USC trustees select Army general as new president

South Carolina News

FILE (cropped photo by U.S. Army/Spc. Anna Pol)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – University of South Carolina trustees have voted to hire a retired Army general as the school’s president despite complaints from students, professors and donors.

The Board of Trustees voted 11-8 to hire Robert Caslen as president and pay him $600,000.

“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,” Gov. Henry McMaster stated.

Several dozen protesters outside the boardroom shouted “Shame!” as Friday’s board meeting ended.

Caslen was one of four finalists at the board’s April meeting, but trustees decided to keep searching. Three months later, Trustees called Friday’s meeting and only considered the former West Point superintendent.

Professors said Caslen wasn’t qualified because he didn’t have a doctoral degree. Students say he didn’t know enough about the school. Two of the university’s biggest donors said the search was too political.

Caslen’s supporters say his military experience will help the university move forward.

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