C of C silent on Benson contract

George Benson

The College of Charleston's board is keeping closed-lipped about whether it will offer President George Benson a three-year contract extension.

Benson's original five-year contract runs through February 2012. But the contract has a clause that states the board must decide by Feb. 28, 2011, if it will offer him the three-year extension.

The board's Executive Committee met Thursday and discussed the contract behind closed doors. It did not vote or take any action on the contract.

Board Chairman Greg Padgett said he's not yet sure if the full board will discuss the contract at its next regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 21 or call a special meeting to discuss it. And he said the Executive Committee isn't going to make a recommendation to the full board.

Benson's annual salary is $366,202 -- $166,202 from the state and $200,000 from the College of Charleston Foundation. He has said that he is interested in continuing his work at the college if he is offered the extension.

And his past performance evaluations indicate the board has been satisfied with many aspects of his performance.

The Post and Courier requested copies of the evaluations from the college in mid-December. After considering the newspaper's request for several days, the college released the evaluations.

Benson has had three evaluations, in June 2008, 2009 and 2010, and he earned average scores of 4.7, 4.6 and 4.2 respectively, on a scale of 1 to 5.

On his most recent evaluation, board members rated him on 15 performance factors. His highest scores were: an average of 4.8 on ethical decisions and actions; a 4.7 on reflecting the core values of the college; and a 4.4 in ensuring the workforce represents diversity in recruitment, promotions and placement.

His lowest scores were: a 3.7 for establishing a good working relationship with the General Assembly; a 3.8 for keeping the board informed about matters affecting the agency and legislative initiatives; and 3.9 for being effective managing the financial resources of the agency.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491.