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Volume 9, Issue 5 - June 2017

In This Issue:


Conference Committee Reaches
Budget Agreement

COLUMBIA, SC  -  After weeks of negotiations, a Conference Committee of three members of the Senate and three members of the House agreed on a state budget for FY 2017-18. In a year when revenues were flat, legislators were challenged to find funding not only for the day-to-day operations of state government, but also for exceptional demands such as $150 million to shore up the underfunded state pension plan, $68 million for Hurricane Matthew relief, and almost $30 million to accelerate the replacement of school buses.
In the area of higher education, the committee fully-funded the merit scholarship program to include adding more than $14.5 million to cover the cost of additional students who qualified for scholarships after the high school grading policy was changed last fall from a 7-point to a 10-point scale.
The Conference Committee allocated $500,000 to the need-based Tuition Grants program and $500,000 to the state's need-based grant program. The Tuition Grants Commission had requested $5.3 million to increase the maximum award from $3,200 to $3,650. CHE requested $1.1 million for the state program. The House version of the budget did not provide additional funds for either program. The Senate version recommended $1.3 million each for both.
The Tuition Grants Commission receives approximately 16%-17% of the total appropriations of the state's need-based grant program; however, the modest increases to both programs are not sufficient to raise the maximum award above the current $3,200 figure.
After being shut out in the House budget, PASCAL, the higher education academic library consortium, was added as the #2 priority for up to $1.5 million in unclaimed excess lottery funds by the budget committee. The Senate had recommended PASCAL as the #1 priority.
Public colleges and universities and technical colleges received very little of their initial budget requests. The House did not include any additional funding in its budget compared to a $60 million recommendation by the Senate. The final Conference Committee figure is $12 million divided among 33 different institutions.
The House and the Senate return to Columbia on June 6 to consider the recommendations of the Budget Conference Committee. Once the appropriations bill passes both chambers, the bill goes to Governor McMaster for final consideration.
Neither the House nor the Senate is expected to alter appreciably the work of the Conference Committee. Although the Governor does have line item veto authority, it is unlikely that he will strike any of the higher education appropriations. The budget will be effective on July 1.

Click here to read this post on the SCICU website.


"Roads" Bill Increases Tax Credits
For Postsecondary Students

COLUMBIA, SC  -  The controversial SC Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act became law in May after the House and Senate overrode a veto by Governor Henry McMaster. The legislation is best known for increasing the tax on fuel and raising fees associated with motor vehicles in order to fund new construction, repairs, and maintenance of the state's aging highway system.
The Senate, however, added several tax credit provisions to the bill as a tradeoff for the fuel tax increase. The House later agreed as part of a compromise needed to get a final bill. One group that will benefit from the increased tax credits are students who attend a private non-profit or public higher education institution and do not qualify for either a Palmetto Fellow or LIFE scholarship.
The new provisions amend a 1998 law (Section 12-6-3385)  and increases tax credits for tuition and required fees from 25% to 50% and raises the limit during a taxable year from $800 to $1,500.These changes could increase educational tax credits from around $4.5 million annually to $9 or $10 million annually. The changes apply to tax years beginning after 2017.

Click here to read this post on the SCICU website.


SCICU's FY 2016-17 Deadline
Aproaching For Support
Of SCICU Member Institutions

COLUMBIA, SC  -  With increased federal and state funding pressure on higher education, supporting South Carolina's independent colleges and universities is now more important than ever. There are less than 90 days remaining in SCICU's 2016-17 fiscal year (ends on August 31, 2017), and continued support of SCICU's twenty (20) member colleges and universities is critical. 

Opportunities to financially support SC independent higher education through SCICU are still available for fiscal year 2016-2017. 100% of funds raised by SCICU is dedicated to the support of the twenty (20) member colleges and universities and their students. These opportunities include the following:

  • SCICU Scholars Program
  • Board of Trustees Scholarship Awards
  • Student/Faculty Undergraduate Research Program 
  • SCICU Annual College Guidebook 
  • Independent College and University Week 
  • Excellence In Teaching Awards 
  • Annual College Campus Tour 
  • Discretionary Scholarships
Making a gift to SCICU has never been easier. Simply visit the SCICU website (scicu.org/donate) and follow the directions to make an online gift through PayPal. This link also supports gifts made via your major credit card.
For additional information on SCICU giving opportunities, please call Eddie Shannon today at 803-799-7122. Please make your gift today!

Click here to read this post on the SCICU website.

Dr. Robert E. Gustafson, Jr.
2017 Erskine Commencement

Erskine College Appoints
Gustafson  As 17th President

DUE WEST, SC -- The Board of Trustees of Erskine College and Theological Seminary has announced the appointment of Interim President Dr. Robert E. Gustafson, Jr. as 17th president of the institution.
"The Presidential Search Committee is convinced, after observing Dr. Gustafson's seven months as interim president, that his gifts and abilities perfectly fit Erskine's current needs," Board Chairman Sam James said. "Our committee unanimously presented him to the Board of Trustees for approval."
Gustafson began his work as interim president Nov. 1, 2016 upon the retirement of Dr. Paul Kooistra, Erskine's 16th president.
Interviewed during the first few weeks of his tenure as interim president, Gustafson noted "the resonance of my leadership experiences in secondary education with the college environment," saying, "Although I worked with students preparing for the college and university world, the daily routines, challenges, and issues of a head of school at that level are strikingly similar to my task at Erskine."

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


Krista L. Newkirk
President, Converse College

Converse College Installs Newkirk
As Its 10th President

SPARTANBURG, SC -- On April 21, 2017, Converse College celebrated the investiture of its tenth president, Krista L. Newkirk, JD, on campus in Twichell Auditorium. The 90-minute inauguration ceremony featured a processional including the four living past presidents of Converse College, attendance by delegates from 54 colleges and universities across the country, and an address by President Newkirk.  Formal greetings were presented by regional, state, and local leaders, including Dr. Philip L. Dubois, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Jean Toal, chief justice (ret.) of the Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina; Trey Gowdy, U.S. representative for S.C.'s fourth congressional district; and Laura Stille, mayor pro tem of the city of Spartanburg.

"Today is about Converse College, the long and important journey in the lives of young women, and our future in continuing to serve as an educational experience that transforms young people and serves to better our community," Newkirk stated in her inauguration address. "It is with humility, joy, and hope that I accept the leadership of this great college. I appreciate the trust of the Board of Trustees, the faculty and staff, the alumnae and students, and the community."

Newkirk also spoke to the college's duty to the community beyond its gates, asserting, "Converse was founded by, and has been sustained by, community support over many years, and we will meet our obligation to this region by broadening our connections with local businesses and industry to develop the workforce they need, and by helping them retain talent in the Upstate to contribute to the region's economic development."

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


(L-R) Dr. W. Franklin Evans, Voorhees College President; Dr. Robert L. Satcher, Jr., Chair, Voorhees College Board of Trustees

Voorhees College Installs Ninth President

"I will uphold the mission established by the founder," Evans said at his inauguration, "as I work to make Voorhees a premier institution of excellence." He has called Voorhees "the hidden jewel of South Carolina."

The ceremony was officiated by Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr., chairman of the Voorhees College Board of Trustees. Dr. Satcher, a Denmark, SC native, holds a PhD in chemical engineering from MIT and an MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Satcher's professional background also includes serving as an astronaut with NASA. Beginning with STS-129 in November 2009, Dr. Satcher logged more than 259 hours in space.

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 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:

Benedict College

Columbia International University

Furman University

Limestone College

Morris College


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 Corporation | Paymerang (fka AP Advantage)Pioneer 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.