Faculty leaders at South Carolina State University say the school is in a state of crisis.
The group’s executive committee released a statement late Wednesday, which said the Faculty Senate has worked tirelessly for more than three years to persuade the Board of Trustees that the university’s current administration threatens the school’s well being.
According to the statement, the board has consistently refused to consider faculty concerns, which include: overseeing proper and responsible management of the school’s financial affairs; ensuring the recruitment and retention of students that is so critical to the budgetary and academic health of the university; and putting forth a progressive academic agenda. The statement called for the board “to act decisively and expeditiously” to remove Cooper now. If it doesn’t do that, it runs the risk of further eroding the school’s credibility and legitimacy with the major stakeholders of South Carolina State University.
The statement came the day before today’s special board meeting. The board began meeting about 10:30 a.m., but immediately went behind closed doors to receive legal advice on an ongoing investigation.
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The Faculty Senate gave President George Cooper a vote of “no confidence” about a year ago. According to the group’s most recent statement, that vote came after “a long and repeated history of such ineptitudes.”
The board never agreed to publicly listen to, discuss or address faculty concerns.
Cooper last month fired eight high-level administrators as part of an unspecified, ongoing internal investigation.