S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis backs Gov. McMaster in handling of USC president hire

S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis supports Gov. Henry McMaster in his handling of the search for the University of South Carolina’s next president.

“The governor is doing the right thing,” said Loftis at a West Metro Rotary Club meeting in West Columbia, Friday.

McMaster called in the University of South Carolina’s board of trustees presumably to cast a vote, Friday morning, that could have been on finalist Robert L. Caslen Jr.. He is a  retired US Army 3-Star general and West Point superintendent.

But a  a state judge blocked the vote after a trustee complained based on timing  issues. The vote could be held this Friday.

Loftis urged supporters to email support for McMaster.

There is opposition to McMaster calling for a vote after a handful of students attacked Caslen because they said he has insinuated that there is possibly a relationship between alcohol use and sexual assault. Caslen’s comments were taken out of context, according to his supporters.

Protesters also challenged Caslen’s role in the Iraq War, and did not like his alleged support for Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

Loftis said he has received attacks on social media, and via email, for his support of McMaster and his calling for a Board vote on Caslen.

“I have been called a sexist, racist pig,” said Loftis. He said emails have come from as far away as Rome, and Australia.

Loftis said the move against Caslen is based on “social justice” activists. He said the effort of that movement is to redistribute power and wealth.

“These are all leftwingers,” said Loftis. He also said the average annual salary for the USC faculty is $103,000, but that includes adjunct salaries of $37,500 annually.

Loftis said the highest percentage of household income for working people goes to pay college tuition and that the universities do not spend the peoples’ money wisely.

“They are getting rich,” said Loftis. He said a retiring USC professor can received $300,000 annually in a pension, while also getting paid for another full-time job.

Loftis said other tenured USC faculty get paid a salary, but don’t have to teach classes, and they get lucrative contracts with state government via USC.

Loftis said the decisions being made in higher education are self-serving.

“We need a university for us,” said Loftis.

Categories: Cayce, Columbia, Education, Richland County, West Columbia

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