CHARLESTON, SC — College of Charleston President George Benson will step down next year and go back to teaching business classes at the school.
Benson announced his resignation Thursday, but said he plans to stay on as president until the end of June 2014 so the school can conduct a thorough search for his replacement.
Benson has been president of the College of Charleston since February 2007, coming to the school after a decade as dean of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
“When I interviewed for this job, I quickly saw the untapped potential of the College of Charleston,” Benson said in a statement. “I believed then and now that no other university in the U.S. can match the College’s potential for greatness. My goal for the past six-and-a-half years has been to unlock as much of that potential as I could.”
During his time in Charleston, Benson significantly increased private fundraising. Since he became president, the school has built a new center for the arts, math building and admissions office. Plans are in place to renovate the college’s marine laboratory and science center.
Benson also was president as the school built its new on-campus basketball arena and he championed the school’s move from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association.
But Benson says his proudest accomplishment is starting a four-year program for students with mild intellectual disabilities, giving them a complete college experience.
The Reach program currently has 21 students. “These students are teaching all of us to be more accepting, more inclusive, and more open-minded,” Benson said.