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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.

Mary Farmer-Kaiser

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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

Welcome from the President

On behalf of all of our member institutions, welcome to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.


CSGS brings together graduate education leaders from colleges and universities across the South. With member institutions of all sizes from Maryland to Texas, our organization offers opportunities to engage with and learn from a wide diversity of people, places, and experiences. Through our website, online forums, resources, partnerships, and annual meetings, we come together to make graduate education better on our own campuses and across our region.


I am honored to serve again as the CSGS President in 2023-2024. CSGS has been critical to my engagement with graduate education and to my development as a higher education leader both on and off my own campus. It has given me insight into best practices. It has provided me with opportunities to collaborate and to lead. It has nurtured friendships that now extend far beyond a shared commitment to graduate education.

And I look forward to working with—and learning from—you. We all do! Take a moment to explore the CSGS website. Learn about our organization and our events. Reach out to me or to any of our officers and committee members. Become a member organization. Get involved. Share your ideas. CSGS is an organization where engagement and collaboration thrive.


Take care now to save the date and plan to attend our annual joint meeting with the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools. In 2024, we will gather in Greenville, South Carolina in March. Planning is already underway for the CHGBS (March 12-13) and CSGS (March 13-15) programs. If you have ideas, now is the time to share them!


Join us as we work to promote healthy, productive, dynamic environments for graduate students, graduate faculty, and graduate education leaders across the South. 


When CSGS thrives, we all thrive.

Our History

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)



Karen Coats
Past President


Jon Hakkila

Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, University of Southern Mississippi Email:

Associate Provost for International Services, Academic Integrity, and Dean of the Graduate School. The University of Alabama in Huntsville Phone: 254.824.6339 Email:

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Julie Goodliffe
(term ends 2026)

Assistant Dean for Graduate Funding and Research The Graduate School UNC Charlotte Phone: 704.687.5349 Email:


Peter Harries

(term ends 2025)

Dean, The Graduate School North Carolina State University 1020 Main Campus Drive Room 2300A Raleigh, NC 27695-7102 Phone: 919.515.1989 Email:

Executive Committee


Brian Dominy
(term ends 2024)

Associate Dean Graduate School Clemson University E-209 Martin Hall Clemson, SC 29634 Phone: 864.656.4172 Email:


Sanjay T. Menon
(term ends 2024)

Dean of Graduate Studies Lousisiana State University Shreveport One University Place Shreveport, LA 71115 Phone: 318.797.5247 Email:

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Ruth Bahr
(term ends 2026)

Dean, Office of Graduate Studies, University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave Tampa, FL 33620 Phone: 813.974.2846 Email:

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André Denham
(term ends 2026)

Associate Dean, Graduate Academic Affairs, The Graduate School at The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 Phone: 205.348.8283 Email:

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Jill S. Huerta
(term ends 2024)

Assistant Dean The Graduate School UNC Charlotte 9201 University City Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 Phone: 704.687.7232 Email:


Clay Gloster
(term ends 2025)

Vice Provost of Graduate Research and Dean of the Graduate College North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Smith Hall 2011 1601 E. Market Street Greensboro, NC 27411 Phone: 336.285.2366 Email:


Irene Pittman Aiken
(term ends 2025)

Dean, The Graduate School University of North Carolina Pembroke 1 University Drive Hickory Hall North, 118 Pembroke, NC 28372 Phone: 910.521.6271 Email:

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David Shafer
(term ends 2026)

Assistant Dean The Graduate School NC State University Box 7102 Raleigh, NC 27695-7102 Phone: 919.515.4462 Email:

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Aimée Surprenant
(term ends 2025)

Dean, Virginia Tech Graduate School Virginia Tech University Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown 155 Otey School Blacksburg, VA 24061 Blacksburg, VA 24061 Email:


Morris A. Grubbs
(term ends 2025)

Assistant Dean and Director The Graduate School University of Kentucky Ezra Gillis Building 502 Administration Drive Lexington, KY 40506 Phone: 859.257.9725 Email:


Troy Terry
(term ends 2025)

Dean of Graduate Studies University of North Georgia DOB 301-I 82 College Circle Dahlonega, GA 30597 Phone: 706.867.4493 Email:

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Robert Wojtowicz
(term ends 2026)

Professor of art history and Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia Phone: 757.683.3085 Email:

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John E. Smith, Jr. 
(ex officio with vote)

Vice President, Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Director of Graduate Programs Clark Atlanta University Atlanta, GA Email:

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