ORANGEBURG -- The president of S.C. State University and a legal adviser refused to provide any details on the firing of top administrators or an investigation being conducted at the university.

After a four-hour closed-door session with the university's Board of Trustees on Thursday, George Cooper and attorney Reggie Lloyd, the former chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, said they would not comment on an internal investigation until after it was complete.

Both declined to answer questions about whether the school was involved in a state or federal investigation.

The university in December hired Lloyd to offer guidance and support on various legal issues. But school leaders refused to specify which issues Lloyd would handle.

Lloyd, who is also a former U.S. attorney, on Thursday simply encouraged members of the media to "be patient" and wait for details.

Cooper said, "It's inappropriate to provide details" until the investigation is complete.

Board Vice Chairman John Corbitt presided over the meeting. He refused to provide any detail on why the board was meeting behind closed doors, stating simply that it was for personnel and legal issues.

Bill Rogers, executive director of the S.C. Press Association, said public bodies are required by law to state specifically why they are meeting outside the public eye. General explanations such as personnel or legal matters are not sufficient.

What the board did "was clearly a violation of the law," Rogers said.

"The sad part is they are destroying the public's confidence in their ability to govern by doing so in secret."