USC Faculty Senate votes ‘no confidence’ in trustees, citing presidential search

The University of South Carolina’s Faculty Senate passed a vote of “no confidence” against the school’s board of trustees, stemming from the controversial presidential search process.

The vote was taken at a Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday. The vote was a “voice vote” so no official tallies were taken; however, it was not unanimous, said Mark Cooper, the chair of Faculty Senate.

“There were a few ‘nays,’ but no more than a handful,” Cooper said.

The resolution cited the possibility that USC’s processes in conducting the presidential search could land the school of 51,000 students in hot water with its accrediting agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“I think the senate made a reasonable resolution and I will represent the intention of the resolution with the board of trustees,” Cooper said.

Shortly after the resolution passed, board of trustee chair John Von Lehe released a statement that said the following: “The selection of the university’s president was proper, and was the result of a majority vote of the board of trustees in a duly called and noticed public meeting. The board is committed to the principles of good governance and we will seek ways moving forward to foster greater trust with faculty members. Our hope is that Faculty Senate will play a constructive role as we work to advance the university’s mission to serve the people of South Carolina.”