Meet the Provost
J. Ralph Byington serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Coastal Carolina University. He was appointed in March 2014.
In 2010 he was named dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration and served in that role through June 2013, when he was named interim provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. His responsibilities included oversight of seven undergraduate majors, as well as the successful PGA/PGM and Wall Fellows programs, two graduate programs, and two major research and outreach centers. In response to employer demand, four new undergraduate concentrations were introduced in the management program and a state-of-the-art investments lab opened. Under his leadership, the master of accountancy (MAcc) program was launched and the MBA program was restructured, and graduate enrollment in the Wall College of Business increased 66 percent.
Byington was dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, where he served from 2003 to 2007. He also spent eight years as interim dean, associate dean and director of the School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University, where he was the founding director of the School of Accountancy.
He also has served as director and internal auditor at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), and was an investigator for the PEER Committee for the state of Mississippi. He was also chief fiscal officer for the Mississippi Governor's Office for Federal Programs.
Byington has been involved with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), as a member of the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC), a peer review team adviser, vice-chair and chair. In 2012, he was elected to the board of governors of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), the international honor society that serves business programs accredited by AACSB.
Byington has belonged to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Accounting Association, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Alpha Psi, the Rotary Club of Aiken, the Aiken Chamber of Commerce (ex officio) and the Southern Business Administration Association. He was president of the Southeast chapter of the American Accounting Association and president of the Southeast Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPAs.
His publications include more than 130 journal articles, book chapters, newsletter items and proceedings. Among the honors has received are the New Faculty Excellence Award from Texas Tech, the College of Business Administration Professor of the Year at Louisiana Tech, and three separate outstanding faculty and professorial awards at Georgia Southern.
Byington earned a bachelor’s degree and a master's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also holds a doctorate in accounting with a minor in economics and statistics from the University of Arkansas.