COLUMBIA -- The University of South Carolina is struggling to come up with $23 million in private money it is supposed to raise to match state funding for two buildings in its Innovista research campus, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The university blames two developers who failed to complete promised buildings, and two researchers hired for the high-tech campus say they have been left without proper equipment because the state is withholding $14 million intended to outfit labs and offices, according to The State newspaper.
South Carolina's other research universities -- Clemson and the Medical University of South Carolina -- have met their requirements and received more than $70 million each in state funding.
USC has received $58 million despite being short on private fundraising.
"They say they are going to work their way through this," said state Treasurer Converse Chellis, whose office issued and holds the bonds for the $58 million.
Don Herriott, a 60-year-old retired executive from Roche pharmaceuticals, took over Innovista in January after the previous director resigned when it was discovered that one of the developers he had signed on had spent a year in prison on a federal tax evasion charge.
Herriott told the newspaper that the research campus is changing its focus to working with local companies in existing space available in downtown Columbia rather than trying to attract large tech firms.
Two researchers say they are growing frustrated after they were brought to the university several years ago as part of the state's endowed chairs program.
Researchers Kenneth Reifsnider and Brian Benicewicz say they haven't gotten the resources they need to do their work.
"It's a pretty desperate situation," said Reifsnider, who leads a team of eight fuel-cell researchers. Benicewicz works in nanotechnology.