ORANGEBURG -– South Carolina State University's financial problems are so severe the school is on life support, one member of the Board of Trustees says.

At a meeting of the university's Board of Trustees Finance Committee today, a school finance official estimated that the budget will fall about $4 million short of what is required to cover expenses through June 30, the end of the state's fiscal year.

University officials had hoped to finish the fiscal year with a $2.5 million surplus to put in an emergency reserve fund.

Finance director Joseph Pearman attributed the shortfall mainly to the school's declining enrollment.

Board member Maurice Washington, in a presentation to the committee, said he thinks the university must take quick and drastic actions to deal with the shortfall and get the university back on a positive path.

The Finance Committee will meet again Monday with President George Cooper to continue to work toward a solution. Cooper said he has a plan to address the financial problems.

Read more in Friday's editions of The Post and Courier.