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MUSC trustees oppose merger legislation

Staff Report

The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution in opposition of recent proposed legislation that would merge MUSC with the College of Charleston. One MUSC board member, Michael Stavrinakis, abstained from the vote.

The MUSC trustees received feedback from several groups during its committees’ meeting session on Thursday, Feb. 13, including the president of the MUSC faculty senate, the president of MUSC Physicians, several college deans, the vice president for development, and the president and selected vice presidents of the student government association, three of which  are CofC alumni. All agreed that while economic development and support of the business community is an important collaboration for MUSC, a legal merger would not accomplish economic development without seriously jeopardizing the futures of both schools. Legal counsel who was asked by the trustees to examine the legislation reported that the bill could result in violations of the state constitution and could violate bond covenants for both institutions.

During discussion of the proposed resolution, trustees and MUSC leadership pointed to the work of the committee (made up of MUSC, CofC board members and administrators) designated to review mergers and collaborations in detail. They consistently returned to the idea that numerous other options for collaboration would be less costly, more effective and preserve the two schools’ missions, cultures and reputations. These discussions also engaged the leadership of the Metro Chamber of Commerce for many months.

Overall, the committee recommends a focused strategy leveraging structured collaboration between MUSC and CofC. This collaboration, in addition to the strengths of higher education programs throughout the state, would better support the increased need for engineering and technology programs beneficial to the Lowcountry's economic development. The committee also felt this would be the most prudent
and cost–effective approach.

A copy of the committee’s report can be found here:

February 21, 2014

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