When Birmingham-Southern College President General Charles Krulak announced his retirement in December, he told students, “this was a great time.” The former Marine Commandant and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff came to BSC four years ago when the campus was reeling from major financial turmoil. Faculty and programs were cut. Its accrediting agency issued a warning against BSC.
Krulak is recognized for a leading a turnaround at the school that gained accolades from students, faculty and the larger community. As he prepares to step down at the end of June, WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Krulak in his office.
An Extended Interview:
What stands out from the last four years:
“Even in the toughest times we were bringing in remarkable students. And equally if not more importantly we were graduating remarkable students who in my opinion are graduating as young men and women of character who are going to go and live a life of significance. And I think that’s been the real joy of the hilltop.”
Why he’s staying in Birmingham despite no previous ties to the city:
“Birmingham really is unique. The people care. They are warm. They take responsibility and accountability very seriously. They have welcomed my wife and I. We are strangers in a strange place if you think about it. And they welcomed us and showed us real love. We basically fell in love with them.”
On what he’ll do next:
“I’ve already got an office with [Former Birmingham-Southern President] Neal [Berte]. He and I are already planning our strategy for continuing to help Birmingham-Southern College but also to be prepared to do whatever the city wants us to do to help make it a better city. I am certainly not and neither is Neal, have the ego or have the belief that we can make any major difference. What we want to do is be servants to the city. And if the city has something they’d like us to do or me to do, I’m going to be prepared to do it.”