South Carolina State University’s president could receive a $50,000 bonus, even though the school is millions in debt.
President Thomas Elzey’s contract included the provision for the automatic bonus if he got a “satisfactory” evaluation. The Orangeburg Times and Democrat reports that university trustees gave that evaluation last month in an 8-1 vote. Elzey was hired last year as the troubled school’s finances began spiraling out of control and fewer students enrolled in the school. He currently makes a $300,000 salary.
The paper could not confirm if Elzey had actually been paid or if he would accept the bonus. The college received a $6 million loan from the state in May to help cover some of its basic operating expenses. At the time, S.C. State reported a roughly $13 million deficit. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools also placed S.C. State on probation last month due to the school’s financial problems.
Some trustees said they didn’t realize their grade of Elzey would mean a raise. The only board member who voted “no,” Tony Grant, told paper that he didn’t think the school could afford the $50,000.
Elzey currently receives a $172,00 salary directly from the school, plus $132,000 from the college’s Advancement Foundation. The newspaper reported that $110,000 of the private foundation pay came from a single anonymous donor. The paper was not able to determine the donor’s identity.