Top candidate to replace Pastides as USC president is officially out of the running

One of the top candidates to succeed University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides is officially out of the running.

That’s because Provost Joan Gabel, the university’s top academic official, has accepted a job as the president of the University of Minnesota, Pastides said at a Tuesday board of trustees meeting.

In announcing Gabel’s official departure, Pastides congratulated her and joked the university would send her a care package of snow boots and parkas.

Gabel emerged as the lone candidate for Minnesota’s presidency earlier this month. Before that news broke, it was clear Gabel was headed for a higher position.

“She’s a viable candidate” for president of USC, board of trustees Chair John Von Lehe said in October after Pastides announced his retirement. “I think she’s headed for the presidency of some school. I just don’t know which one.”

The University of Minnesota board of regents approved Gabel’s five-year contract unanimously Tuesday. Gabel is the school’s first female president, and will be paid $640,000 annually, which is $15,000 more than the current president, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

At USC, Gabel’s salary was $400,000, according to S.C. Department of Administration records.

Lucas Daprile has been covering the University of South Carolina and higher education since March 2018. Before working for The State, he graduated from Ohio University and worked as an investigative reporter at TCPalm in Stuart, FL. There, where he won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his political and environmental coverage.