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SC Senator thinks USC President Caslen should leave office now

Senator Dick Harpootlian says school board should accept Caslen’s resignation

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina State Senator Dick Harpootlian says he think it's time for the University of South Carolina to part ways with school president Bob Caslen.

Senator Harpootlian called on the university president to resign during Senate session Tuesday, only to learn minutes later that he in fact tried to do just that. The University of South Carolina has confirmed President Bob Caslen offered to resign over the weekend, but the school board denied his offer.

RELATED: USC president offers to resign, board chair doesn't accept it

“If he offered to resign they should accept it and if I were them I’d resign too because he’s the product of their selection and it was wrong,” Harpootlian told reporters Tuesday.

The Senator from Richland County called Caslen’s selection as president “political” and not the right choice.

Caslen is under fire most recently for accidentally saying “California” instead of South Carolina during his commencement speech. On Monday, he acknowledged in a letter to students and alumni that a paragraph from his speech contained a section from an address given by a former Navy admiral. Caslen apologized and said he should have acknowledged who he was quoting. 

“It’s somewhat humorous he’d refer to the University of South Carolina as the University of Southern California, that’s funny. But what wasn’t funny was the fact that he plagiarized, he stole without attribution, a portion of his speech. If a student plagiarized something, they’d be reporting to the Honor’s Council and in most instances expelled,” Harpootlian said.

Harpootlian said he thinks Caslen is a good guy, just not the right person to lead the university. “If any student was caught plagiarizing they’d be out of school. Caslen oughtta be out of school.”

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