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Volume 10, Issue 2 - February 2018

In This Issue:


Legislative Update: Ways and Means Committee Continues Work on FY 2018-19 State Budget

COLUMBIA, SC - The second regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly began on January 9, 2018. One week later, Katie Harrison, executive director of the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission, presented the Commission's budget request for FY 2018-19 to the House Ways and Means Committee's Higher Education subcommittee.

Securing an additional $2.13 million for the Tuition Grants Program is the first legislative priority for both the Tuition Grants Commission and SCICU ( SCICU's 2018 Legislative Strategic Plan and 2018 Legislative Priorities and Quick Facts are available on the Advocacy page of SCICU's website.). Tuition Grants are need-based grants available to South Carolina residents who attend in-state, private non-profit colleges or universities. The South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission requested an additional $2.13 million from the subcommittee in order to increase the maximum individual student award from $3,200 to $3,350 for the academic year beginning in August 2018.

SCICU's second legislative priority supports full funding for the state's merit-based scholarship programs (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, and HOPE). This year the state merit-based scholarship programs cost an estimated $300 million. These programs are funded primarily by the Education Lottery. Unless changes are made to the programs' eligibility or award criteria, scholarship funding may have to increase by as much as $20.4 million to accommodate an additional 8,000 students who will qualify under the second year phase-in of the high school grading policy which changed to a 10-point scale from a 7-point scale in 2016.

SCICU also supports the Commission on Higher Education's request for an increase of $1 million in a need-based grant programs for public college students and $1.5 million for the Partnership Among South Carolina's Academic Libraries (PASCAL).

The Ways and Means Committee has set aside the week of February 20-22 to complete the final committee draft of the FY 2018-19 state budget. A key factor in establishing next year's spending will be the General Revenue Forecast prepared by the State Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, which is due on February 15.

While revenues have generally been up, new revenue will not be enough to cover the growing demand for government services and programs. In addition to outstanding needs identified by state agencies and public colleges and universities, legacy needs like funding for teacher and public employee pay raises, schools in the I-95 corridor, an underfunded state pension system, and the needs of local governments must be addressed. Also outstanding is the potential impact that federal taxes cuts will have on the State's ability to collect revenue.

Additional recent Advocacy news releases are available on the SCICU website.

Dr. Luns C. Richardson

Dr. Luns Richardson, Former Morris
College President, Dies at Age 89

Dr. Luns C. Richardson, former president of Morris College, passed away on January 13 at age 89. Richardson was president of Morris College for 43 years and was the longest-sitting college president in South Carolina. The United Negro College Fund recognized Dr. Richardson as their longest-serving member president.

After 43 years of service as Morris College's president, Richardson retired on June 30, 2017. He was elected as the college's ninth president in 1974. During his tenure, Richardson presided over the construction of 17 buildings on the Morris College campus and was instrumental in growing the institution's endowment from $30,000 to more than $12 million. Under Richardson's leadership, Morris College achieved its initial Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation in December 1978, a full year ahead of schedule. He directed the college's reaffirmation of accreditation in 1983, 1993, 2003, and 2012 with no deficiencies.

In January 1982, Morris College was accepted into the United Negro College Fund as a member institution. In January 2010, the college received its largest and most generous individual gift of $10 million from Dr. Solomon Jackson, Jr.

In addition to serving as Morris College's president, Richardson was pastor of Thankful Baptist Church (Bamberg, SC) for 56 years.

Two services were held for Dr. Richardson. Morris College held the first service on January 19, and the second service was held at Jerusalem Baptist Church (Hartsville, SC) on January 20.

Memorial contributions are requested be sent to Morris College, Office of Church Relations, for the Luns C. Richardson Endowed Scholarship.

For further information, please contact Anika V. Cobb, Morris College Director of Public Relations, at 803-934-3168 or acobb@morris.edu.

Additional news releases regarding Dr. Richardson's legacy and retirement announcement may be viewed on the SCICU website. James E. Clyburn (D-SC 6th District) honored Dr. Richardson with a tribute in the US House of Representatives on March 29, 2017 (recorded in the Congressional Record).


Statewide College Access/Affordability Town Hall Series Continues February 15 in Charleston

Following significant public interest/participation in College Access and Affordability Town Halls in Greenville and Columbia, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) will continue its statewide town hall series with a February 15 event at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in North Charleston. Location and meeting details may be viewed here.

Town halls in Greenville (January 11) and Columbia (February 1) were both filled to standing-room-only capacity with civic leaders, parents, and other parties interested and concerned with higher education opportunities in South Carolina. CHE Commissioners, CHE staff, and SCICU representatives were in attendance at the Greenville and Columbia town halls. CHE Chair Tim Hofferth presented at both events. Hofferth's presentation from the Columbia town hall may be viewed and downloaded here.

Per Dr. Karen Woodfaulk, CHE's Director of Student Affairs, members from the community were open and willing to share their experiences and stories at the Greenville and Columbia town halls. Audience participation from families and members of the community is needed at all town hall events. If you know someone who would like to share their experiences with the current higher education system in South Carolina, please have them reach out to Andrew Roof at CHE (email: aroof@che.sc.gov, phone: 803-730-5638). Educational leaders, school guidance counselors, members of county legislative delegations, and business/civic leaders are invited to attend the town halls and hear feedback from students and parents.

After the next College Access and Affordability Town Hall on February 15 in North Charleston, the statewide town hall series will continue as follows:



Rock Hill March 1 5:30 pm TBD
Myrtle Beach March 15 5:30 pm TBD
Spartanburg April 5 5:30 pm TBD
Beaufort April 19 5:30 pm TBD
Florence May 3 5:30 pm TBD
Aiken May 17 5:30 pm TBD
Anderson June 7 5:30 pm TBD
Orangeburg June 21 5:30 pm TBD

For more information and specific event host locations for upcoming town halls, please contact Andrew Roof, CHE administrative coordinator (email: aroof@che.sc.gov, telephone: 803-730-5638).


(L-R) Converse President, Krista L. Newkirk; University Center of Greenville CEO and President, David Taylor; Converse Dean of Graduate Studies and Distance Education, Lienne Medford; and Converse Provost, Jeffrey R. Barker.

Converse Joins SCICU Members Anderson and Furman at University Center of Greenville

GREENVILLE, SC -- Converse College and the University Center of Greenville, Inc. (UCG) announce the addition of Converse College as the University Center's seventh Academic Member. Converse will begin offering its co-educational Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education degree at the University Center in July 2018, and plans to expand with several additional programs in the near future. Converse's MAT will meet the high demand in the greater Greenville area for college graduates seeking a career in teaching, and will help address teacher shortages at the state and national levels.

Converse anticipates launching its Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree at UCG in fall 2019, and is actively working on other programs to announce soon.

As an Academic Member of UCG, Converse joins SCICU member institutions Anderson University and Furman University, as well as Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, the University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

"Converse is rapidly growing, with our undergraduate enrollment at a 25-year high and graduate program offerings expanding on campus, online, in 35 school districts across our state, and now also at the University Center in Greenville. Our new presence in Greenville will provide convenient access to students in this area and will help to fill Greenville's workforce development needs," said Converse President Krista Newkirk. "Opening with our graduate programs at UCG - and particularly with our MAT that is in such high demand for career-changers interested in early childhood education - is the perfect launch pad for our continued growth."

David A. Taylor, CEO and President of UCG, welcomed Converse as a member of the University Center, commenting, "The addition of prestigious Converse College to UCG's collaboration of the region's leading universities further strengthens our ability to fulfill UCG's mission of advancing access and attainment of higher education degrees, benefitting the citizens and economic community of greater Greenville, South Carolina."

Please click here to read more on the SCICU website.


Benedict, Claflin, and Furman Faculty Researchers Receive EPSCoR/IDeA Funding

COLUMBIA, SC --   Six research faculty members at Benedict College, Claflin University, and Furman University are part of four teams that have been awarded funding by the  SC EPSCoR/IDEA's Stimulus Research Program (SRP).

This program was developed to strengthen South Carolina's research capacity and research competitiveness and encourage collaboration between comprehensive research universities and predominantly undergraduate institutions in South Carolina.

SC EPSCoR ( Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) receives funding for SRP proposals from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and NASA.

SC EPSCoR's independent evaluators reviewed 29 proposals for SRP funding in late 2017, and announced the four winners in early January 2018. The four proposals are each eligible for up to $300,000 for two years of project team research.

The four projects selected for 2018-2019 funding are as follows:

Data-driven optimization of bioengineered vascular scaffolds as an advanced material for small diameter blood vessel replacement
Primary Investigator: Wayne Carver, USC School of Medicine
Co-PIs: Derrick Swinton, Claflin University; John Eberth, USC; William Richardson, Clemson University; and Matthew Stern, Winthrop University

Anaerobic membrane bioreactors as a next-generation technology to address the food-energy water nexus
Primary Investigator: Scott Husson, Clemson University
Co-PIs: Jessica Ferrer, Benedict College; Brannon Andersen, Furman University; Nicole Berge, USC; Sudeep Popat, Clemson University; and Gary Amy, Clemson.

High Performance Li-S Batteries
Primary Investigator: Apparao Rao, Clemson University.
Co-PIs: Marlena Washington, Claflin University; Ramakrishna Podilla, Clemson University; Simona Onori, Clemson University; John Weidner, USC; and Narayanan Kuthirummal, College of Charleston.

Intersection of epigenetic regulation and mitochrondrial function in autism
Primary Investigator: Jeff Twiss, USC
Co-PIs: Omar Bagasra, Claflin University; Linnea Freeman, Furman University; Luigi Boccuto, Greenwood Genetic Center; Kevin Champaigne, Clemson University; and Sofia Lizarraga, USC.

SC EPSCoR/IDeA will hold their 2018 State Conference on April 7, 2018, and more information will be presented about these four projects at the event. The conference will also include presentations that address research topics from Vision 2025: Advancing South Carolina's Capacity and Expertise in Science and Technology and the NSF Big Ideas. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (Click here for customized driving directions.). Conference presentations will also include updates on MADE In SC, which includes NSF-funded, multiple-year initiatives at Claflin University and Furman University.

Dr. Elizabeth Davis
President, Furman University

Furman President Elected to CIC
National Board of Directors

GREENVILLE, SC  - Furman University President Elizabeth Davis has been elected to the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Board of Directors.

Davis will serve a one-year term from January 2018 to January 2019. The elections were held during a meeting of the Board of Directors on Jan. 4.

"The Council is pleased to have Elizabeth Davis as a Board member," said CIC President Richard Ekman. "CIC continues to implement many new programs, projects and services and needs a strong Board of Directors to oversee their planning and execution. I am certain that Dr. Davis will serve the Council admirably, and I look forward to working with her."

CIC is the only national higher education association that focuses solely on providing services and a broad range of initiatives directly to independent colleges and universities to help improve the quality of education and strengthen institutional resources.

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the board of the Council of Independent Colleges," Davis said. "The organization does very important work in higher education, and I'm happy to be a part of that effort. I look forward to being actively involved in addressing the issues that affect institutions like Furman and all of higher education."

Davis became Furman's 12th president on July 1, 2014. Under her leadership, the university has instituted The Furman Advantage, a distinctive vision for higher education centered on a comprehensive student experience.

She is a member of the Council of Presidents, an advisory group of college and university chief executives who provide guidance to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Davis is a member of the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission and serves on the SCICU Board of Trustees. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

Before coming to Furman, President Davis spent 22 years at Baylor University in Texas, where she most recently held the position of Executive Vice President and Provost. She is a graduate of Baylor, and earned her Ph.D. from Duke University.

For more information, contact Furman's News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107 or vince.moore@furman.edu.


Allen University Institute for Civility Hosting Two Workshops February 12

COLUMBIA, SC -- Allen University's Institute for Civility, along with Project South, will be hosting two workshops on February 12. The two events, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the Chapelle Auditorium on the Allen University Campus.

The two February 12 events are as follows:

Movement Lawyering Workshop by Project South
February 12, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Allen University
The Gallery in Chapelle Auditorium
Co-presenters for this workshop will be Project South's Legal and Advocacy Director, Azadeh Shahshahani, and Manzoor Cheema, a Project South Regional Organizer. Shahshahani is an internationally-recognized human rights lawyer. She is a past president of the National Lawyers Guild and a director at the ACLU of Georgia. Cheema has worked in anti-racism and workers' rights movements since 2005. For more background information on these leaders, please see Project South's leadership page.
Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Immigrant Detention Centers in Georgia
February 12, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Allen University
The Gallery in Chapelle Auditorium
Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal and Advocacy Director for Project South, will lead this event. Shahshahani will talk about immigration detention in the United States and will present the findings of the May 2017 report "Imprisoned Justice Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers". Project South and the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic published this report based on interviews with more than 70 detained immigrants, immigration attorneys, and tours of the Stewart Detention Center and the Irwin County Detention Center.

For customized driving directions to Allen University, please click here.

For more information on these two events at Allen University, please contact Deborah Billings (dbillings08@gmail.com) or Dr. Charlene Spearen (cspearen@allenuniversity.edu).


Allen University's Historic Chappelle Auditorium

SCICU Spring  Board of Trustees Meeting
Scheduled for March 14 at Allen University

Allen University will host the next SCICU Board of Trustees meeting on March 14, 2018.

The Spring Board Meeting will be preceded by the Council of College Presidents breakfast and meeting 9:00 - 10:00 am.

Registration for at-large trustees will begin at 9:30.  Presidents will join at-large trustees for the business meeting at 10:30 am in historic Chappelle Auditorium.  

Links for online registration have been sent to member college/university presidents and all at-large trustees. Additional information regarding the Board meeting will follow at a later date.

Please click here for additional information regarding SCICU's Spring 2018 Board Meeting.

More information regarding the renovation of Allen University's historic Chappelle Auditorium may be read here.


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:

Coker College

Furman University

Spartanburg Methodist College




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 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 |  Blackboard |  Cantey Tech ConsultingCapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Collegiate Financial Services (IOA) |  Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc.Elliott Davis | Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Giraffe Web Design | Harper Corporation General ContractorsHaynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | Howard Techonology SolutionsHRP Associates, Inc. | Hypersign, LLC |   The LearningHouse, Inc. |  McMillan 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 PremierTotal 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.