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Sheheen says ‘flattered’ but too early’ for USC speculation
Vincent Sheheen (Web).jpg
State Sen. Vincent Sheheen - photo by C-I file photo

Earlier this week, S.C. State President Harvey Peeler, a Republican from Cherokee County, went on Twitter to promote the idea of State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat from Kershaw County, becoming the next president of the University of South Carolina (USC).

“I think @vincentsheheen would be an excellent choice for the next President of the @USC. He has a pedigree of public service with an emphasis on Higher Ed. He is without a doubt the person for the job. #gaffnese,” Peeler tweeted on Sunday.

Sheheen is a graduate of Clemson University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1993. A fellow Clemson graduate, S.C. House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, responded to Peeler’s tweet with one of his own a short time later.

“One fine Clemson grad agreeing the other fine Clemson grad should lead USC. I mean the U of SC,” Simrill tweeted.

Sheheen did attend USC, earning his law degree there in 1996.

When asked about the possibility, Sheheen did not explicitly rule out the idea of being USC’s president.

“It is flattering to be mentioned by my colleagues in this regard, but much too early for speculation,” Sheheen said in an email Thursday morning. “I am happy to be serving as senator for District 27, and thoroughly enjoy my career working in the private sector. As to what the future holds -- I have never had the audacity to predict it and don’t intend to start now.”

According to the university’s website, USC is governed by a board of trustees made up of the governor -- who usually appoints someone in their place -- the state superintendent of education, the president of USC’s alumni association, and 16 members appointed by state lawmakers from each of the state’s judicial circuits. Among the board’s duties is to search for and hire the school’s president.

Harris Pastides, who became USC’s president in 2008, announced in October 2018 that he would be retiring this July.