Good News and Bad News for South Carolina State University

scsu copyOn Monday February 16, more than 1,000 supporters of South Carolina State University held a rally at the State House to protest a proposal from a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee that would close the school for two years. The good news is that the plan to close the university appears to be dead in the water.

But after hearing that the university has accumulated a deficit of $17 million, $4 million more than it had a year ago, the full House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously to fire the university’s president Thomas Elzey and the entire board of trustees. The plan to oust the leadership will be included in the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Under the proposal, the university would be placed under the control of the state’s financial oversight board, led by Republican Governor Nikki Haley.

James E Clyburn Distinguished AlumnusThe new plan received unanimous support after U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn and his wife, both graduates of South Carolina State University, released a statement supporting the plan to oust the university’s leadership team. In the letter, the Clyburns wrote that President Elzey “has precious little support from alumni and supporters, and minimal credibility with those who determine the school’s funding and academic status.”

Update: On Monday February 23, the board of trustees placed President Elzey on administrative leave and named W. Franklin Evans, interim provost at South Carolina State, as acting president.

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  1. The actions as made by the questionable SC “Ways and Means Committee” should be deeply challenged on all fronts by those who claim they’re concerned about SC State University. In my view, this vote is akin neocolonialism within the boundaries of higher education at an HBCU and unfortunately supported by misinformed so-called “leading Blacks(i.e., Clyburn) and not Black leaders. In fact, Mr. Clyburn should be ashamed of himself for supporting and plan to remove a university president for which he doesn’t have all the facts. By the way Mr. Clyburn if you love SC State so much, did all of your own children graduate from SC State?

    What’s amazing is how too many of these so-called “leading Blacks”(Clyburn and other CBC members) profess how they love HBCUs and have obtained a degree from such schools; however, they majority of them do not have their own children attend these institutions. Mr. Clyburn, you need to update your own legislative website because it doesn’t include “the statement” you so eagerly released supporting “the plan to oust [SC State] university’s leadership. For those who dissent, it’s called full disclosure, public records, and transparency. From a legislative standpoint Mr. Clyburn, you and colleagues from the CBC should tenure your own resignation for your own legislative malfeasance against the best interest of the Black community. Before people start celebrating, you need to consider that the majority of the White members belonging to the “House Ways and Means Committee” have no interest in the SC State remaining open because it provides higher education opportunities for Blacks in SC and a constant stream Black middle class in the state of South Carolina.

    Final point, for the members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), you should be embarrassed in your juvenile behavior, lack of professionalism, decision making and narcissism. If SC State University really wanted to solve all of “in-fighting” via the BOT and other stakeholders. I wouldn’t have anyone sitting on the BOT if they hold memberships to these so-called Black groups (Fraternity, Sorority, Boule, Jack &Jill, etc.) because it brings in too much nepotism, group think, and egoism which disrupt sound decision making.

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