CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Dozens of College of Charleston students took part in a protest that included a walk out of class on Friday.
They were protesting the college's decision to appoint Glenn McConnell as the next president.
"Many of those people who have criticized me have never met me," McConnell said."They`ve never worked with me, they don`t even know me."
McConnell says it`s time to leave old controversies behind and bring people together, and that`s what he said he will do as the next president of the College of Charleston. McConnell said he learned about working with different groups while president of the state Senate.
"I had to reach out to Democrats, Republicans, blacks, whites, liberals, conservatives...a chamber that had completely come apart and put it back together on the basis of goodwill," McConnell said.
He says he understands the Southern heritage, which he reveres, had some bad institutions.
"But we shouldn't forget about the ills of slavery, the mistakes of the past," McConnell said."Racism was rampant."
Acknowledging our history, McConnell says, helps us from repeating our mistakes.
The state board has set McConnell's salary at $188,000 a year, but it could be much more. He says his salary as president has not yet been set, and he didn`t really seem too concerned about how much he`ll make.
Current president, George Benson, is paid around $370,000 a year.
"I saw what his compensation package is.I doubt mine will be that great. But I don`t know," McConnell said.
McConnel said he did not want to take the job of lieutenant governor when Ken Ard resigned in disgrace, but he felt it was the only honorable thing to do. The current president of the Senate, John Courson, won`t follow suit.
Courson says he has no intention of resigning his job to become lieutenant governor when McConnell leaves to become president of the college.
McConnell is set to be sworn in as new president of the college in July.