Public Affairs & Media Relations
MUSC trustees oppose merger legislation
Contact: Heather Woolwine
Feb. 14, 2014
CHARLESTON – The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees (MUSC BOT) unanimously passed a resolution in opposition of recent proposed legislation that would merge MUSC with the College of Charleston (CofC). 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’s findings suggest that a focused strategy that leverages structured collaboration between MUSC and the College of Charleston. 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: http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/pr/news_you_can_use/pdf.htm/whitepaper.pdf
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.