McConnell accepts contract offer from CofC Trustees

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Glenn McConnell has accepted the offering by College of Charleston's Board of Trustees to become the next president of the school.

In a statement released by the school Monday afternoon, Trustees Chairman Greg Padgett said he was happy to make the announcement that the two sides had come together on McConnell's contract.

"We are very pleased that President McConnell has formally accepted our offer to become the next president of the College," said Greg Padgett, chair of the Board of Trustees. "President McConnell has an unparalleled track record of leadership and service to the state of South Carolina, and we know that he possesses the vision and dedication that will lead the College of Charleston through its next era of progress and success in educating our students and serving our community."

McConnell said he was looking forward to the challenges of leading the College as its 22nd president.

"Any success I have enjoyed throughout my legal, business, and legislative careers started with the excellent liberal arts education I received at the College. I look forward to serving and leading my alma mater in a new chapter in its history marked by greater diversity, sustainability, relevance, and accountability," he said. When future graduates reflect upon their lives, I hope they, too, will value their experience at the College as one that propelled them to success no matter what personal and professional paths they choose."

McConnell was offered the position on March 22 amid some turmoil. Students and faculty protested the decision by the Board of Trustees for weeks, but the movement has since quieted and focused on other matters, namely the state Legislature's moves to financially punish the College of giving incoming students an autobiographical book with "gay themes."

McConnell will replace George Benson, who announced his departure from the school's top office last year. Benson will remain at the school as a member of the faculty in the business school.

McConnell is currently serving as the state's lieutenant governor. He will step down from that position on June 30 and take over at the College starting July 1.

McConnell is also a graduate of the College. He graduated in 1969.

During his time as a student, he served as student body president and was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He went on to law school at the University of South Carolina.

He also holds honorary degrees from CofC, The Citadel, Francis Marion University, and the Medical University of South Carolina. He already has a building named after him on the CofC campus.