New University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen meets with alumni and others on Monday, July 22, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. Caslen, a retired Army general chosen to be the University of South Carolina's president, says he has learned he needs to listen more and communicate his ideas better. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

New USC leader learns to listen and choose words carefully

July 22, 2019 - 1:18 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The retired Army general chosen to be the University of South Carolina's president says he has learned he needs to listen more and communicate his ideas better.

Bob Caslen said after he was hired Friday that he read all 600 pages of comments about him after visiting campus as a candidate. Most were negative, criticizing him for making comments that seemed dismissive about sexual assault and diversity.

Caslen says that stung, because these issues were important during his five years as superintendent at West Point and 43 years in the Army.

Caslen said during a campus tour on Monday that he will insist people call him Bob, not "General" or "Robert."

Caslen says he wants to bring his critics together to help the university.

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