SC State board meets to discuss 'Blue Ribbon' budget plan - - Columbia, South Carolina

SC State board meets to discuss 'Blue Ribbon' budget plan


South Carolina State University's Board of Trustees still has more questions about a proposal from state legislators on how to deal with the beleaguered university's financial issues.

The board is meeting Monday in Orangeburg. The group spent much of the time in executive session.

The so-called "Blue Ribbon" proposal from lawmakers includes three years of funding to aid the university in its mission to shore up its finances.

The preliminary plan could give the university $6 million in the first year, $4 million in the second, and $2 million in the third.

"We've understood that we need support," S.C. State President Thomas Elzey said, "but we're not in a position to pay it back tomorrow. If we can work out terms and conditions that are reasonable that will not hurt the university, will not be onerous on the university, I think that definitely supports us moving forward."

Board trustees want to know, however, when the potential state funds will be distributed and how the money will be paid back.

With classes slated to start next week on campus, university officials said during their meeting they are optimistic about having a strong freshman class this year. Enrollment will play a pivotal role in making the balanced budget work as the school made several cuts.

The board recently passed a budget that would raise tuition, force employees to take a 7-day furlough, and cut millions in funds.

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