No fines, sanctions for UofSC after formal review of presidential search

No fines, sanctions for UofSC after formal review of presidential search

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The University of South Carolina will not face any fines or sanctions from the Southern Association of Colleges of Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regarding its latest presidential search.

A formal review, launched in early October, examined whether or not Gov. Henry McMaster worked closely with UofSC’s Board of Trustees to make Bob Caslen president. If true, it would have been a violation of SACS standards, which prohibit governing bodies from allowing external influences into the decision making process.

SACS announced its formal review was complete and UofSC would not face sanctions on Tuesday. It has not yet issued a written report.

While there will be no formal sanctions, Board of Trustees Chairman John von Lehe, Jr. said the board will work to strengthen “several key areas of governance.” Those include:

  • "Clarifying roles and responsibilities of the Board and its individual members;
  • "Improving institutional and system governance;
  • "Building stronger Board governance practices within full transparency and integrity;
  • "Continuing to build strong and ethical Board leadership;
  • “Developing a comprehensive orientation for new Board members and annual education programs for all Board members.”

The chairman said the board will establish and share new procedures for the university’s future presidential searches. The board will also review its bylaws and members will undergo training from time-to-time with the Association of Governing Boards (AGB).

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“Our Board is committed to taking the necessary steps to enhance public confidence," von Lehe said. “The university’s students, alumni, and employees deserve no less.”

UofSC President Bob Caslen issued the following statement:

"We are grateful for all of the hard work SACSCOC put into its review of university processes and for the work they will continue over the next year.

"We are committed to working with SACACOC - as well as AGB and the entire university community - to strengthen our ethics, integrity, and good governance practices across the Institution.

This represents a tremendous opportunity to work together, using feedback from SACSCOC and AGB, to make our university stronger than ever.”

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