The field of candidates for the job of president of the College of Charleston is down to three.

Former White House official Andrew Card has withdrawn as a finalist. Card was one of four finalists the board announced Monday, after a months-long search.

A Tuesday news release from the college did not state a reason for Card's decision to withdraw his name. Card could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Greg Padgett, chairman of the school's Board of Trustees, said, "It is not uncommon for candidates to stand down from consideration in a presidential search, and we thank Mr. Card for his interest."

Padgett also said he is pleased with the experience and qualifications of the three remaining finalists: Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell; Jody Encarnation, an international businessman and former professor at Harvard University; and Martha Saunders, the provost and a professor at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

Card, 67, served as U.S. secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush and as chief of staff to former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006.

The Massachusetts native then served as the acting dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University until 2012. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

The college's board now is developing a schedule for on-campus interviews with the finalists. Those visits will include time for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to meet and talk to the candidates.

A schedule for those visits and background information on each of the finalists will be posted on the presidential search page of the college's website.

College spokesman Mike Roberston said school officials hope to schedule campus visits by late March or early April.

The new president will take the reins from George Benson, who will step down in June to return to the classroom as a member of the College of Business faculty.

The search for the school's next president has been going on since October. The college's board formed a 15-member search committee made up of trustees, foundation board members, faculty, staff, alumni and the president of the undergraduate student government association to help screen candidates for the school's top post.

The committee reviewed applications from more than 100 people who applied for the job.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.