Some state lawmakers who said they were tired of the upheaval and fighting among members of South Carolina State University’s Board of Trustees removed all its incumbents up for re-election.
The General Assembly voted Wednesday on who would fill open seats on college and university boards. None of the four incumbents on S.C. State’s board who were running for re-election were able to hold their seats.
State Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, who is a S.C. State graduate, said the results weren’t surprising. “I think the members of the General Assembly sent a message loud and clear.”
Govan also said he anticipates that changes will continue the next time S.C. State board seats come up for election.
For the six open board seats, there were five winners:
William Small Jr., Yemassee, retired educator, 6th Congressional District seat.
Ronald B. Henegan, Bennettsville, retired educator, 7th Congressional District seat.
Pearl Ascue, Awendaw, businesswoman, at-large seat 9.
Cathy Novinger, West Columbia, retired businesswoman, at-large seat 11.
Katon Dawson, Columbia, former chairman of the S.C. Republican Party, at-large seat 12.
There was no winner for the 5th Congressional District seat, which remains open. Linda Edwards Duncan of Gaffney, an incumbent who ran unopposed, failed to hold the seat. She did not have the minimum number of votes required to win.
Notable among those not re-elected was trustee Maurice Washington, a Charleston resident who served for 12 years on the board of the state’s only historically black public university. “I’m not bitter,” Washington said. “This is the nature of life. You win some and you lose some.”
But, Washington said, the election is “secondary to the importance of selecting a good, solid president,” referring to President-elect Thomas Elzey.
Current board Chairman Walter Tobin and trustee Jackie Epps also failed to land another term.
Meanwhile, a state panel has decided Elzey could be paid up to $326,000 a year, according to The Associated Press.
The South Carolina Agency Head Salary Commission on Tuesday approved a salary of $170,000 for Elzey who is becoming president of the school June 15.
Elzey also will be paid $131,000 annually by a South Carolina State foundation.
Elzey, 59, has been finance and operations executive at The Citadel, where he earned $257,000 annually in state and private money. He also receives $50,000 annually in deferred compensation.
The salary commission also recommended a housing allowance of $25,000 a year. That must be approved by the Budget and Control Board.
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.
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