College of Charleston takes first step on path to university status
College of Charleston officials will continue the push to form a research university in the Lowcountry, despite a bill that failed in the waning days of the last legislative session.
The college’s Board of Trustees Wednesday approved changes to the school’s mission statement, a necessary first step on a new method of possibly achieving research university status without lawmakers’ consent.
After a combative legislative session, which came to a close in June, college officials learned that the state’s Commission on Higher Education might have the authority to green-light the establishment of a University of Charleston without getting approval from the General Assembly.
Glenn McConnell, the school’s new president who attended his first board meeting Wednesday, said he is going to pursue approval to form a research university from both the commission and the General Assembly.
He told the board that some lawmakers have told him they will file another bill next year.
He plans to present the school’s revised mission statement, which now includes the words “research institution” instead of “comprehensive institution” to the commission at its Aug. 7 meeting, he said. But even if the commission approves the plan, he wants the new University of Charleston bill to get legislative approval. “It’s good insurance there will be no doubters,” McConnell said.