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Front-runner for University of South Carolina president drops out

The university's board of trustees will meet late Monday afternoon to re-visit the search for a new president.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The front-runner in the search for the University of South Carolina’s next president has decided not to pursue the job. 

Purdue University engineering dean Mung Chiang says he's decided to stay with Purdue and focus on family instead. 

The Post and Courier first reported Chiang was a top pick by the University of South Carolina search committee Dec. 4.

RELATED: Officials address concern over outside influence on search for new USC president

The school has been looking for a new leader since May. That's when then-President Bob Caslen resigned amid controversy over a commencement speech in which he plagiarized someone else's remarks and misidentified the school as the “University of California.”

The university's board of trustees will meet late Monday afternoon to re-visit the search for a new president.

RELATED: USC President Bob Caslen resigns, Harris Pastides named interim president