UofSC President Bob Caslen Has Resigned

Joseph Bender, Sports Editor

On Wednesday evening, the University of South Carolina President Robert “Bob” Caslen resigned as president of the university, and UofSC’s Board of Trustees accepted his resignation. Caslen, who had only been president at the University of South Carolina for more than two years, departs after a controversial weekend for him. With the departure of Caslen effective Thursday, May 13th, Former President of the University of South Carolina Harris Pastides will take over as interim president, as he agreed to coming back to the university yesterday afternoon. 

The controversy of Bob Caslen all started last weekend, at the University of South Carolina’s Class of 2021 Graduation, at Williams Brice Stadium. This is a day graduates will always remember, but this year they’ll remember it for something else too. President Caslen first started out his commencement speech seeming intoxicated or not at the right mental state. This was immediately noticed by students and faculty as Caslen was struggling to get his words out and sounding off all afternoon. Later in the day, at the end of his 2021 Commencement Speech, the President called the University of South Carolina “the University of California,” then correcting with the University of Carolina, which still wasn’t correct. While this was already an extremely bad look on the university, it was later revealed that almost all of Caslen’s speech was plagiarized and stolen without credit to another writer or speaker. Plagiarizing a speech at South Carolina means automatic expulsion after taking a class about why not to plagiarize an essay. This is why students and faculty demanded a change of leadership because if they did the same thing, they would be kicked out. Therefore, he needed to face punishment or resign.

Earlier this week, Caslen sent in his resignation letter to the South Carolina Board of Trustees and the group rejected it, citing further investigation. Then two days later, they finally accepted Caslen’s resignation, which is effective tomorrow.  

While this is not the result any university wants for its President or people in leadership roles, it was always an uphill battle for Caslen, as the majority of the student body and faculty never wanted him to be President. Many were blindsided by the decision to make him President, something that Governor Henry McMaster, former graduate of the university pushed hard, and wanted Caslen to get the job.  

Now with Harris Pastides back at the helm, the university will look to rebuild its image and return to how the university was when Pastides was the head man. The search begins to find the next President of the University of South Carolina.