Throughout South Carolina and the nation, S.C. State University is known as a state-owned, state-supported historically black institution. But we receive less than 9 percent of our annual budget from the state of South Carolina.
That means the remaining 91 percent must be generated from student enrollment, grants and donations. If either of those elements fails to materialize at projected levels, then a budget deficit is automatic, and it makes no difference who is sitting on the board of trustees or who is our president.
During the past few years, our enrollment has taken a precipitous drop, but it is not due to substandard academics, poor professors or who is president. Our declining enrollment is due to our not having scholarship money to offer deserving, qualified applicants.
Alumni and supporters can significantly influence the survival and growth of S.C. State by becoming regular donors. Thanks in part to state Sen. John Courson’s lead — he donated $1,000 to the university — we have begun a nationwide fundraising effort called “SCSU Event $1000.” We are encouraging each graduate to donate $1,000 per year.
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Roger Leaks Jr.
Member, S.C. State University Board of Visitors