USC’s next chapter begins after debate among Board of Trustees

Some pointed to General Caslen's leadership and experiences as to why he should be elected

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) —Some members of the University of  Board of Trustees say the thought of losing General Robert Caslen to another school would hurt USC’s national prominence. 

“The damage has been done, and one of my concerns is this man, this great man, will be gone, if we do not offer him immediately,” said Richard A. Jones of the USC Board of Trustees.

Board Chairman John von Lehe Jr. called for the vote, saying it was necessary to act quickly in order to reel in their top target.

“A man of his exceptional skills and leadership is in high demand. If we don’t take action now, he will not be available in the future,” von Lehe said.

Prior to the vote, trustee Charles Williams made one last plea to the board to postpone the vote.

“Y’all got to wake up folks. The alumni, students, faculty are all against himself. What are we trying to do this for?” Williams asked.

However, the Board voted in favor of Caslen by a margin of 11 to 8. One trustee, William Hubbard, voted “present”. 

As soon as the Board of Trustees announced their vote, some students gathered outside the boardroom and started to chant “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman chose to vote for Caslen after she heard his vision for the school.

She says he’s willing to work with those who stood up against him.

“He says ‘I’ll tell you quickly, I’ll be the first who would want to go and meet with those who were most against me, and to bring us together,’” Spearman said.

General Caslen put out a statement on Twitter, saying he’s extremely honored to take the helm at an institution like USC.


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