Denmark Technical College interim president escorted off campus

Denmark Technical College interim president escorted off campus

BAMBERG, SC (WIS) - The chairman of the Denmark Technical College Board of Commissioners is being questioned after he removed the interim president from campus.

According to an article in the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, Chairman of the DTC Area Commission Thomas Williams removed Dr. Christopher Hall in what reportedly was a personnel manner.

At least one commissioner said Williams acted without authority, which Williams claims he has as Chairman of the Executive Committee.

According to Kelly Steinhilper, spokesperson for the South Carolina Technical College System:

"Yes, I can confirm that the interim president was escorted off campus yesterday. Mr. Williams acted without authority. The commission chair cannot individually remove a president. It is my understanding the entire commission will meet Monday regarding this matter. Actions like those of the Thomas Williams yesterday demonstrate the dysfunction of the current board and illustrate the need for change."

Steinhilper also told WIS since 2012, Denmark Technical College's fund balance has decreased from $9.5M to $285,000. And over that same time, the enrollment at the college has fallen from 2,003 students to 632.

A bill introduced by Orangeburg Senator Brad Hutto aims to break up the Denmark Technical College Area Commission and send control of the school to the State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education. 

"While I cannot comment on the specific personnel issues, decisions made by the System Office center around bringing Denmark Tech to a point of financial stability that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the college," Steinhilper said. "Mr. Williams' claims in today's article are unfounded tactics that have no basis in facts and are self-serving. He has involved himself in personnel matters that as a commissioner, he has no jurisdiction."

"In fact, his actions yesterday could present their own Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation issues. SACS prohibits the involvement of a college's governing body in day-to-day operational matters, such as personnel," she said. "It is the State Board's hope that the full commission will correct and admonish Williams' actions at Monday's meeting."

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