McConnell: 'Let MUSC and CofC collaborate together'

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell has beenselected the College of Charleston's 22nd president. On Sunday, he talked aboutthe controversy and what's ahead for him and his alma mater.

McConnell said his first order of business is to reachacross campus to students, faculty, and administrators and open dialogue withall those who opposed his candidacy. Then he wants to reshape the school andbuild research-based programs.

The College is a centuries old liberal arts college, but thevision of the new president could soon reshape its reputation.

"The College of Charleston already has an institution calledthe University of Charleston for which little to nothing has been done with. Whynot activate that and create the graduate courses on the research end of what'sneeded for the community?" he asked.

McConnell says creating graduate programs will allow theschool to build greater and stronger alliances with local colleges. Thatincludes the Medical University of South Carolina.

"Let MUSC and the College collaborate together with theUniversity of Charleston. The community is the winner. You don't have to go andforce MUSC in," McConnell said. "It's kind of like the Claremont Colleges thingthat was done in California. They have a series of independent colleges buttogether they form a consortium."

Something like that would create more opportunities forstudents at a more affordable cost, said McConnell.

"It will bring money, recognition, and support to the schoolbecause here is what I am concerned about: the model of just continuing to hiketuition on the backs of students is not a sustainable model. We are creating ageneration of debtors," he said.

In the meantime, the lieutenant governor has until July totransition out of the second highest seat in the state and into the College'stop position.

McConnell said he is meeting with the General Assembly onWednesday to begin his exit plan and start the discussions about hisreplacement.{}

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