Former U.S. Attorney Pete Strom plans to run next year for the seat on the University of South Carolina board of trustees held by Columbia attorney William Hubbard, the school’s second-longest-tenured trustee.
Strom, who runs his own Columbia law practice, said he has been approached about running by fellow USC alumni who share his concerns the state’s flagship school has moved away from educating South Carolinians. The percentage of out-of-state students on the Columbia campus has grown in recent years with a boom in enrollment that came after a drop in state funding.
“Some (board) members think more about the U.S. News & World Report (college) rankings than what’s needed in the small towns of South Carolina, where students need to go back and help their family businesses,” said Strom, who was U.S. attorney for South Carolina from 1993-1996.
Strom also said he wants to tackle rising tuition rates and student safety concerns after recent violent crimes in the Five Points entertainment district near campus. He also expressed concern the USC board has three trustees, including Hubbard, who work for the Nelson Mullins law firm.
Hubbard has been on the USC board for 27 years, second only to Florence surgeon Eddie Floyd’s 31 years. Hubbard is president-elect of the American Bar Association. He takes over leadership of the nearly 400,000-member legal group in August.
Efforts to reach Hubbard, who was chairman of USC’s board from 1996-2000, were unsuccessful. He represents the 5th Judicial Circuit, made up of Richland and Kershaw counties, on USC’s board.
Eight USC trustee seats are up for election by the General Assembly next year, including those currently held by Floyd and retired banker Mack Whittle, who has been on the board for 23 years.