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Volume 10, Issue 4 - April 2018

  News Recap
2018 SC Independent College and University Week
April 9-13, 2018

Legislative Update

Huge Week of News During 2018 SCICU Independent College and University Week

COLUMBIA, SC -  The 2018 SC Independent College and University Week (April 9-13, 2018) began and ended with huge news for SCICU's 20 member colleges and universities. The newsworthy week featured a student advocacy day at the SC State House, an awards dinner honoring faculty at SCICU member institutions, a transfer agreeement signed between 17 SCICU institutions and the SC Technical College System, a president's op-ed regarding the value of Christian higher education, and three presidential announcements and events at member colleges and universities.


2018 Excellence In Teaching Award Recipients

SCICU Honors Top Professors at 2018 Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner

COLUMBIA, SC - Top professors at SCICU member colleges and universities were honored at the 2018 Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner on April 12. The 2018 event marked the 13th year that SCICU has recognized top faculty members for their vast achievements at their respective colleges and universities.

The twenty Excellence In Teaching award recipients represent a wide diversity of academic disciplines. While many of the professors honored are leading academicians in the sciences, others are noted for their excellence in the humanities, including English, foreign languages, mass communications, history, and anthropology. The twenty Excellence In Teaching award recipients bring a wealth of knowledge, compassion, and enthusiasm to the students attending SCICU's member colleges and universities throughout South Carolina.

More information on individual award recipients may be read in the 2018 Excellence In Teaching Awards section on the SCICU website. Information on the event's generous donors/sponsors may also be read via this link.

2018 SCICU State House Day Participants

SCICU Students Rally at the SC State House In Support of Grant/Scholarship Funding

COLUMBIA, SC -- SCICU college/university students converged on the SC State House April 11 for a single purpose-support of continued funding of need-based tuition grants and merit-based scholarships. With increasing pressure on all state appropriations, student advocacy and support are more important and critical than ever. 

Students from the twenty SCICU member colleges and universities traveled to Columbia on Independent College and University Day to present a unified voice in support of independent higher education in the South Carolina General Assembly.

This annual rally represents the culmination of a four-month statewide letter-writing campaign in which SCICU students thank members of the South Carolina General Assembly for their tuition grants and merit scholarships. 

Please click  here  to read the original news release on the SCICU website.

(L-R) Dr. Hope Wheeler (EVP, SCTCS),  Mike LeFever (President & CEO, SCICU), and  Dr. Tim Hardee (President, SCTCS)

SCICU Member Institutions Sign Partnership Agreement with SC Technical College System

COLUMBIA, SC -- Seventeen (17) SCICU member colleges and universities and the SC Technical College System (SCTCS) have signed a memorandum of understanding designed to increase access and enhance the seamless transfer of students and graduates from the 16 technical colleges in South Carolina to participating private nonprofit colleges and universities in the state.

Participating SCICU colleges and universities include Allen University, Anderson University, Benedict College, Charleston Southern University, Claflin University, Coker College, Columbia College, Columbia International University, Converse College, Erskine College, Limestone College, Morris College, Newberry College, North Greenville University, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College and Voorhees College.

SCTCS and participating SCICU colleges and universities will closely examine and enhance transfer functions to expand and encourage access for students who complete an associate in arts or an associate science degree at one of the state's 16 technical colleges. The agreement is designed to provide a clearly defined path to graduation and reduce the cost of obtaining a degree. 

"This partnership creates a tremendous opportunity for more students to have access to baccalaureate education," says Mike LeFever, President and CEO of SC Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU). " Students can begin their educational journey at one of the 16 technical colleges across the state, and then transfer seamlessly to one of our participating private nonprofit college and universities. This provides an accessible path forward for individuals who wish to attain a bachelor's degree. The partnership works to build the educated workforce we need for stronger communities and a stronger economy." 

Please click here to read more in the original news release on the SCICU website.


SC Sen. John W. Matthews, Jr.

SC Senator John Matthews Named 2018 SCICU Legislative Champion

COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina State Senator John W. Matthews, Jr. of Bowman was honored as the 2018 Legislative Champion on April 11, SCICU's 2018 Independent College and University Day.

A member of the South Carolina General Assembly for 43 years, Senator Matthews is distinguished for his work to improve education at all levels as a way to advance the economic welfare of every citizen.

Please click here to read more.


(L-R) Dr. Dondi E. Costin, CSU President-Elect;
Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr., CSU President

Charleston Southern University Announces Dr. Dondi E. Costin as Third President

CHARLESTON, SC  - The Charleston Southern University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Dondi E. Costin, PhD, to serve as the third president of Charleston Southern University.

Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. has provided the university with inspirational and transformative leadership for 34 years as CSU's second president, and will transition to president emeritus on June 1, 2018.

Dr. Costin has a track record in key leadership positions with the U.S. Air Force, having obtained the rank of Major General in his 32 years of commissioned service. He currently serves at The Pentagon as Air Force Chief of Chaplains. As Chief of Chaplains, he is the senior pastor for more than 664,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas, and leads 2,000 chaplains and chaplain assistants from the Air Force Chaplain Corps. 

Please click here to read the entire news release on the SCICU website.


Dr. Henry N. Tisdale
President, Claflin University

Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale
Announces Retirement

ORANGEBURG, SC  - After serving Claflin University as its eighth president for over two decades, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale on Tuesday announced his retirement effective June 30, 2019. His tenure at his alma mater is marked by visionary leadership and remarkable accomplishments for the oldest historically black college or university in South Carolina.

"I am honored to serve Claflin in this leadership role," Tisdale said. "I am thankful for the Claflin community that embraced my hopes, dreams and vision for the University. I never felt alone in the process to move the University forward. This has been a rewarding journey and a mission to make a difference."

Please click here to read the entire news release on the SCICU website.


(L-R) Dr. Roslyn C. Artis, President, Benedict College;
Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. President, North Greenville University

SCICU Institutions Install Two Presidents April 13

On April 13, Benedict College and North Greenville University installed new presidents.  

Benedict College held a week of events leading up to the installation of Dr. Roslyn C. Artis as their 14th and 1st female president.

North Greenville University installed Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. as their 8th President in their 125-year history.


Two Studies Show Significant Economic Impact of Both Christian Colleges/Universities and HBCUs

Significant economic impact related to Christian higher education and to HBCUs is noted by two recent studies.

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) commissioned a study that shows its 142 member colleges and universities in the US are responsible for more than $60 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.

In addition to CCCU reporting on this study, Anderson University's President Dr. Evans Whitaker added emphasis with his op-ed " Christian Universities Offer Good Return On Investment", which was run April 11 in both The Greenville News and the Anderson Independent Mail.

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF)'s economic impact report " HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities" show that the 100 HBCUs included in the study generate $14.8 billion in annual economic impact.  This study also found that the 8 HBCUs in South Carolina contribute $463 million annually to the state's economy.

Presidents of eight HBCUs in South Carolina drove home the importance of economic impact with their March 19 economic summit held at Benedict College.  The UNCF study was a large part of the meeting.  Attendees also discussed the Carolina Cluster Program of the Career Pathways Initiative.


Dr. Evans Whitaker
President, Anderson University

AU President Op-Ed: Christian Universities Offer Good Return on Investment

Op-ed by Dr. Evans P. Whitaker, President of Anderson University. Featured concurrently on April 11, 2018 in  The Greenville News and the Anderson Independent Mail, both part of the USA Today network.

The Great Recession was a watershed moment in American history. The financial cataclysm of the late 2000s forced everyone to take a long look in the mirror and question long-held assumptions about our society.
Everything was on the table: How strong is our national economy, really? How much debt is too much? Is home ownership all that it's cracked up to be?
Many of these questions linger, a decade later. One in particular is still very much in the spotlight, and, as the president of the second-largest private university in South Carolina, it's never far from my thoughts.
How do university leaders ensure a college degree remains a valuable investment?
Dr. Whitaker's original op-ed may be read in its entirety on the SCICU website .

Legislative Update 03-29-2018:
SC Senate Adopts  Education Opportunity Budget

COLUMBIA, SC - The Senate Finance Committee adopted what one senator calls an "Education Opportunity" budget on March 28 after several days of debate. Unlike the House version of the FY 2018-19 state budget, which all but ignored the needs of higher education institutions and students, the Senate Finance Committee recommended increased funding across-the-board for public colleges and universities, technical colleges, K-12, and student scholarships.

The numbers are still being reconciled, but for independent higher education, in particular, the Finance Committee increased lottery appropriations for the Tuition Grants Commission from last year's $8,830,008 to $10,000,000, an increase of $1,169,992. The Committee also added $1.5 million in Unclaimed Prizes for PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries). In comparison, the House did not increase funding for either of these programs. 

Click here to read the entire post on the SCICU website.


Presbyterian College to Host SCICU Fall Board Meeting on September 26

The SCICU Board of Trustees will convene at Presbyterian College on September 26 for the Fall board meeting.

At this event, the Board will announce and celebrate the selection of the SCICU McLean-Smith Student of the Year.  Greenville-based Center for Scholarship Administration will independently review scholarship nominations from SCICU's twenty member colleges and universities and will submit their selection to SCICU in late Spring.  Please click here to learn more about Pamela Rutledge, the 2017 SCICU McLean-Smith Student of the Year.

The September 26 board meeting will begin with a 9:00 am breakfast meeting for the Council of College and University Presidents.  Registration for at-large trustees will begin at 9:30 am.  Presidents will join at-large trustees for the business meeting at 10:30 am.

More information for the September 26 board meeting, including a link to online registration, will be emailed to trustees in July.


2017-2018 SCICU Digital College
Guide  Available Online

SCICU's 2017-18 College Guide is now available online! This digital guide to twenty independent colleges and universities in South Carolina is designed for easy viewing on mobile devices ( and it's easy to share with friends, too!).

The guide includes detailed scholarship and financial aid info, and is full of other tips to help parents and students choose the college or university that best suits their higher education needs.

Please click here to access SCICU's 2017-18 Digital College Guide.


SCICU curates news from its twenty member colleges and universities. Click here to read college news on the SCICU website.

The following is a sampling of recent member college news:

Anderson University

Coker College

Converse College

Limestone College

Southern Wesleyan University

Click below to access important information on each of the SCICU member colleges and universities:




The Business Partners program provides a convenient marketplace in which SCICU member colleges and universities can preview offerings tailored to the needs of the higher education community in South Carolina.

SCICU welcomes the following new Business Partners:

SCICU recognizes the following Business Partners for their renewals:

Directory - Click  here  for a complete list of Business Partners, or access information on individual Business Partners via the links shown below.

ABM Building Solutions, LLC | Acumen IT, LLC | Affinity LTC, LLC (Genworth Financial)Aramark Higher Education | Argent Financial Group | Blackboard  |  Cantey Tech ConsultingCapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Collegiate Financial Services (IOA) |  Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc. | Dominion EnergyElliott Davis | Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Giraffe Web Design | Harper Corporation General ContractorsHaynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | HillSouth iT SolutionsHoward Techonology SolutionsHRP Associates, Inc. | Hypersign, LLC | Immedion LLC |   The LearningHouse, Inc. | MB Kahn Construction Company, Inc.McAllister & QuinnMcMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Met@data IT LLCMetz Culinary Management | Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | National Management Resources Corporation | P2Ops, LLCPaymerang (f/k/a AP Advantage)Pioneer College CaterersPollock Company | Purple Briefcase |   S2K Group, Inc. | SC Student Loan Corporation | ScholarBuys | Sodexo | Spirit Communications | STEM Premier | Thompson & LittleTotal Comfort Solutions | UnitedHealthcare Student Resources | Vulcan Materials Company | Walsh Consulting Group LLC |   Wells Fargo Insurance ServicesWyche, PA

SCICU is a member of the Coalition for College Cost Savings (CCCS). This organization, comprised of 33 member organizations in 30 states, serves more than 900 higher education institutions and over 3 million students across the United States. The organization and staff are dedicated to helping private higher education institutions improve processes and reduce costs through collaboration.

All SCICU member colleges and universities have access to CCCS's national contracts and services. More information on this important benefit may be found here.

News & Notes is published by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc.  Please send all comments or questions to SCICU President & CEO Mike LeFever at mike@scicu.org or 803-799-7122.  Mailing address: PO Box 12007, Columbia, SC 29211.