South Carolina State President George Cooper Resigning at End of Month

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The embattled president of South Carolina State University, George Cooper, is resigning at the end of the month.

Cooper made the announcement Friday after days of controversy on the Orangeburg school’s campus.

Faculty leaders had called for Cooper’s resignation. A committee of the faculty senate released a statement saying the historically Black university was in “a state of crisis.”

The Charleston Post and Courier reported that the statement by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate said the group had worked for more than three years to persuade the board of trustees that the university’s current administration threatens the school’s well-being.

But the board had consistently refused to consider faculty concerns, which include overseeing proper and responsible management of the school’s financial affairs; ensuring the recruitment and retention of students; and putting forth a progressive academic agenda, the Post and Courier reported.

Cooper fired eight administrators last month in what was called an ongoing, internal investigation, according to the Post and Courier. Two years ago, the university’s board of trustees fired Cooper but a board with two new members quickly rehired him.

Cooper will be paid a severance of $268,000, none of it taxpayer money. He said he’s leaving voluntarily and wants to devote more time to his family.