A couple of weeks ago, I raised the question here of whether South Carolina should continue to prop up S.C. State University, given the institution’s repeated failures to be accountable for the money that keeps getting sent its way.
Now, a legislative committee has gone farther in that direction that I expected, proposing to shut the school down completely for two years, fire all the faculty and staff, and start over in 2017.
Which is really one of the bolder moves on any issue I’ve seen SC lawmakers seriously consider in quite some time.
Under a budget proposal approved Tuesday by a panel of the SC House, the state would:
• Close S.C. State for the 2015-16 school year; there would be no classes or sports also in 2016-17
• Fire trustees, administrators, faculty and staff. Halt athletics programs
• Allow current students to get state scholarships to attend other S.C. public college or historically black universities
• Assume the school’s debt, more than $100 million
• Working with a panel of current and former college presidents that is advising S.C. State, develop a plan by Jan. 1, 2017, to re-open the school in the fall of 2017…
This seems unlikely to make it through the General Assembly, but it’s already changed the conversation. The next day, the Black Caucus called for S.C. State president Thomas Elzey to be sacked.