Epidemiology and Biostatistics Associate Professor Dr. James Hardin has been chosen to serve as the first Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Curriculum for the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. The new position was created to oversee the School’s faculty promotion and tenure process, faculty concerns/grievance, curriculum development/management, graduate student services, and workforce development.
[Dr. James Hardin]
In his new role, Dr. Hardin will serve as a liaison between the Arnold School and groups such as The Graduate School, Office of the University Registrar, Commission on Higher Education, Office of Academic Programs, and others. He will also work closely with Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion David Simmons, Associate Dean for Operations and Accreditation Lee Pearson, and Associate Dean for Research Alan Decho
“Dr. Hardin has had a remarkably productive career here—excelling in new methods development, consultations, publishing multiple books, many journal articles, graduating many students, and receiving multiple awards for his teaching and research,” says Dean Thomas Chandler. “He is an experienced leader and a great example of the ‘complete’ faculty at USC.”
Dr. Hardin looks forward to developing materials and guidelines that will help faculty succeed. He is particularly looking forward to expanding the School’s efforts in mentorship and programs for faculty development.
“Our School invests a lot of time and finances to attract the most talented employees we can find,” he says. “I want to ensure those employees have the guidelines and training to succeed because the long-term growth and success of the Arnold School depends on its faculty.”
Originally from Texas, Dr. Hardin earned back-to-back bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University in preparation for a career as a mathematical statistician. During his academic programs, he concentrated on the applications of statistical models to problems in atmospheric science, including global climate change.
He had hoped to continue that meaningful work, but his first job after graduation, where he worked on radiation monitoring rather than solving atmospheric problems—fell a bit short of meeting those aspirations. “Like many graduate students, my initial job didn’t exactly line up with the subject matter of my graduate work,” says Dr. Hardin. He then took a position at Stata, a general purpose statistics software company. As Director of Technical Support, he had to be familiar with all aspects of the software, which provided an introduction to econometrics, complex survey data, and the subject of his future career—biostatistics.
“Working at Stata was an exciting blend of consultation, research and innovation,” he says. “In many ways, the four and a half years I spent developing software was my second education. Ultimately, my biggest contributions to the software were centered on those tools that were most useful for public health data.”