Bill filed to replace S.C. State board

State Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Denmark, filed a bill Wednesday to dissolve and replace South Carolina State University’s Board of Trustees.

In a news release, Sellers said he was responding to growing concerns surrounding the recent FBI investigation and charges of corruption at the historically black public university in Orangeburg.

“We’re not talking about setting up an interim board or appointing placeholders,” Sellers said. “We’re talking about an entirely new board elected out in the open and held accountable to the people.”

Sellers said he expects the proposal to draw controversy and opposition, but he thinks it’s a crucial step to restoring integrity, protecting accreditation and ensuring students receive the first-class education they deserve.

The State newspaper of Columbia, however, reports that Sellers’s bill could actually threaten the school’s accreditation.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools President Belle Wheelan repeated her concerns raised from a similar bill introduced last year that not following state law to remove board members could threaten the school’s accreditation. The bill must state reasons why board members are being fired, she said.

“You’re innocent until proven guilty,” Wheelan said.

Sellers said in an interview that he would add the necessary language when the bill reaches a subcommittee.

Legislation that would have replaced some or all of S.C. State’s trustees failed last year.

Comments { }

Postandcourier.com is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Postandcourier.com does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not postandcourier.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.