University of South Carolina (USC) president Robert Caslen officially resigned on Wednesday night following his disastrous commencement speech that contained two plagiarized paragraphs.
According to an email Caslen sent to USC faculty and students, he submitted a letter of resignation on Wednesday evening and the board of trustees accepted it.
His resignation is effective May 13.
“Trust is the most important ingredient of effective leadership and when it is lost, it is nearly impossible to lead,” Caslen wrote. “I believe that this is the case right now between the University of South Carolina and its president.”
Caslen’s official resignation comes just three days after FITSNews first reported on allegations of plagiarism in his commencement speech.
Caslen later admitted to plagiarizing two paragraphs from a commencement address delivered seven years ago at the University of Texas by retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral William H. McRaven.
During the same speech, Caslen accidentally called the University of South Carolina “the University of California” and appeared to mock the pastor who delivered the ceremony’s invocation.
Former USC President Harris Pastides will take over as interim president, Live 5 news first reported.
In his resignation letter, Caslen again apologized to the USC community.
“I am sorry for those I have let down,” he said. “I understand the responsibilities and higher standards of senior level leadership,” Caslen said. “When those are not met trust is lost. And when trust is lost, one is unable to lead.”
Caslen’s resignation came at the tail end of of a disastrous semester for USC officials.
For months, the school has been rocked by several sexual abuse scandals that university officials did nearly nothing about (the three accused professors are still on paid administrative leave). Last month, billionaire businesswoman Darla Moore – the university’s largest donor – unloaded on the school for failing to contact her after her mother died. She then cut ties with the university.
Aside from its presidential dysfunction, South Carolina also doesn’t have a provost at the moment after William Tate was named the LSU president last week.
Now, USC will have to search for persons to fill its two highest positions.
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