At the time of Robert Wilson's appointment as Dean in 1908, Abraham Flexner was beginning his survey of the Medical College. Recognizing that the college did not meet national requirements Wilson determined that the only way to save it was to transfer the college to state ownership. Acknowledging the need was the first step toward state ownership but Wilson was aware that the idea faced opposition internally and externally. Faculty were concerned that the college would be immediately moved to Columbia; the University of South Carolina wanted its own medical school; and state politicians were apathetic toward improving medical education. The biggest obstacle, though, was South Carolina Governor Coleman Livingston Blease, "a governor who was temperamental, flamboyant, explosive and more controversial than any South Carolina governor, before or since” (Worthington, 1991, p. 981).
Waring Historical Library, MUSC, Charleston