COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Michael Amiridis has been elected as the University of South Carolina’s 30th President.

The University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees voted to elect Amiridis by a voice vote Friday afternoon. He was announced as a candidate for President Friday morning by the school.

Dr. Amiridis is a familiar face at UofSC. He spent more than 20 years at the University of South Carolina as a professor and school’s Provost before leaving in 2015 for the University of Illinois Chicago. He was most recently UIC’s Chancellor.

President-elect Amiridis called this return to UofSC a ‘homecoming’. He said, “The campus is bigger the concerns of the students, faculty, staff are different. There are new challenges facing higher education not only here but across the nation. What has not changed is the importance of the University South Carolina system to this state, this nation and the world.”

Dr. Amiridis spent Friday morning and afternoon holding virtual panels with students and staff on various topics like academic excellence, research and innovation, and diversity in the school’s system.

During a news conference Friday after he was named President, Amiridis said, “We need to be more accessible and more affordable. We need to focus on the public good that the university represents. We need to ensure our campuses better reflect the rich diversity of this state.”

The school began searching for a new President in May 2021 when former President Bob Caslen resigned. Former President Harris Pastides had been serving as interim President since May 2021.

Back in December, the front-runner for the job Purdue University engineering dean Mung Chiang, decided not to pursue the position and stay at Purdue to focus on family.

Amiridis said, “We’re looking forward to establish trust with the students. Working together with the students. Listening to the students. And being able to find solutions together to the problems students bring to the surface.”

Dr. Amiridis will make $900,000 a year as UofSC’s President.