News & Notes 
   Information for South Carolina's Independent Colleges & Universities
Vol. 8 Issue 8: September 2015

In This Issue
Trustees to Meet Oct. 6
Staton Installed at Presbyterian
Converse President News
SCICU Responds to FLSA
Member College News
SCICU Business Partners


Quick Links...

Events 2015-16 

September 22-23

Title IX Investigator Training
Southern Wesleyan University
8:30am - 4:30pm each day  


September 25

Institutional Research Mtg.

CIU, 11am - 1:30pm  


October 6  

Board of Trustees Meeting

Newberry College, 10am-2pm   


October 14

Chief Academic Officers Mtg

SCICU, 11am - 1:30pm


October 15

SCICU Retirement Plans Advisory Committee Meeting

SCICU, 2:00 - 3:00 pm


October 22

Chief Financial Officers Meeting

SCICU, 10:30 am - 1:30 pm


November 11

Public Policy Committee Meeting

SCICU, 10-11 am


December 3

Development Committee Mtg.

SCICU, 10:30am - 11:30am


December 4

Legislative Campus Coordinators Meeting

Capital City Club, Columbia

11:30 am - 2:00 pm


2016 Events 


February 9

Career Connections

Columbia Metro. Comm. Cntr

8:00am - 5:00pm   


February 18

Research Symposium

Milliken & Co., Spartanburg

8:30am - 5pm 



To view more info about these meetings and events,   click here. 

Our Member Colleges:
Allen University
Anderson University
Benedict College
Charleston Southern University
Claflin University
Coker College
Columbia College
Columbia International University
Converse College
Erskine College
Furman University
Limestone College
Morris College
Newberry College
North Greenville University
Presbyterian College
Southern Wesleyan University
Spartanburg Methodist College
Voorhees College
Wofford College
Business Partners:

ABM Building Solutions, LLC

Affinity LTC, LLC


American Student Assistance


Blackboard, Inc.

CapinCrouse LLP

Coleman Lew & Associates

Craig Gaulden Davis

CSI Leasing, Inc.

Elliott Davis, PLLC


eBridge Business Solutions LLC

e-Procurement Services, LLC

First American Education Finance (FAEF)

Find Great People, LLC

Genworth Financial

Gillis Specialty Advertising

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

HRP Associates

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Myers McRae Exec. Search

Pollock Company

Professional Insurance & Investment Associates


School Dude


Stalwart Systems Group


The Payments Company

Total Comfort Solutions

UnitedHealthcare Student

Verizon Wireless

Vulcan Materials

Walsh Consulting Group, LLC

Wyche Law Firm


Click here to view a full listing of SCICU Business partners...
Private College Purchasing Coalition:

The Coalition for College Cost Savings is a non-profit organization dedi-cated to helping SCICU members reduce and contain costs through collaboration.

Join Our Mailing List
SCICU Fall Board Meeting
October 6 at Newberry College

The SCICU Board of Trustees will meet on Tuesday, October 6. President Maurice Scherrens and the students, faculty, and staff of Newberry College look forward to welcoming the Trustees to campus.


The fall meeting serves as the Board's annual meeting. In addition to recognizing retiring Trustees and electing new ones, the Board will be presented with committee year-end reports and a proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning September 1. Two students from among the 20 independent colleges and universities represented by SCICU will be honored for their scholarship at an awards luncheon following the meeting.


The Council of Presidents begins the day with a Presidents-only breakfast at 9:00 a.m.  The business meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. with the awards luncheon and program following at noon. 


Click here for registration details.

President Bob Staton Installed
As Presbyterian College
Opens Its 136th Session

CLINTON, SC - Presbyterian College opened its 136th session on August 25, 2015 with its traditional convocation. 

The ceremony, which marks the official opening of the College, was highlighted with the presentation of the Martha Anne Green Service to Church and College Award and the installation of Robert "Bob" Emmett Staton '68 '15 as President of the College.

The Martha Anne Green award, presented by the President and Dr. Jeri Perkins, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, was established by the First Presbyterian Church and PC to recognize the contributions of Martha Anne Green to the church and College communities.

Each year the church pastor and College President appoint a selection committee and charge it with identifying an individual from Clinton whose life of service on behalf of the church universal and the College embody the College motto, "Dum Vivimus Servimus," while we live, we serve.

This year, the award was presented posthumously to Ruth Pate Tiller Coleman, a 1965 cum laude graduate of the College. The award was received by Coleman's sons William "Bill" and John. It was presented on the basis of Coleman's service as the Alumni Board president in 1998; her reception of the College's Mary F. Lehman Service Award in 1999; her work as a church school teacher, a church elder, and as a deacon; and her volunteer efforts throughout Laurens County.

Following the Martha Anne Green Award the College acknowledged student honors and there were readings of the New and Old Testament. G. Patrick Phillips '71, chair of the Board of Trustees presented Staton for installation as President of Presbyterian College. Phillips presided as Staton took the oath of office, after which Staton addressed the College as a whole with his speech, "Seeking an Inspired Life."

Staton's address had particular emphasis for the freshman and senior classes, as both were at points of great change. Using parallels with his own life, including spending time on the beach with his wife, Phyllis, and calling his aunt to share his grades at the end of his first semester at PC, Staton challenged the students to be "inspired for life."

"Be inspired by the sense of community grounded in the relationships built during your time here," Staton said. "Be inspired by the excellence and honor that is experienced and expected of you and the service grounded in the values stated in PC's motto, 'while we live, we serve.'"

After pointing out that the students had a choice between doing the minimum needed to get by or to embrace all the opportunities and challenges presented, Staton requested that the students do more than settle. He requested that they set expectations and push themselves to excel in all of their endeavors.

As with his own life, Staton explained that he and his wife could have stayed on the beach, or he could have settled for being a "C" student, but instead he chose to be inspired. "We decided to act, and now our lives have been forever changed. Had we not acted, we would have missed one of the great opportunities of our life," Staton said.

"Don't let opportunities pass you by, act-go for it-make things happen in your life," Staton continued.

The convocation concluded with new students and employees signing the College's Honor Code. Through signing the Honor Code, new students and employees become members of the College family. Students are expected to balance their freedoms with responsibility and respect for the rules of the College, which have been established to preserve community, and to foster an environment that is conducive to the mission of the College.

For more information and more news, click here for the Presbyterian College Newsroom.

Converse College President Fleming Announces Final Year of Leadership

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Converse College President Betsy Fleming announced Tuesday, September 8, 2015 that the 2015-2016 academic year will be her eleventh, and final, year serving as the College's ninth president.

Fleming shared the news with faculty, staff and students in campus-wide meetings, with a focus on celebrating the accomplishments Converse community members have made together over the past decade and on tackling the exciting work that lies ahead in this academic year.

"This decision comes only after much reflection and with the full knowledge that with your engagement and support Converse has accomplished more than I ever imagined possible back in 2005, and certainly more than most colleges would ever dare to dream," Fleming said to the Converse community. "On a personal level, I truly love my work at Converse and most particularly the incredible connections that I have developed with so many of you-faculty and staff, students and alumni, Trustees and donors, community partners, friends and colleagues."

Converse's accomplishments, evolution and growth under Fleming's leadership have transformed the institution, building upon the College's distinctive strengths in order to best serve undergraduate, adult and graduate students today. Advancements include:
  • Launching a new brand for the College that enhances its stature as a master's university, celebrates the creativity and outcomes of its high quality educational product, and highlights its differentiating aspects of voice, value and vision;
  • Establishing such new academic programs as musical theatre, genetic counseling, healthcare administration and contemporary music/media applications;
  • Building a highly competitive intercollegiate athletic program as the only women's college competing at the NCAA Division II level, including gaining full Division II membership, admission into Conference Carolinas and growing from 5 to 11 sports programs;
  • Raising more than $76 million to support all aspects of the College, including $31 million in endowment growth;
  • Significantly enhancing the physical plant through construction of The Heath apartment housing and The Marsha H. Gibbs Field House; renovations of academic and residential facilities including Kuhn, Pell and Dexter Halls; construction of community-building tribute spaces including The Betty James Montgomery Rose Garden, The Barnet Commons and The Johnson Plaza; and substantial technology advances, especially in classrooms and performance venues;
  • Strengthening the fiscal health of the College with reorganization of its operating structure, revamping of its business model, and reduction of its discount rate from over 60% to 26%;
  • Launching bold strategic enrollment initiatives to satisfy market demand, most notably a 43% reduction in tuition price that resulted in Converse becoming a national leader for higher education transparency, affordability and value;
  • And, establishing the Converse International School to support new partnerships with universities around the world, with first-year enrollment of 58 Chinese students who will arrive on campus in fall 2017.
These efforts have resulted in expanded visibility for Converse on both regional and national fronts, and over the last decade a 20% increase in net assets and 30% growth in the traditional undergraduate student population. This fall, Converse celebrated its largest undergraduate enrollment in at least 25 years.

Converse has prioritized student and faculty achievement, as evidenced by Fulbright assistantships, Goldwater Scholarship and Elie Weisel finalists, a John Jay Institute Fellow, and Presidential Management Fellows. Three Converse faculty members have been named S.C. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The College has also received consistent recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and in top national rankings such as that by Washington Monthly for advancing student research, service and social mobility.

New strategic initiatives that further advance student development and success are being implemented this year in order to maximize outcomes and support expansion.

"We still have exciting work to accomplish together through June 2016," said Fleming. "With Converse's sights set on continuing this momentum, I believe that Converse is well poised for success as it enters this next chapter in its history."

Ben Wall, Chair of the Converse Board of Trustees, announced that a search committee for the College's tenth president will be led by Spartanburg business leader and Converse Trustee Emeritus, Bill Barnet. The identification of a search firm, search committee members and a timeline will be finalized in the coming weeks.

"The selection of the president is widely considered the most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees," said Wall. "We are fortunate to have an extensive period to conduct a comprehensive search in an organized and deliberate manner. Together with faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, the Board looks forward this year to celebrating our accomplishments, to strengthening the bonds of our distinctive community, and to securing dynamic leadership for a successful future."

Noting the average tenure of a college president is less than seven years, Wall thanked Fleming for dedicating eleven years to leading Converse with boldness, creativity, vision and energy. "We are deeply grateful for her exceptional efforts to advance Converse's legacy of academic excellence, launch ambitious new strategic initiatives, and expand Converse's national and international profile," he said. "It has been a decade of transformation and accomplishment for the College."

For more information regarding this press release from Converse College, please click here. More news and events for Converse College may be viewed here.


SCICU Responds to Proposed Amendments to FLSA

COLUMBIA, SC - SCICU joined others in the higher education community in responding to proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including increases in the minimum salary thresholds and regulations governing the "white collar" exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. 

In a letter to the Department of Labor, SCICU President & CEO Mike LeFever echoed the detailed and thoughtful comments of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), which were endorsed by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and 17 other associations.

While the higher education community agrees that an increase to the minimum salary threshold is due and DOL must update the salary levels and regulations from time to time to ensure the exemptions are not abused. The proposed minimum salary threshold is simply too high, and DOL should reconsider and set a salary level more in line with historic trends. DOL also should phase in the any new salary level over time to allow employers and employees enough time to make adjustments and preparations. This would help mitigate some of the negative consequences related to the salary increase for colleges and universities, their employees and students


CHE Moves Forward on Distance Education Reciprocity

COLUMBIA, SC - At their meeting on September 3, 2015, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education voted to authorize staff, after consulting with the State's Attorney General, to proceed with a Memorandum of Understanding or other legal option necessary for South Carolina to become a member of the National Council for State Reauthorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA).

Presently, higher education institutions in non-SARA states must comply with the licensing requirements in each state where they want to provide distance education to students. This is an expensive and time-consuming process made more cumbersome by widely varying procedures, costs, and time-lines.

A new, voluntary process of state oversight of distance education has been created to address these problems. The State Authorization Reciporcity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary agreement among its member states that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in other states and to reduce the licensing fees and administratve costs for the providers.

SARA participation is voluntary. Member states and individual institutions work together through the four existing regional higher education compacts for the expressed purpose of improving the efficiency and quality assurance of distance education as a tool to increase educational attainment. Almost half of the states are members of SARA with more joining on a regular basis.

In the coming months, CHE will seek legal authority to be able to sign an interstate reciprocity agreement and qualify as South Carolina's portal agency for managing functional state responsibilities under SARA.

SCICU joined with five public college constituencies to urge the Higher Education Commission to move forward with plans to join SARA before the July 1, 2016 individual state licensing deadline set by the U.S. Department of Education. Anderson University President Evans Whitaker, a member of the Commission, helped to get the recommendation passed by speaking in support of SARA with the other Commissioners on several occasions.

Member College News
SCICU posts news and accomplishments of our member institutions on the Member College News section of our website. Here is a selection of news recently featured: 

Please share your news with the SC independent college community by emailing your press releases to [email protected]. Thank you!
SCICU Business Partners

The following company has renewed its partnership with SCICU :

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting

A complete listing of all the Business Partners may be found in the left margin of this newsletter or on our website.
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 [email protected] or 803-799-7122. Mailing address: P.O. Box 12007, Columbia, SC 29211