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, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and more than 850 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. Find out more about our academic programs.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and connectivity to patients’ homes, and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about clinical patient services.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.