Namesake of UofSC business school says search for president should be restarted

Published: Jul. 19, 2019 at 1:23 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On the eve of the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees meeting to possibly determine the institute’s next president, the school’s largest donor is making one last plea to the Board of Trustees not to politicize the selection process to find the successor for Dr. Harris Pastides.

Darla Moore sent a letter to board chairman John von Lehe regarding the presidential selection process.

“As the largest donor to the university and the namesake of one of the largest schools with a broad national reputation, I’m making a final appeal to the Board to reject the rank political influence in selecting the next President,” Moore wrote. “Notwithstanding the political nature of the Board, the university is an institution of higher learning and the surest way to extinguish its integrity is to politicize it.”

Moore went on to note that “not one constituency of the university is in favor of the current process including donors who are the lifeblood of the university’s future.” In her letter, Moore recommended the board begin the process again to find “a qualified candidate without the current controversy.”

On July 9, Gov. Henry McMaster requested a vote from the Board of Trustees for Lt. General Robert Caslen. However, the meeting scheduled for July 12 was cancelled after a court order deemed the board did not have proper notice to hold the meeting.

The letter from Moore comes two days after trustee Chuck Allen penned a statement officially ending his support of candidate Lt. General Robert Caslen.

One day later, a UofSC alum wrote a letter to the student newspaper threatening to stop donating to the school.

The board is scheduled to meet Friday at 10 a.m.

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