College of Charleston president to resign

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The College of Charleston is now looking for a new president, after George Benson announced plans to step down next year and return to teaching.

When students heard news of Benson's resignation, their reaction was mixed.

"I think it would be cool to have someone new, since I am new also," said Josh Tierney, a freshman at the university. "I haven't had much experience with the old president."

"Honestly, I don't think he should resign so soon, at least not until I finish college," said freshman Justin Sterother, "The movements that he's made here have impacted my life significantly, as well as my parents."

During his six years as president, Benson created a diversity office, an office of legal affairs, and helped the school raise much needed money during a down economy.

"We have now set five years in a row, record fundraising levels," said Benson.

Benson said the things he has done at the College of Charleston will be felt for years to come, but he is not stopping there. He plans to do a lot more.

"I think I bring a lot to the table," said Benson. "I can help Alan Shao, who is the dean of our business school now, with elevating the school even further, making even more internationally renowned than it is already.

Benson is set to leave his position June 30, 2014. He will have a one year leave of absence before returning to the school as a tenured professor. He plans to teach several business courses at the College of Charleston. Students say they're looking forward to what he'll bring to the classroom.

"I feel like he has a lot of experience, especially because he's done administrative [roles], and he's been a teacher, so that's two different sides of the story that we'll get," said Alisha Lamas, a student at the college. .

Benson says he'll spend the next year helping the college find his replacement, and transitioning that person into his role. After that, he will squeeze in some time for his other passion.

"I play golf so there will be a little more time for golf," said Benson.

He also said he will be looking at possible candidates from all over the country to fill his shoes. The school is aiming to have his replacement start in July of 2014.