University of South Carolina's President Bob Caslen addressed his vision for UofSC's future during his State of the University address Wednesday. It was Caslen's first time giving the address since being named president in July of 2019.
One of the biggest announcements mentioned was a tuition freeze for the next academic year, to lessen the financial burden on families and to make attending the university possible for more state residents.
Caslen first thanked UofSC researchers and staff for spending many hours helping reduce the risk of COVID-19 on campus, through testing and other efforts.
"The very fact that our campus is open and has remained open; the fact that we are delivering education to more than 35,000 students using flexible modalities; and the fact that we are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and taking care of each other; it’s clear to me that the University of South Carolina is demonstrating what it means to be the state’s flagship institution of higher education," he said.
Caslen also elaborated on several points of the university's strategic plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees this summer.
Highlights of the plan include:
-Enhancing diversity among students, faculty and staff while continuing to make campus a welcoming environment for all
-Working to make college more affordable and offering new innovative degree programs for non-traditional students
-Continuing to build of record-setting external funding ($279.5 million in SFY 2020) while building on existing corporate research partnerships
-Improving the university’s physical and technology infrastructure to better serve the needs of future students.
“We simply must protect the value proposition of higher education – for our current and future students, faculty and staff. I’ve been talking about this value proposition since I arrived at South Carolina; it didn’t take COVID-19 to start this conversation, but the pandemic certainly has made it more urgent than ever,” said Caslen.
View a recording of the speech and read the text on the State of the University webpage.