MUSC Trustees Approve Conferring of Degrees, Welcome New Board Member, Rescind Honorary Degree to Bill Cosby

Contact: Sheila Champlin

May 18, 2018

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting to hear reports on the university’s academic and research initiatives as well as the operations of its health system. The Friday meeting coincided with the 189th MUSC commencement exercises to be held at McAlister Field House, The Citadel, the following day, Saturday, May 19. The inclement weather forecast caused the graduation ceremonies to be moved indoors rather than outdoors on the MUSC campus. 

This year, MUSC expects to graduate some 644 new health care professionals from its six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. 

Attending his first meeting as an MUSC/MUHA board member was W. Melvin Brown, III, M.D., who was appointed to the MUSC Board of Trustees effective May 2. Brown represents the 6th Congressional District of South Carolina, which includes all of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon, Colleton, Hampton and Williamsburg counties and parts of Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Orangeburg, Richland, and Sumter counties. 

During the session, MUSC Board Chairman Donald R. Johnson II, M.D. , read a resolution in appreciation of William W. "Bill" Peagler III, Berkeley County Supervisor and Council Chairman. An entrepreneur and business leader, Peagler was cited for his vision, hard work, countless contributions to public service, and for being “a tremendous champion for the Medical University of South Carolina by spearheading efforts of primary and specialized rural health care coverage to citizens of his county and region.”
As it closed, the resolution stated, “MUSC looks forward to working with Mr. Peagler and the citizens of Berkeley County in the years ahead on providing accessible and innovative health care...The MUSC Board of Trustees commends William W. “Bill” Peagler III for his service to this institution and the citizens of South Carolina.”

“I’ve met Dr. Cole [MUSC President] many times and we’ve discussed the needs of people in the rural areas where they don’t have the care that we have here in Charleston County,” Peagler said. “We’ll do everything we can to help expand the quality of life services provided by the Medical University.” In December, MUSC announced plans to seek approval to construct a 128-bed hospital in Berkeley County at an estimated cost of $325 million. MUSC has filed for a certificate of need (CON) from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). DHEC must issue a CON before certain types of health care acquisitions, expansions and creation of new facilities are allowed. 

In other business, the board voted unanimously to:

  • Approve the MUSC Certificate in Clinical Research (CCR), a new, post-baccalaureate and/or post-master’s certificate program to be implemented on July 1. Previously approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the CCR is a 100 percent online, distance education program in the College of Graduate Studies. By obtaining a CCR, clinicians such as M.D.s, PharmDs, post-MSN nurses, RNs, physical therapists clinical study coordinators and other health care professionals will accrue competencies to perform clinical research. This certificate aligns with the MUSC goal to Advance New Knowledge and Scientific Discoveries as it will equip more clinical providers to participate in biomedical research. 
  • Rescind the honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) bestowed on William “Bill” H. Cosby on May 21, 1999, due to his recent conviction. 

The MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees serves as separate bodies to govern the university and hospital, holding two days of committee and board meetings six times a year.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.4 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2017, for the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services, visit