Bill to dismiss Univ. of SC administrators is on the House fast track


COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — A proposal to fire all trustees from the University of South Carolina board of trustees has been fast-tracked by the South Carolina House a week after a hearing in which lawmakers failed to hid their anger about the expenses and what they felt was interference in day-to-day affairs.

Speaker Jay Lucas introduced the bill and asked it to skip committee and go straight to the House floor on Tuesday. He could be heard before a key legislative deadline at the end of the week which could make his passage more difficult.

The bill reduces the number of voting members from 20 to 13 and kicks all trustees off the board at the end of June 2023. It also redraws districts for trustees. Legislators would elect one from each of the state’s seven U.S. House districts and four general seats while ensuring that one trustee comes from each county where the University of South Carolina has a campus.

Currently, trustees are selected from the state’s 16 judicial districts.

Current board members could run for the new seats, but would have to go through the entire vetting and election process.

The governor would continue to choose his two deputy directors, but could no longer choose to be chair of the board.

The urgency behind the bill came from five hours of hearings last week where lawmakers questioned five current administrators about a divisive presidential search where the administrators took a secret plane trip to see a candidate and the governor got involved and threatened school accreditation, sexual harassment lawsuits, and nearly $20 million paid to fire coaches in high-level sports.

Lucas was a member of a selection committee that declined to nominate directors for further terms at a March 29 meeting.


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