COLUMBIA -- USC's Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting Friday to select a new president, trustees said Tuesday after a three-hour, closed-door meeting to discuss the search.
Trustees will vote to select one of three finalists, who will be named today or Thursday, said trustee Miles Loadholt, chairman of the board's presidential search committee.
Loadholt and other trustees would not say publicly which candidates are being considered to succeed Andrew Sorensen, who is stepping down from the job he has held since 2002.
"We've deliberated," said Herb Adams, trustees chairman. "We've interviewed eight candidates. The board has seen five candidates."
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Blogs and newspaper reports have floated the names of two potential successors to Sorensen- Harris Pastides, vice president for research and health sciences at USC, and Andrew Card, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Pastides, who also is executive director of USC's research foundation, was the lone finalist for the presidency of the Georgia State University system but withdrew from consideration June 30.
He has three degrees from Yale University and has been a key factor in bringing research money to USC.
Pastides would not comment on the search Tuesday.
Card, a USC alum, has been the beneficiary of a campaign of supporters who say his extensive connections would help him raise money for the university.
Sorensen, who turns 70 on July 20, has said USC's need to launch a $500 million, seven-year fundraising push that can begin and end under one president was reason he is stepping down.
Card is on the board of Union Pacific and has extensive connections with GOP movers and shakers.