- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Medical University of South Carolina has hired from within in selecting its new president, a surgeon who has worked at the university for two decades.

The university board of trustees on Thursday selected as president Dr. David Cole, the chairman of the university’s Department of Surgery and president of MUSC Physicians.

Cole was one of three finalists selected from more than 50 applicants in a nationwide search. He succeeds Dr. Ray Greenberg, who left last August to take a position with the University of Texas Health System.

“We’re confident his experience and strategic vision will help us achieve our goal of being one of the nation’s top 25 academic medical centers,” Tom Stephenson, chairman of the MUSC board, wrote in a letter to the university community.

Cole has served in a variety of leadership positions at the university over the years after becoming an assistant professor in the MUSC College of Medicine in 1994.

“It’s very exciting. I’m really almost speechless,” he told The Post and Courier of Charleston shortly after the vote was taken. “I’m thrilled. I’m so proud to be part of MUSC. The future is very bright.”

All but one board member cast the votes confidentially over the phone. The board amended its bylaws last week to allow members to cast ballots by phone when they had traditionally been cast in person.

Stephenson says he’s confident the process was legal and did not violate the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

MUSC was founded 190 years ago and is the oldest medical school in the South. It has more than 3,000 students and residents and 13,000 employees.