Letters to the Editor

Presidential finalists should leave USC high and dry since board reopened search

Mariah Cochran, University of South Carolina senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, celebrates the reopening of the presidential search to replace Harris Pastides at the USC Alumnus Center on Friday in Columbia, S.C. An interim president will take up the position in August as the university makes a second attempt to find a suitable replacement.
Mariah Cochran, University of South Carolina senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, celebrates the reopening of the presidential search to replace Harris Pastides at the USC Alumnus Center on Friday in Columbia, S.C. An interim president will take up the position in August as the university makes a second attempt to find a suitable replacement. online@thestate.com

After a seven-month search and interviewing four finalists for the USC presidency, the esteemed USC board of trustees punted and reopened the search! In doing so, we now know who really runs the university – the protesting students! What an embarrassment! The protesters were particularly disgusted with the remarks of finalist Robert Caslen, who dared to suggest that binge drinking could contribute to sexual assault. Noting Caslen’s military service in Iraq, sophomore Ethan Magnuson boldly stated, “His entire career has been contrary to the values of this institution.” Whew! One could wish Mr. Magnuson could have enlightened us by reciting the values of the university. I wonder how his remarks were taken by members of USC’s Air Force and Navy ROTC cadets.

Given this fiasco, the four finalists should now thumb their collective noses at the feckless USC board of trustees and the University of South Carolina. Stay tuned.

Tom Fincher

Chapin

Time for USC to do some soul-searching

After reading the front page story “Students protest former West Point head as a finalist,” I appreciate why the board of trustees extended the search for a new president and named an interim president. First and foremost, before the extended search begins, the board of trustees needs to do some soul-searching with current UofSC leadership about on-goings at the university over recent years which resulted in those values and expectations and the underlying sentiment of the letter signed by more than 40 student organizations and 120 faculty members. There is an old adage applicable to this situation: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

Second and equally important, UofSC, and especially the two students cited by name on continuation page 6A, need to formally apologize to Gen. Caslen for the comments which impugn his integrity and are highly demeaning to him and all men and women who have served honorably in the defense of our great country.

May God’s Blessing be upon the University of South Carolina.

Thomas Crooks Jr.

Pomaria

Couple dozen USC students shouldn’t make board’s decisions

So the USC board knuckled under and let a group of a few dozen students dictate to them. Since when is a small group, still wet behind the ears, who have not come close to paying their dues, allowed to influence a board of trustees.

That’s one of the problems with these children today, they are never told no!

Russell Lipscomb

Columbia

Teacher protest should be nonconfrontational

Teachers taking an allowed personal day off work to be in Columbia on May 1 is appropriate, but if the rhetoric and placards appear to be too demanding, the educators will have given away a lot of political capital and made next year’s lobbying efforts more difficult.

It will be to the teachers’ advantage to show up on Wednesday with compelling requests for collaborative dialogue and inclusion of more educators on the legislative committees dealing with education reform in 2020. Becoming a part of the legislative process and being at the bargaining table during negotiations will be more productive than being outside the room and having to react after the recommendations are put forth.

“Minimally adequate” education leads to “maximally inadequate” high school graduates, which leads to higher unemployment, crime/prison and welfare dependency on government. Every taxpayer then has to underwrite these costs when that tax money could have been better spent on preventing this situation in the first place.

With the second phase of education reform heading into next year’s agenda, the 50,000 teachers would be wise to develop a better grassroots strategy and have educators personally discuss their needs with their locally elected representatives. The collective one-on-one discussions from 50,000 teachers and the parents of 700,000 students in an election year should maintain the attention of all legislators and keep the enactment of education reform at the top of their agenda in 2020.

Carroll Player

Florence

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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