Robert Caslen made an error of judgment, and he set a good example for owning up to it. And we turn the page.
Now it’s time to pick a new leader, which is another opportunity for the South Carolina politician to show what he’s good at: meddling in something he shouldn’t.
The people of South Carolina have conferred the authority upon the South Carolina politician to select the board of the University. And we know how young it is not, what gender it is not, and what colors it is not.
While these moments ignite important conversations about the constitution of the board, we cannot change it now. And those well-meaning board members know how high the stakes are.
So let’s get out of the way and let them do their job. If we want to attract the best and the brightest, we will if they know that South Carolina’s politicians won’t get in the way of the process.
And if that happens, I hope and pray that the board chooses the right leader to take the university we love to 50 years from now rather than 50 years ago. It is in dire need of that leadership right now.
Bratton Riley, Charleston
Mr. Caslen lost the largest single benefactor to the university because he felt it more important to attend a basketball game rather than reach out to Darla Moore in a time of mourning. Strike one!
The university president should at least know the name of the university that appears on the diploma they are handing out. That moment of senility is an affront to every graduate who has put forth the time, money and effort to make sure that graduation is meaningful. Strike two!
Mr. Caslen’s failure to cite a source was not an accident or oversight. Any faculty member who wrote a paper or submitted research which was found to contain plagiarized material would face discipline and be suspect in any material they presented. Strike three!
Mr. Caslen failed in leadership, failed in decorum, failed in honesty and has failed the next generation of graduates of the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Brad Allen, Inman
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon over the past months. I’ve noticed a recent trend in the printed media of using the term Black people and white people. Notice that black is capitalized and white is lower case. That is how it always appears. This became evident in a recent Associated Press piece about the fear of racism. Are we now moving away from African-American back to Black people? I wonder if it has anything to do with the organization Black Lives Matter? I wonder, is it racist to capitalize the “b” in Black people and not do the same with white people? Does the use of the lower case in white denote a racial bias or hatred of Caucasians? Why do major corporations promote this type of action?
Frank Gause, Lexington
As a Save the Children Action Network volunteer and as a parent, grandparent and professional educator, I know how important high-quality preschool is. But, unfortunately, preschool programs that prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and beyond are only accessible to low-income children living in certain districts.
This is unacceptable. All of South Carolina’s kids – no matter their family’s socio-economic status or zip code – should have access to the highest quality early education and care.
That’s why I strongly support Governor McMaster’s proposal to allocate $48 million to make voluntary 4-year-old kindergarten accessible statewide for all low-income children, in all 79 school districts. If passed by our legislators, approximately 13,000 new families would be able to take part in preschool programming. Not only would this provide vital developmental support to thousands of kids, but it would also enable thousands of parents to more readily secure and gain employment. Therefore, access to preschool is crucial to not only kids and families, but also to our workforce, economy and recovery from COVID-19. It’s a win-win.
Join me in urging Senator Setzler and Representative Caskey to support Governor McMaster’s proposal. Our state’s future will be all the brighter for it.
Elaine Harp, Cayce