Karen Gainey

Professor of English

Dr. Karen W Gainey

Email Address

Office Number


Dr. Karen Gainey, Professor of English at Limestone University, has been a member of the Limestone faculty since 1994. Before being appointed Vice President, she served as Chair of the pision of Arts and Letters, as Associate Academic Dean, and as Academic Dean. 

As the chief academic officer of The University, Dr. Gainey is responsible for teaching, research, registration, the library, educational media services, student financial aid, Online & Evening and day programs, academic advising, and academic support services. As Executive Vice President, Dr. Gainey assists in the direction of the day-to-day operation of The University, implementing plans and policies to achieve overall institutional objectives and maximizing program results. She also presides over The University in the absence of the president. 

Dr. Gainey also teaches online courses in African American Literature, Modern Fiction, and Women's Writing. Dr. Gainey received her Ph.D. from the University of Tulsa, her M.A. from California State Polytechnic University, and her B.A. from Clemson University. Before coming to Limestone, Dr. Gainey was Chair of the Liberal Arts pision at Tulsa Junior College, and Director of the University Writing Program at the University of Tulsa. She has also taught high school in South Carolina, Texas, and California. 

Dr. Gainey holds a SC General Contractor's license, enjoys reading blueprints as well as contemporary fiction, attending football games and NASCAR races, working with her husband on projects around the house, and spending time with her grandchildren who are 15, 13, and 11 years old. 

Professional Accomplishments

  • Leadership Cherokee Board of Regents, August 2011-present; Leadership Cherokee class of 2010. 
  • South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities¹ Chief Academic Officers¹ Group,President, 2009. 
  • South Carolina Women in Higher Education, Executive Board Member, 1995-present; 
  • Executive Board President, 2005-2008.
  • Fullerton Teaching Awards 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. 
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Professional Educators, member since 2008.
  • Attended HERS -Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education
  • Administration, Summer 2002. 
  • South Carolina "Distinguished Professor," 1996. 
  • Selected for the1996 South Carolina Forum of the American Council on Education's National Identification Program for the Advancement of Women in Higher Education. 
  • American Association of University Women, Member since 2001.

Other Certifications

  • South Carolina General Contractor¹s License


  • Ph.D. in English Language and Literature: Modern Letters, December 1990, University of Tulsa
  • M. A. in English, December 1977, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • B. A. in Secondary Education/English, December 1971, Clemson University Graduated with High Honor