Democrat demands Eckstrom apology for SC State remarks

This came in a little while ago:

House Democratic Leader calls on Richard Eckstrom to apologize for uninformed, ignorant comments about SC State
Columbia, SC – House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford called on SC Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom to apologize for his inflammatory comments regarding SC State University on Wednesday. Eckstrom was quoted in the Budget and Control Board Meeting saying, “these are kids that are going there (SC State) because they can’t get into these other schools.” He also commented that we shouldn’t call SC State a historically black college because we don’t call other schools historically white colleges.

Rich Eckstrom

Rich Eckstrom

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford released the following statement in response to Eckstrom’s comments.
“Richard Eckstrom should immediately apologize to the students and alumni of South Carolina State University for his uninformed, ignorant, and embarrassing statements earlier today. Those comments demonstrated a severe lack of understanding of our only public, historically black college in South Carolina.
As a result of his callous remarks, Mr. Eckstrom has insulted the names of prominent SC State alumni such as Congressman Jim Clyburn, General Abraham Turner, Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest Finney, Judge Matthew Perry, and the first African-American woman elected to the South Carolina legislature Juanita Goggins.
It seems as though Republicans can’t get through one week without making an offensive comment directed at African-Americans. I also call on the Republican leaders of South Carolina to condemn Mr. Eckstrom’s remarks to show that this kind of ignorance has no place in our political discourse.”

27 thoughts on “Democrat demands Eckstrom apology for SC State remarks

  1. Silence

    South Carolina State accepted 97% of applicants in 2012 It also has a 15% four-year graduation rate, and a 34% six-year graduation rate. The SAT Critical Reading scores are 370 / 440 (25%, 75%) and SAT Math scores are 380 / 450 (25%, 75%)
    For a comparison, USC-Columbia accepts 63% of applicants. It has a 53% four-year graduation rate, and a 72% six-year graduation rate. The SAT Critical Reading scores are 540 / 640, and SAT Math scores are 560 / 650.

    Maybe Mr. Eckstrom should have kept his mouth shut, he probably wishes that he had. That doesn’t mean that there’s not a seed of truth there, though. SC State is pretty much non-competitive in terms of admissions, and the students on average aren’t graduating in a timely fashion.

    1. Doug Ross

      It would also be interesting to find out the student loan debt per student at SC State and the default rate. What’s SC State’s motto? “At least we’re not Benedict!” ?

    2. Kathy

      Maybe things have changed, but at one point one of my unofficial jobs was to rewrite press releases for a woman who had a Masters degree from State. She couldn’t write a grammatically correct sentence if her life depended on it. Of course, I’ve worked with brilliant people who graduated from State. Still the question remains: How do you graduate from a college or university without being able to write anything properly? Actually, how do you become a student?

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        My husband has fixed plenty of papers by fellow PhDs, but worse is some of the whoppers my brother the editor sends, written by professional writers!

        1. Doug Ross

          A college degree is a piece of paper you pay thousands of dollars for. It doesn’t make you smarter than you are.

          1. Mark Stewart

            However, it does (when done properly) represent an education. Smart is different than educated. But an education cannot but help one to be smarter than they would have otherwise been without the education.

            We all know that, right?

            1. Doug Ross

              You don’t have to go to college to be educated. You can go to college and not be educated.

              You are a function of what you put into your brain from whatever source and what you output in whatever form.

              I could educate myself on great Norwegian literature from the 16th century. I could pay lots of money to do that. And then I could sit in a room and write books about it that no one would buy.

            2. Doug Ross

              Or I could go to a third-rate school and get a degree in a field where I would have to compete with students with better grades from better schools. I’d be educated in that case but with grim prospects.

            3. Kathryn Fenner

              A friend of mine makes a tidy living with his PhD in Scandinavian Studies, here in Columbia. People buy his books, and read them–not in James Patterson numbers, but they do.

  2. Silence

    SC State University:
    Costs (2012 – 13):
    •Tuition and Fees: $9,258 (in-state); $18,170 (out-of-state)
    •Books: $1,200
    •Room and Board: $9,286
    •Other Expenses: $5,682
    •Total Cost: $25,426 (in-state); $34,338 (out-of-state)

    South Carolina State University Financial Aid (2011 – 12):
    •Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 97%
    •Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid •Grants: 88%
    •Loans: 86%

    •Average Amount of Aid
    •Grants: $9,176
    •Loans: $7,191


  3. Bryan Caskey

    If you allowed student loan debts to be discharged in bankruptcy on certain conditions (rather than now being currently never discharged) what do you suppose the effects would be?

    1. Silence

      Every student would try to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy during their last semester. They’d have no job, TONS of debt (student loans, car loan, credit cards, etc.) and try to get all of it discharged. The current student loan system with extended repayment plans is basically a pre-packaged Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Mine are 30 year loans.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        What if you allowed a discharge only after…say 10 years following graduation, and upon certain financial conditions? What would the effect be on:

        1. Student loan interest rates;
        2. Student loan applications being approved to begin with; and,
        3. Higher education costs.

      2. Doug Ross

        We’d see fewer students enroll in college but I think the graduation rates might increase because they’d feel more pressure to complete school. Interest rates on school loans would rise to cover the greater risk. We’d also see greater enrollment in tech colleges and non-university training programs. To me, that would be a good thing.

        I think we’d also see some creative opportunities for lenders to structure loans based on majors and job prospects.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    He has a point, inelegantly put. He was trying to say that poor students go there and are far less able to fund the endowment than, say Harvard grads are.

    1. Rose

      But he said “because they can’t get into these other schools.” That sounds like academic admissions, not finances.

    2. Silence

      The SC State endowment resembles a well-funded retirement account, not an endowment at a State University.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Speaking of Clyburn, here is his response to the Eckstrom remarks yesterday:

          If the media reports are accurate, I should thank Richard Eckstrom for his timely substantiation of why I recently said that South Carolina “is retrogressing in so many ways.” My wife and I went to South Carolina State for the same reasons the late Matthew Perry and his wife; and thousands of other black South Carolinians did. That is where we wanted to go. Of course, it was the only institution of higher education in South Carolina that would accept us.

          A degree from South Carolina State University has proven to be an incredible investment with alumni serving this state and nation far above and beyond Mr. Eckstrom’s demonstrated capacity to comprehend. It is comments like those attributed to him that continue to sully the leadership of South Carolina Republicans and fuel the manufactured controversies that some elected and appointed officials are using to close South Carolina’s only state supported historically black college or university.

          1. Silence

            Well, the Honorable Mr. Clyburn is right about one thing: “It is comments like those attributed to him that continue to sully the leadership of South Carolina Republicans and fuel the manufactured controversies that some elected and appointed officials are using”

  5. Silence

    So, perhaps Eckstrom was just speaking out in favor of the Supreme Court’s controversial “Brown v. Board of Education” decision?
    Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. That rings as true today as it did in 1954.

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