COLUMBIA, S.C. ― The new Board of Trustees for South Carolina State University is in place.
The old board was fired last week when Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law a bill prompted by financial problems at the state’s only public historically Black university.
Lawmakers nearly unanimously approved the bill after S.C. State’s financial problems reached a critical point. Declining enrollment combined with a failure to cut spending will have the university more than $23 million in debt by the summer.
The school hasn’t set a date for the new board’s first meeting. But in a statement, acting president Franklin Evans said he looked forward to working with the new board to stabilize the school’s finances and make sure it retains its accreditation so it can stay open.
“I look forward to the members of the interim board bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience and meaningful relationships with individuals and corporations. These assets, I am certain, will prove helpful as we collectively work to advance the legacy of SC State University,” Evans said in a statement released by the school.
The new trustees will serve until 2018.
The new board is:
· Milton Irvin, the chairman of New York investment bank CastleOak Securities, appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley.
· Doris Helms, a retired professor, associate dean, provost, and vice president at Clemson University, appointed by Education Superintendent Molly Spearman.
· Jeff Vinzani, a Charleston attorney, appointed by Treasurer Curtis Loftis.
· Charles Way, businessman and former state commerce secretary, appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman.
· Donnie Shell, former football player at SC State and in the NFL and Carolina Panthers executive, appointed by Senate Education Committee Chairman John Courson.
· James Clark, businessman and trustee at Benedict College, appointed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White.
· Steve Swanson, College of Charleston School of Business board member, appointed by House Ways and Means’ higher education subcommittee chairman Jim Merrill.