As vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises and CCU’s inaugural chief sustainability officer, Steve Harrison leads the largest non-academic division of Coastal Carolina University of more than 700 state and contract employees. Steve’s responsibilities include strategically managing several auxiliary, or self-supporting, units such as housing, dining, transportation, the bookstore, mail services, the student identification card, ATM and vending services, and the University’s early childhood development center. Additionally, Steve organized several complimentary departments into a new, non-auxiliary subdivision known as Campus Environments. This University subdivision includes the campus’s Custodial Services, Grounds, and the TD Campus and Community Sustainability Initiative—widely known as Sustain Coastal.
Connecting our campus community through wellness, equity, and sustainability, Harrison was also critical to the founding and development of the CCU Arboretum, which is managed by Campus Environments and incorporates the entire 322-acre main campus centered on the Native Species Collection located at the threshold of the campus’s academic core. Steve serves on the University’s executive council and leads the President’s Council for Sustainability and Coastal Resilience (PCSCR) in an ex officio capacity. He also coordinates the Friends of the PCSCR, including notable University stakeholders from the business, not-for-profit, and governmental sectors of South Carolina's economy and political community. Steve has also served on multiple iterations of the University’s strategic planning working groups (in 2016 and 2023), and the 2023 master planning core leadership group.
During his tenure as vice president, CCU has increased its on-campus student housing capacity to more than 5,000 through acquisition and major construction projects. The most recent was the two-phase, 1,274-bed Elvington Loop student housing project that opened in 2015 and 2016. Harrison championed and led the implementation of the critically important cost-saving and inclusive First Day® Complete course materials adoption program. Critically, Steve’s work has transitioned more than $5,000,000 of annual expenditures from tuition-funded units to self-sustaining, auxiliary-funded operations. These efforts have contributed to the successful matriculation of three consecutive record freshmen classes (2021, 2022, and 2023), and a record retention rate of 75.7% in Fall 2023.
Also notable in 2023, was the Associate for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s recognition of CCU’s efforts by naming the University to its Sustainable Campus Index Top Performers List. This recognition follows Coastal’s completion of its first greenhouse gas inventory and its gold rating on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), valid through January 2026. Importantly, AASHE recognized CCU as having reported its data with 97% accuracy, putting it in elite company.
Steve began his service at CCU in September 2010 as the director of housing and residence life and has served as vice president since July 2017. Before joining Teal Nation, Steve worked in housing and residence life for several years at the University of Arizona and Southern Utah University, where he also served as assistant vice president for auxiliary enterprises. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and his Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, near his childhood home of Virginia Beach. Steve is father to twin sons, Caleb and Cody, married to Dr. Emily Gaspar, CCU's Interim Vice President of Community Building, Outreach & Student Media, and Designated 504 Coordinator/ADA Compliance Officer. When not at work, he listens to too many podcasts, watches too much soccer (now that his playing career is over), and rides his motorcycle as often as possible.
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