A divided University of South Carolina board of trustees voted Friday to hire retired Army Gen. Robert Caslen as the school’s next president.
After a rare contentious meeting, the board rejected protests from faculty, some students and several politicians in choosing Caslen, the former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The vote was 11-8. One board member abstained.
A crowd of roughly 128 students, alumni and faculty who had gathered in the Pastides Alumni Center, where the board met, began chanting “shame” minutes after the board voted.
Caslen was aware of the opposition to his candidacy and has pledged to meet with his critics and listen to them.
“I want to engage with my critics in the faculty and the students and take their advice,” Caslen told The State. “They’re valued members of the university and it’s important they realize that I see them that way.”
Asked how he felt to be named USC’s next president, he said, “I’m honored. I’m very grateful for those who put their trust in me.”