COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – The University of South Carolina selected retired Army General Robert Caslen as its new president in an 11-8 vote, despite opposition from some faculty, students and donors.
Students expressed their disapproval by chanting “shame” after the vote.
They gathered in an overflow room to watch the board meeting about the decision. Professors said Caslen wasn’t qualified because he didn’t have a doctoral degree. Students say he didn’t know enough about the school. Some trustees criticized the process as being politicized.
“This thing is nothing but political, and it stinks, and for this board to push this thing through, you know, it’s going to destroy the university.” Charles Williams, a USC trustee, said. “It is absolutely going to destroy this university, and the governor needs to pay the price for the turmoil he’s created.”
Others at the meeting praised Caslen’s qualifications.
“I have had the privilege to talk with him personally, and I’ve called him on several occasions,” USC trustee Dan Adams said. “I’ve gotten to know him. I think he’ll be a rock star for this university. I think he will absolutely take us to the next level.”
Caslen will officially become USC President in September with a salary of $600,000.