Gov. McMaster breaks his silence on USC presidential search

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s office has broken its silence on the University of South Carolina’s presidential search.

The statement acknowledges McMaster contacted board of trustee members and asked them to cast a vote. It further reiterates McMaster’s support for former U.S Military Academy at West Point Superintendent Robert Caslen.

Here is the full statement, attributed to spokesman Brian Symmes:

“In his capacity as the ex-officio chairman of the university’s board, the governor has contacted each of his fellow board members and has encouraged them to select a permanent president for the University of South Carolina as soon as possible. To suggest that the governor, who by law is a member of the board of trustees, did anything improper is preposterous. Governor McMaster has made no secret about the fact, that as a member of the board, he believes Gen. Robert Caslen is supremely qualified and is perfectly suited to address the challenges ahead for the University of South Carolina.”

McMaster’s involvement in the presidential search has drawn its share of unintended consequences including: a unanimous vote of “no confidence” in Caslen from the Faculty Senate, possible student protests, potential action from USC’s accrediting organization and the involvement of a national professor’s association.

The vote on Caslen was originally scheduled for Friday, July 12, but a court order blocked that and pushed it back to Friday, July 19, according to previous articles from The State.