COLUMBIA — The agency that accredits South Carolina State University said that members of the university’s board of trustees must be dismissed for cause, not arbitrarily, an Orangeburg lawmaker said Thursday morning.

Democratic State Sen. John Matthews said the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was responding to legislation sponsored by Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg.

Govan’s bill that would replace the school’s 13 trustees with seven-member temporary board has passed the House.

The Senate has not taken any action on the bill.

Govan contacted SACS to find out the agency’s feelings on the measure, Matthews said.

The Post and Courier is attempting to obtain a copy of the agency’s letter.

Govan could not immediately be reached for comment.

S.C. State, the state’s only historically black university, is beset by turmoil in its administration and concerns over its finances.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier. Reach Stephen Largen at 864-641-8172 and follow him on Twitter @stephenlargen.