Gov. Haley to meet with SC State trustees

ashain@thestate.comMarch 19, 2013 

Gov. Nikki Haley will meet Friday with trustees from S.C. State University, which is struggling with budget deficits and corruption charges, her office said Tuesday.

The meeting is Columbia is the first time Haley has met with a college’s board of trustees.

“Higher education is more important than ever in our state, and South Carolina State University is more important than ever to the governor's economic development efforts regionally and statewide,” Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said “When she sees a school with challenges, her job is to figure out how she can help -- and that's what Friday's meeting is about.”

S.C. State is trying to make up a $5.8 million deficit, while dealing with a 22 percent decline in its enrollment, which has fallen to 3,800 over the past five years. Graduation rates, average SAT scores and merit-based scholarship awards also have dropped in recent years.

The school's president and four S.C. State trustees have left in the past year, including former chairman Jonathan Pinson, who pleaded not guilty earlier this month to fraud charges related to the school.

Haley met privately Tuesday with state college presidents, including S.C. State interim president Cynthia Warrick. Warrick said she was not invited to the meeting Friday, which is for trustees only.

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