S.C. State University, suffering a $13.6 million cash shortfall, has unpaid bills dating back to October and has been put on notice by vendors who provide food to students, washing machine maintenance in dorms and the school bookstore, college president Thomas Elzey said Wednesday.
The school needs a cash infusion by April to avoid disruptions of services to students, he said.
Elzey went before the state Budget and Control Board asking for a direct appropriation to make the 3,100-student college whole going into a new fiscal year. The school also would take a loan that would help pay bills but would add to the college's debt load, he said.
The board, led by Gov. Nikki Haley, did not offer a loan and suggested Elzey try to get the money from state lawmakers.
The school has enough money to pay employees through the end of the state's fiscal year on June 30 but is running out of money soon to pay bills. Elzey said services would stop on the Orangeburg campus in April if the school does not get a ash injection soon.
Haley said she would wait for completion of a Inspector General's report before deciding how to help the cash-strapped school. The report is expected in the next few weeks, she said.
S.C. State has been hurt by shrinking enrollment, budgets meant for a larger student body and cuts in state funding and federal student financial aid. Enrollment was nearly 4,900 in the fall 2007.
The school's remains under accreditation remains under warning from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools over concerns about the school's financial health.
S.C. State has worked to fix problems, including staffing cuts, Elzey said. More cuts including $1 million in low-performing academic and athletic programs are planned.
Elzey said student applications and fundraising are higher than last year, and the school is renewing efforts to reach out to alumni and corporations.
The S.C. House’s main budget committee approved a deficit-monitoring team to help the school reach financial stability by July 2015.