SC lawmakers vow to change UofSC’s board after recent presidential election

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- It’s been almost 1 week since a controversial election at the University of South Carolina for the university’s next president, but conversations are still being held and changes are still being proposed.

Following the election of General Robert Caslen as the 29th president of USC several South Carolina lawmakers are proposing legislation to reform the Board of Trustees.

The board voted 11-8 to elect Caslen the next university president. It was a decision that sparked protests and petitions amongst faculty and students.

Now several lawmakers are planning to file bills that would change the university’s board of trustees.

Senator Mike Fanning plans to refile a bill from 2017 that gives USC students a vote in board decisions.

“These are our future leaders. But they’re also the customers of the university. And to tell them we don’t care about your input selecting the president that would leave the university that you’re paying for enrolled in and a part of is a slap in the face of the students and parents,” explained Senator Fanning of Fairfield County.

Another bill Representative Todd Rutherford plans to file would remove the governor as a member of the board.

Upstate Senator Harvey Peeler is also to change up the board’s membership by decreasing the board’s size. This bill would have membership based on congressional districts, not judicial districts.

Fanning continued, “We need to look at taking the politics out of it but we also have the state superintendent on the board as well. So at some point, we need to start asking the questions why are these people on the board in the first place..?”

Lawmakers are expected to start discussions on those bills when they return here to the State House in January.

Governor Henry McMaster sits on the board of all state colleges and universities except for Clemson University. The school is still operating under an older law.

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