A report from the South Carolina Inspector General found that since 2007, South Carolina State University had diverted $6.5 million in state and federal funds earmarked for agriculture, youth and family development, and nutrition programs. The audit found that the university took unspent funds from these programs to pay for general university expenses.
The report found said that no fraud had been committed but called the practice “a pattern of mismanagement.” The report went on to say that the use of these funds for general operating expenses masked underlying financial problems at the university because operating deficits appeared smaller than they actually were. The Inspector General stated that the practice “was only a contributor and a symptom of a broader financial problem. SCSU’s current financial crisis has been in the making for a number of years.”
The university has agreed to repay the funds which will result in a total current deficit of $13.6 million. The operating deficit has resulted, at least in part, to a significant decline in enrollments at the historically Black university. In 2007, there were 4,900 students enrolled. Now there are 3,100.
The university has asked the state legislature to provide $13.6 million to end the current financial crisis.