Higher ed scrutiny
The S.C. Commission on Higher Education is under new management, and aspiring to be more than a rubber stamp for the various state colleges and universities seeking more and larger buildings. Despite a setback at Coastal Carolina University, the CHE appears to be making headway. That’s a welcome development for a state with 33 public colleges and universities — and ever rising tuitions.…
Clearly, it was past time for the CHE to stop being a lapdog to the state’s colleges and universities, and carry out the watchdog role it was created to provide on behalf of taxpayers and those paying tuition and student fees.
And fees can be significant. At Coastal Carolina, for example, in-state students are paying $1,082 in mandatory fees to support the college’s athletic programs. With the addition of the stadium project, students next year are expected to get a 13 percent increase in those fees, to $1,224, according to the CHE.
Meanwhile, the heightened level of review by the CHE has resulted in the withdrawal of capital proposals totaling $113 million to allow for more preparation by the sponsoring colleges.
The level of political involvement in South Carolina’s colleges and universities says that the state needs a strong Commission on Higher Education. Indeed, the state really needs a Board of Regents to safeguard a system of co-ordinated central control.
The CHE is attempting to do what it can under (Chairman Tim) Hofferth and other committed commissioners. Their efforts deserve the support of the next governor, Henry McMaster, and the next Legislature, to be sworn in January.
Check out charities
Too many people and entities purporting to do good have exactly the opposite on their minds.
This typically places goodhearted citizens in a conundrum about whether or not they should give for fear of donating to an organization in which a very small proportion of funds actually reach their intended source. Occasionally, there's criminal intent behind some of these organizations.
In the past, determining which charities are naughty and which ones are nice was a daunting task. It often required sifting through stacks of federal tax returns and other paperwork in an overstuffed file folder that took days or weeks to obtain.…
(T)he South Carolina Secretary of State website offers a plethora of online information about public charities at no cost.
The homepage is http://scsos.com. From there, clicking "Public Charities" and then "Search Charities" from the drop-down menu puts visitors on a pathway to learning what they want to know about a charity or nonprofit organization.
If you suspect a charity is being scrooge-like with its finances, we highly recommend you look the agency up on the Secretary of State's website. This information is all public information, and for good reason.
Thumbs up to S.C. Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman for passing on a chance to ascend to a statewide office as lieutenant governor so he can continue to represent the people of Florence County who have elected him again and again (and again and again and again …). He said this week that he wants to stay where he is, which means he will remain as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. In that role, Leatherman holds as much power as anyone in the state.…
South Carolina voters decided two years ago to stop electing a lieutenant governor. Rather, the governor will get to appoint a lieutenant governor. But that law is not supposed to go into effect until 2018. It could be a court has to decide who will replace Henry McMaster, who will replace departing Gov. Nikki Haley (if the U.S. Senate approves her appointment as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations).