About CSGS

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools is an organization of over 200 graduate schools in the following fifteen states of the southern region of the United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The Conference’s purpose is to consider topics relating to graduate study and research which are of mutual interest and concern to the member institutions. In addition, dissemination of information, promotion of standards, encouragement of research, and assistance to institutions starting graduate programs are important functions of the organization. And the Conference serves as a liaison with other national and regional educational bodies on behalf of the institutional members.

Jack DeRochi

Jack DeRochi, President CSGS
Dean of the Graduate School
Winthrop University
209 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
Phone: 803.323.2204
Email:  derochij@winthrop.edu

Welcome to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS). I am honored to serve our Graduate School community for the next year as President of CSGS and look forward to engaging with you throughout the year. As you probably know, we just concluded our 49th Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, which was an unmitigated success. The program centered on “Graduate Education: Leading the Way with Courage and Inclusivity” and included four excellent plenaries, a wide array of concurrent sessions, and rich opportunities for networking and fellowship. The Poster Session took place at the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, where attendees also heard a stirring performance by the 1st United Methodist Choir. In addition, the meeting included for the first time a new “Student Track” for attending graduate students, offering professional development workshops and mentoring sessions on graduate student wellbeing. The conference capped off with our signature 3-Minute Thesis Competition or 3MT®–an inspiring and entertaining close to the meeting that showcases the great work of graduate students and programs across the southern region.

As is our tradition, the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (CHBGS) Annual Meeting immediately preceded the CSGS Annual Meeting. Participants who attended the CHBGS conference learned about issues and best practices within minority serving institutions. The partnership between our two organizations continues to grow, and it was exciting to see the largest attendance ever at the 1-day CHBGS conference.

CSGS is a wonderful organization, known for its collegial spirit and commitment to serve the mission of graduate education in our region and across the country. If you were unable to attend this year, please mark your calendars for next year’s annual meeting—our 50th!—which will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina, February 25-27, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there!


Jack DeRochi

Jack DeRochi, President

Dean of the Graduate School
Winthrop University
209 Tillman Hall
Phone: 803.323.2204
Email: derochij@winthrop.edu

Karen Coats

Karen S. Coats, President-Elect

Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Microbiology
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5024,
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Phone: 601.266.4262
Email: karen.coats@usm.edu

Dr. George Flowers

George T. Flowers, Treasurer

Professor and Dean of the Graduate School
Auburn University
106 Hargis Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: 334.844.2125
Email: flowegt@auburn.edu


Andrea Golato, Secretary

Dean, The Graduate College
Texas State University
The Graduate College
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4684
Phone: 512.245.2581
Email: agolato@txstate.edu

Kim LaScola Needy

Kim LaScola Needy, Past-President

Dean, Graduate School and International Education
University of Arkansas
Gearhart Hall 213
Fayetteville, AR  72701
Phone: 479.575.4401
Email: kneedy@uark.edu

Executive Committee

Image of Dr. Bahr

Ruth Huntley Bahr (term ends 2021)

Associate Dean
University of South Florida
Office of Graduate Studies
4202 E. Fowler Ave. ALN 226
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620
Phone: 813.974.7161
Email: rbahr@usf.edu


Constinia Charbonnette (term ends 2022)

Director of Strategic Initiatives
Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health
West Virginia University
PO Box 6897
Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone: 304.293.7173
Email: cocharbonnette@hsc.wvu.edu

Jon Hakkila

Jon Hakkila  (term ends 2022)

Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Graduate School, University of Charleston, SC
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843.953.5626
Email: hakkilaj@cofc.edu

Julie Goodliffe

Julie Goodliffe (term ends 2023)

Director of Funding and Fellowships
The Graduate School
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Charlotte, NC 28223
Phone: 704.687.5349
Email: jmgoodli@uncc.edu


Mary Farmer-Kaiser (term ends 2022)

Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of History
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Martin Hall, Suite 332
104 University Circle
Lafayette, LA 70503
Phone: 337.482.6965
Email: kaiser@louisiana.edu

Lori McMahon

Lori L. McMahon (term ends 2023)

Dean, UAB Graduate School
Jarman F. Lowder Professor of Neuroscience
University of Alabama-Birmingham
1700 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0013
Phone: 205.996.2945
Email: mcmahon@uab.edu

Desi Hacker

Desi S. Hacker (term ends 2021)

Assistant Dean
School of Graduate Studies and Research
Norfolk State University
MCAR, Suite 602
Norfolk, VA 23504
Phone: 757.823.2893
Email: dshacker@nsu.edu

Jamillah McDaniel

Jamillah McDaniel (term ends 2023)

Assistant Professor & Director, Assessment and Operations
Division of Graduate Education in Biomedial Sciences
Morehouse School of Medicine
720 Westview Drive
Atlanta, GA 30310
Phone: 404.752.1773
Email: jmcdaniel@msm.edu


Sharon James McGee (term ends 2022)

Dean of Graduate Studies
Professor of English
East Tennessee State University
309 Burgin Dossett Hall
PO Box 70720
Johnson City, TN 37614-1710
Phone: 423.439.4221


Cathy Pagany (term ends 2022)

Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant to the Provost
University of Alabama
801 University Blvd.
102 Rose Administration Building
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone: 205.348.8283
Email: cathy@ua.edu

Lisa Sperling

Lisa Sperling (term ends 2022)

Senior Director, Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives
University of Georgia Graduate School
210 S.Jackson St.
Athens, GA 30602-1633
Phone: 706.542.6413
Email: sperling@uga.edu

Troy Pro pic 4

Troy M.Terry (term ends 2021)

Executive Director of Graduate and Evening Studies
Furman University
3300 Poinsett Highway
Greenville, SC 29613
Phone: 864.294.2213
Email: troy.terry@furman.edu

Mary Owens Southall

Mary Owens Southall (ex officio with vote)

President, Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools
Dean, Graduate School
Coppin State University
2500 West North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21216
Phone: 410.951.3090
Email: mowens@coppin.edu

Visit our Membership Page for details and registration information.

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) evolved out of informal discussions among graduate deans in the southern region, beginning at the summer workshop of the Council of Graduate Schools in 1969. From these discussions, it was determined that there was significant interest within the region in meeting periodically to discuss mutual problems. At three subsequent meetings of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an ad hoc committee of graduate deans was organized to continue informal discussions and explorations concerning formation of an organization.

While CSGS has had an official existence for over thirty years, a prior organization, the Conference of Deans of Southern Graduate Schools (CDSGS), goes back to discussions in 1925 and official establishment in 1927. That organization was dissolved in 1963 in view of the newly formed Council of Graduate Schools. However, it became apparent that not all needs served by the regional organization could be met by the national group and so the organization was revived.

The first annual meeting of the Conference was held at the Fairmont Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans in May, 1972. A total of seventy three registered and attended. In addition to adopting a constitution and bylaws, approving the name of the organization, and electing officers, free discussions gave the members of the group an opportunity to exchange ideas on a variety of subjects.

(From Graduate Education in the South, 1991, Thomas A. Langford, Editor)

CSGS Presidents 1972-2019

Term Name  School
2019-2020 Kim LaScola Needy University of Alabama in Huntsville
2018-2019 David Berkowitz University of Arkansas
2017-2018 Ernest L.Brothers University of Tennessee
2016-2017 Amy Thompson McCandless The College of Charleston
2015-2016 John Z.Kiss University of Mississippi
2014-2015 Paul Gemperline East Carolina University
2013-2014 Edelma Huntley Appalachian State University
2012-2013 Jeannine Blackwell University of Kentucky
2011-2012 Nancy Marcus Florida State University
2010-2011 Dianne Barron Troy University
2009-2010 Patricia Bishop University of Central Florida
2008-2009 Philip Langlais Old Dominion University
2007-2008 Karen DePauw Virginia Tech
2006-2007 Deborah Arfken University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2005-2006 Gordon Emslie Oklahoma State University
2004-2005 Maureen Grasso University of Georgia
2003-2004 William Person Mississippi State University
2002-2003 Gordon Melson Wake Forest University
2001-2002 Joan Lorden University of Alabama – Birmingham
2000-2001 Sandra Terrell University of North Texas
1999-2000 Teresa A. Sullivan University of Texas
1998-1999 Wayne Patterson University of Charleston
1997-1998 Richard D. Koshel Mississippi State University
1996-1997 George P. Avellano University of Texas, Pan American
1995-1996 Diane M. Jacobs University of Central Florida
1994-1995 Gordhan L.Patel University of Georgia
1993-1994 Michael R. Dingerson University of Mississippi
1992-1993 Virginia Falkenberg Eastern Kentucky University
1991-1992 Paul Bryant Radford University
1990-1991 Madelyn Lockhart University of Florida
1989-1990 Joyce Lawrence Appalachian State
1988-1989 C. H. (Bud) Minkel University of Tennessee
1987-1988 Hazel Garrison Hampton University
1986-1987 Carl Riggs University of South Florida
1985-1986 Leslie Thompson Texas Woman’s University
1984-1985 Robert Perkins University of Texas (Arlington)
1983-1984 John Salley Virginia Commonwealth
1982-1983 William Macmillan The University of Alabama
1981-1982 Wimberly Royster University of Kentucky
1980-1981 George Kunze Texas A & M University
1979-1980 James Hudson University of Arkansas
1978-1979 James Reeves Tennessee State University
1977-1978 James Traynham Louisiana State University
1976-1977 Joe Gerber Stephen F. Austin State University
1975-1976 Albert Spruill North Carolina A & T
1974-1975 Charley Scott University of Alabama
1973-1974 Chester McKee Mississippi State University
1972-1973 William Toland Baylor University
1971-1972 John Harrison University of Miami