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Volume 8, Issue 5  May 2016

In This Issue:


Senate Finance Committee Recommendations 
Support Independent Higher Ed

The Senate Finance Committee completed work on the $7.5 billion state budget for FY 2016-17 on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Although the order of the recommendations and the appropriated amounts between general appropriations and lottery funds varied from the budget passed by the House, the two budgets are strong in support of independent higher education.

In general terms, the budgets passed by the House and the Senate Finance Committee increase funding for the Tuition Grants Commission by $2.53 million. This amount, as requested by the Commission, will allow the maximum need-based Tuition Grant to increase from $3,100 to $3,200 for the 2016-17 academic year.

Like the House, the Senate Finance Committee voted to fully-fund the State's merit-based student financial aid programs-Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE, and Tuition Assistance scholarships-by appropriating more than $300 million in lottery funds.

The Committee also recommended that the Higher Education Commission's need-based grant program receive an increase of $4.54 million. The Tuition Grants Commission receives between 16%-17% of the total need-based appropriation based on the percentage of students attending independent colleges and universities. If funded at this level, it is estimated that $29.5 million in need-based grants through CHE will be available to college students in the coming year.

Unlike the House, the Senate Finance Committee did add funding for PASCAL to its version of the budget. PASCAL is now the first priority in Unclaimed Lottery Prizes in Excess of $18 million. The $1.4 million appropriated to PASCAL will only be available if the total amount of unclaimed prizes exceeds $18 million.

The Senate began floor debate on the budget bill on May 3 and is expected to conclude its work by the end of the week. The significant differences between the House and Senate budget proposals make a Conference Committee a certainty.

At this point, SCICU favors the Finance Committee's version of the higher education portion of the budget and would encourage members of the Senate to concur with the Committee's recommendations.   Friends of independent higher education should use every opportunity to encourage members of the Senate to concur with the recommendations of the Finance Committee in those programs important to students attending private non-profit colleges and universities.  


SCICU Students At SC State House - April 13, 2016

SCICU Students Rally at State House
And Thank Legislators For Tuition Grants

Students from SCICU member colleges and universities converged on the State House on Independent College and University Day (Wednesday, April 13, 2016, as proclaimed by Governor Nikki Haley) to thank their Representatives and Senators for funding and support of tuition grants.  

This advocacy event culminated a four-month letter-writing campaign in which over 4,400 tuition grant recipients attending SCICU member colleges and universities wrote more than 8,200 letters to South Carolina legislators in appreciation for their tuition grants.

Prior to visiting legislators at the State House, SCICU students gathered at Satterlee Hall of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral for a welcome and advocacy warmup with SCICU President and CEO Mike LeFever. 

Rep. Rita Allison (L) and SCICU President Mike LeFever (R)

Mr. LeFever presented Representative Rita Allison (District 36 and Chair, House Education and Public Works Committee) as the SCICU 2016 Legislative Champion. Rep. Allison emphasized the importance of students thanking their legislators for funding and supporting tuition grants.  Rep. Allison also reiterated the importance of independent higher education for the future growth of South Carolina.

Ms. Katie Harrison, Deputy Director of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission, also greeted students and thanked them for their tuition grants advocacy.

In the annual legislative letter writing competition, Anderson University, with over 1,700 letters written, unseated 2015 winner North Greenville University (nearly 1,400 letters written).  Erskine College was cited as having the highest percentage (84%) of tuition grant recipients writing letters to members of the General Assembly. 

2016 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Award Recipients
Professors Honored At 11th Annual 
SCICU Excellence In Teaching Dinner

SCICU presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to twenty professors from its member colleges and universities at the 11th annual Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner on April 12, 2016.  Nearly 200 persons, including members of the South Carolina General Assembly, college faculty members, SCICU Trustees, and family members of the award recipients joined in this celebration of higher education and teaching excellence at SCICU's member independent colleges and universities in South Carolina.

In addition to recognition at the awards dinner, the 2016 recipients each received a $3,000 professional development grant from SCICU.

Collectively, the 2016 Excellence In Teaching award recipients have substantial professional depth and knowledge, and their areas of teaching include the sciences (mathematics, biology, and physics), religion,  political science, criminal justice, languages, music, and the arts.

Click here to read the profiles of the 2016 Excellence In Teaching Award Recipients.

The support from generous sponsors helps make the annual Excellence in Teaching Awards program possible. SCICU gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support of the Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner for 2016:


(L-R) Dr. Betsy Fleming, Converse College President; Dr. Cleveland Sellers, Voorhees College President; Russell Cook, SCICU Chair-Elect

Voorhees President Dr. Cleveland Sellers Honored For Higher Education Leadership 

Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., president of Voorhees College, was honored at the April 12 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner for his eight years of service and many accomplishments during his leadership of the Denmark, SC-based liberal arts college.  

Russell Cook, chair-elect of the SCICU Board of Trustees, presented Dr. Sellers with an SCICU board resolution during the April 12 Excellence In Teaching Awards Dinner.  Representatives from the twenty SCICU member colleges and universities joined in saluting Dr. Sellers' extensive contributions to Voorhees College and for his support of higher education.

Dr. Sellers is an accomplished scholar who completed his bachelor's degree at Shaw University, earned a master's degree from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro

He is the author of six publications, including the widely acclaimed The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC, which chronicles his fight for justice and human rights across the South in the 1960s, including the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968 when Dr. Sellers was shot, jailed, and eventually pardoned 25 years later.

During his tenure as president, Dr. Sellers' focus on academic excellence and student achievement resulted in new majors in Emergency Management, Environmental Science, Sports Management, and expanded Cyber Security Training. His commitment to improving student writing proficiency led to establishing a Writing Center, the construction of a Student Living and Learning Center, and an enhanced IT network.

President Sellers is leaving Voorhees College with a bold financial stability plan and Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2012. His retirement is effective on June 30, 2016.



Converse President-Elect Krista Newkirk

Converse College Appoints Krista Newkirk
Tenth President  

On April 19, 2016, the Converse College Board of Trustees announced the selection of
Krista Newkirk, J.D., currently the chief of staff for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as the College's tenth president.

A respected and passionate leader with broad knowledge and experience across the higher education landscape, Newkirk brings to Converse a strong history of maximizing the potential and impact of the institutions and organizations she serves. Newkirk's tenure as President will begin on on July 1, 2016.

Ben Wall, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, "As a highly respected and effective leader who is primed for even greater responsibility, Krista Newkirk is an ideal leader for Converse College. What set her apart from the highly qualified field of candidates was her strength as a strategic thinker who understands all facets of the higher education enterprise and skillfully leverages partnerships to achieve mutual success."
"Thanks to the exceptional leadership of President Betsy Fleming," Wall continued, "Converse has created a strong position among America's best liberal arts colleges - widely recognized for excellent student outcomes, for willingness to make bold moves that maximize our strengths, and for innovative ideas that are reshaping the higher education business model. Converse is steadfast in our mission to develop engaged, adaptable citizens through a liberal arts education for women because it is clear that this mission is as relevant and important today as ever. Krista shares our deep commitment to this mission and to the uniquely powerful environment at Converse. We look forward to her leading the College to even greater success." 

Click here to read the complete news release announcing the appointment of Krista Newkirk as Converse College's tenth President.


Ben Green

SCICU Trustee Ben Green Authors
Book on Competing for Global Careers

SCICU Board of Trustee member Ben Green has recently written and published The Global Superstar: How Your Students Can Develop an Advantage over Global Competition.  Calling on his years of experience in international business, as well as his recruitment of global companies for the SC Department of Commerce, Ben has designed The Global Superstar as a how-to-guide for young people and their parents, teachers, and mentors to prepare for and successfully compete against global competition.
Thoroughly researched and practical in intent and design, Ben's matter-of-fact, conversational style of writing creates an easy-to-read guide for deciding career paths and goals, identifying educational resources and pathways, and evaluating and pursuing rewarding and sustainable career opportunities in the global marketplace.

Focusing on the next generation of students from birth to age 30, Ben charts a course for informal and formal education experiences within a global context that encourages and challenges tomorrow's leaders to think broadly and recognize the importance of becoming adaptive, life-long learners in a multicultural environment. Finally, Ben reviews the characteristics, earning potential, and international opportunities for the most in-demand careers and analyzes the skills, education, and training needed to be able to compete with candidates from all over the world.

Ben Green is known by many as the COO of DP Professionals and as a local entrepreneur and education activist. As an author, his life, education, and career experiences are reflected in his writing.
Ben received his BA degree in finance from Morehouse College and an MBA from USC along with numerous certificates from prestigious international institutions. He has held more than twenty jobs, traveled to twenty-four countries, and done business with people from more than thirty countries. Ben speaks Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Southern.
In addition to being elected to the SCICU Board of Trustees in 2015, Ben serves on the boards of the SC Chamber of Commerce, Midlands Education & Business Alliance, Midlands Middle College, the Excellence in Education Committee, and Richland School District #2 Innovation Institute. 

Ben's personal passion lies in sharing his international experience and practical career tips with students, educators, and career advisors at high schools, colleges, and universities. He's happy to share this experience particularly with SCICU schools, and has spoken at two SCICU schools already. In addition, he's spoken at SC State, USC, and Clemson on global studies and career topics. His background lends itself to career services, international business, languages, global studies, and the value of a liberal arts education. Ben can be contacted via phone at 803-509-3394 or via email at

The Global Superstar: How Your Students Can Develop an Advantage over Global Competition by Ben Green is available in Kindle and paperback formats at


SCICU Participates in Inaugural
Multi-State Collaborative Salary Survey

Seventy-nine independent colleges and universities in 6 southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) joined together to create a no-cost survey of salaries of director-level positions. The need for a no-cost regional salary survey was identified by the region's human resources directors because the cost of the CUPA-HR survey, and others like it, can be quite expensive and cost prohibitive for many members.

In the survey, no outside institutionally-specific information is revealed, and comparative results are presented in the aggregate. Each participating institution designated between 8-12 peer institutions based on the demographic information provided by the respondents. Reports are limited to participants only.

Salary information is presented in several ways. First, salary information for the primary institution is provided for each position. Second, the average and median salaries are presented for the peer group. Third, the average and median salaries are presented for the state. In addition, compensations extras such as stipends, sabbaticals, and bonuses are reported along with roles and titles of similar positions on other campuses.

Dr. Carolyn Mata, Vice President for Research at the Georgia Independent College Association, is the project's founder and director. Converse College's Director of Human Resources Dennis Hughes represented SCICU on the steering committee for the pilot survey.

SCICU members participating in the inaugural survey include Charleston Southern University, Coker College, Columbia College, Columbia International University, Converse College, Erskine College, Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Wofford College.


2016 SCICU Campus Tour Online 
Registration Open Through May 19 

Current high-school-level professionals and college-level educational consultants are invited to participate in the 2016 Campus Tour of ten of the twenty SCICU's member colleges and universities. Tour co-sponsors include the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Counseling Association.

The tour is scheduled for June 13-17, 2016, and offers a wonderful opportunity to meet admissions and financial aid staff at the colleges. Additionally, participation in the 2016 Campus Tour may qualify you to earn SCDE, GCDF, or LPC credits.

This year's Campus Tour will visit the following ten colleges and universities:  Allen University, Anderson University, Coker College, Columbia International University, Converse College, Limestone College, Morris College, Newberry College, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Wofford College.

Please click here for the tour flyer, which includes a live link to online event registration and payment.

Information regarding earning SCDE or CGDF credits from tour participation may be viewed here.

If you are ready to register for the 2016 Campus Tour, online registration is available through the earlier occurrence of the deadline of May 19, 2016 or when the first 40 participants are registered.

If you have additional questions regarding registering for the 2016 SCICU Campus Tour, please call the SCICU office at 803-799-7122.


Member College News

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:



05 - Chief Academic Officers Meeting
TBD - SCICU Fall Board Meeting - Allen 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 is pleased to announce the new Business Partners:

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  | American Student Assistance Aramark Higher Education | Blackboard Inc.  | CapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc. e-Procurement Services, LLC | e2Campus |   eBridge Business Solutions LLC | | Elliott Davis Decosimo | ETC Consulting, LLC Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Genworth Financial | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | HRP Associates, Inc.  | INSITE |   McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Metz Culinary Management | Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | Pollock Company | Professional Insurance & Investment Associates | Purple Briefcase | SC Student Loan Corporation | ScholarBuys | Sodexo | Stalwart Systems Group | STEM Premier | 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 or 803-799-7122.  Mailing address: PO Box 12007, Columbia, SC 29211.