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Volume 10, Issue 5 - May 2018


Legislative Update 05-16-2018:
SC Budget Conferees Need More Time To Reconcile Differences

COLUMBIA, SC -- In a joint statement released on May 16, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White announced that the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY 2018-19 state budget are so numerous and complex that House and Senate budget negotiators will not reach a consensus by the time the General Assembly returns to the State House on May 23 and 24. The revised schedule means that legislators will not adopt a budget before the June 12 primaries and any subsequent runoffs, which will be held June 26.

The Budget Conference Committee will continue to meet in the coming weeks in an effort to present a budget recommendation to lawmakers when they return to Columbia a second time on June 27 and 28. It is very likely that the ordinary expenses of state government beginning with the new fiscal year on July 1 will be funded by a Continuing Resolution while lawmakers ratify the budget and address the inevitable line-item vetoes by Governor McMaster.

The Senate members of the Conference Committee are Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), 2018 SCICU Legislative Champion Sen. John Mathews (D-Bowman), and Sen. Sean Bennett (R-Summerville). Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson), Rep. Durham Cole (R-Spartanburg) and Rep. Bill Clyburn (D-Aiken) represent the House.

There are significant differences between the two budget proposals, especially when it comes to funding higher education. The Senate proposed increases in funding for need-based grants (both Tuition Grants for students attending private non-profit colleges and the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) program for public colleges), the academic library consortium (PASCAL), and recurring funds for public colleges and universities. The House proposed no such increases, but agreed with the Senate to fully-fund the Merit Scholarships.

Given the broad differences in the two budgets, SCICU's advocacy efforts are focused on the Senate's proposal to increase funding to need-based grants to over $11 million. Under the Senate plan, the Tuition Grants Commission would receive a direct increase of about $1.2 million and an indirect increase of approximately $1.6 million from its share of the almost $10 million increase proposed for the CHE need-based grant program.

Need-based grants are essential for promoting access and affordability to higher education, especially for low income, first generation, and minority students. If the Senate version becomes law, the maximum Tuition Grant could increase by more than 6% from $3,200 to $3,400 per year for more than 13,600 Tuition Grant recipients attending independent colleges and universities. Depending on the cost of tuition and fees, more than 16,000 students attending public colleges and universities could see similar increases.

Advocates for student financial aid and independent higher education are encouraged to contact members of the Budget Conference Committee in support of the Senate budget proposal for funding need-based grants. Please refer to the links above for contact information for Budget Conference Committee members.

Click here to read the entire post on the SCICU website.


(L-R) Mike LeFever, SCICU President & CEO, Dr. Carol Wilson, Professor, Wofford College, and Dr. Nayef Samhat, President, Wofford College.

Wofford College Awards Honorary Doctorate to Mike LeFever, SCICU President & CEO

SPARTANBURG, SC -- In recognition of his significant contributions to independent higher education in South Carolina, Mike LeFever, SCICU President & CEO, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Wofford College during its 2018 Commencement Exercises on May 20.  LeFever has championed independent higher education advocacy efforts in South Carolina and nationally for more than ten years.

In addition to his leadership in South Carolina higher education, LeFever was also recognized for his long career in state government, including deputy chief of staff for Gov. Jim Hodges, 13 years as director of the Workers' Compensation Commission, and as director of three other state agencies. Prior to joining SCICU, LeFever was principal of MG&C Consulting Services, LLC, a governmental relations firm representing businesses, non-profits, and professional associations before the South Carolina General Assembly.

A cum laude graduate of Presbyterian College, LeFever holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina.  LeFever's alumni involvement with Presbyterian College includes serving as president of the Alumni Association and as a member of the Presbyterian College Board of Trustees.  He was also honored with Presbyterian College's Young Alumnus Award.

LeFever's contributions to higher education in South Carolina were also recognized by Allen University in 2014 (Richard Allen award), by the Columbia College Board of Trustees in 2013, and by the Partnership Among South Carolina's Academic Libraries (PASCAL) in 2009.

Other civic and business involvement for LeFever include serving as president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions and the International Workers' Compensation Foundation; president of the South Carolina Agency Directors Organization; chair of the National Youth Works Alliance; and chair of the Center for Cancer Treatment and Research at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, S.C. The South Carolina Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration named him Public Administrator of the Year in 1986 and again in 2003. 

Please click here to read more on SCICU website.  More is also available on the Wofford College website regarding the 2018 Commencement Exercises.


(L-R) Sen. John Matthews, Sen. Nikki Setzler, Mike LeFever, Malissa Burnette, Sen. Mia McLeod

SC Senate Recognizes LeFever's Years of Public Service

COLUMBIA, SC -- SCICU President and CEO Mike LeFever was honored by the State Senate for his public service with a ceremony in the Senate chambers on May 3, 2018. A Senate Resolution ( S. 1198) authored by Sen. Nikki Setzler and co-sponsored by the members of the Senate recognized LeFever for the passion and dedication that he has shown in serving the people and the State of South Carolina.

The Resolution took note that during LeFever's 10 years as president and CEO of SCICU he sought to advance independent higher education in South Carolina in collaboration with individual colleges and universities. During his tenure, LeFever boasted substantial achievements for students through programs and funding, including over $5 million for student scholarships, student research projects, and teaching awards; $83.5 million in state merit and need based aid; and $73 million in federal grants annually.

Prior to joining SCICU, LeFever spent almost three decades in state government as the director of four different state agencies, including the Workers' Compensation Commission for thirteen years, and as Deputy Chief of Staff for Executive Office Programs and Cabinet Affairs for then-Governor Jim Hodges.

LeFever will retire on August 31, 2019. An executive search for his replacement is being led by Chair-elect Jerry Cheatham of the SCICU Board of Trustees.

Please click here to read more on SCICU website.  


(L-R) Dr. Karen Gainey, Executive Vice President, Limestone College; Mike LeFever, President & CEO, SCICU; and Dr. Anita Bowles, Executive Vice President, Spartanburg Methodist College.

SCICU Chief Academic Officers Honor Mike LeFever at 2018 Excellence In Teaching Dinner

COLUMBIA, SC -- Chief Academic Officers at SCICU member colleges and universities honored SCICU President and CEO Mike LeFever for his leadership and service to independent higher education at the 2018 Excellence In Teaching awards dinner.

LeFever has served as President and CEO of SCICU since January 2008.  He has announced that he will retire from the position on August 31.

SCICU CAOs, represented by Dr. Karen Gainey, Executive Vice President at Limestone College, and Dr. Anita Bowles, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Spartanburg Methodist College, honored LeFever at the Excellence In Teaching dinner with an engraved platter commemorating his many years of service and leadership in South Carolina higher education.

Upon presentation of the CAO award, LeFever was honored by the 2018 Excellence In Teaching award recipients and guests with a standing ovation.

SCICU honors the top professors and faculty members at the twenty member colleges and universities at the annual Excellence In Teaching awards dinner.  Chief Academic Officers and other faculty leaders select one award recipient per member college/university who will be recognized at SCICU's annual Excellence In Teaching dinner.  Each of the 20 recipients also receive a $3,000 professional development grant.

The 2018 Excellence In Teaching awards dinner marked the 13th year that SCICU honored professors and faculty members at member colleges and universities.

Please click here to read more on the SCICU website.


Duke Energy Renews Scholarship
Program With SCICU

COLUMBIA, SC  -- The Duke Energy Foundation has renewed its commitment with SCICU to fund merit scholarships for students who attend the 11 member colleges and universities in Duke Energy's service area in South Carolina. This $79,200 total scholarship commitment is the largest award by a single entity in SCICU's Named Scholar Program. Duke Energy has supported South Carolina independent higher education via SCICU since 1956, and has participated in the present SCICU scholarship program since 2005.
"Education has always been a focal point of our commitment to corporate giving," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's state president in South Carolina. "We are proud to continue our decades-long partnership with SCICU - an organization that continues to make a difference in the lives of so many students in the Palmetto State."
"Duke Energy has been a supporter of South Carolina's independent colleges and universities since 1956, and we are extremely grateful to again receive such a generous gift to provide scholarships to talented students with financial need," said Eddie Shannon, executive vice president of SCICU. 
The $79,200 gift will provide $1,100 scholarships in the 2018-19 academic year in the name of Duke Energy to 66 students attending SCICU's eleven member colleges located in the Duke Energy service area.
Duke Energy's SCICU scholarship program is designed to help students who are majoring in math and/or science, have a permanent residence in the company's South Carolina service area, and attend one of the 11 SCICU colleges and universities in the service area.  
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career - particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) - as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

The 11 SCICU member colleges and universities in the Duke Energy service area include Anderson University, Coker College, Converse College, Erskine College, Furman University, Limestone College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Wofford College.

Please see the SCICU website for more information.

South Carolina State House

SCICU Bills of Interest
UPDATED May 10, 2018

SCICU staff tracks and follows bills in the South Carolina General Assembly that may directly or indirectly impact higher education or the operation of a non-profit institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.

Concise and current information on 2018 House and Senate bills of interest may be viewed here. This information was last updated on May 10, 2018, and will be regularly updated and available for download from this website.

In this pdf, House (H) bills are listed first, followed by Senate (S) bills. Each bill listed in the pdf contains a link to the complete text of the legislation as posted on South Carolina Legislature Online (www.scstatehouse.gov).

The link for South Carolina Legislature Online ( www.scstatehouse.gov) will also allow you to search for additional bills by using the Quick Search function located on the right side of the page. When using the Quick Search function, check the Bill Number search option and enter the number of the bill without the chamber designation (4470, not H 4470) in the search block and click on the magnifying glass button to execute the search. The Quick Search feature may also be used for general searches of all legislation, the South Carolina Code of Laws, and other references using key words.


Presbyterian College to Host SCICU Fall Board Meeting on September 26

The SCICU Board of Trustees will convene at Presbyterian College on September 26 for the Fall board meeting.

At this event, the Board will announce and celebrate the selection of the SCICU McLean-Smith Student of the Year.  Greenville-based Center for Scholarship Administration will independently review scholarship nominations from SCICU's twenty member colleges and universities and will submit their selection to SCICU in late Spring.  Please click here to learn more about Pamela Rutledge, the 2017 SCICU McLean-Smith Student of the Year.

The September 26 board meeting will begin with a 9:00 am breakfast meeting for the Council of College and University Presidents.  Registration for at-large trustees will begin at 9:30 am.  Presidents will join at-large trustees for the business meeting at 10:30 am.

More information for the September 26 board meeting, including a link to online registration, will be emailed to trustees in July.


2017-2018 SCICU Digital College
Guide  Available Online

SCICU's 2017-18 College Guide is now available online! This digital guide to twenty independent colleges and universities in South Carolina is designed for easy viewing on mobile devices ( and it's easy to share with friends, too!).

The guide includes detailed scholarship and financial aid info, and is full of other tips to help parents and students choose the college or university that best suits their higher education needs.

Please click here to access SCICU's 2017-18 Digital College Guide.

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:

Benedict College, Converse College, and Erskine College

Anderson University

Columbia College

Converse College

Class of 2018 Commencement Exercises
Please click on the college/unversity names below to go to coverage of respective graduation and commencement exercises.

Click below to access important information on each of the SCICU member colleges and universities:




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 welcomes the following new Business Partner:

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)Aramark Higher Education | Argent Financial Group | Blackboard  |  Cantey Tech ConsultingCapinCrouse LLP | Church Mutual Insurance Company | Coleman Lew + Associates | Collegiate Financial Services (IOA) |  Craig Gaulden Davis | CSI Leasing, Inc. | Dominion EnergyElliott Davis | Find Great People, LLC | First American Education Finance | Gillis Specialty Adverstising | Giraffe Web Design | Harper Corporation General ContractorsHaynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA | HillSouth iT SolutionsHoward Techonology SolutionsHRP Associates, Inc. | Hypersign, LLC | Immedion LLC |   The LearningHouse, Inc. | MB Kahn Construction Company, Inc.McAllister & QuinnMcMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Met@data IT LLCMetz Culinary Management | Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | National Management Resources Corporation | P2Ops, LLCPaymerang (f/k/a AP Advantage)Pioneer College CaterersPollock Company | Purple Briefcase |   S2K Group, Inc. | SC Student Loan Corporation | ScholarBuys | Sodexo | Spirit Communications | STEM Premier | Stroz FriedbergThompson & LittleTotal Comfort Solutions | UnitedHealthcare Student Resources | Vulcan Materials Company | Walsh Consulting Group LLC |   Wells Fargo Insurance ServicesWyche, 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.