Investigation of school president's firing
COLUMBIA -- Legislators likely won't target South Carolina State University's funding in a dispute with its board over the firing of former president Andrew Hugine, Rep. Jerry Govan said.
But some board members could see their continued service on the board questioned when they come up for re-election in the next few years, the Orangeburg Democrat said.
Board chairman Maurice Washington said he expected such a reaction.
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"Some of us may be targeted for replacement," Washington said. "But that's okay, because our decisions are not made based upon the outcome of the next election."
The board drew criticism last week after deciding by a conference call vote not to renew the contract of Hugine and placed him on administrative leave. A statement from the board said the decision was based on a performance and an education review of the university.
The performance review and terms of Hugine's dismissal have not been released.
However, the Education Commission of the States, which was contracted by S.C. State's board to perform an academic review, issued a statement clarifying its role.
Some of the report's key findings include:
• Enrollment increases have resulted in a higher number of freshmen who are not prepared for college work;
• Retention of freshmen is declining even though more are enrolling;
• The school should look to Hispanics and other cultural/ethnic backgrounds to have a more diverse student population.
On Wednesday, the trustees decided on a formula for the search committee for a new president and approved hiring Academic Search Inc. as consultant to help with the search.
Academic Search was founded in 1976 by presidential and trustee-based associations in Washington, D.C., under the name Academic Search Consultation Service, with the purpose of providing colleges and universities with professional search services.
The search committee will be made up of three trustees, two faculty or staff members, one student, two elected officials, one alumni member, and one member from the corporate sector.