawn and garden products manufacturer, where he held numerous positions, including replacement parts source manager. In this position, Whitesides managed three separate source entities with sales totaling over $15 million, and surpassed industry benchmarks by reducing inventory and increasing the company’s order fill at significant percentage rates.
“Dr. Whitesides is an exceptional choice to lead the efforts of 1890 Research,” said Dr. G. Dale Wesson, vice president for research, economic development and public service. Wesson continued, “His many years of outstanding service in the Cooperative Extension profession, demonstrates his strong commitment to the mission of land-grant universities. His focus to develop research priorities in the areas of education, health, agriculture and alternative energy and economic development will help advance the University’s strategic plan to achieve research classification. And, he also has a keen ability to provide dynamic, results-driven leadership.”
Delbert Foster, 1890 Extension administrator, shares similar regards for Whitesides. “I am delighted to continue working with Dr. Whitesides, whose understanding of the land-grant system will serve as an asset to the University. I am confident that through our joint efforts, the 1890 Research and Extension Program will reach its full potential as one of the best land-grant programs in the Nation,” said Foster.
The Orangeburg native earned a Doctor of Business Administration in international business from the University of Sarasota, received a Master of Science in business management from Southern Wesleyan University and is an SC State alumnus with a Bachelor of Science in computer science.