Board Fires South Carolina State University President Thomas Elzey

PresidentThomasElzeyEarlier this month, a circuit court judge ordered the board of trustees of South Carolina State University not to fire suspended university president Thomas Elzey. The judge noted that the legislature was currently considering firing all of the trustees. So the judge ruled that whoever the legislature designated as the new governing board should decide Dr. Elzey’s fate.

But the board appealed the decision and judge Edward Warren Dickson ruled that “notwithstanding recent actions in the legislature to replace the board,  the board as it is currently appointed is duly authorized to act in the capacity of its statutory design with its attendant express and implied powers.” In other words, the board has the power to fire the president. Armed with this legal ruling the board promptly met and fired President Elzey.

President Elzey has filed a lawsuit against the university saying that the board did not honor his four-year contract. He seeks $400,000 that he would be owed if he had been able to complete his tenure plus additional money for the humiliation and emotional stress he has endured.


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  1. If the Board of Trustees (BOT) at South Carolina State University (SCSU) had any sort of professional ethics, all of them would respectfully submit their resignation immediately because of their own decision making malfeasance. Unfortunately this will not occur because of inflated egos, group think, higher education neocolonialism married with neoliberalism.

    • I agree with Michael that there is a possibility that the firing of President Elzey is likely cover for the great failure of the entire leadership at South Carolina State University. There are numerous HBCU’s that are close to bankruptcy and financial collapse. I have reached out to several and they are consistent in the failure to incorporate innovative strategies to make these institutions relevant for the present and future of technology-based industry and economics.

      The problem with HBCU’s is an entrenched class of leadership disproportionately drawn from the Greek letter community, which itself has no outstanding record of progressive management of our collective resources. We can certainly do better than that. With Nigeria now forecast to be the world’s fastest growing economy until the year 2050, it may be that our best bet to save these schools is to refashion them as outposts of African economic and industrial development.

      • Huh? Greek letter organization affiliation is totally irrelevant to any financial issues at SC State and other HBCUs.

  2. Re: MgmtProf;

    It appears that you’re underestimating the correlation between ones group affiliation and the types of decisions are made from administrators. For the record, Blacks (you probably more inclined to say African American) cannot be “Greek” because Black Americans history, language, or culture are not directly linked to Greece, Cyprus, Italy, large parts of Albania, or the Balkans. In others words, such persons hold membership to a Black fraternity or sorority. In other words, the variables that should be examined are often times never considered and thereby in many cases results in flawed institutional analysis and decisions.

  3. Far too much drama at HBCU’s these days. Why would anyone send a bright African-American student to a HBCU that has all of this drama???

  4. Re: G E Diego;

    It’s unfortunate that individuals have been to convinced that sending top Black students to an HBCU is not wise. In fact, numerous HBCUs (Howard, Hampton, Morehouse, Spelman, etc.) have more National Merit scholars enrolling at these institutions as compared to the well -funded HWCUs. The reasons for such decisions is that when top performing Black high school students matriculate to the top-tier, middle-tier, and lower- tier HWCUs, in many cases they are still treated as second class citizens regardless of region of the country.

    Regarding the “drama at HBCUs” (some and definitely not the majority), it appears that you’re making a definitely statement without all of the facts. It’s akin to me saying that HWCUs are the repositories of White racism. The fact remains G E Diego, regardless of your own personal experience or familiarity with HBCU, one can not make an hasty generalization because it only reveals your lack of knowledge. For those who dissent, I would like for you to ask the University of Virginia Black honor student if he was treated any better in lieu being a UVA student. Or, read the story by noted author Lawrence Otis Graham about how his son was treated at the expensive White boarding school.

    It appears that too many so-called Black people expend exorbitant amount of time, money, and material resources trying to deny and escape our Africanity. When that occurs, White supremacy will remind you immediately that “you’re not part of this group”.

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