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  • By Alyssa L. Brennan

President Michael T. Benson begins tenure at CCU

Photo courtesy of CCU.

Michael T. Benson, Ph.D., is the third president of Coastal Carolina University, and his tenure began Jan. 1, 2021.

According to Coastal Carolina’s website, “he plans to interact and become familiar with CCU’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni, along with many other constituents in the community and the beyond” over his First 100 Days as president. The biggest goal of his tenure being “to make Coastal Carolina University the university of choice in South Carolina.”

He attended his first President’s Cabinet meeting shortly after arriving. The President’s Cabinet is a group that reports directly to the president.

“This President’s Cabinet is a great group of people committed to the institution,” Benson said in a YouTube video posted by Coastal Carolina University. “I’m still becoming familiar with the practices and the people and the policies, but I rely on them [the President’s Cabinet] for their expertise. I want ideas to bubble up, but this is the, kind of the conduits through which that information and those suggestions pass.”

Members of the President’s Cabinet explained how their roles would ease the transitioning process. Interim Vice President Peter Paquette, Ph.D., gave some insight into the adjustment process.

“My sense, so far, is that he will rely on us a lot, and that’s exciting, I think, in a lot of ways too, in terms of looking to us to be content experts,” Paquette said.

Vice President Atiya Stokes-Brown, Ph.D., also commented on how the President’s Cabinet is able to assist Benson in his transition. She also commented on his efforts to make connections with the campus community.

“Each member of the Cabinet has the ability to share with the president their understanding of the climate on our campus. [And], to have his presence and his willingness to really get on the ground and be connected to people and engaged with people is perfect,” she said.

Director of Athletics Matt Houge gave his input as well.

“We have a lot of folks around the table who have been here for some time and have a very keen understanding of what our community is,” he said. “[Benson] sets an expectation and a tone from an aspirational standpoint for not only how great our University has been in the past, but where it can go from here.”

Visit to view President Benson’s “interactions with all things CCU during his First 100 Days on campus.”

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