McConnell signs contract to become College of Charleston president in July

By Ashley Barker
Published May 19, 2014

Nearly two months after the College of Charleston board of trustees chose Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell as its next president, contract negotiations are now complete.

McConnell will take over the position currently held by George Benson on July 1. His contract ends on June 30, 2019.

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The institution will pay McConnell an annual salary of $188,000, and the College of Charleston Foundation will provide a supplemental annual salary of $112,000, according to the contract (.pdf). The $300,000 total offer is nearly $80,000 less than Benson’s current salary.

“We are very pleased that President McConnell has formally accepted our offer to become the next president of the college,” board Chair Greg Padgett said in a statement. “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.”

On Sept. 1, McConnell will move into an on-campus residence provided by the college at 6 Glebe St., where he will live for the duration of his term. He will also be given an automobile for use in the “performance of the president’s duties.”

As president, McConnell will be appointed, as a professional courtesy, to the college’s faculty as a member of the Department of Accounting and Legal Studies.

McConnell, who is a 1969 graduate of CofC, said the college is in his DNA.

“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,” McConnell said in a statement. “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.”

His responsibilities, according to the contract, will include:

  • Leading the development and execution of the institution’s long-term strategy;
  • Being ultimately responsible for the institution’s day-to-day management decisions and for implementing the institution’s long- and short-term plans;
  • Ensuring that the institution is appropriately organized and staffed, and hiring and terminating personnel as necessary to enable the institution to achieve the approved strategy;
  • Serving as a direct liaison between the institution’s board and the institution’s administration;
  • Communicating on behalf of the institution to students, faculty, government authorities, other stakeholders and the public;
  • Ensuring that the institution’s expenditures are within the authorized annual budget;
  • Ensuring that effective internal controls and management information systems are in place;
  • Ensuring that the institution maintains high standards of organizational citizenship and social responsibility wherever it does business;
  • Ensuring that the board is properly informed and that sufficient information is provided to the board to enable the directors to form appropriate judgments.

Prior to June 31, McConnell and Padgett will develop appropriate annual goals for the year. Each year during the contract, the two will review and discuss McConnell’s performance.

If McConnell does not meet his goals, the board may provide him with written notice and allow six months for McConnell to “cure such deficiencies,” according to the contract. After the six-month period, the board may reduce McConnell’s salary or terminate him if the goals are still not met.

With a majority vote, the board may also immediately terminate the contract agreement at any time for cause and without cause on a minimum of six months’ written notice.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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