September 22, 2014

Gov. Haley opposes additional loans for SC State University

SC State logoGovernor Nikki Haley has come out against $12 million in proposed loans for financially-troubled South Carolina State University.

A blue ribbon committee appointed by the state legislature proposed the loans to be paid over three years after learning the state’s only public historically -black college had a worse deficit than first realized. The $12 million in aid would be in addition to a $6 million loan approved earlier this year by the Budget and Control Board.

The committee of current and former state college presidents studied the university’s books and found it has an $18 million deficit, not the $13.6 million figure that SC State officials previously used. The State newspaper reported Tuesday that discrepancy was apparently because S.C. State needs to repay money it borrowed from a university community group to help cover previous shortfalls.

The new proposed three-year loans would include $6 million by summer 2015, $4 million during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and $2 million the third year.

Haley said Tuesday she would not support any additional loans until the university hires a financial consultant, which was a condition of the first loan approved in April.

SC State President Thomas Elzey told WIS-TV that the Budget and Control Board is supposed to hire the consultant using $500,000 from the original loan. “(The committee) understood that we need support, but we’re not in a position to turn around and pay it back tomorrow,” he told the station Monday.

School officials have previously said they will lay off about 90 part-time or temporary employees as part of the debt recovery plan. However, that plan was approved in May, before the additional debt was discovered and before the additional loans were requested.