*****Outlook Desktop and Gmail Mobile App Users*****
Please click HERE to view newsletter with full functionality.

Volume 9, Issue 1 January 2017

In This Issue:


122nd SC General Assembly To Convene January 10

COLUMBIA, SC - The 122nd South Carolina General Assembly will convene at noon on January 10. This year's session will be shorter than those in previous years because legislation passed in 2016 moved the adjournment date from the first Thursday in June to the second Tuesday in May.

The 2017 session will prove to be historic as Gov. Haley will most likely leave the governor's office to serve as UN Ambassador. Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster will move up as Governor. A Constitutional fight over who becomes the next Lt. Governor may decide if Governor McMaster chooses his own second in command or if a successor is elected from within the Senate.

SCICU will assist the Tuition Grants Commission with efforts to increase funding for tuition grants by as much as $5.3 million. If successful, the maximum Tuition Grant will increase from $3,200 to $3,650, the maximum award set by statute. Competition for funding will be fierce as the legislature also considers funding for road and bridge repairs, shoring up the state retirement system, improving the K-12 education system as directed by the Abbeville decision, relief for Hurricane Matthew flood victims, and a host of other projects. The complete SCICU legislative agenda can be found here.

The Tuition Grants Commission will make a budget presentation before the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, January 10 at 10:30 a.m. The subcommittee's chair for the past two years, Rep. James Merrill (Daniel Island), was suspended from the House late last year for possible ethics violations, and Ways and Means Committee Chair Brian White (Anderson) will serve double duty as the subcommittee's chair. Rep. Mike Sottile (Isle of Palms) will replace Rep. Phillip Lowe (Florence) who served on the subcommittee the past two years. The only holdover is Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Orangeburg) who will serve her third appointment to the subcommittee.

Please click here to view the 2017 Bills of Interest that are being tracked by SCICU. All of these bills were prefiled. More bills will be filed when the session convenes next Tuesday. The Bills of Interest will be updated regularly and will be posted in the Advocacy Section of the SCICU website.

Of the early bills we are following, several-H. 3248, H. 3262, and S. 88-would make it easier to bring concealed weapons on to college campuses. H. 3042 would require institutions of higher learning to provide a written notice at least 90 days prior to terminating or reducing a scholarship award. The Commission on Higher Education and the SC Technical College System would be devolve into a Board of Regents under H.3066 and S. 40. And a portrait of Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee, a noted humanitarian, educator, and founder of Voorhees College, would be commissioned and placed in the State House if S. 49 becomes law.


2016 Legislative Letter Writing Campaign Winners
(L-R): Erskine College, Highest % SCTG Recipients Writing Letters (Lee Ann Fortner, Michelle Lodato); Anderson University, Most Letters Written (Barry Ray); SCICU  President & CEO Mike LeFever


SCICU Campus Legislative Coordinators Meet In Columbia For Advocacy Kick-off

COLUMBIA, SC - The SCICU Campus Legislative Coordinators met on December 9, 2016, at the Capital City Club in Columbia to learn about the SCICU legislative strategy for the 2017 session of the SC General Assembly. Representatives from all twenty SCICU member colleges were in attendance.

Mike LeFever, President and CEO of SCICU, welcomed the group followed by Mr. Earl Mayo, Executive Director of the SC Tuition Grants Commission, who presented an update on the SC Tuition Grants Program. Daniel Boan, Budget Director and General Counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, gave a state budget outlook followed by Representative Chandra Dillard, District 23-Greenville, who summarized the legislative issues facing the 2017 General Assembly.

Mike LeFever covered the 2017 legislative strategic plan followed by Eddie Shannon who announced the winners of the 2016 legislative letter-writing campaign. A total of 8,264 letters were written by the students to their House and Senate members. Anderson University wrote the most letters (1,744) and Erskine College had the highest percentage of their grant recipients writing letters (84%). Mr. Shannon emphasized the importance of the letter-writing campaigns and invited the individuals in attendance from Anderson and Erskine to describe the efforts on their campuses to get the students to write letters.

In closing the lunch meeting, Mike LeFever reminded everyone of two important events upcoming this Spring related to our legislative effort: 1) Independent Higher Education Week: April 3-7, 2017, and 2) Independent College Day at the Statehouse: April 5, 2017.

The SCICU campus legislative coordinators meet each year in December to go over the SCICU legislative strategic plan for the upcoming year as developed and approved by the SCICU Public Policy Committee.


Beth Dinndorf,
President - Columbia College

Columbia College President Announces Retirement; Board Appoints New EVP

COLUMBIA, SC (Courtesy of columbiasc.edu and The State) - Columbia College President Elizabeth A. "Beth" Dinndorf has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2017. Dinndorf has served as president since 2012.

"Columbia College has been an important institution throughout its 162-year history and has a bright future," said Dinndorf. "I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as president and will always be a supporter of Columbia College."

"On behalf of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, I would like to express our gratitude to Beth for serving with grace, determination and sincerity," said John C.B. Smith, Board Chair.

The Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Carol Moore as Provost and Executive Vice President. Moore has served as interim provost since September.

"I am very excited to be at Columbia College. The College has a long and rich history and a very vibrant future," said Moore. "I am thrilled to be part of that future."

Moore has 40 years of experience in higher education. She served as president of Lyndon State College in Vermont and provost and vice president of academic affairs at Mercy College in New York City.

In an email to Columbia College alumni, Smith praised Dinndorf, who had led the school since 2012.

"President Dinndorf's work has included the exploration of new programs and the strengthening of Columbia College's presence in the region," he said.

He said her accomplishments included acquiring a $100,000 Mellon Grant as well as funding for the establishment of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurism. Dinndorf also helped develop the Institute for Leadership and Professional Excellence and created online programs and new partnerships with technical colleges.

The college announced tuition cuts last month, dropping tuition to $19,500 a year to attend starting with the fall 2017 semester, down from the current $28,900.

Dinndorf said she felt she had reached a natural end point. "The class that will graduate this year were seniors in high school when I recruited them," she said

She plans to stay in South Carolina and remain involved in the community, she said, adding: "Who knows what the future brings?"

Founded in 1854, Columbia College combines rigorous, traditional liberal arts and professional programs with experiential learning and a focus on leadership and social justice.

Claflin, Benedict, and Voorhees Share
$6 Million UNCF-Lilly Endowment Grant

COLUMBIA, SC  -- The Carolina Cluster Pathway Program, Benedict College, Claflin University and Voorhees College, has received part of a $35.4 million grant under the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will help the institutions design and implement programs to improve employment outcomes for graduates. The announcement came after a year-long process which included a multi-phased grant process that initially targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs.

UNCF has allocated a $6 million grant to these three universities: Claflin University ($3.3 million), Benedict College ($1.5 million), and Voorhees College ($1.2 million). A portion of the Claflin University grant ($1.8 million) will operate a jointly-established State Coordinating Office to direct and monitor all of the activities of the awarded institutions.

The Carolina Cluster Pathway Program (C2P2) will prepare students for high-paying private and public sector occupations in the Carolinas and elsewhere. It seeks to do this by guided pathways, curricular enhancements, and integrated co-curricular engagement. In its initiative, the C2P2 will also include the formation of corporate and public advisory boards.

"This Carolina Cluster Pathway Program is our collaborative response to America's need for talent and our graduates desire to be competitive in obtaining high-paying 21st Century jobs," said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University. "Through the work of the program, we will leverage the capacity of our partner institutions and implement innovative strategies designed to nurture the talent of the students on our campuses as well as recent graduates and help make the story of the workforce of the 21st Century one of increased diversity and inclusion."

"This is a particularly exciting adventure for us as both a proud HBCU and a major provider of higher education in our community," noted Dr. David H. Swinton, president and CEO of Benedict College. "This grant will enhance our technology and ability to transform our student scholars into career-oriented professionals who will be true powers for good in our society. We are thrilled to be able to take part in this ground-breaking initiative that will catapult students into meaningful careers and graduate school opportunities in our technology-driven global economy."

"Voorhees College is delighted to have received funding that will enable us to move our students from college to successful careers," said Dr. W. Franklin Evans, president of Voorhees College. "We are proud of the long relationship we have forged with UNCF and are elated to have been selected for this opportunity. This grant provides us with additional resources to prepare our students to be competitive in this global society."

Made possible through a $50 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) is a unique pilot program for select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) that is helping them enhance career readiness for their 54,000 enrolled students. Many of the students will be the first in their families to earn college degrees. The majority of these students are also from low-to-moderate income families and must receive federal financial aid to pursue their undergraduate studies.

Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College submitted a cluster implementation grant proposal that reflects a commitment to strengthening career advising and mentoring, enhancing curricula, and supporting integrated co-curricular engagement. As part of CPI, the selected institutions will develop a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certifications, and faculty development as they forge a new model for career readiness.

"These colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African American college students and graduates," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. "We heartily congratulate Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College and the other institutions chosen to lead this important work."

UNCF launched CPI in December 2015 through a rigorous and competitive multi-phased grant process that targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs. In the first phase, UNCF made planning grants to 30 institutions. In the final phase, UNCF has chosen 24 colleges and universities for implementation grants. Of those schools, 15 institutions will receive individual awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. Nine of the institutions (including Claflin, Benedict and Voorhees) have been selected for three cluster grants, in which each cluster of three institutions will collaborate intentionally to achieve their shared outcomes.

The State of South Carolina is the state with the largest share of the grant funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. - $6 million.

More information on the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative is available here.

The original news release, along with a video interview with Dr. David Swinton, President of Benedict College, may be accessed here.


SCICU, SCISA Teaching Collaboration
Enters Second Year

COLUMBIA, SC  -- SCICU and the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) have entered into an academic collaboration which pairs recipients of SCICU's Excellence in Teaching Award with SCISA Master Teachers.

For 2016-17, the following three parings will benefit from professional development meetings and classroom observations:
  • Master Teacher Katherine M. Cannon, Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach (History and Bible) and Dr. David G. Cashin, Columbia International University (Professor of Intercultural Studies)
  • Master Teacher Jennifer H. McMillian, Colleton Preparatory Academy in Walterboro (General and Choral/Music) and Dr. Nuria Rojas, Benedict College (Associate Professor of Music)
  • Master Teacher Graham Kyle Babb, First Baptist School in Charleston (K-12 Music and Drama) and Professor Annette Dees Grevious, Claflin University (Associate Professor of Speech and Drama)

During the 2015 pilot year, Master Teacher Penny Brown from Holly Hill Academy and Dr. Mitali Wong from Claflin University exchanged classroom visits and shared effective and innovative teaching techniques.

SCISA selects 10-14 Master Teachers each year. Candidates exhibit best practices in the classroom and demonstrate a willingness to share and collaborate with others. Each Master Teacher must compile and submit a portfolio to the Master Teacher Selection Committee. Please click here to view SCISA's 2016-2017 Master Teachers.

SCICU recognizes outstanding faculty from each of its twenty member colleges and universities annually based on rigorous guidelines. The 2016 award recipients were honored at a dinner in April and were each awarded a $3,000 professional development grant. Please click here to learn more about the recipients of the 2016 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Awards.

SCISA Executive Director Larry Watt, a member of the SCICU Board of Trustees since 2011, proposed the Master Teacher-Excellence in Teaching Collaboration after attending an SCICU Excellence In Teaching awards dinner. SCISA is a non-profit association of over 120 independent schools serving more than 37,000 teachers and students. Please click here to learn more about SCISA.



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:




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 is pleased to announce the following new Business Partners:

The following Business Partners are recognized 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) American Student Assistance Aramark Higher Education | Blackboard Inc.  | CapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Collegiate Financial Services Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc. e-Procurement Services, LLC | e2Campus |   eBridge Business Solutions LLC | eDocHome.com | Elliott Davis Decosimo | ETC Consulting, LLC Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | HRP Associates, Inc.  | Hypersign, LLC INSITE |   McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Metz Culinary Management | Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | National Mangement Resources CorporationPioneer College Caterers Pollock Company | Professional Insurance & Investment Associates | Purple Briefcase | S2K | SC Student Loan Corporation | ScholarBuys | Sodexo | Spirit Communications | Stalwart Systems Group | STEM Premier | The Payments Company Total Comfort Solutions | UnitedHealthcare Student Resources | Verizon | Vulcan Materials Company | Walsh Consulting Group LLC | Winthrop Resources IT Leasing | Wyche, 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.