Earlier 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.