The owner of the Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation and USC donor Lou Kennedy resigned from the presidential search committee Monday, according to her letter of resignation.
Kennedy, a USC alumna, said board chairman Dorn Smith made a comment in which he said Kennedy's position on the committee was a "courtesy," according to Kennedy's letter of resignation. The Daily Gamecock obtained her letter from university spokesperson Jeff Stensland.
"When you said, during Thursday's meeting, that my invitation to be part of the search process was a 'courtesy,' I felt as though it diminished the priorities I brought to the table," Kennedy said in her letter. "As far as I am concerned, that is unacceptable."
The incident occurred last week while the committee interviewed candidates for the position of university president.
In an email sent out by the university on behalf of the search committee, Kennedy was called a "devoted and loyal alumna" of USC.
"We regret that she has resigned from the Presidential Search Committee. The university appreciates her steadfast support of our mission," Stensland said in an email statement.
According to The Post and Courier, Kennedy said she plans to only make financial contributions to USC's women's sports moving forward. In recent years, according to The Post and Courier, Kennedy made more than $30 million in financial contributions to the university.
The letter of resignation, which Kennedy signed, was sent on Monday. The letter also said Smith apologized after the comment was made. Kennedy served as an advisory member of the search committee.
According to an email statement, USC is in the process of "narrowing the field of candidates" and the board expects to be able to talk to these candidates soon.