Changes could be coming to Board of Trustees at SC universities

Changes could be coming to Board of Trustees at SC universities

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Following the controversial election of Bob Caslen as the next president of the University of South Carolina, some lawmakers want to see some changes made.

Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) said he is going to file a bill that would remove the Governor from the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees. “The premier research institute should not be controlled by politics,” Rutherford said.

According to bylaws, the governor serves as the ex officio chair at the University of South Carolina. The governor holds the same role at the Medical University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University as well.

At every major public university in South Carolina, the governor serves in an ex officio member role on the Board of Trustees, except Clemson.

According to the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees’ website, the governor has an appointee and usually designates someone to fill the governor’s seat on the board.

Rep. Rutherford said, “There is no reason politics should enter education other than K-12 education where we have an education superintendent.”

Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) said she plans to meet with students from different colleges and universities to draft up a bill. “What we would like to do is have legislation that every state-supported college and university has a student representative that can vote,” she said.

Sen. Shealy said this soon to be proposed legislation would apply to all schools not just the University of South Carolina.

In August, there will be a Senate Education Subcommittee meeting for a bill that would reduce the number of members on the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees. That bill has bipartisan support.

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