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Volume 9, Issue 4 May 2017

In This Issue:



State Budget, Roads Bills Head
To Conference Committees

COLUMBIA, SC  - The higher education community is watching anxiously as the State Appropriations bill for FY 2017-18 and the "Roads" bill head to separate conference committees with only two weeks left in the legislative session. What's at stake?

House Version
  • Fully funded merit scholarship program,
Senate Version
  • Added $1.3 million for Tuition Grants,
  • Added $1.3 million for CHE State need-based grants,
  • Added PASCAL (academic library consortium) as the #1 priority for up to $1.5 million in unclaimed excess lottery funds, and
  • Added approximately $16 million for public 4-year and 2-year colleges.

House Version
  • No tax credit enhancements for tuition paid to private non-profit or public higher education institutions.
Senate Version
  • Provides enhanced benefits for a 1998 program (Section 12-6-3385) that allows refundable individual income tax credits for tuition paid to private non-profit or public higher education institutions by students who do not receive a Palmetto Fellowship or LIFE Scholarship,
  • Increases tax credit from 25% to 50% up to $1,500,
  • Adds an additional 25% for students who claim the earned income tax credit,
  • Adds additional credits for students majoring in a STEM-related discipline, and
  • Estimates are that tax credits could increase from around $4.5 million annually to $9 or $10 million annually.
Conference committees are composed of 3 senators and 3 House members. Both the House and the Senate must ratify any agreements reached by the committee members. Ratified bills are sent to the Governor who has line-item veto authority.

SCICU and the state's higher education allies will be working to convince the conference committees and the Governor to adopt the Senate's version of both bills.

Click here to read this post on the SCICU website.


Congress Closes In on FY 2017 Budget Agreement

Congress is expected to vote on the FY 2017 (through September 30, 2017) omnibus appropriations bill by Friday, May 5, 2017. The Republican majorities in both chambers will need Democratic votes to ensure passage, which seems likely based on the funding levels, lack of "poison pill riders," and that President Trump acquiesced last week on border wall and health care provisions.

The budget agreement, which staved off a potential government shutdown, clearly made student aid funding a priority. Highlights include:
  • Reinstatement of Year-Round Pell Grants,
  • Maintaining the maximum Pell Grant at $5,920,
  • Level funding for the SEOG and Federal Work Study programs,
  • Increased funding for TRIO and GEAR UP,
  • Teacher preparation grants and international education are level funded; while graduate education and national and community service are slightly cut,
  • Research programs are prioritized in the final funding bill as well, with increases or level funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, NOAA, and NASA, and
  • The budgets for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts were each increased by $2 million.
Congress also included language to guide how the Department of Education implements some programs:
  • The Department is now required to issue guidance on implementing Year-Round Pell to ensure "maximize[d] flexibility for institutions of higher education and avoid unnecessary administrative burdens while ensuring the best interests of students". 
  • With regard to TRIO grants, the bill directs the Department to increase the awards for all current grantees, and increase the number of new grants awarded in the next competition, but does not fund the demonstration program sought by the Obama Administration.
  • Congress also includes a provision to allow student loan borrowers to choose their loan servicer when they decide to consolidate loan payments.
Once this bill is signed into law, the Trump Administration will finalize its FY 2018 (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) detailed budget, which is expected to be released in about three weeks. Many of the education programs in the administration's preliminary budget targeted for cuts or elimination are funded in the final FY 2017 deal. (Source: NAICU, May 1, 2017)

Please click here to read this post on the SCICU website.


Dr. Walt Griffin
President, Limestone College

Limestone President Announces
December 2017 Retirement

GAFFNEY, SC --  Dr. Walt Griffin, who has led Limestone College since 1992, has announced his plans to retire later this year as President at the historic liberal arts institution in Gaffney.

The announcement came at the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, April 21, 2017. Dr. Griffin will continue to serve as Limestone's President through the end of the 2017 fall semester, which concludes with graduation ceremonies December 14-16. Following his retirement, Dr. Griffin will continue to reside in Gaffney.

"For the past 25 years, it has been my honor to serve the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, student body, alumni, and the Gaffney and Cherokee County communities as the President of Limestone College," Dr. Griffin said. "For the past quarter of a century, together we have accomplished many great things. And I truly believe that Limestone's brightest days are still ahead. This College has meant so much to me and my family, and I want nothing but the very best for it moving forward. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this institution's growth and advancement."

Over a six year period that spanned the late 1980s and early '90s, Limestone's budget operated at a deficit. In those dark days, enrollment numbers were dwindling, buildings were deteriorating, and many wondered if its survival was in jeopardy.

With the hiring of Dr. Griffin in 1992, Limestone found stability and started a path to a major turnaround. The College not only recovered from those difficult times, but has flourished during Dr. Griffin's presidency, and is now enjoying an era of growth, strength, and renewal.

By practically every gauge, Limestone has not only survived, but thrived. Applications, enrollment, and academic scores have all increased. Quality faculty members have been hired, fundraising is at an all-time high, nearly every existing building has been renovated, and new facilities have been built.

"Limestone will be forever defined by Dr. Griffin's tenure and leadership, and his contributions to our College will benefit generations to come," said Richard Baines, the current chairman of the Board of Trustees. "It has been an honor to work with him. His efforts and love for Limestone have affected thousands of lives while making the College the success story that it is today.

Please click here to read the rest this article on the SCICU website.


Dr Carol A. Moore

Columbia College Board Appoints Dr. Carol Moore As Interim President

COLUMBIA, SC -- Carol A. Moore, PhD, has been named as interim president of Columbia College. John C.B. Smith, Chairman of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, announced the appointment in a press release.

Dr. Moore will fill the position held by Elizabeth Dinndorf, who is set to retire on June 30. Dr. Moore has been serving as the College's Executive Vice President and Provost since joining the institution in September 2016.

"The College is fortunate to have the expertise of Dr. Moore at this time in our history. Her steady and guiding hand, combined with a 'get things done' attitude, bring a strong leadership to our storied and historical institution," said Chairman Smith.

With more than 40 years of education experience at six institutions of higher education, Dr. Moore is already making her mark on the College. "When I arrived at Columbia College, I immediately fell in love with the College, its history, and mission and with our students. We have a strong and dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to the success of the College and to the success of our students," Dr. Moore said.

She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Biology from Montclair State University, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University.

Dr. Moore started her career in education as a high school science teacher. After three years, she moved to the college level as professor of biology, division chairperson of science and technology, and subsequently assumed administrative roles at several private two- and four-year educational institutions. In 1992, she became provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mercy College (NY). In this position she was responsible for the overall academic leadership of three branch campuses, 13 satellite sites, libraries, and computer services. In August of 1998, she assumed the presidency of Lyndon State College.

Please click here to read the entire article on the SCICU website.


Furman University

Furman University to Host SCICU Fall Board of Trustees Meeting September 26

The SCICU Board of Trustees will hold its 2017 Fall Board Meeting on September 26, 2017 at Furman University.

The event will start with the Council of Presidents breakfast at 9:00 a.m.  The Board's Fall business meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. New trustees will be introduced at the business meeting.  Lunch will follow at 12 noon.

Additional information regarding the event will be communicated soon to all Board members and Presidents.


SCICU Member College Student Projects
Selected For 2017 Research Funding

COLUMBIA, SC -- SCICU has awarded $90,000 towards the funding of undergraduate research projects that will be conducted by students at SCICU member colleges and universities during 2017.

In early April, a team of professors from SCICU member institutions reviewed and evaluated nearly 50 undergraduate research proposals submitted by students from SCICU member colleges and universities. After rigorous review of the projects, the evaluation team selected 31 student projects for funding during the 2017 research program.

Student researchers will have through early December 2017 to complete their projects. Upon completion, they will prepare and submit one-page abstracts summarizing their project findings.

Student researchers will present their 2017 project findings via oral presentations or posters at the 2018 Research Symposium, which will be held on February 22, 2018 at the Milliken & Company corporate headquarters in Spartanburg.

A list of the undergraduate student research projects funded and conducted in 2016 may be viewed here.

SCICU donors generously supporting the 2017 Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program include the following:
  • BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Lee Bryan
  • Joan S. Coker
  • The Daniel-Mickel Foundation
  • Mills B. Lane Memorial Foundation
  • Debbie S. Nelson



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 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) American Student Assistance Aramark Higher Education | Blackboard Inc.  | Cantey Tech Consulting 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 | Howard Techonology Solutions HRP Associates, Inc.  | Hypersign, LLC INSITE |   McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Metadata IT LLC 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.