Board approves $188,000 salary for McConnell

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - A state board has approved paying $188,000 toward the salary of the College of Charleston's incoming president, Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell.

The vote Wednesday by the Agency Head Salary Commission comes four days after the college's board of trustees selected McConnell to succeed George Benson. The amount is $8,500 more than Benson's state-paid salary.

How much the college's foundation will add to McConnell's salary through private donations is not yet known.

College spokeswoman Melissa Whetzel says that will be part of McConnell's contract, which is in the works. The contract will also set McConnell's starting date.

Benson is stepping down this summer after six years as the college's president. His total salary is about $379,500. The foundation contributes $200,000 of that.

As lieutenant governor, McConnell's salary is $46,545.

Meanwhile on the campus of College of Charleston, protests continued into another day since the Board of Trustees announced McConnell had been named president.{}

Inside Randolph Hall, students staged a silent sit-in and wore tape across their mouths symbolizing the lack of voice they had in the selection of a new president.

The current president, Dr. George Benson, has been spotted at several of the protests. He handed out pizza in Randolph Hall Wednesday afternoon and earlier in the day was greeted with cheers after commending the students for taking an active and vocal role in their campus.{}

On Tuesday, nearly 500 students marched through the campus and took turns speaking on a bullhorn, expressing their frustrations at the board's decision.{}

Tuesday evening, the Student Government Association passed a resolution of no confidence in the Board of Trustees. During the meeting, Board chair Greg Padgett fielded questions from the members of the student governing body.{}

According to reports, the Faculty Senate will take a vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees next month. It is also expected to pass.{}

The students have planned a walk-out for Friday afternoon, according to the mobilizing website{}

It is unclear what the votes will do for the board's presidential selection. McConnell will start his tenure as College president on July 1.