President Glenn F. McConnell ’69.

On March 3, 2016, College of Charleston President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 was invited to address the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) in Columbia, S.C., to recommend potential reforms to CHE that would help South Carolina’s public colleges and universities more efficiently serve their students and the state. South Carolina’s CHE serves as the state’s coordinating board for 33 public institutions of higher learning. It acts both as an oversight entity on behalf of the General Assembly and as an advocate for higher education. McConnell was the only university president invited to speak at this meeting.

McConnell’s presentation, “CHE: A Catalyst for Change in South Carolina Higher Education,” made 10 recommendations to enhance CHE’s role in improving the state’s higher education system and to allow public institutions to better meet the educational, economic, and social needs of South Carolina. McConnell’s recommendations include changes to the qualifications for LIFE Scholarships, working to prevent competition and duplication of academic programs around the state, and the creation of a statewide transfer and articulation policy. For the full list of recommendations, read McConnell’s CHE Speech.

“By working together, we can ensure that our higher education system becomes more competitive with other states, and, thus, our citizens are properly educated for the jobs that are available,” McConnell told CHE. “Adults with a college degree live longer, happier, and healthier lives; are better parents; and give back more to their communities. Every college degree earned by a South Carolinian is a long-term investment in the success and future of our state. You can be the catalyst for change to a student-focused system.”

At the end of his remarks, McConnell received a standing ovation from CHE members and the audience.