This is based on some further research and some thinking on the proposed CofC/MUSC merger.
This isn’t meant to bad-mouth our Statehouse representatives on all of their issues – just solely on the CofC/MUSC proposed merger.
But regardless – here’s a timeline of events over the past 12 months. Connect your own dots.
March 2013 – Rep. Leon Stavrinakis’ brother, Michael, is nominated to MUSC Board of Trustees. He is confirmed. In fact, in 2013 the MUSC Board was literally stacked with various lawmaker’s relatives.
July 2013 – CofC tenured music professor is accused of sexual misconduct. He is forced to resign.
July 2013 – Dr. Ray Greenberg announces he is stepping down as President of MUSC.
August 2013 – CofC President, George Benson, announces he will resign his position effective June 2014, and will begin teaching in the business school at CofC. Benson resigns just weeks after the aforementioned scandal is brought to public light.
August 2013 – Rep. Leon Stavrinakis’ name makes first appearance in the media for Charleston mayoral race candidate possibilities. A job that pays over $150,000/yr versus a part-time House Representative job making just over $10,000 (+ $120 stipend per day in session).
November 2013 – Lt. Gov Glenn McConnell throws his hat in the ring for CofC presidency. Current CofC President makes $380,000/yr. As Lt. Gov., McConnell makes just over $46,000/yr.
January 2014 – Rep. Leon Stavrinakis and Rep. Jim Merrill introduce bill to merge CofC with MUSC, forming Charleston University.
February 2014 – MUSC Board members say that top-tier candidates are dropping from Presidency search because of merger talks.
February 2014 – Senator Larry Grooms files bill in the State Senate to merge the two schools. Says that the schools need to start talking about how to make merger work, instead of why it won’t.
February 2014 – College of Charleston Faculty Senate issues official, and unanimous, resolution opposing the merger.
March 2014 – College of Charleston Board of Trustees announces four finalists in their search for a new President. Glenn McConnell is one of them.
Lt. Gov. McConnell, if given the CofC Presidency, is well positioned to assume the presidency (to be named the Chancellor) of the newly merged Charleston University.
With McConnell in Charleston, Stavrinakis gains a hugely powerful political ally for his Charleston mayoral race in 2015 – a full-time position in perhaps the most powerful city in the most politically powerful region of the state.
Update: I am fairly certain that both the House and Senate proposals to merge the two schools will not pass their respective chambers. That being said, Glenn McConnell – despite the negative comments from students, faculty, and alumni, has a very good chance of being named President of CofC. And another bill to merge the two schools can always be brought forth in the Statehouse.