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Volume 10, Issue 1 - January 2018

In This Issue:


SCICU Prepares for 2018 Legislative Session

COLUMBIA, SC - The second regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly begins on January 9, 2018. SCICU's Public Policy Committee has prepared the 2018 Legislative Strategic Plan to address issues related to the FY 2018-19 state budget and a long list of pending legislation.
Securing an additional $2.13 million for the Tuition Grants Program is the first legislative priority for SCICU. 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 has requested an additional $2.13 million from the General Assembly in order to increase the maximum individual student award from $3,200 to $3,350 for the academic year beginning in August 2018.
The 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 Tuition Grants Commission will present its 2018-19 budget request to the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on January 9. First-year subcommittee chair Rep. Durham Cole (R-Spartanburg) will be joined by returning subcommittee members Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) and Rep. Mike Sottile (R-Isle of Palms). Rep. Kirkman Findley (R-Columbia) is a new addition to the subcommittee this year.
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.

Public policy issues competing for legislators' time and attention include the SCE&G/Santee Cooper nuclear reactor debacle and the on-going investigation into legislator misconduct in office. And in 2018 the Governor and the other Constitutional Offices and all House seats are up for election.
Request for Assistance in Advocacy

SCICU is asking its Trustees and friends of independent higher education to contact their local legislators and solicit support for increased funding for tuition grants and merit scholarships. The 2018 SCICU Legislative Strategic Plan and Priorities and Talking Points are available at https://www.scicu.org/advocacy/

Student Advocacy

Students at SCICU member colleges and universities also participate in independent higher education advocacy through their annual letter writing campaign and legislative visits to the SC General Assembly on SC Independent Higher Education Day, this year scheduled for April 11.  More details on the  letter writing campaign  and  SC Independent Colleges and Universities Day  can be read on the SCICU website.

Tracking Bills of Interest

SCICU also tracks specific bills that may impact independent higher education in South Carolina.  The latest Bills of Interest list may be viewed here.


Lou Kennedy
President and CEO
Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Investing in SCICU Undergraduate Research Projects and STEM Scholarships

In recognition of the critical need for increasing workforce readiness, specifically in support of technology and science-related business growth in South Carolina, West Columbia-headquartered Nephron Pharmaceuticals is investing in STEM scholarships and funding undergraduate research projects at SCICU's twenty (20) member colleges and universities.

Lou Kennedy, Nephron's President and CEO, is a member of EngenuitySC and other groups that look to increase the talent pool available for businesses in South Carolina. Kennedy is also serving a three-year term on the SCICU Board of Trustees.

Nephron is directing $20,000 towards the 2018 SCICU Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program.  This donation will be added to other SCICU funds raised for research and will be awarded by the faculty selection committee to fund undergraduate independent student research projects that will be conducted during 2018.

Nephron is also committing $40,000 towards STEM-related scholarships that will be awarded to students at SCICU member institutions after Fall 2018 registration.  Nephron will fund two $1,000 scholarships at SCICU member colleges and universities, based on the following eligibility requirements: (1) Currently enrolled full-time, (2) Pursuing a STEM-related major, and (3) Demonstrating financial need per the FAFSA.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a private, woman-owned manufacturer of generic respiratory, ophthalmic, injectable, and sterile compounded outsourcing medications.  The company, which employs 640 people in West Columbia, SC, launched 34 new products in 2017.  It recently announced a $12.5 million expansion and expects to add 125 additional employees by June 2018.  For more information on Nephron Pharmaceuticals, please visit http://www.nephronpharm.com/ .


Cooperative Buying Saves
SCICU Members Big Bucks

COLUMBIA, SC - In August 2017, SCICU and its long-time business partner ScholarBuys initiated the Consolidated Adobe Value Incentive plan. The Adobe Value Incentive Plan (VIP) is Adobe's subscription licensing program for higher education through which schools may license Creative Cloud applications.
SCICU's Adobe VIP agreement will enable participating institutions to "link" VIPs in order to achieve the highest discount level (Tier 4 or 100+ licenses), while still purchasing and managing licenses separately under their own existing VIP Agreement. Participating institutions will maintain their existing anniversary date. The Tier 4 discount level will apply to both renewals and net new subscriptions. In the aggregate, if the participating SCICU members purchase or renew 100 or more Creative Crowd subscriptions then every participating member will qualify for the very lowest Tier 4 pricing.
At the start of the 2018, 10 SCICU members are participating in the new program and 2 additional members have applied for licenses. ScholarBuys projects that the aggregate savings in 2018 across SCICU members will exceed more than $22,800, and that figure will increase as more schools complete the licensing process.
SCICU's relationship with ScholarBuys goes back to 2009 when the two teamed up to provide SCICU members deep discounts on Microsoft products. That early cooperative agreement continues to provide superior cost-saving benefits to SCICU members.


Claflin and Furman Part of $20 Million NSF-Funded MADE IN SC Initiative

COLUMBIA, SC -- Claflin University and Furman University are among ten South Carolina colleges and universities that will receive National Science Foundation funding as a part of the MADE In SC Initiative.
The new initiative - Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina - comprises a broad spectrum of faculty teams. South Carolina is one of five states to receive nearly $20 million each from the National Science Foundation through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which builds research and development capacity in states that demonstrate a commitment to research but have thus far lacked the levels of investment seen in other parts of the country.
South Carolina's EPSCoR MADE In SC project will advance fundamental knowledge of complex materials while simultaneously working toward the development of products with valuable commercial applications, such as improved lasers, water treatment, and regenerative medicine. The project will accelerate the development of novel materials, combining computational and experimental methods to predict and test materials properties and apply that knowledge to enable more targeted design of new materials. This project will focus on intelligently-designed optical and magnetic materials, polymers and materials that respond to stimuli and material that can interact and become integrated with living tissue.
Claflin will receive $450,000 over five years to assist with the Master of Science in biotechnology degree program. Dr. Verlie Tisdale, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will serve as the institutional director for the project at Claflin.
Furman will receive $1.3 million to provide for faculty stipends and purchase new research equipment. Some of the funds will also be used to engage K-12 teachers in materials science training through Furman's Office of Integrative Research in the Sciences.
The Principal Investigator for MADE In SC is Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, Vice President for research at the University of South Carolina. In addition to Claflin, Furman, and USC-Columbia, the other seven SC colleges and universities participating in MADE In SC are Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, USC-Beaufort, Winthrop University, South Carolina State University, and Florence-Darlington Technical College.
"We will build on the impressive network of expertise and infrastructure that already exists in the state, further strengthening our reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse, and growing our materials research and development enterprise to new heights," said Nagarkatti.
Among the current corporations in South Carolina for which Made in SC will provide support and future employees are AVX, BMW, Boeing, Cure Innovations, GE, IBM, Michelin, Milliken, Poly-Med, Savannah River National Laboratory, and Tetramer.
More information regarding the MADE In SC program can be found here.
News releases from the National Science Foundation, The Greenville Journal, and GSA Business Report were sourced and compiled for this article.

SCICU's orginal news release may be read here.


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:

Anderson University

Furman University

North Greenville University

Southern Wesleyan University




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 Partner for its renewal:

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 | Metadata 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.