Is this a conspiracy? Is this the start of a possible trend of closing HBCU’s? Ok, that may be a far fetched accusation but you have to admit, closing a school down for a year to get their finances straight is pretty much unheard of, until now.
South Carolina State University is very close to being shut down as early as today for the 2015-2016 school year for mis-managing their finances. Apparently, there are a lot of unanswered questions around money and mounting debt. The Higher Education and Technical Colleges subcommittee voted and approved a measure that would temporarily close the school for one year. Although, for full consideration the bill still has to go through the complete House Ways and Means committee & potentially the entire House.
So what does that mean? It means, it’s not over yet!
“I want to make one thing clear: South Carolina State University will not close,” said SC State University President Thomas Elzey
If the vote is approved, the school would be closed down for the 2015-2016 school year, starting July 1st, and would reopen in Fall 2017. My first question was, “What would happen to the students? How would they be affected?” Well, good news – students who have a 2.5 GPA or higher and qualify to transfer to another in-state school would have their tuition paid for up to four years.
I can’t stay the staff would be as lucky. If South Carolina State University closes; the president, board trustees, faculty and staff will be dismissed. The state would then pay off all of the outstanding debt to vendors and loans made from the Contingency Reserve Fund, which could reach up to $100 million.
Again, how many schools have gone through financial distress but haven’t shut down? Many! I’m not suggesting that they don’t shut down either, because I don’t know the intricate details of the entire situation. I’m just wondering if there is an easier way to handle this situation and keep the school open at the same time.
BMWK, Do you think the State should take over this situation and close the school?