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McConnell to retire as CofC president

Staff //January 29, 2018//

McConnell to retire as CofC president

Staff //January 29, 2018//

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The College of Charleston announced Monday that President Glenn McConnell will retire from the school’s top office this summer.

McConnell, 70, has served in the position since 2014. He said in a statement that his age and health played a “significant role” in his decision.

McConnell“Over the past two months, I have taken a hard look at the challenges ahead as well as my physical abilities and energy long term to do this job and to meet other responsibilities I have at the same level as in the past,” McConnell said. “I have concluded that I should retire. I did not come to this decision lightly, but I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do.”

During McConnell’s tenure as the college’s 22nd president, CofC grew the downtown campus footprint with the acquisition of property in the WestEdge development; expanded the curriculum, adding undergraduate degrees in commercial real estate finance and meteorology and adding graduate degrees in community planning, policy and design; and increased offerings at the School of Professional Studies.

“The college owes a huge debt of gratitude to President McConnell,” said David Hay, chair of the board of trustees. “He has been an effective and charismatic leader, and while we wish he could stay on longer, we respect that he must do what’s best for his own health.”

Hay said the board wants to move quickly to begin a search process for McConnell’s successor. The college announced a special board meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss employment matters.

McConnell is an alumnus of CofC. Prior to his presidency, McConnell served in the state Senate beginning in 1980. In 2001, McConnell was elected Senate president pro tempore, and in 2012, he became lieutenant governor when Ken Ard resigned because of ethics violations.

According to a filing with the S.C. State Ethics Commission, McConnell has $157,866 in unused campaign contributions, $5 less than he had in 2015 because of a dormant account fee from First Palmetto Bank.