CRBJ readers weigh in on College of Charleston president search

By Ashley Barker
Published March 20, 2014

Donald Duck would be a better College of Charleston president than Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell or business consultant Dennis “Jody” Encarnation, according to one Charleston Regional Business Journal reader.

College of Charleston President ChartDuring a two-day unscientific poll, the Lowcountry business community was asked to voice its opinion on who the college’s board of trustees should select to replace President George Benson. With 123 responses, 50 of the votes, or 40.7%, went to Martha Saunders, provost at the University of West Florida. McConnell garnered 39 votes, or 31.7%, and Encarnation was selected 25 times, or 20.3%.

Nine responses were tallied in the write-in candidate spot, including three for Andrew H. Card Jr. The former White House chief of staff was named as one of the four presidential finalists, but a day later the board announced he “no longer wishes to be considered for the position.”

Other write-ins included Florence-Darlington Technical College President Ben Dillard and former CofC President Lee Higdon, as well as 1958 CofC graduate George “Tank” Barnett, who was formerly president of the alumni association. In addition to Mr. Duck, “none of the above” and “anyone but Glenn McConnell” were also submitted.

CofC’s board is expected to meet with the three finalists once more on Friday and Saturday before it begins deliberating. The name of the president will be announced once a contract has been signed, according to a college spokesman.

The college is looking for its 22nd president to have a “compelling record as a transformational leader,” according to its presidential search profile (.pdf).

“The new president should expect to prioritize service to the Lowcountry and to the people of South Carolina, while also continuing to nurture and develop the growing national reputation of the College of Charleston,” the profile said.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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