Jane T. Upshaw is the chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort, South Carolina’s newest baccalaureate institution. Under her leadership, USCB has become a four-year-degree-granting institution. The university offers 14 baccalaureate degrees, the newest ones being Studio Art and Computational Science.

Dr. Upshaw was born and reared in Fairfax, Alabama. She studied mathematics at Auburn University where she earned both a bachelor’s and master's degree before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. During her five years in Atlanta, she worked in business as a consulting engineer for electric cooperatives, as a senior applications engineer providing market support to a manufacturing company’s national sales force and as a senior economic analyst for an investor-owned power company.

In 1981, Dr. Upshaw moved to Hilton Head Island. For five years, she taught at May River Academy as senior mathematics teacher and at the University of South Carolina Beaufort where she was an adjunct professor. In 1986, she was appointed to a full-time faculty position at USCB in mathematics. In 1993, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Upshaw was appointed Director of Development for USCB in 1996. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing a program of giving for capital improvements, increased academic offerings, student scholarships and faculty development. In addition, she continued to teach two mathematics courses each semester.

In 1998, Dr. Upshaw left USCB to become vice president of strategy for the American Management Association, Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas Region only to return to the University as Dean of the Beaufort campus in November 1999. In December 2002, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina approved a change in mission for USCB to become a baccalaureate-degree-granting institution; and in June 2002, the Commission on Higher Education added its approval.

In December 2002, Dr. Upshaw was promoted to the position of Chancellor and became the first woman to head a senior campus of the University of South Carolina. Since becoming Chancellor, she has continued to work to increase access to baccalaureate degrees in the Lowcountry and to extend the University’s resources to the community through partnerships with local agencies and school districts. She also helped establish community support and funding for a 200-acre campus site called the USCB Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton. The USCB Historic Beaufort campus is the foundation for the rich legacy of higher education in this region. 

Under her leadership, an athletics program was begun in 2008 with men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s cross-country teams.  Baseball was added in 2009 along with the unveiling of the Sand Sharks school mascot.  Women’s soccer kicked off in August, 2011 and women’s softball will begin competition in 2012.  All Sand Sharks teams have competed successfully within the Sun Conference of the NAIA ranking in the top ten nationally in golf and baseball and sending individuals to national competition in cross country.

In 2009, Dr. Upshaw received from the South Carolina Women in Higher Education Association the Martha Piper Award named for the first female leader of a higher education institution in South Carolina.  The Jasper County Chamber of Commerce presented her with the Business Education Partner of the Year in 2009.   Dr. Upshaw was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Science and Mathematics at Auburn University in 2008.  She is a past president of Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry receiving the Bill Bligen Champion of Literacy Award in 2005 and a past Chair of the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. She continues to serve on the Chamber Governing Board.  She also sits on the boards of the Coastal Carolina Hospital, Community Vision of Hilton Head, and the National Bank of South Carolina. Dr. Upshaw has been a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Schools since 2004 and has served as the chair of the Women Presidents Group 2005-2007.  She was appointed to the AASCU Professional Development Committee.  She also served on the Auburn University Alumni Association Board from 2004 to 2007.  The Zonta Club of Hilton Head Island, a leadership group of professional women, named her 2007 Woman of the Year.  She is dedicated to effective mathematics education as a member of the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Dr. Upshaw and her husband Tom have three children and three grandchildren.