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Division of Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Presidential Search

Below are questions asked frequently regarding the current search for the next President of the University of South Carolina, along with answers to those questions. Information listed here will be updated as necessary.

Under state law, the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees has the sole power “to appoint a University president.” Board policy [pdf] stipulates that the Board will act to appoint a new president “[w]hen there is a vacancy or notification of a forthcoming vacancy in the office of the President.”

A Presidential Candidate Search Committee has been appointed by the Board and is charged with providing the Board with names of not less than three candidates for President. This Committee is a diverse group of university stakeholders, consisting of Trustee, faculty, staff, student, administrative, alumni, and donor representatives who will work together to prepare a leadership statement, recruit candidates, review applications, conduct interviews, and make recommendations to the Board.

The Presidential Candidate Search Committee’s 21 members are listed on the presidential search website.  

Yes. The Presidential Candidate Search Committee selected executive search firm R. William Funk & Associates to assist with the search. That firm’s practice is dedicated to finding candidates to fill leadership positions for colleges and universities, which it has been doing for nearly 40 years. The Search Committee’s decision to hire Funk & Associates was based on several considerations, but the Committee was especially impressed with the firm’s extensive experience with flagship research institutions and its exemplary record in developing diverse pools of candidates during several recent searches.  

During the first phase of the search, the Presidential Candidate Search Committee participated in orientation and training sessions, reviewed search firm proposals, and conducted two rounds of search firm interviews; also, the Committee sought input from University stakeholders and the community regarding the personal qualities and qualifications that the Committee should consider when it evaluates candidates for President. (See Question 5, below.)

The next phase of the search will commence with position advertisements and publication of the leadership profile in early September. The Committee will work with the search firm to recruit candidates, allow some time for the pool of candidates to be developed, and then proceed with interviews later this Fall.  

Because presidential searches evolve according to needs and circumstances that are sometimes unpredictable, the Committee will maintain a flexible schedule during the remaining phases of the search, with a goal of thoroughly reviewing and vetting applicants before providing no less than three candidates to the Board of Trustees as soon as possible.

Updates regarding progress on the search will be posted to a dedicated website and will be shared with University stakeholders.

As of September 7, 2021, the Presidential Candidate Search Committee and its members have engaged the University and community in 29 different opportunities for stakeholders to voice their opinions regarding the presidential search. Those engagements are listed on the presidential search website. In addition, a survey open to stakeholders and the public from late June until early August of 2021 gathered almost 6,000 replies regarding the presidential search, including University priorities and the personal and professional qualities desired of the next president.

Yes. Applications and nominations for the position of President of the University of South Carolina should be submitted directly to executive search firm R. William Funk & Associates via an email addressed to Krisha Creal, Chief of Staff, at

Yes. During the month of September, the position of President of the University of South Carolina will be promoted in periodicals dedicated to higher education, along with other media outlets. In addition, the Presidential Candidate Search Committee will finalize and publish a leadership statement that will be used during the upcoming recruitment phase of the search.

Yes. The Search Committee is committed to a fair and equitable search process that will yield a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates. Board policy [pdf] requires that the Search Committee collaborate with University officials in the recruitment of candidates from underrepresented groups, which will be done as it works with the search firm to develop a diverse pool of candidates. The Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees issued a charge to the Search Committee, as is required by policy, that discussed the importance of developing “a broad, deep, and diverse pool of strong candidates.”

The Presidential Candidate Search Committee has developed criteria for evaluating candidates for the position of President of the University of South Carolina. The criteria are based on feedback received from University System stakeholders, the community, members of the Committee, and the search firm.  The presidential leadership profile outlines these criteria.

Updates regarding the search will be posted regularly to the presidential search website. Otherwise, updates will be communicated to University System stakeholders at major intervals of progress.


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