Tierney Bates, Ph.D., MBA

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

University of South Carolina Upstate

Dr. Tierney J. Bates was appointed the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at University of South Carolina Upstate in April 2022. Previously, Dr. Bates served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Special Projects and Interim Executive Director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In higher education, he has progressed from entry level to senior level administration providing leadership, vision, and responsibility for strategic initiatives and solutions in student services, diversity & inclusion, career services/workforce development, enrollment, and fundraising. Prior to UNC he was Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs at Virginia Union University, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at  North Carolina Central University, and leadership roles at the University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, and Bowling Green State University. He has overseen the responsibilities for Campus Ministries, DE&I, Career Development, Greek Life, Parent & Family Programs, University Police, Student Engagement and Leadership, Dean of Students, Student Conduct, Residence Life & Housing, Counseling Services, Health Services, Student Affairs Assessment, Transportation, and the Student Union. Along with Admissions, Financial Aid, Register, Student Accounts, Data Entry, Enrollment Services, New Student Orientation, Tutorial Services, Supplemental Instruction, and First Year Studies.

Dr. Bates has established himself as focused leader, innovator, speaker, fundraiser, and leading voice on diversity, equity, inclusion. He has given over 100 keynote talks, presentations, and workshops. Working with organizations like KeyBank, Academic Impressions, Leadership Knoxville, and National Association of Colleges and Employers. He is involved with the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and has served in regional roles and received the NASPA Region III HBCU/MSI Outstanding Professional 2020 Award and was a two-time faculty favorite at the University of Louisville, and Top 40 under 40 in Knoxville, TN. He currently serves on the board for the Melvin C. Terrell Foundation, McKinney Diversity Board Advisors, and the University of Akron National Alumni Association, as well serving on six previous boards.

Dr. Bates is from Cleveland, Ohio and received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Communications with a minor in African-American History from the University of Akron, his Master of Arts in Higher -Education Administration from the University of Akron, and his MBA from Bryan College, and a Doctorate degree from Spalding University. Dr. Bates is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), Southern Association of College Student Affairs (SACSA), National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), NASPA, and 100 Black Men of Triangle East.