At the October Board of Trustees meeting, the voting members of the Presidential Search Committee were appointed as the first step in forming the committee to follow President Pastides.
“The next step is kind of all of us getting together, the whole search committee. Today the board selected who they wanted to be representative,” said Taylor Wright, student body president. “We have the student representatives, the faculty still hasn’t selected who they want so hopefully next week we’ll have that solidified and we can get going.”
According to the Board of Trustees bylaws, the student body president serves on the Presidential Search Committee until the search is over, regardless whether they have reached the end of the term and graduated. Wright sees his job as a way to communicate the student voice to the committee.
“They have to be student friendly. That’s number one on the list. If students aren’t the reason you’re here, and not why you’re excited to get up, and not why you do everything, then that’s an issue,” Wright said. “They have to be someone who cares about diversity and inclusion and equity, not someone too polarizing in either direction.”
The Board of Trustees has five voting members on the search committee. Those appointed are Hubert Mobley, who will serve as chair, William Hubbard, Leah Moody, C. Dorn Smith III and Eugene Warr Jr. The secretary of the Board of Trustees, J. Cantey Heath Jr., will also serve as the secretary of the search committee.
The Faculty Senate’s chair, Marco Valtorta, will be a voting member as well as a representative of the USC-Columbia faculty and one representative from the satellite campuses collectively. Those faculty members will be decided at the Faculty Senate meeting on Nov. 7.
The final members of the Presidential Search Committee will be the chair of the alumni association and a representative from a support foundation. These representatives will be Robert Dozier Jr. and William Hammett Jr.
The Presidential Search Committee is required to suggest four legitimate candidates for the presidency to the Board of Trustees. If the process extends past Pastides’ retirement there is a process to instate an interim president.
“Should at any time an acting or interim president be required to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidency, the process described above shall not apply but such appointment shall be made by the Board on recommendation of the Executive and Governance Committee of the Board,” said the Board of Trustees bylaws.
It is unknown when the Presidential Search Committee will meet next or whether they will look inside or hire an outside person for the role. According to the Freedom of Information Act, the university is required to release the three finalists' names.
News editor Meghan Crum contributed to the reporting of this article.