In 1988, we were privileged to be elected to the S.C. General Assembly. Shortly after the election, we were contacted by then Sen. Glenn F. McConnell, R-Charleston. Even though we were both elected as Democrats, Glenn was interested in assisting in making us better servants of the people.

During the years we served together, Sen. McConnell championed good, conservative principles in the tradition of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Education in general, and higher education in particular, was an area of great importance to him.

After reading the Nov. 17 column by Brian Hicks titled “Politics pervasive at College of Charleston,” we were compelled to share with your readers our opinion on the current state of affairs regarding the search process by the College of Charleston’s board of trustees. We will amplify on a number of points Mr. Hicks made.

Glenn McConnell is a consensus builder and has the respect of the vast majority of political, business and community leaders he has touched in his more than three decades of public service.

He is a leader, as evidenced by his election in 2001 as president pro tempore of the Senate he loved. He has exhibited the highest degree of ethics and integrity — witness his resigning the powerful position of Senate president pro tempore and assuming a largely ceremonial position as our state’s lieutenant governor.

Glenn McConnell has a keen intellect and is highly intelligent, and he is proud of the undergraduate education he received at the College of Charleston. He has a professional relationship with almost all the important federal, state and local elected and appointed officials of South Carolina. But most important, Glenn McConnell is a person who truly cares and loves the people of the greater tri-county community.

As former elected officials, we respect the fiduciary responsibility that is expected from the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees. We are aware of the importance of the integrity of the search process.

We understand the importance that the person selected to be the next president of the College is the best-qualified candidate. We have no idea who the other candidates are and are confident each one may possess good credentials.

We have been reminded many times that “it is not what you know, but who you know.” In Glenn’s case, he knows all the important business and political leaders of the state, and he is smart and savvy to boot.

The college could be the beneficiary of someone with both these important qualities. Our former colleague House Speaker Bobby Harrell stated the obvious to Mr. Hicks: “It’s almost a no-brainer.”

Jimmy Bailey

Carriage Lane

Charleston

Ernie Passailaigue

Oak Harbor Boulevard

Isle of Palms