USC names new president despite protests

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Friday the University of South Carolina Board approved Gen. Robert Caslen as the 29th president of the University.

Protests by students and complaints from professors led trustees to cast no vote on Army General and West Point Superintendent Robert Caslen back in April and instead unanimously agree to reopen the search.

Gen. Robert Caslen

But with little explanation, Caslen’s candidacy resurfaced earlier this month as trustee Charlie Williams said Gov. Henry McMaster started calling trustees and urging them to call a special meeting and vote for Caslen.

McMaster’s spokesman said the governor thinks Caslen is supremely qualified, although McMaster has not gone into detail about why he suddenly started pushing his candidacy two months after trustees appeared ready to start the search over again for the replacement for President Harris Pastides, a well-respected leader retiring at the end of July after a decade as the school’s leader.

Governor Henry McMaster issued the following statement on the University of South Carolina’s presidential selection:

“The selection of General Robert Caslen as the next president of the University of South Carolina is a positive and transformative step forward for the future of the university and the state.  I am confident that every student, alumnus, faculty member and citizen of this state will benefit from his superior leadership, vision and direction, which he has demonstrated throughout his remarkable career.”

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