The Latest: USC trustee pulls Caslen support over protests
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the University of South Carolina’s search for a new president (all times local):
A University of South Carolina trustee who once would have voted for a retired Army general as the school’s new president says he can’t cast that vote now.
Trustee Chuck Allen said Tuesday his opinion of retired three-star general and West Point Superintendent Robert Caslen hasn’t changed.
But Allen said in a statement that objections about Caslen from alumni, donors, professors and students would mean hiring Caslen would cause the school harm.
Trustee Charlie Williams says Gov. Henry McMaster is pressuring trustees to hire Caslen after they unanimously voted to continue the president search in April instead of voting on him or other finalists.
Professors said Caslen lacked research university experience and students didn’t like a comment blaming sexual assaults on binge drinking.
A spokesman for McMaster called preposterous the suggestions the governor acted improperly.
Spokesman Brian Symmes says McMaster wants a permanent president as soon as possible and Caslen is supremely qualified.
A spokesman for Gov. Henry McMaster says it’s preposterous to suggest the governor did anything improper during the search for a new University of South Carolina president.
University trustee Charlie Williams said last week McMaster was pressuring board members to hire retired Army three-star general and West Point Superintendent Robert Caslen as president.
The board considered Caslen in April, then voted to continue the search. Students and professors protested, saying Caslen had no advance degree or research university experience.
Williams suggested McMaster tried to hold a hasty vote during summer break and his political pressure could threaten the university’s accreditation.
A meeting last Friday was postponed because of not enough notification.
McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes says McMaster wants a permanent president as soon as possible and Caslen is supremely qualified.