USC Board of Trustees does not choose new president, search continues

The decision comes after students and faculty protested throughout the day

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — After hearing from students and faculty about their four presidential finalists, the USC Board of Trustees chose to continue their search for their next leader.

For several students at USC, Friday’s announcement to continue looking for the school’s twenty-ninth president was a breath of fresh air.

“This is the most encouraging outcome that we could have gotten. Not only were we heard, we were heard to the utmost. We were given our highest demand. They recognize this was a failed search, just as the students did, just as the faculty did, and the Carolina community, and that’s what matters,” said Lauryn Workman, the Treasurer of the USC College Democrats and one of the protesters who assembled in the school’s Alumni Center.

The decision came on the heels of hours of protests as the USC Board of Trustees were in executive session.

Students especially were vocal about General Robert Caslen, who made a remark at a forum that linked sexual assault to binge drinking.

“This board and this university cares about what our students think. I think it shows you that they are very concerned about student input on this campus, and they really want to know what we think and really care about our input on matters like this,” said Campbell Mims, a sophomore at USC.

As the search for the next USC President continues, several students say they want more voices at the table when determining who their next leader will be.

“We’re hoping for a better search team, we’re hoping for a more diverse search committee, we’re hoping for more voices, more presentations for more students and our faculty, and most importantly, we want more diversity,” Workman said.

Students say they embrace how the Carolina community came t ogether as one voice.

“I think it really shows we all as Gamecocks want to embody and I think it’s powerful at the end of the day,” Mims said.

Brendan Kelly, the Chancellor of USC Upstate, will serve as the Interim President as the search continues.

Current President Harris Pastides is retiring at the end of the semester. His last day is July 31.

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