A new seven-member interim replacement board of trustees for South Carolina State University is now in place, roughly a week after legislators voted to sack the previous board.
The final three members were named in a release from the school Thursday. The same legislation that removed the previous board required the governor, state treasurer, education superintendent, the House and Senate budget chairs, Senate Education Committee chairman, and House higher education budget subcommittee chairman pick members of the new board.
The school’s alumni association director and student body president will also serve as ex officio (non-voting) members.
The board will have to deal with an expected $23.5 million deficit at the school by the time the fiscal year ends in June. At least two vendors have already filed legal action with the state and college accreditors are considering whether to continue or potentially downgrade the school’s probationary status.
“We are certainly delighted to begin working with our new board leadership,” college interim president Dr. W. Franklin Evans said in a statement. “The current priorities include reaffirmation of regional accreditation, gaining and maintaining financial stability and increasing student enrollment. I look forward to the members of the interim board bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience and meaningful relationships with individuals and corporations. These assets, I am certain, will prove helpful as we collectively work to advance the legacy of SC State University.”
The new board for the state’s only public historically-black college will consist of four Caucasians and three African-Americans.
New board members:
— Retired investment banker Milton Irvin from Hilton Head, S.C. Selected by Gov. Nikki Haley.
— Former Pittsburgh Steeler Donnie Shell, a 1974 graduate of SC State, appointed by Senate Education Committee Chairman John Courson, R-Richland
— Pioneer of electronic trading Steven Swanson, appointed by House higher education budget panel Chairman Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley.
— Charleston attorney Jeff Vinzani of Graybill, Lansche & Vinzani, LLC, appointed by State Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr
— Former state Commerce Secretary Charles S. Way Jr., appointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence
— Co-founder of Bang! Technologies, Inc. James E. Clark, appointed by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Brian White, R-Anderson
— Retired Clemson University provost Dr. Doris Helms, appointed by South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman
— Student Government President Russell Dupree and President of the SC State University National Alumni Association Vernell Brown will serve as the two non-voting ex-officio members.