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Amended Bill Would Allow South Carolina State Trustees to Finish Their Terms

The Times and Democrat newspaper in Orangeburg, S.C. has reported that an amended bill to restructure the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees was approved Wednesday by a Senate education committee and is moving to the Senate floor today in the South Carolina legislature.

In contrast to the original bill, which calls for the immediate dismissal of all the trustees at the historically Black university, the Senate bill, as authored by Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, would not remove any trustees prior to the expiration of their current terms.

The Times and Democrat reports that Jackson’s amended bill seeks that “restructuring changes focus on the number of members on the board and how they are chosen.”

“The changes call for the S.C. State Board panel to be made up of 11 members selected from the state at large. Nine would be chosen by the General Assembly, one would be elected by the alumni association and one would be named by the governor,” according to The Times and Democrat.

The bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, voiced her opposition to the amended bill. “It simply maintains the status quo by arranging the chairs on the Titanic,” she told The Times and Democrat.

In the wake of the school’s woes, which include declining enrollment and financial mismanagement, Cobb-Hunter has insisted the current board members be replaced and wants legislation to restructure the board even while some officials are saying it’s too late because the state’s current legislative session ends on June 7, according to The Times and Democrat.

“All of that is deliberate and is aimed at getting people to believe they have to settle for less than they want,” Cobb-Hunter told The Times and Democrat.

Read The Times and Democrat story.

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