MUSC Board of Trustees vote unanimously against merger

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees unanimously voted against the proposed merger between MUSC and the College of Charleston.

The decision comes after a bill co-sponsored by GOP Rep. Jim Merrill and Democratic Rep. Leon Stavrinakis calling for the merger of the two institutions was submitted to the South Carolina House of Representatives on February 6.

The new comprehensive research university would be called Charleston University.

According to a release, the Board of Trustees heard from several individuals during its committee meeting Thursday night, including the president of the MUSC faculty staff, president of MUSC Physicians, multiple college deans, and many others.

All groups decided the merger would "not accomplish economic development without seriously jeopardizing the futures of both schools."

Furthermore, the release states the bill could result in violations of the state constitution and could violate bond covenants for both institutions. 

A committee made up of MUSC and College of Charleston board members and administrators found a collaboration would be "less costly, more effective and preserve the two schools' missions, cultures and reputations." 

"A focused strategy that leverages structured collaboration between MUSC and the College of Charleston, in addition to the strengths of higher education programs throughout the state, would better support the increased need for engineering and technology programs beneficial for the economic development of the Low Country, and be the most prudent and the most cost effective approach," the release states.

Board member Michael Stavrinakis sat out from the Board of Trustees vote.

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