South Carolina General Assembly
120th Session, 2013-2014
Journal of the Senate

                                                  NO. 27

JOURNAL

OF THE

SENATE

OF THE

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

REGULAR SESSION BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2014

_________

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

A quorum being present, the proceedings were opened with a devotion by the Chaplain as follows:

After the Lord God had outlined his promises to him,   "Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, 'Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?' "       (Genesis 17:17)

Please, join me as we pray:

O God, we are acutely aware that Your promises to those You love and care for continue to be fulfilled, even here in our own day and time. So we pray that You will help everyone in this Senate, Lord -- like Abraham of old -- to be faithful to Your teachings, to strive to honor You in every regard, to serve You with hearts full of love and care. Though there perhaps might not be laughter at every turn, may this Body be ever aware of the enormity of its responsibilities, and may these leaders unfailingly continue to provide wise and beneficial guidance for our State. In Your loving name we pray, Lord. Amen.

The PRESIDENT called for Petitions, Memorials, Presentments of Grand Juries and such like papers.

Point of Quorum

At 11:03 A.M., Senator PEELER made the point that a quorum was not present. It was ascertained that a quorum was not present.

Call of the Senate

Senator PEELER moved that a Call of the Senate be made. The following Senators answered the Call:

Bennett                   Bryant                    Campbell
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Martin, Larry
Martin, Shane             Massey                    McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 Peeler
Setzler                   Shealy                    Thurmond
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams

A quorum being present, the Senate resumed.

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following appointment was transmitted by the Honorable Nikki Randhawa Haley:

Local Appointment

Reappointment, York County Natural Gas Authority, with the term to commence April 30, 2011, and to expire April 30, 2015
Ellen Weir, 7016 Chelsea Day Lane, Tega Cay, SC 29708

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR
State of South Carolina
Office of the Governor

March 10, 2014
Mr. President and Members of the Senate:

I am transmitting herewith notice of my intent to withdrawl my nomination of Mr. Michael C. Bolchoz for appointment to the South Carolina Probation Pardon and Parole Board. This appointment is made with advice and consent of the Senate and is therefore submitted for your consideration:
Respectfully,
Nikki R. Haley

Withdrawal of Statewide Appointment

Initial Appointment, South Carolina Probation Pardon and Parole Board, Congressional District 1, with term to commence March 15, 2013, and to expire March 15, 2019

Michael C. Bolchoz, 255 Belfast Road, Charleston, S.C. 29407

Appointment Withdrawn

On motion of Senator LARRY MARTIN, the Senate acceded to the Governor's request and the Clerk was directed to return the appointment to the Governor.

Doctor of the Day

Senator LEATHERMAN introduced Dr. Coy Irvin of Florence, S.C., Doctor of the Day. Dr. Irvin is Chief Medical Officer of McLeod.

Leave of Absence

On motion of Senator THURMOND, at 11:05 A.M., Senator MALLOY was granted a leave of absence for today.

Leave of Absence

On motion of Senator GROOMS, at 1:30 P.M., Senator CAMPBELL was granted a leave of absence for the balance of the day.

CO-SPONSORS ADDED

The following co-sponsors were added to the respective Bills:
S. 916 (Word version)     Sen. Turner
S. 1121 (Word version)   Sen. Larry Martin
S. 865 (Word version)     Sen. McGill
S. 103 (Word version)     Sen. Alexander

ACTING PRESIDENT PRESIDES

Senator CROMER assumed the Chair.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 1119 (Word version) -- Senators Grooms, Young, Verdin, Corbin and Shealy: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO MAKE APPLICATION BY THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UNDER ARTICLE V OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION FOR A CONVENTION OF THE STATES TO BE CALLED RESTRICTED TO PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION TO IMPOSE FISCAL RESTRAINTS ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT.
l:\s-res\lkg\021bala.kmm.lkg.docx

The Concurrent Resolution was introduced and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1120 (Word version) -- Senators Hayes, L. Martin and Courson: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2010, RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINITIONS, SO AS TO DEFINE "COERCION"; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2020, RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING OFFENSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON IS CONSIDERED A TRAFFICKER IF THE PERSON SOLICITS OR PARTICIPATES IN PROSTITUTION WITH ANOTHER PERSON KNOWING THAT THE OTHER PERSON IS A HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM, TO PROVIDE THAT A VICTIM CONVICTED OF A HUMAN TRAFFICKING VIOLATION OR PROSTITUTION MAY MOTION THE COURT TO VACATE THE CONVICTION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A VICTIM IS NOT SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING OR PROSTITUTION IF THE VICTIM WAS A MINOR AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A VICTIM'S SEXUAL HISTORY IS NOT ADMISSIBLE BY A DEFENDANT IN A CRIMINAL ACTION; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2030, RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A COURT MAY CONSIDER DISGORGEMENT OF PROFIT FROM A BUSINESS INVOLVED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND DISBARMENT FROM GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2040, RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESTITUTION, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MAY ORDER AN AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE VALUE OF THE VICTIM'S LABOR OR SERVICES; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2050, RELATING TO THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE TASK FORCE MAY MAKE GRANTS OR CONTRACTS TO DEVELOP OR EXPAND VICTIM SERVICE PROGRAMS; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2060, RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING CIVIL ACTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A VICTIM'S SEXUAL HISTORY IS NOT ADMISSIBLE BY A DEFENDANT IN A CIVIL ACTION; BY AMENDING SECTION 16-3-2070, RELATING TO VICTIMS' RIGHTS AND THE STATE CRIME VICTIM'S COMPENSATION FUND, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS ARE CONSIDERED VICTIMS REGARDLESS OF IMMIGRATION STATUS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PICTURES AND IMAGES OF VICTIMS MUST BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, AND TO PROVIDE THE PROTOCOL A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER SHALL FOLLOW WHEN INTERACTING WITH A VICTIM; AND BY ADDING SECTION 16-3-2100, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE POSTING OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESOURCE CENTER HOTLINE IN CERTAIN BUSINESSES.
l:\s-jud\bills\hayes\jud0103.jjg.docx

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1121 (Word version) -- Senators Campbell, Setzler, McElveen and L. Martin: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 39 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO UNLAWFUL TRADE PRACTICES, TO PROVIDE THAT BAD FAITH ASSERTIONS OF PATENT INFRINGEMENT ARE UNLAWFUL TRADE PRACTICES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FACTORS THAT A COURT MAY CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A BAD FAITH DETERMINATION, TO PROVIDE THAT A CLAIM FOR RELIEF UNDER 35 U.S.C. Section 271(E)(2) OR 42 U.S.C. Section 262 SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, TO PROVIDE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COURT, TO PROVIDE THAT ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS MAY BE BROUGHT BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE RECIPIENT OF A BAD FAITH ASSERTION OF PATENT INFRINGEMENT, TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE ARTICLE, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT LIMIT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AUTHORITY TO PURSUE OTHER ALLEGATIONS OF UNLAWFUL TRADE PRACTICES, AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS.
l:\s-res\pgc\018pate.kmm.pgc.docx

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1122 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE UPON THE PASSING OF DR. WILLIAM JOHN LARKIN, JR., OF RICHLAND COUNTY AND TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS LARGE AND LOVING FAMILY AND HIS MANY FRIENDS.
l:\council\bills\gm\29956sd14.docx

The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1123 (Word version) -- Senator Cromer: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND THE NEWBERRY HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM FOR CAPTURING THE 2014 CLASS AA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE AND TO HONOR THE TEAM'S EXCEPTIONAL PLAYERS, COACHES, AND STAFF.
l:\council\bills\rm\1522cm14.docx

The Senate Resolution was adopted.

H. 4871 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrell, Owens, Bannister, Erickson, Forrester, Rutherford, Cobb-Hunter, Hayes, White and Mitchell: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-40-140, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VARIOUS PROVISIONS PERTAINING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS INCLUDING A PROVISION EXEMPTING ALL EARNINGS OR PROPERTY OF CHARTER SCHOOLS FROM STATE OR LOCAL TAXATION, EXCEPT FOR THE SALES TAX, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT PROPERTY OF CHARTER SCHOOLS EXEMPT FROM SUCH TAXATION INCLUDES OWNED OR LEASED PROPERTY.

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Education.

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

Senator ALEXANDER from the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 882 (Word version) -- Senator Sheheen: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 41-27-210 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYMENT; TO PROVIDE THAT INDIVIDUALS THAT TRANSPORT VEHICLES FOR AUTOMOBILE DEALERS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE DEFINITION; AND TO PROVIDE FOR THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator HAYES from the Committee on Banking and Insurance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 1026 (Word version) -- Senator Alexander: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 29-5-440, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SUITS ON CONTRACTOR PAYMENT BONDS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN WRITTEN NOTICE REQUIRED OF A REMOTE CLAIMANT MUST BE SENT BY CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED MAIL, AND MUST GENERALLY CONFORM WITH STATUTORY LIMITS ON THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF LIENS FILED BY A SUB-SUBCONTRACTOR OR SUPPLIER; TO PROVIDE ANY PAYMENT BOND SURETY FOR THE BONDED CONTRACTOR SHALL HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AND DEFENSES OF THE BONDED CONTRACTOR; TO MAKE THE LANGUAGE APPLICABLE TO ANY PAYMENT BOND WHETHER PRIVATE, COMMON LAW, PUBLIC, OR STATUTORY IN NATURE, WHEN THE BONDS ARE NOT OTHERWISE REQUIRED OR GOVERNED BY STATUTE; AND TO PROVIDE NECESSARY DEFINITIONS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator HAYES from the Committee on Banking and Insurance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 1065 (Word version) -- Senator Hayes: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 43, TITLE 38 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE LIMITED LICENSING OF SELF-STORAGE FACILITIES TO SELL OR OFFER INSURANCE.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator BRYANT from the Committee on Invitations polled out S. 1097 favorable:

S. 1097 (Word version) -- Senator Alexander: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO AFFIRM THE DEDICATION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO THE FUTURE SUCCESS OF SOUTH CAROLINA'S YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO THE PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AND TO DECLARE THE MONTH OF APRIL AS "CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH" IN THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

Poll of the Invitations Committee
Polled 10; Ayes 10; Nays 0; Abstain 0; Not Voting 1

AYES

Bryant                    Alexander                 McGill
Verdin                    Campsen                   Cromer
Malloy                    Cleary                    Johnson
Kimpson

Total--10

NOT VOTING

Reese

Total--1

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator VERDIN from the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3592 (Word version) -- Reps. Sandifer and Loftis: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 8, CHAPTER 52, TITLE 48, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE "ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION ACT OF 2007", SO AS TO DELETE CERTAIN DEFINITIONS, TO CHANGE CERTIFICATION STANDARDS WITH WHICH MAJOR FACILITY PROJECTS MUST COMPLY, TO ELIMINATE REFERENCE TO THE LEED AND GREEN GLOBES CERTIFICATION RATING SYSTEMS, AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator BRYANT from the Committee on Invitations submitted a favorable report on:

H. 3784 (Word version) -- Reps. J.E. Smith, Pitts, Vick and Harrell: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-114-30, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE NATIONAL GUARD COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT EACH ACADEMIC YEAR'S ANNUAL MAXIMUM GRANT MUST BE BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE PROGRAM FUNDS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-114-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE NATIONAL GUARD COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM GRANTS UPON COMPLETION OF BASIC TRAINING AND ADVANCED INDIVIDUAL TRAINING; AND TO AMEND SECTION 59-114-65, RELATING TO GRANT AVAILABILITY, SO AS TO ALLOW APPROPRIATIONS TO THE NATIONAL GUARD COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO BE CARRIED FORWARD TO A SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEAR AND EXPENDED FOR THE SAME PURPOSE, AND TO EXEMPT APPROPRIATIONS TO THE NATIONAL GUARD COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FROM MIDYEAR BUDGET REDUCTIONS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator BRYANT from the Committee on Invitations submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4748 (Word version) -- Reps. Owens, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Bedingfield, Bernstein, Bingham, Bowen, Bowers, Branham, Brannon, G.A. Brown, R.L. Brown, Burns, Chumley, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Cole, H.A. Crawford, K.R. Crawford, Crosby, Daning, Delleney, Dillard, Douglas, Edge, Erickson, Felder, Finlay, Forrester, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gambrell, George, Gilliard, Goldfinch, Govan, Hamilton, Hardee, Hardwick, Harrell, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Herbkersman, Hiott, Hixon, Hodges, Horne, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Kennedy, King, Knight, Limehouse, Loftis, Long, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, McCoy, McEachern, M.S. McLeod, W.J. McLeod, Merrill, Mitchell, D.C. Moss, V.S. Moss, Munnerlyn, Murphy, Nanney, Neal, Newton, Norman, Norrell, R.L. Ott, Parks, Patrick, Pitts, Pope, Putnam, Quinn, Ridgeway, Riley, Rivers, Robinson-Simpson, Rutherford, Ryhal, Sabb, Sandifer, Sellers, Simrill, Skelton, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.E. Smith, J.R. Smith, Sottile, Southard, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Toole, Vick, Weeks, Wells, Whipper, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis and Wood: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND EXPRESS DEEP APPRECIATION TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM FOR ITS OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS IN EDUCATING AND TRAINING OUR STATE'S WORKFORCE AND TO DECLARE MARCH 25, 2014, AS SOUTH CAROLINA TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM DAY.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator BRYANT from the Committee on Invitations polled out H. 4766 favorable:

H. 4766 (Word version) -- Reps. J.E. Smith, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Bedingfield, Bernstein, Bingham, Bowen, Bowers, Branham, Brannon, G.A. Brown, R.L. Brown, Burns, Chumley, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Cole, H.A. Crawford, K.R. Crawford, Crosby, Daning, Delleney, Dillard, Douglas, Edge, Erickson, Felder, Finlay, Forrester, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gambrell, George, Gilliard, Goldfinch, Govan, Hamilton, Hardee, Hardwick, Harrell, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Herbkersman, Hiott, Hixon, Hodges, Horne, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Kennedy, King, Knight, Limehouse, Loftis, Long, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, McCoy, McEachern, M.S. McLeod, W.J. McLeod, Merrill, Mitchell, D.C. Moss, V.S. Moss, Munnerlyn, Murphy, Nanney, Neal, Newton, Norman, Norrell, R.L. Ott, Owens, Parks, Patrick, Pitts, Pope, Putnam, Quinn, Ridgeway, Riley, Rivers, Robinson-Simpson, Rutherford, Ryhal, Sabb, Sandifer, Sellers, Simrill, Skelton, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.R. Smith, Sottile, Southard, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Toole, Vick, Weeks, Wells, Whipper, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis and Wood: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DECLARE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014, "NATIONAL GUARD DAY" IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE MANY SACRIFICES AND VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS THE SOUTH CAROLINA NATIONAL GUARD MAKES TO PROTECT THE FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND SECURITY OF OUR STATE AND NATION.

Poll of the Invitations Committee
Polled 10; Ayes 10; Nays 0; Abstain 0; Not Voting 1

AYES

Bryant                    Alexander                 McGill
Verdin                    Campsen                   Cromer
Malloy                    Cleary                    Johnson
Kimpson

Total--10

NOT VOTING

Reese

Total--1

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Appointments Reported

Senator ALEXANDER from the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry submitted a favorable report on:

Statewide Appointments

Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Athletic Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2014, and to expire June 30, 2018
1st Congressional District:

William Lee McCullough, 18 Rivers Ct., Beaufort, SC 29907 VICE William Lawson

Received as information.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, with the term to commence April 6, 2012, and to expire April 6, 2018
Consumer Advocate:

Rebecca I. Shealy, 41 Fernie Lane, Rembert, SC 29128 VICE Dr. Cindy Nord

Received as information.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., February 4, 2014

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has confirmed the appointment:

STATEWIDE APPOINTMENT

Appointments, State Ethics Commission, with term to commence June 30, 2013:

6th Congressional District:

Ms. Regina H. Lewis, 306 Woodhaven Road, Columbia, SC 29203 VICE Priscilla Tanner
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Received as information.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., February 4, 2014

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has confirmed the appointment:

STATEWIDE APPOINTMENT

Appointment, State Ethics Commission, with term to commence June 30, 2013 and to expire June 30, 2018:

2nd Congressional District:

Mr. James H. Burns, 570 Eagle Rest Drive, Chapin, SC 29036 VICE Ms. Kay Borhl
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Received as information.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., March 4, 2014

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has confirmed the appointment:

STATEWIDE APPOINTMENT

Appointment, State Ethics Commission, with term to commence June 30, 2013, and to expire June 30, 2018:

3rd Congressional District:

Mr. Clisby "Sandy" P. Templeton VICE Kay Brohl
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Received as information.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CALL OF THE UNCONTESTED LOCAL AND STATEWIDE CALENDAR.

THIRD READING BILLS

The following Bills were read the third time and ordered sent to the House of Representatives:

S. 839 (Word version) -- Senators Bryant, Bright and Davis: A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 46 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO AGRICULTURE, BY ADDING CHAPTER 55 CONCERNING INDUSTRIAL HEMP; TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS LAWFUL TO GROW INDUSTRIAL HEMP IN THIS STATE; TO CLARIFY THAT INDUSTRIAL HEMP IS EXCLUDED FROM THE DEFINITION OF MARIJUANA; TO PROHIBIT GROWING INDUSTRIAL HEMP AND MARIJUANA ON THE SAME PROPERTY OR OTHERWISE GROWING MARIJUANA IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO INDUSTRIAL HEMP TO DISGUISE THE MARIJUANA GROWTH; AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS.

S. 850 (Word version) -- Senator Coleman: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 50-11-510, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL HUNTING OR TAKING OF WILD TURKEYS BY THE MEANS, AID, OR USE OF BAIT OR BAITING, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS "BAIT" OR "BAITING", AND "BAITED AREAS", AND TO PROVIDE NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE PROHIBITS THE HUNTING AND TAKING OF WILD TURKEYS ON OR OVER LANDS OR AREAS THAT ARE NOT BAITED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

S. 714 (Word version) -- Senator Hutto: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 15, TITLE 50, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE NONGAME AND ENDANGERED SPECIES CONSERVATION ACT, SO AS TO RENAME THIS CHAPTER "NONGAME AND ENDANGERED SPECIES", TO DESIGNATE THE CHAPTER'S EXISTING SECTIONS AS "ARTICLE 1 NONGAME AND ENDANGERED WILDLIFE SPECIES", TO DELETE THE SECTION THAT REGULATES ALLIGATOR HUNTING, CONTROL, AND MANAGEMENT, AND TO ADD ARTICLE 3 TO THIS CHAPTER WHICH IS ENTITLED "THE SOUTH CAROLINA CAPTIVE ALLIGATOR PROPAGATION ACT" WHICH ALLOWS THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO REGULATE THE BUSINESS OF PROPAGATING ALLIGATORS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES AND THE HUNTING, CONTROL, AND MANAGEMENT OF ALLIGATORS.

READ THE SECOND TIME

S. 1075 (Word version) -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION - OFFICE OF STATE FIRE MARSHAL, RELATING TO OFFICE OF STATE FIRE MARSHAL, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4378, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Resolution, the question being the second reading of the Joint Resolution.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 37; Nays 3

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Campbell                  Cleary                    Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Leatherman                Lourie                    Martin, Larry
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Sheheen                   Thurmond
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--37

NAYS

Bright                    Bryant                    Martin, Shane

Total--3

The Resolution was read the second time and ordered placed on the Third Reading Calendar.

READ THE SECOND TIME

S. 985 (Word version) -- Senator Cleary: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 6 TO CHAPTER 1, TITLE 6, TO ENACT THE "FAIRNESS IN LODGING ACT" SO AS TO ALLOW MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES BY ORDINANCE TO IMPLEMENT ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS FOR THE BUSINESS LICENSE TAX AND THE LOCAL ACCOMMODATIONS TAX AS THOSE PROVISIONS APPLY TO THE OWNERS OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY WHO RENT THE PROPERTY TO TOURISTS, INCLUDING DATA SHARING WITH THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, SPECIFIC NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS INCLUDED IN PROPERTY TAX BILLS, AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY THAT MAY BE IMPOSED FOR NONCOMPLIANCE AFTER THE RECEIPT OF SUCH A NOTICE, AND DIRECTIONS TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE TO IDENTIFY "RENTAL BY OWNER" WEBSITES ADVERTISING TOURISTS RENTALS AND REQUEST THEM TO POST ON THE WEBSITES A STATEMENT REGARDING THE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE OWNERS OF PROPERTY IN THIS STATE LISTED ON THE WEBSITE, TO PAY ALL APPLICABLE LOCAL AND STATE TAXES AND FEES WITH RESPECT TO SUCH RENTALS; AND TO AMEND SECTIONS 6-1-120, 12-54-240, AS AMENDED, AND 12-4-310, RELATING RESPECTIVELY TO THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF LOCAL AND STATE TAX DATA AND EXCEPTIONS THERETO, AND THE DUTIES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, SO AS TO CONFORM THEM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the second reading of the Bill.

Senator CLEARY explained the Bill.

The question then was second reading of the Bill.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 41; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campbell
Cleary                    Corbin                    Courson
Cromer                    Davis                     Fair
Grooms                    Hayes                     Hembree
Hutto                     Johnson                   Kimpson
Leatherman                Lourie                    Martin, Larry
Martin, Shane             Massey                    Matthews
McElveen                  McGill                    Nicholson
O'Dell                    Peeler                    Pinckney
Rankin                    Reese                     Scott
Setzler                   Shealy                    Sheheen
Thurmond                  Turner                    Verdin
Williams                  Young

Total--41

NAYS

Total--0

The Bill was read the second time and ordered placed on the Third Reading Calendar.

AMENDED, READ THE SECOND TIME

S. 1033 (Word version) -- Senators Campbell, Leatherman, Setzler and O'Dell: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 2, TITLE 12 OF THE 1976 CODE RELATING TO TAXATION, BY ADDING SECTION 12-2-110, TO PROVIDE AN OUT-OF-STATE BUSINESS THAT CONDUCTS OPERATIONS WITHIN THIS STATE FOR THE PURPOSES OF PERFORMING WORK OR SERVICES RELATED TO A DECLARED STATE DISASTER OR EMERGENCY DURING A DISASTER PERIOD MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE ESTABLISHED A LEVEL OF PRESENCE THAT WOULD REQUIRE THAT BUSINESS TO REGISTER, FILE, AND REMIT STATE OR LOCAL TAXES OR THAT WOULD REQUIRE THAT BUSINESS OR ITS OUT-OF-STATE EMPLOYEES TO BE SUBJECT TO ANY STATE LICENSING OR REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OR ANY COMBINATION OF THESE ACTIONS.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the second reading of the Bill.

Senator CAMPBELL proposed the following amendment (BH\ 1033C001.BH.DG14), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, SECTION 1, by striking Section 12-2-110(B)(1), beginning on page 2, line 36, and ending on page 3, line 21, and inserting:

/     (B)(1)(a)   An out-of-state business that performs disaster or emergency related work within this State related to a declared state disaster or emergency during a disaster period must not be considered to have established a level of presence that would require that business to register, file, and remit state or local taxes or that would require that business or its out-of-state employees to be subject to any state licensing or registration requirements or any combination of these actions. Except as provided in subsection (B)(1)(b), this exemption includes all state or local business licensing or registration requirements or state and local taxes or fees including, but not limited to, unemployment insurance, state or local occupational licensing fees, sales and use tax, or property tax on equipment used or consumed during the disaster period, and includes South Carolina Public Service Commission and Secretary of State licensing and regulatory requirements. For purposes of a state or local tax on or measured by, in whole or in part, net or gross income or receipts, all activity of the out-of-state business resulting from its performance of disaster or emergency related work within this State related to a declared state disaster or emergency during a disaster period, must be disregarded with respect to any filing requirements for that tax including the filing required for a unitary or combined group of which the out-of-state business may be a part.

(b)   An out-of-state employee is not considered to have established residency or a presence in the State that would require that person or that person's employer to file and pay income taxes or to be subjected to tax withholdings or to file and pay any other state or local tax or fee resulting from his performance of disaster or emergency related work within this State related to a declared state disaster or emergency during a disaster period. This includes any related state or local employer withholding and remittance obligations.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator CAMPBELL explained the amendment.

The amendment was adopted.

The question then was second reading of the Bill.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

  Ayes 40; Nays 3

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bryant                    Campbell                  Campsen
Cleary                    Coleman                   Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Hutto                     Johnson
Leatherman                Lourie                    Martin, Larry
Martin, Shane             Massey                    Matthews
McElveen                  McGill                    Nicholson
O'Dell                    Peeler                    Pinckney
Rankin                    Reese                     Scott
Setzler                   Shealy                    Sheheen
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--40

NAYS

Bright                    Kimpson                   Thurmond

Total--3

The Bill was read the second time and ordered placed on the Third Reading Calendar.

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT ADOPTED
READ THE SECOND TIME

S. 511 (Word version) -- Senator Campsen: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-43-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE FOUR PERCENT SPECIAL ASSESSMENT RATIO, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN ELIGIBILITY PROVISION REQUIRING A CERTAIN OWNERSHIP PERCENTAGE DOES NOT APPLY IF THE PROPERTY IS HELD BY A TRUST, FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY UNDER CERTAIN SITUATIONS.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Finance.

The Committee on Finance proposed the following amendment (BH\511C006.BH.DG14), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:

/   SECTION   1.     A.     Section 12-43-220(c)(8) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 179 of 2012, is amended to read:

"(8)(i)   For ownership interests in residential property created by deed if the interest in the property has not already transferred by operation of law, when the individual claiming the special four percent assessment ratio allowed by this item has an ownership interest in the residence that is less than fifty percent ownership in fee simple, then the value of the residence allowed the special four percent assessment ratio is a percentage of that value equal to the individual's ownership interest in the residence, but not less than the amount provided pursuant to subitem (4) of this item. This subitem (8) does not apply in the case of a residence otherwise eligible for the special four percent assessment ratio when occupied jointly by a married couple or which remains occupied by a spouse legally separated from a spouse who has abandoned the residence. If the special four percent assessment ratio allowed by this item applies to only a fraction of the value of residence, then the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-220(B)(47) applies only to value attributable to the taxpayer's ownership interest.

(ii)   Notwithstanding subitem subsubitem (i), for ownership interests in residential property created by deed if the interest in the property has not already transferred by operation of law, an applicant may qualify for the four percent assessment ratio on the entire value of the property if the applicant:

(A)   owns at least a twenty-five percent interest in the subject property with immediate family members;

(B)   is not a member of a household currently receiving the four percent assessment ratio on another property; and

(C)   otherwise qualifies for the four percent assessment ratio.

(iii)   This subitem (8) does not apply to property held exclusively:

(A)   by an applicant, or the applicant and the applicant's spouse;

(B)   by a trust if the person claiming the special four percent assessment ratio is the grantor or settlor of the trust, and the only beneficiaries of the trust are the grantor or settlor and any parent, spouse, child, grandchild, or sibling of the grantor or settlor;

(C)   by a family limited partnership if the person claiming the special four percent assessment ratio transferred the subject property to the partnership, and the only members of the partnership are the person and the person's parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, or siblings;

(D)   by a limited liability company if the person claiming the special four percent assessment ratio transferred the subject property to the limited liability company, and the only members of the limited liability company are the person and the person's parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, or siblings; or

(E)   by any combination thereof.

The exception contained in this subsubitem (iii) does not apply if the applicant does not otherwise qualify for the four percent assessment ratio, including the requirement that the applicant, nor any member of the applicant's household, claim the four percent assessment ratio on another residence.

For purposes of this subitem, 'immediate family member' means a parent, child, or sibling."

B.     This SECTION takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to property tax years beginning after 2011. If the property tax assessor determines that a person denied the four percent special assessment ratio in property tax year 2012 now qualifies for in property tax year 2012 pursuant to this act, the person must be refunded any property taxes paid in excess of the amount owed.

SECTION   2.   Section 12-43-220(c)(1) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(c)(1)   The legal residence and not more than five acres contiguous thereto, when owned totally or in part in fee or by life estate and occupied by the owner of the interest, and additional dwellings located on the same property and occupied by immediate family members of the owner of the interest, are taxed on an assessment equal to four percent of the fair market value of the property. If residential real property is held in trust and the income beneficiary of the trust occupies the property as a residence, then the assessment ratio allowed by this item applies if the trustee certifies to the assessor that the property is occupied as a residence by the income beneficiary of the trust. When the legal residence is located on leased or rented property and the residence is owned and occupied by the owner of a residence on leased property, even though at the end of the lease period the lessor becomes the owner of the residence, the assessment for the residence is at the same ratio as provided in this item. If the lessee of property upon which he has located his legal residence is liable for taxes on the leased property, then the property upon which he is liable for taxes, not to exceed five acres contiguous to his legal residence, must be assessed at the same ratio provided in this item. If this property has located on it any rented mobile homes or residences which are rented or any business for profit, this four percent value does not apply to those businesses or rental properties. However, if the person claiming the four percent assessment ratio resides in the mobile home or single family residence and only rents a portion of the mobile home or single family residence to another individual as a residence, the foregoing provision does not apply and the four percent assessment ratio must be applied to the entire mobile home or single family residence. For purposes of the assessment ratio allowed pursuant to this item, a residence does not qualify as a legal residence unless the residence is determined to be the domicile of the owner-applicant."

SECTION   3.   Except where provided otherwise, this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator CAMPBELL explained the committee amendment.

The committee amendment was adopted.

The question then was second reading of the Bill.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 42; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campbell
Campsen                   Cleary                    Coleman
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Hutto
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Scott                     Setzler                   Shealy
Sheheen                   Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--42

NAYS

Total--0

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

READ THE SECOND TIME

H. 3231 (Word version) -- Reps. Atwater, Huggins, Toole, Ballentine, Taylor, Bingham, Pitts and Wood: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 57-1-90 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MOTORCYCLES, MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS, OR MOTORCYCLE PASSENGERS.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the second reading of the Bill.

Senator GROOMS explained the Bill.

The question then was second reading of the Bill.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 43; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campbell
Campsen                   Cleary                    Coleman
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Hutto
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Leatherman                Lourie                    Martin, Larry
Martin, Shane             Massey                    McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Sheheen                   Thurmond
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--43

NAYS

Total--0

The Bill was read the second time and ordered placed on the Third Reading Calendar.

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT AMENDED AND ADOPTED
READ THE SECOND TIME

S. 1007 (Word version) -- Senators Campbell and O'Dell: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 29-3-625 SO AS TO PROVIDE A PROCESS FOR EXPEDITING MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMINOLOGY.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

Senators SCOTT and HAYES proposed the following amendment (GGS\1007C001.GGS.VR14), which was adopted:

Amend the committee report, as and if amended, Section 29-3-625(B), as contained in SECTION 1, page [1007-2], by striking subsection (B) and inserting:

/   (B)   For the purposes of this section, real property, must not be considered 'abandoned' if, on the property, there is:

(1)   an unoccupied building which is undergoing construction, renovation, or rehabilitation that is proceeding diligently to completion, and the building is in compliance with all applicable ordinances, codes, regulations, and statutes;

(2)   a building occupied on a seasonal basis, but otherwise secure;

(3)   a building that is secure, but is the subject of a probate action, action to quiet title, or other ownership dispute; or

(4)   a building owned by a property owner who is deceased and the heirs can be identified. The mortgage holder must submit proof that efforts were made to identify and contact heirs.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HAYES explained the perfecting amendment.

The perfecting amendment was adopted.

The Committee on Banking and Insurance proposed the following amendment (AGM\1007C002.AGM.AB14), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, deleting all after the enacting words and inserting:

/ SECTION   1.   Article 7, Chapter 3, Title 29 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 29-3-625.   (A)   For the purposes of this section, 'abandoned property' means real property subject to a mortgage where either:

(1)   the mortgaged property is not occupied and at least two of the following conditions exist:

(a)   windows or entrances to the property are boarded up or closed off or multiple window panes are damaged, broken or unrepaired;

(b)   doors to the property are smashed through, broken off, unhinged, or continuously unlocked;

(c)   hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials have accumulated on the property;

(d)   gas, electric, or water utility services have been terminated by the utility for at least thirty days due to failure to pay by the property owner;

(e)   a risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public exists due to acts of vandalism, loitering, criminal conduct, or the physical destruction or deterioration of the property;

(f)   an uncorrected violation of a building, housing, or similar code during the preceding year that the property owner has received notice to correct and has failed to do so;

(g)   an order by governmental authorities declaring the property to be unfit for occupancy and to remain vacant and unoccupied;

(h)   a written statement issued by any mortgagor expressing the clear intent of all mortgagors to abandon the property;

(i)     written statements of neighbors, delivery persons or governmental employees indicating that the property is abandoned; or

(j)     any other indicia of abandonment; or

(2)   the mortgaged property is vacant, unimproved land and is in need of maintenance, repair, or securing;

(3)   a showing under items (1) or (2) of this section must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

(B)   For the purposes of this section, real property must not be considered 'abandoned' if, on the property, there is:

(1)   an unoccupied building which is undergoing construction, renovation, or rehabilitation that is proceeding diligently to completion, and the building is in compliance with all applicable ordinances, codes, regulations, and statutes;

(2)   a building occupied on a seasonal basis, but otherwise secure; or

(3)   a building that is secure, but is the subject of a probate action, action to quiet title, or other ownership dispute.

(C)   A mortgagee or successor in interest to a mortgagee may move the court for an expedited judgment of foreclosure and sale of real property that is considered 'abandoned' pursuant to this section. The motion must be a motion to expedite foreclosure and sale, which:

(1)   must be supported by affidavit and must set forth the facts pursuant to subsection (A) demonstrating that the mortgaged property is abandoned; and

(2)   may be filed by the mortgagee at the time the Order of Reference is filed or any time thereafter.

(D)   In addition to any notices required to be served by law or the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, a mortgagee shall, in a motion to proceed pursuant to this section or with any rule to show cause served as original service of process, serve a notice on each defendant that the mortgagee is seeking an entry of a judgment and decree of foreclosure on the date fixed by the court or on the return date of the rule to show cause.

(E)   A motion to expedite foreclosure and sale may be heard by the Master-in-Equity or Special Referee, or in those counties without a Master-in-Equity, by a circuit judge.

(F)   A motion to expedite a foreclosure action is designated as a priority matter pursuant to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and should be heard by the court as quickly as possible.

(G)   The court, after a hearing, shall grant the motion to expedite foreclosure and sale and enter a judgment of foreclosure and sale upon a finding by clear and convincing evidence that:

(1)   the mortgaged property is abandoned as defined under subsection (A); and

(2)   the pleadings, documents filed with the court, and testimony supports the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure and sale.

(H)   The court shall not grant the motion to expedite foreclosure and sale or enter a judgment of foreclosure and sale if the court finds that:

(1)   the mortgaged property is not abandoned; or

(2)   the mortgagor or any other defendant has filed an answer, appearance, or other written objection that is not withdrawn and the defenses or objections asserted provide cause to preclude the entry of a judgment of foreclosure and sale.

(I)   If a motion to expedite foreclosure and sale is denied, the court may direct that the foreclosure action continue pursuant to standard procedure under South Carolina law for mortgage foreclosure actions for properties that are not abandoned.

(J)   Nothing in this section may be construed to supersede or limit procedures adopted by the South Carolina Supreme Court to resolve residential mortgage foreclosure actions."

SECTION   2.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HAYES explained the committee amendment.

The committee amendment was adopted.

The question then was second reading of the Bill, as amended.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 41; Nays 1

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campbell
Campsen                   Cleary                    Coleman
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Hutto
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Leatherman                Lourie                    Martin, Larry
Martin, Shane             McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Scott                     Setzler                   Shealy
Sheheen                   Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Young

Total--41

NAYS

Massey

Total--1

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

CARRIED OVER

S. 661 (Word version) -- Senators S. Martin, Bryant, Bright and Grooms: A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO HEALTH, TO ENACT THE "AGENDA 21 PROTECTION ACT" BY ADDING CHAPTER 137 TO PROHIBIT THIS STATE AND ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS FROM ADOPTING AND DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENTAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL POLICIES THAT, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, WOULD INFRINGE OR RESTRICT THE PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.

Senator SHANE MARTIN explained the Bill.

On motion of Senator SHANE MARTIN, the Bill was carried over.

S. 862 (Word version) -- Senators Shealy and Turner: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 40-59-260 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE EXCEPTION FOR PROJECTS BY A PROPERTY OWNER FOR PERSONAL USE, TO PROVIDE THAT AN OWNER OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY WHO IMPROVES THE PROPERTY OR WHO BUILDS OR IMPROVES THE STRUCTURES OR APPURTENANCES ON THE PROPERTY AT A COST OF MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS SHALL NOT WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER COMPLETION OR ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OFFER THE STRUCTURE FOR SALE OR RENT, AND CONSTRUCTION OR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STRUCTURE, GROUP OF STRUCTURES, OR APPURTENANCES THAT COST THE OWNER-BUILDER LESS THAN TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ARE NOT EVIDENCE OF "SALE" OR "RENT" FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION.

On motion of Senator SHEALY, the Bill was carried over.

S. 343 (Word version) -- Senator Hayes: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 36, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ARTICLE 7 OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, SO AS TO REVISE THE CHAPTER IN ITS ENTIRETY IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS OF TITLE AND TO MAKE CONFORMING CHANGES.

On motion of Senator THURMOND, the Bill was carried over.

S. 841 (Word version) -- Senator Cleary: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 13, TITLE 63, SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS, 1976, RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF CHILDCARE FACILITIES, BY ADDING SECTION 63-13-185, SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION TO A CHILD BY AN EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER OF A CHILDCARE FACILITY WITHOUT PARENTAL PERMISSION, AND TO INCLUDE EXCEPTIONS IN CIRCUMSTANCES OF EMERGENCIES, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES.

On motion of Senator THURMOND, the Bill was carried over.

H. 4347 (Word version) -- Reps. Bannister, Cobb-Hunter, McCoy, Allison, Whipper and Gilliard: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY MEDICAL RESPONSE SYSTEM ACT" BY ADDING ARTICLE 4 TO CHAPTER 11, TITLE 63 SO AS TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY MEDICAL RESPONSE SYSTEM, A PROGRAM TO PROVIDE COORDINATION AND MEDICAL SERVICE RESOURCES STATEWIDE TO AGENCIES AND ENTITIES THAT RESPOND TO VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PROGRAM; AND TO AMEND SECTION 63-11-310, RELATING TO RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTERS, SO AS TO REQUIRE THESE CENTERS TO COMPLY WITH REQUIREMENTS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN'S MEDICAL RESPONSE SYSTEM AND OTHERWISE COORDINATE WITH THE PROGRAM.

On motion of Senator THURMOND, the Bill was carried over.

S. 1034 (Word version) -- Senator L. Martin: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO ADOPT REVISED CODE VOLUMES 5 AND 8 OF THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO THE EXTENT OF THEIR CONTENTS, AS THE ONLY GENERAL PERMANENT STATUTORY LAW OF THE STATE AS OF JANUARY 1, 2014.

On motion of Senator THURMOND, the Joint Resolution was carried over.

THE CALL OF THE UNCONTESTED CALENDAR HAVING BEEN COMPLETED, THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO THE MOTION PERIOD.

MOTION ADOPTED

At 12:17 P.M., on motion of Senator PEELER, the Senate agreed to dispense with the balance of the Motion Period.

  Expression of Personal Interest

Senator SHANE MARTIN rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator GROOMS rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

HAVING DISPENSED WITH THE MOTION PERIOD, THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CONSIDERATION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS RETURNED FROM THE HOUSE.

HOUSE AMENDMENTS AMENDED
CARRIED OVER

S. 19 (Word version) -- Senators Ford, Campsen and Shealy: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 17-15-55, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO BOND AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE CIRCUIT COURT TO REVOKE BOND UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE COMMISSION OF A SUBSEQUENT VIOLENT CRIME BY A PERSON RELEASED ON BOND IN THE PURVIEW OF THE STATUTE AND TO ADD AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY IF A PERSON COMMITS A GENERAL SESSIONS COURT OFFENSE WHILE ON RELEASE ON BOND.
The House returned the Bill with amendments.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being concurrence in the House amendments.

Senator HUTTO proposed the following amendment (JUD0019.005), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 5, by striking lines 15-28, and inserting:

/   SECTION   5.   Section 22-5-530(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(B)   In a jurisdiction in which the governing body has established a system for receipt of deposits in lieu of recognizance,:

    (1) a person held or incarcerated in a jail or detention center who is entitled to deposit a sum of money in lieu of entering into recognizance under pursuant to this section may secure his the person's immediate release from custody by paying to or depositing the sum of money required by this section with the jail or detention facility in which he the person is being held; and

(2) a person held or incarcerated in a jail or detention center whose bond has been set by a summary court judge may secure the person's immediate release from custody by paying to or depositing the sum of money set by the summary court judge with the jail or detention facility in which the person is being held."       /

Renumber sections to conform. Amend title to conform.

Senator HUTTO explained the amendment.

The amendment was adopted.

Senator HUTTO proposed the following amendment (JUD0019.006), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 2, by striking lines 1-11, and inserting:

/   (D)   If a person commits a violent crime, as defined in Section 16-1-60, which was committed when the person was already out on bond for a previous violent crime, and the subsequent violent crime did not arise out of the same series of events as the previous violent crime, then the arresting law enforcement agency must transmit notice of the second arrest, implicating subsection (C), to the solicitor of the circuit in which the crime was committed and the administrative chief judge of the circuit in which the crime was committed. The prosecuting agency must notify any victims of the initial or subsequent crimes pursuant to Chapter 3, Title 16 of any bond hearings."   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HUTTO explained the amendment.

The question then was the adoption of the amendment.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 42; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campbell
Campsen                   Cleary                    Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Hutto                     Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Sheheen                   Thurmond
Turner                    Verdin                    Young

Total--42

NAYS

Total--0

The amendment was adopted.

On motion of Senator HUTTO, the Bill was carried over.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO THE INTERRUPTED DEBATE.

DEBATE INTERRUPTED

H. 3101 (Word version) -- Reps. Chumley, Taylor, G.R. Smith, Huggins, Wells, Henderson, Crosby, Atwater, Long, Wood, Toole, Willis, Clemmons, Hardwick, Hardee, Goldfinch, Bedingfield, D.C. Moss, Loftis, Nanney, Pitts, Putnam, V.S. Moss, Owens, Barfield, H.A. Crawford, Stringer, Hamilton, Burns, Tallon, Kennedy, Allison, Murphy, Delleney, Horne, Daning and Brannon: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA FREEDOM OF HEALTH CARE PROTECTION ACT" BY ADDING ARTICLE 21 TO CHAPTER 71, TITLE 38 SO AS TO RENDER NULL AND VOID CERTAIN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TAKING CONTROL OVER THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND MANDATING THAT INDIVIDUALS PURCHASE HEALTH INSURANCE UNDER THREAT OF PENALTY; TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS FROM ENFORCING OR ATTEMPTING TO ENFORCE SUCH UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS; AND TO ESTABLISH CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND CIVIL LIABILITY FOR VIOLATING THIS ARTICLE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the perfecting amendment, the question being the adoption of the previously proposed amendment.

Amendment No. P8-2

Senator NICHOLSON proposed the following amendment (MS\3101C045.MS.AHB14):

Amend the amendment bearing document number S-RES\ Amend\3101R013.TD, as and if amended, by deleting Section 1-1-1915(A)(1), as contained in SECTION 1, and inserting:

/       (1)   implement or participate in the establishment of a health insurance exchange by the State or a political subdivision of the State, or assist in the enrollment of any person in any health insurance exchange with or to a federal agency or employee, or any other person acting on behalf of, in conjunction with, or in support of, any health insurance exchange offering health insurance to employers or residents of this State in order to facilitate any portion of Section 1501 and 1513 of the ACA, commonly known as the ACA's individual mandate to purchase insurance coverage and the ACA's employer mandate to provide health insurance coverage, respectively; /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator DAVIS spoke on the perfecting amendment.

Motion Under Rule 15A Failed

At 1:55 P.M., Senator PEELER moved under the provisions of Rule 15A to vote on the entire matter of H. 3101.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 21; Nays 20

AYES

Bennett                   Bright                    Bryant
Campsen                   Corbin                    Courson
Cromer                    Davis                     Fair
Grooms                    Hayes                     Hembree
Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane             Massey
Peeler                    Shealy                    Thurmond
Turner                    Verdin                    Young

Total--21

NAYS

Alexander                 Allen                     Coleman
Hutto                     Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Lourie
Matthews                  McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Pinckney
Rankin                    Reese                     Scott
Setzler                   Williams

Total--20

Having failed to receive the necessary vote, the motion under Rule 15A failed.

Motion Adopted

On motion of Senator COURSON, the Senate agreed to go into Executive Session prior to adjournment.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

On motion of Senator COURSON, the seal of secrecy was removed, so far as the same relates to appointments made by the Governor and the following names were reported to the Senate in open session:

STATEWIDE APPOINTMENTS
Confirmations

Having received a favorable report from the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Reappointment, South Carolina State Athletic Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2012, and to expire June 30, 2016
At-Large:  
Pamela W. Shealy, 237 Blue Cedar Rd., Irmo, SC 29063

On motion of Senator ALEXANDER, the question was confirmation of Mrs. Pamela W. Shealy.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 39; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campsen
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

NAYS

Total--0

The appointment of Mrs. Pamela W. Shealy was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Athletic Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2012, and to expire June 30, 2016
4th Congressional District:

Paul H. Kennemore, 367 Meathward Circle, Moore, SC 29369 VICE Alan Wells

On motion of Senator ALEXANDER, the question was confirmation of Mr. Paul H. Kennemore.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 39; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campsen
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

NAYS

Total--0

The appointment of Mr. Paul H. Kennemore was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Medical Affairs Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, Board of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, with the term to commence July 31, 2012, and to expire July 31, 2016
7th Congressional District:
William Lee Hewitt III, 360 Little Tony Avenue, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 VICE Vacant Due To Redistricting

On motion of Senator PEELER, the question was confirmation of Mr. William Lee Hewitt III.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 39; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campsen
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

NAYS

Total--0

The appointment of Mr.William Lee Hewitt III was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Medical Affairs Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners, with the term to commence June 30, 2010, and to expire June 30, 2014
At-Large - General Public:

Mary Elizabeth Phillips, 507 Hamilton Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 VICE Jackie D. Black

On motion of Senator PEELER, the question was confirmation of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Phillips.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 39; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campsen
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

NAYS

Total--0

The appointment of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Phillips was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Medical Affairs Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Reappointment, South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners, with the term to commence June 30, 2014, and to expire June 30, 2018
At-Large - General Public:
Mary Elizabeth Phillips, 507 Hamilton Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

On motion of Senator PEELER, the question was confirmation of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Phillips.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 39; Nays 0

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Campsen
Corbin                    Courson                   Cromer
Davis                     Fair                      Grooms
Hayes                     Hembree                   Jackson
Johnson                   Kimpson                   Leatherman
Lourie                    Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane
Massey                    Matthews                  McElveen
McGill                    Nicholson                 O'Dell
Peeler                    Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Scott                     Setzler
Shealy                    Thurmond                  Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

NAYS

Total--0

The appointment of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Phillips was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Ethics Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2013, and to expire June 30, 2018
2nd Congressional District:

James H. Burns, 570 Eagles Rest Drive, Chapin, SC 29036 VICE Kay Borhl

On motion of Senator LARRY MARTIN, the question was confirmation of Mr. James H. Burns.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 37; Nays 0; Abstain 3

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Lourie
Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane             Massey
Matthews                  McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Scott                     Setzler                   Shealy
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--37

NAYS

Total--0

ABSTAIN

Campsen                   Hutto                     Thurmond

Total--3

The appointment of Mr. James H. Burns was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Ethics Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2013, and to expire June 30, 2018
3rd Congressional District:

Clisby "Sandy" P. Templeton, 1337 Millrock Church Rd., Gray Court, SC 29645 VICE E. Kay Beirmann Brohl

On motion of Senator LARRY MARTIN, the question was confirmation of Mr. Clisby "Sandy" P. Templeton.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 37; Nays 0; Abstain 3

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Lourie
Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane             Massey
Matthews                  McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Scott                     Setzler                   Shealy
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--37

NAYS

Total--0

ABSTAIN

Campsen                   Hutto                     Thurmond

Total--3

The appointment of Mr. Clisby "Sandy" P. Templeton was confirmed.

Having received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee, the following appointment was taken up for immediate consideration:
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Ethics Commission, with the term to commence June 30, 2013, and to expire June 30, 2018

Regina H. Lewis, 306 Woodhaven Rd., Columbia, SC 29203 VICE Priscilla Tanner

On motion of Senator LARRY MARTIN, the question was confirmation of Ms. Regina H. Lewis.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 37; Nays 0; Abstain 3

AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Bright                    Bryant                    Corbin
Courson                   Cromer                    Davis
Fair                      Grooms                    Hayes
Hembree                   Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Lourie
Martin, Larry             Martin, Shane             Massey
Matthews                  McElveen                  McGill
Nicholson                 O'Dell                    Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Scott                     Setzler                   Shealy
Turner                    Verdin                    Williams
Young

Total--37

NAYS

Total--0

ABSTAIN

Campsen                   Hutto                     Thurmond

Total--3

The appointment of Ms. Regina H. Lewis was confirmed.

REPORT RECEIVED

Report of the Joint Legislative Committee
to Screen Candidates for College and University
Boards of Trustees
March 13, 2014

Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., Chairman
Representative William R. Whitmire, Vice-Chairman
Senator Thomas C. Alexander
Senator J. Yancey McGill
Senator Robert W. Hayes, Jr.
Representative David J. Mack III
Representative Phyllis J. Henderson
Representative Peter M. McCoy, Jr.

The Citadel
2 At-Large seats
Term expires 2020

Stanley L. Meyers
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: We'll go ahead and get started. I would like to welcome everyone. I call the meeting to order. This is a meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee to screen candidates for college and university boards of trustees. I would like to welcome everyone.

Senator Hayes is going to be just a few minutes late. He said he would be here. Representative McCoy will not be here today. He has business to tend to.

And I understand Ms. Henderson had surgery this morning. She's okay, but they said she caught a fish bone, she had to have some surgery on that. I'm anxious to hear the story when she gets back Monday. She said she'll be here Monday.

If there's no objection, we'll get started. First this morning, The Citadel. We have two at-large seats and four candidates. Today we'll screen three of the candidates.

The first candidate is Stanley L. Myers.
MR. MYERS: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Good morning, sir. Let me swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. MYERS: I do. Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Make sure the green light is shining.
MR. MYERS: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Good. Would you like to share with the committee why you would like to serve on the board.
MR. MYERS: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My name is Stanley Myers. I grew up in the rural town of Swansea, South Carolina, on a dirt road. Graduated from Swansea High School. Was fortunate to enter The Citadel off of an athletic scholarship from Charlie Taaffe. Ran the wishbone option for him. Broke several records, but I understand they're probably coming down now with this new offense.

But I accepted my commission out of The Citadel, was initially infantry officer. Now I'm currently a JAG officer at the 59th Troop Command here in West Columbia. Deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan for 15 months with the 218.

The reason I want to be on this board is that it's time for me to give back to the school that has given so much to me. I could not have afforded The Citadel had it not been for an athletic scholarship, through military contacts, through the academic contacts. I'm an attorney here. I've got a fortunate life, and I owe it a lot to The Citadel. And I think it's time for me to give back to the school, and this is one of the ways to do it.
SENATOR PEELER: Great. Thank you.

Any questions or comments of Mr. Myers?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Myers. Thank you for your service to our country.
MR. MYERS: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I see on question 8 that the school lacks diversity or still lacks diversity, and minority students remain unrepresented. What's the percentage?
MR. MYERS: From what I am told by recent numbers, and this could be as early as about 200 days ago, or, I'm sorry, a year ago, right now the percentage of minorities is about 8 percent, from what I'm told. I believe that is an underrepresentation of what the school needs. I could be wrong about that. That's the information that comes to me from the individuals that are there. So, again, I'm told that it's underrepresented, and those numbers could be wrong.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: How would you go about attracting more minority students to -- you know, a military school is probably pretty tough unless you're going on an athletic scholarship.
MR. MYERS: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It's tough to attract minorities. What would you do?
MR. MYERS: Yes, sir. I think that one of the biggest things the Citadel can do is, you know -- I didn't know a lot about The Citadel when I was coming through Swansea. And I think that one of the good things we can do is send more representatives out to the schools to make them understand that, you know, the ones that are there currently, they're happy, they're doing well and actually put more individuals out in the community to make them understand that The Citadel does welcome minorities. That minorities that are there actually are doing well, and they can do well.

But the ones that graduate have to do a better job of actually doing their part in making sure that we don't just stand back and say, Hey, we need to attract more diversity without doing our part. So I think that one of the things that the school can do a better job but the minorities that graduate can certainly do a better job of attracting more minorities to the school.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are there any minorities on the board now?
MR. MYERS: No, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: All right. That's all. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Myers, you reported on your personal data questionnaire you serve on the Sentencing Reform Committee.
MR. MYERS: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Who appoints you and is it a legislative committee?
MR. MYERS: Yes, ma'am. Representative Greg Delaney appointed me last year. About last June, July.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And if you are elected to serve on The Citadel board, are you willing to resign from that? Because it would be considered dual office holding.
MR. MYERS: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: And also on your personal data questionnaire in your congressional district you put Quail Hollow. That's probably your voting precinct?
MR. MYERS: Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry.
MS. CASTO: Okay. What congressional district do you live in?
MR. MYERS: Oh, lordy, you put me on the spot. I'm drawing a blank. I'm in 2 -- Congressional District 2, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
MS. CASTO: Okay. That's all the questions that I have.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Mr. Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just to follow up again, I also thank you for your service to our country. With your work responsibilities and service, would it be a problem for you attending board meetings and being active from that standpoint if you were so chosen to be on the board?
MR. MYERS: No, sir. I'm a partner in a pretty large law firm, and my partners have allowed me to at least come down and run for this race. And they're in full support of what I'm doing. I think I have enough background from them or enough support from them to be able to attend all the board meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move for favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report.

Second?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
SENATOR HAYES: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second and third.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: The ayes have it.

Thank you again for your service --
MR. MYERS: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: -- and your willingness to serve.
MR. MYERS: Thank you.

Fred L. Price
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next, Fred L. Price.

Columbia.
MR. PRICE: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Got the Citadel tie on.
MR. PRICE: Yes, sir.

How are you today?
SENATOR PEELER: All right.
MR. PRICE: Good to see you all again this year.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. PRICE: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: If you like, have a seat.
MR. PRICE: Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you have a brief opening statement?
MR. PRICE: Yes, sir, I do.

Of course, my name is Fred Price. I grew up here in Columbia. I attended the Citadel. I graduated Class of 1975. After graduation, I became pretty heavily involved with The Citadel. I was appointed director of The Citadel Alumni Association. We used to be the Association of Citadel Men. I served in that capacity for 25 years. I was elected president of The Citadel Alumni Association. I also served as president The Citadel Brigadier Foundation.

After those services, I ran for The Citadel Board of Visitors through the alumni and I was voted in and I served a six-year term having been elected by over 10,000 alumni. That was a -- I took, you know, a great deal of, you know, respect from that. That the alumni put enough -- you know, had a vote of confidence and trust in me to be on the board.

So I would like to -- I'm now back running again this year for the Board of Visitors. I've already served a six-year term. I was chairman of the building and grounds. And I would like to be able to go back and continue working -- working on our deferred maintenance problems and helping with the LEAD Program.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions, comments from the committee?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Again, I'm going to be consistent in this questioning. As far as your work and your abilities, would there anything that would impede you from being able to attend the meetings and be an active member of the board?
MR. PRICE: No, sir, there wouldn't be. In fact, in my last term, I did not miss a meeting.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.
MR. PRICE: I didn't miss a board meeting or committee meeting.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any others?

Staff, do you have any follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. All of his paperwork was in order. Thank you.
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Move for a favorable report.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable.

Is there a second?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second is heard.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.
MR. PRICE: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Most painless one we've had in a while.

Douglas A. Snyder
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

Next, Douglas A. Snyder.
MR. SNYDER: Mr. Chairman, I hope the trend continues.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SNYDER: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Doug.

Do you have a brief statement?
MR. SNYDER: Yes, sir, I do. Thank you.

It's great to be here this morning. I do want to thank you as representatives. I don't think the people of South Carolina really understand how much time and effort you put into things not just staying over in the dome, but actually going through the Friday meetings and things like that. So I really appreciate you doing that. And as we all have to stand up here and go through the election process, it gives us a great appreciation of how much time you really spend up here. So thank you.

I graduated in 1982 from The Citadel. I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. Spent four years at The Citadel, then I moved to Columbia. And in Columbia I was a head of The Citadel Club here in Columbia, but in 1996, I ran for the board. So when I ran for the board, you were holding -- the Statehouse was being reconstructed, so you were holding in Carolina Inn. You were over there.

But I was honored to be elected then, and it began my service. The day that I started my board service was the day Shannon Faulkner came to campus. And so those first couple of years as a board member were very tough. But I have tell you that since I've been on the board and where we're headed now, The Citadel has taken certainly great strides. We have a strategic plan that we didn't used to have. We have a president that's taking us forward. We have a foundation that's really growing. And I want to continue to serve on the Board of Visitors to continue seeing out the plan.

The strategic plan we have now is called the LEAD Plan 2018, and so I want to take us at least through 2018 by serving on the board.
SENATOR PEELER: Good. Questions, comments from the committee?

Mr. Whitmire has a question.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Question 3 where you say The Citadel needs to continue diversifying and you need to enroll more women and minorities, how would you go about doing that?
MR. SNYDER: The studies show that the future of the United States and certainly higher education is not just African-American, but it's also other populations. Whether it's Asian, things like that. We haven't reached out to all communities, just like Stanley said. I think we can do more by educating those students coming through.
But when we say minorities, we're also including women and those type people that we really haven't tried to expand the message and get them there. So really I think it's more of a targeted process that the school is already going through.

As a matter of fact, the last two years they set up a new enrollment management team, and it's taking charge. So we're really going out and acting like a business and targeting different areas for minorities and other students and putting a lot more focus on there. And I think it's coming into play, but, again, it will take time to change those trends, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: How many women are presently undergrads?
MR. SNYDER: In the cadet corps it's just under 200, like 196.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's more than I thought there was.
MR. SNYDER: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

How often does the board meet?
MR. SNYDER: We have four formal board meetings a year; however, we have committee meetings and each of those committees meet between those board meetings. So you're really going to meet about eight times.

When I was chairman, I instituted a monthly call. The first day of every month at 1:00, we call -- the board members call in to have a teleconference. And we try to keep it to an hour. So we stay in touch with the school, with what's going on. We try not to have action items on those monthly calls, but we are there on those calls.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What is your attendance record over the last four years, roughly, of the board meetings?
MR. SNYDER: Senator Alexander, over the past 17 years, I'm over 95 percent of all meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: One last question, if I could, Mr. Chairman. You're talking about folks and attracting more qualified applicants, what's your definition of a qualified candidate, qualified applicant?
MR. SNYDER: For the board?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: No, no, for the school. Students.
MR. SNYDER: Since the last -- well, really since we admitted some females, the SAT scores have gone up, quite frankly. So now the baseline for going in, the SAT score's over a thousand, maybe even close to 1100. So it gets back to what we're talking about, about targeting the qualified applicants while we're getting more applications, the SAT scores and things like that aren't necessarily up to even qualifying.

So we really have to focus in on not only, you know, minorities, but we have to focus in on those that are already qualified applicants to get in.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And if I could, one other question.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And being you're a board member, what do you see as the board -- role of a board member in setting policy? I assume you all probably don't have or do you have a reading list of books that folks have to read before they come to be a student at The Citadel?
MR. SNYDER: I'll answer both of those questions. The first one on the policy, we've taken great strides I think over the last decade to move the board overview of the college to a more government setting. And we really focus on policy, and we concentrate most of our time on   policy, Senator.
As far as books, there is not a specific book from the board that we say read before we get there, but I think each year, from the years they've actually chosen a book for freshman to read when they come in.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I guess my point is, does the board review that or have any input into what that -- is that an appropriate function of the board to at least be aware of what the book is?
MR. SNYDER: I think we should be aware of it, but I don't know that we should approve it. I think that may be an administrative matter. Of course, we find out what it is --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Who does the buck stop with, then?
MR. SNYDER: The president.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.
Senator Hayes has a question.
SENATOR HAYES: Just a couple of questions. Let me get my mic on.

What percentage of Citadel graduates are taking commissions in an armed force now? Is that up or down, or what percentage is it?
MR. SNYDER: Senator Hayes, it's roughly been, again, over the last decade or two decades somewhere between 35 and 40 percent. But the issue today is not we want to get more -- because our alumni are really concerned with that, too. At the Alumni Association, that's where Fred would take his questions, how many to the alumni, and they get upset it's only a third. But over the last five years, there's been a huge reduction in being able to go in any service.

I was Air Force ROTC. I chose not to go in, but to see how it changed since '82, last week of senior year, if I wanted to go over, I had already been through AC, I could have signed a contract and gone into the Air Force. Last year there were only 12 Air Force contracts available. So it's a dramatic drop in the forces. We're unable to place those.

So we probably could do more. I'm not saying we could do 50 or 60, but I think as a percentage we could get more if we had commissions.
SENATOR HAYES: If you had more commissions. Is that true for the Reserve and the National Guard, as well?
MR. SNYDER: I think the Guard has picked up -- and I don't have those numbers, but the South Carolina Guard has picked up because they've actually taken extra steps and are giving, like, scholarships and things for The Citadel. So that's helped out, too. But it's not a significant number.
SENATOR HAYES: The other question I have is, there's been some litigation, I think, from several years ago for a boys camp or whatever --
MR. SNYDER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: Where does that litigation stand?
MR. SNYDER: It's still -- that litigation has not been resolved. It's in both the federal and state courts, so it's still ongoing. We did, as a board, have someone come in and review it because as far as the time frame, it was something that happened around 2000. And it was found out in 2007, and so we're dealing with it in 2014.

But we had experts come in and look at the situation and see if we could set up policies and procedures, as Senator Alexander was talking about, if we needed to change that related to how minorities come to -- youth come to campus. And we have changed some things and all of those recommendations, we, as a board, promised that we would take those recommendations and implement them. And they're about 75 percent implemented. Some of them were hiring force and things like that. So we're working on that as we speak.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.
Any other questions?
Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to say to you, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Price and Mr. Myers, I really admire generally where The Citadel is going. As a small boy in the late '50s, I'm 60 years old, I grew up a couple of blocks from The Citadel. And it was an entirely different culture.

And quite frankly from my perspective, General Mark Clark, it's well-documented in some of his comments, did not have a like for African-Americans or any type of diversity. And I just wanted to commend all of you and the culture as to where The Citadel is going now. Not where it could be, but I love the attitude and I love the direction and just wanted to commend you on that.

Also, earlier this month for Black History Month, The Citadel has a gospel choir they put together, and it's African-American men and women. It was about 15 or 16 that just wanted to volunteer their time and do that. So just wanted to commend you for -- because a lot of times people think, well, things have not changed, and they are. I just wanted to commend you for that.
MR. SNYDER: Thank you, Representative Mack.
And if I could add, I want to get on the record, I certainly want to thank Fred Price and Stanley Myers and Tom McQueeney, who I think will be here at 3:00, for actually running for the board. Because it takes time and effort, and there's a lot of barriers that we have to go through. We really appreciate it as a school, qualified candidates running.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Staff, do you have any follow-up questions?

Did you have another question?

Senator McGill, did you have a question?
SENATOR MCGILL: No.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Snyder, to follow up on Senator Hayes' questions, the lawsuits, were you named as a member of the board in those lawsuits?
MR. SNYDER: No, ma'am. The board specifically was not named. The president has been named, but not the board.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You live in Charleston and work in Lexington, correct?
MR. SNYDER: Correct. Correct.
MS. CASTO: And you work for the South Carolina Office of Rural Health?
MR. SNYDER: Correct.
MS. CASTO: I know it's a 501(c)(3), but do you receive any State money from the Rural Health?
MR. SNYDER: Not direct. We receive some from DHHS.
MS. CASTO: So you do receive state funds.
MR. SNYDER: And most of that is coming from the federal grants that come through.
MS. CASTO: Okay. That probably -- you may need to check on your economic interest statement, you probably need to disclose your salary since most of the money comes from HHS.
MR. SNYDER: A very small percentage. I will do that, but it doesn't impact my salary.
MS. CASTO: On your credit report there is an unpaid T-Mobile bill from 7-13. Have you cleared that up?
MR. SNYDER: T-Mobile?
MS. CASTO: Uh-huh.
MR. SNYDER: I'll have to look at that because I don't have T-Mobile.
MS. CASTO: And there is a lien still on the books from April of 2011.
MR. SNYDER: That relates to when we were -- we have -- when you get a house or you get a mortgage, the mortgage we have and still have and are still fighting, my wife is an attorney, is we said we'd pay the insurance. So -- and we have. We have kept the homeowners insurance.

The mortgage was sold to another company. They wouldn't accept our payments. They kept not accepting -- we sent the payments and they wouldn't accept it. So now we're in a lawsuit as it relates to that because they wouldn't accept our payments because we said we were paying the mortgage payment -- the insurance payment.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
MR. SNYDER: That's what it relates to. And so unfortunately, it's going to hang out there until we get that resolved.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

I've got a curiosity. Have you ever heard of the movie House of Cards?
MR. SNYDER: I have heard of it.
SENATOR PEELER: You haven't seen it?
MR. SNYDER: I haven't seen it.
SENATOR PEELER: Well, I suggest that you see it, look at it. It's about a Congressman from Gaffney, but he is a graduate of The Sentinel, not The Citadel, The Sentinel. And they were -- it was odd to me, they said that The Citadel wouldn't allow anybody to use their name.

Are you familiar with that?
MR. SNYDER: I'm not aware -- I'm not aware that they contacted The Citadel to use it. Probably not.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. He was a graduate of the state military college, The Sentinel. But he's real proud of saying he's from Gaffney.
MR. SNYDER: And I'll have to be honest with you, we are very careful with the college, the name, and even the use of the college and things like that because, you know, we're lucky that people want to use the name or use the college or use the facilities on the college, and we have a lot of even political figures who want to come down and do things on the steps of The Citadel. And sometimes they get upset because we say we can't support that.
SENATOR PEELER: It has its pluses and minuses sometimes.
MR. SNYDER: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire moves favorable.

Is there a second?
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you.
MR. SNYDER: Thank you.

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
3 At-Large seats
Term expires 2018

Patricia H. McAbee
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If there's no objection, I'll call the meeting to order. This is the meeting for the Joint Legislative Committee to Screen College and University Boards of Trustees candidates. And I appreciate your patience.

We're working on the ethics legislation downstairs, and Senator Hayes is the floor leader today. He's a member of this Committee, but he'll be down there on the floor. And if there's any votes to be taken, we will need to break and go to the balcony.

I'm Harvey Peeler. Senator McGill is also on the Committee. He's downstairs. He'll be here in just a few minutes. Senator Hayes is on the floor.

Senator Alexander from Oconee is here. We have Representative Whitmire and Representative Mack and Representative Henderson. Representative McCoy is in federal court, working.

And so, if there's no objection, we'll go ahead and get started. Brevity is a plus today.

So first of all, today we have Clemson University, three at-large seats. The first candidate is Patricia H. McAbee, and, if you would, please come forward.
MS. McABEE: Thank you, Senator.
MS. CASTO: And to members of the Committee, in your notebooks are the tabs with all of the information on the candidates. The little skinnies that I prepared on the candidates are in the very front part of the notebook. And in the back, if you will remember, in November y'all wanted us to include in the new packets several questions for each candidate to answer. There's a list of nine questions.

They're included at the very front of their tab, but just some of them -- I think the first three are okay, but later on, some of them didn't reiterate what the question was. So just -- if you see an answer, I wanted y'all to have the questions to refer to.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have any questions of the staff that you need to ask before we start?
MS. CASTO: I don't think so, in this case. No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Well, first of all, Ms. McAbee, if you would, please raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. McABEE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Would you like to make a brief statement of why you'd like to serve on the Clemson University Board of Trustees?
MS. McABEE: I'd be happy to, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MS. McABEE: I'd just like to say, first of all, that it is one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life to be serving the State of South Carolina and the people of this state, along with people in attendance and faculty involved in Clemson University to serve in such a way, to participant in the governance and oversight of Clemson University. I've served for 21 years and have always held a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people and students as they are seeking to better their lives and seeking to better our state.

So for those brief reasons, I would like to continue this service. I feel that it's a way that I can give back.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions or comments from the Committee?
Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Number five, what percentage do you think is an ideal ratio of in-state and out-of-state students? What was your opinion on that? Because I've had a lot of feedback from parents, you know, Legacy graduates that can't get their kids in school are very upset.

So help me give them an answer.
MS. McABEE: You know, we struggle with this every year. We know that our first purpose is to serve the State of South Carolina, and the best way we can serve the students is to give them the ability to be involved with people from different places. If everybody looks like the next-door neighbor, they don't grow as much as if they get perspectives from people in the other parts of the country or the world. So a balance there is really important, and, particularly, in higher education, where they're learning to think theories and learning to think beyond high school.

But our first perspective, our first mandate is to the State. So we try very hard and look at it on an annual and even a semester basis to try to hold fast to the 60/40, 65/35 rule that we hold. I guess, internally, there's no law to that effect, but we try to hold very close to that to give our first deference to those students here from South Carolina.
I believe this year we're admitting -- we're accepting the applications of well over 95 percent of South Carolina students who submit their applications that are qualified to enroll at Clemson. They don't all accept those -- they don't all enroll because they choose to go somewhere else. But you're going to find, and I find, too, we both get those calls from students and parents who don't get accepted like they want to accept. They might get a bridge acceptance, or they might get a conditional acceptance.

The answer that I say is that Clemson is becoming one of the outstanding universities in our state, and we're doing everything we can to accept the best and brightest students. We do take legacy into effect -- into consideration. Legacy actually weighted on the application.

But as far as admitting every student that applies to South Carolina, it doesn't serve the purposes of the State to just have complete open enrollment that accepts everyone.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, it seems to me that the figure would be a fair figure for your students in-state. This is a land-grant school serving our state, and most of these out-of-state students are going to get their degree, and they're going back out of state. I feel like our in-state students will be much more likely to stay here and make our state more productive.

I wish you would work on that.
MS. McABEE: Well, we're --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I know you're wanting the highest SAT college -- well, and the money situation, but I'm just hearing from way too many people, not just from my area, but a lot of areas in the state, that they don't think it's fair.
MS. McABEE: Representative Whitmire, 60 percent, at least 65 percent of the students are from South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: No. That's not what your statement says.
MS. CASTO: Ms. McAbee, if you'll look on your -- do you have a list of your questions?
MS. McABEE: I do.
MS. CASTO: That's one of the questions I had for the Committee. You put that the ideal is 35 to 40 percent in-state and 60 --
MS. McABEE: I sure did.
MS. CASTO: -- to -- 60 -- and I was wondering if that --
MS. McABEE: I'm sorry. That is inaccurate. I read this and had it proofread. My proofreader --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That changes my question a lot.
MS. McABEE: I'm so sorry. I'm glad.
After proofing and having it proofread, that was never caught.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm glad you --
MS. McABEE: Those numbers are inverted.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. I feel a lot better about that.
MS. McABEE: Good, yeah.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Let the record further reflect the change of that.
MS. McABEE: Thank you very much. I sincerely apologize about that error in my statement. We maintain 60 to 65 percent in-state student enrollment.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. What is your SAT average now for --
MS. McABEE: The incoming student is around 1220, 1225. Now, that's average. So we'll have both sides of that. And it's always surprising to me that we have people with really high SAT scores who still don't get into Clemson, because they might test really well, but they don't prove to be good students in high school. So...
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Last question. How many students in your bridge program?
MS. McABEE: There are under a thousand, I'd say.
MR. McCARTER: 750.
MS. McABEE: Seven -- 750, 800.
MR. SWANN: 750 incoming, just coming in.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
Ms. McAbee, let me -- bridge, what percent of them actually -- because I've heard different numbers, probably from parents who really probably don't know actually, and been enrolling at the main campus and know it the second year.
MS. McABEE: The numbers, as I remember them, are 75. Help me out, guys.
MR. McCARTER: 88.
MS. McABEE: 88 percent of the bridge students go on into the classes at Clemson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Mr. Whitmire probably covered most of mine.

What about tuition? And have you all discussed ways to help manage the cost of tuition and the cost of higher ed, since it's becoming, you know, more and more of an issue?
MS. McABEE: Sure. Sure.
We -- it seems like it's, what, three, three-and-a-half percent pretty much every year for everybody. Not just Clemson, but everybody's doing.

When I was first elected to this board, Clemson has a series of years, four or five years, where we didn't increase at all. It was zero, tuition. And just the cost of living really -- we took a hit on cost of living. Even the cost of living was one-and-a-half to 2, 3 percent a year. Without raising tuition, we really took a hit.

And also what I've learned and what we do at Clemson, is look at it very carefully every year. We don't predict what it's going to be, but we look very carefully at what the administration is recommending, based on our goals, based on revenue streams, based on enrollment size. We weigh whether or not we can have a bigger enrollment class to offset higher tuition for everybody, because the more people, the less we have to increase.

So there are a lot of factors that go into it, I would say. Revenue stream, enrollment, and goals. What are we trying to accomplish? And that's how we come up with what the cost is going to be for the next year, and what we'll need in terms of tuition.

We don't particularly say, we're going to have a three-and-a-half percent or 30 percent tuition increase. And we're very sensitive about any tuition increase, knowing that we've got to have -- to keep up with the cost of living.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just briefly, I want to follow up on the number of folks enrolled in state and out of state.

These numbers and percentages, is that for the freshmen class, or is that all years of school?
MS. McABEE: The freshmen class is 65/35 or 60/40, 60 percent in-state, 40 percent out-of-state. And then over all the years, it mellows out a little bit because people move and some come in and some go out. But we maintain the 65/35 over all four years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Over all four years, not just the freshmen class, right?
MS. McABEE: That's my understanding.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any more members have any questions or comments?
SENATOR MCGILL: Move to favor.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I have a couple of more questions.

It was in the paper today, a couple of universities, not Clemson, were taking on the task about certain textbooks.

As a board member, do you all vote on the type of text books that are used at Clemson University? How does that happen?
MS. McABEE: No, sir, we don't vote on the textbook or the books that are -- the students are asked to read at all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I was just curious.
MS. McABEE: No. The courses of study are generally left up to the professors.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And then I hear a good bit about athletics.

Coaches' contracts and salaries, do you vote on that as a board member?
MS. McABEE: We have a committee that oversees compensation above a certain level --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's good. Just --
(Buzzer sounds.)
MS. McABEE: Is that a vote?
MS. CASTO: Vote to adjourn.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm sorry. We need to break, please.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. If you'll just bear with us, we're going to be in and out.

I stopped you in mid-answer, and I'm sure we were talking about coaches' contracts and salaries.
MS. McABEE: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

The Board of Trustees has a compensation committee that reviews all compensation above a certain level for all university employees. And that committee takes into consideration averages for that type of position. It does a good bit of research and study on the different positions that come before them, and in most cases, makes recommendations to the board.

They also look at coaches' salaries and athletic department salaries, any salaries that are above a level, a certain level. I think that level is --
MR. McCARTER: 175.
MS. McABEE: -- 175, 175,000. So any salary above that is put before the compensation committee. Not to the board as a whole, but just the committee.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And the committee has sole authority on it, or does it bring it to the board or --
MS. McABEE: The committee makes those decisions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Thank you.
Any other questions or comments?
MS. CASTO: Can I say a couple of things?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sure.
MS. CASTO: You had said that you were fined by the ethics commission for late filing.
MS. McABEE: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Do you remember when that was, and has it only been one time?
MS. McABEE: I believe that was in 2007. It was right after a life crisis that I had in my life.
MS. CASTO: But it's only been one time?
MS. McABEE: As far as I remember.
MS. CASTO: And on your economic interest statement, you listed two business interests.

Do any of those businesses do work for the State?
MS. McABEE: No.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And this is something y'all had dealt with last year, that some board and commission members disclosed a per diem in their travel and --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let's break a minute. I think they're voting.
MS. McABEE: I usually do. I report that every year, but I haven't gotten that statement from the secretary.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Good.
MS. McABEE: I will include that before the April 15th filing.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ladies first. You get to --
MS. McABEE: But that's quite all right.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- take all the first questions. The staff had some --
MS. CASTO: That was it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You cleared them up?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. So we're clear.
Any other questions or comments?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: One more question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: One more from Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: On question nine, you state that tuition is 13,000 for in-state, and that ranks third.

Are you saying that Clemson is -- doesn't cost as much as USC; is that correct?
MS. McABEE: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I didn't know that.
MR. McCARTER: No.
MS. McABEE: That's not right?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I was under the impression --
MR. McCARTER: USC is cheaper.
MS. McABEE: The -- well, I just -- I must have had old information.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Oh.
MS. McABEE: Because the information I was looking at showed USC's -- I mean, USC's a little bit higher, but we're close.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay.
MS. McABEE: Yeah.
MR. McCARTER: We're third highest.
MS. McABEE: We're third highest.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Just because I have kids in college, and, actually, I will say to your credit, Clemson's tuition actually includes a lot of the fees, because I always thought Clemson was higher, until I realized that USC's is lower, but there's more fees. So by the time you add it all up, it's pretty close.
MS. McABEE: And thank you for saying that because --
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes.
MS. McABEE: -- it's hard to get an apples-to-apples comparison with tuition, because there's not just one tuition number that matches exactly across the universities. Some of the universities include an activity fee; some student -- and some universities don't include that.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes.
MS. McABEE: Some include other fees that other universities don't.

But my colleagues here say that the University of South Carolina is about $300 less expensive.
MR. McCARTER: Mr. Chairman, can I add a point that might be of interest, if it's all right at this time?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You can save it.
MR. McCARTER: Oh, okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You can clear up anything -- you're next. And if there's a motion before us and a second on the favor of the report?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second. CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

There being none, all members in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you.
MS. McABEE: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your service.

John N. McCarter, Jr.
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

Next, Mr. John N. "Nicky" McCarter, Jr.
MR. McCARTER: Well, let me just, Mr. Chairman --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would, raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. McCARTER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to give a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve?
MR. McCARTER: Well, I'd be glad to. Thank y'all, again, for allowing me to serve for the last five years and represent y'all. I'd like to continue to serve Clemson. It's been a big part of my life, and representing the 170 of y'all in the state is a commitment I take very seriously, and I'm honored to do it.

It's given me a chance to give something back to the state and to Clemson, and I'd just like to continue to try to help make sure that the kids that are following me will get an opportunity, like I had, that's affordable. And that's it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Any questions, comments of Mr. McCarter?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I hate to bring this up, but (indicating).
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you want to bring it up?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: No. I -- no.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: They're talking about nine speeding tickets. So...
MR. McCARTER: Well, I have had three speeding tickets since I've been on the board. I drive 65,000 miles a year in an automobile; so I'm not saying it's right, wrong, or indifferent, but I've had three tickets since I left.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: This senator from Williamsburg wants to volunteer to be your driver.
MR. McCARTER: I will certainly entertain him.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator from Williamsburg County.
SENATOR McGILL: Yes, sir.

Have you ever voted against the increase -- student increase?
MR. McCARTER: I have. Of tuition?
SENATOR McGILL: Of tuition.
MR. McCARTER: I have.
SENATOR MCGILL: Do you consider the fees that the students are paying is -- is it reasonable?
MR. McCARTER: I think I -- I think it is. I think if you look at number nine -- I think that's the question Representative Whitmire asked earlier. I think we're -- 13,054 is our tuition, but our sticker price base with all the fees of the LIFE and the Palmetto, that type of thing, our average freshmen pay $4,074 a year -- their parents -- at Clemson today. And the seniors pay $7,042.

So that is the real sticker price that I -- for the students.
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Chairman, one last question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: My question is, I believe you would pay Clemson to let you be a trustee, and would you mind?
MR. McCARTER: I wouldn't. I am. I'm there all the time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one thing I think you can improve on is that you could just spend a little more time with us so we can get to know you better.
MR. McCARTER: Oh, yeah. I'll try my best.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: No. I -- You know, I think -- and I say this for you and Ms. McAbee and Mr. Swann. I think you create a tremendous culture there at Clemson, from the trustees to the administration, faculty, students, and it's just a pleasure to be on that campus.

And from constituents, I hear nothing but good things. So you must be doing something right. So I wanted to say that to you and the other candidates.
MR. McCARTER: We're blessed to have a great board at Clemson, and we're very blessed to have the General Assembly that supports us. And it's a great partnership, and hopefully we'll continue, and we'll just get better from here.

We're very excited about our new president. I think he's really going to take us to higher levels. We've been at higher levels. So -- President Barker.

But we're really excited about that. So...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A couple questions for him, Mr. Chairman.

And we certainly thank you for your willingness to serve. I wasn't sure whether you were offering or not.

And I didn't -- and you learn things from these backgrounds. So it's my understanding -- you know, I didn't know you were so religious. I see that you're a member of two different churches.
MR. McCARTER: I am. My late wife was Catholic, so my children were raised as Catholic, and I was raised as a Presbyterian.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I commend you.
MR. McCARTER: You can't never get enough religion. Senator Alexander, you can't get enough of the right hand. You've got to be on the right side of the Lord, you know.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I guess, following up on that, did you go immediately after graduating from high school to Clemson?
MR. McCARTER: I did.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'll leave it at that.
MR. McCARTER: I took longer than you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I wasn't going to go there. My father said I was on tour. Senator Peeler probably has heard some of the --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, yeah.
Mr. Whitmire.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, I was just going to make an observation -- Oh, I apologize.
MR. McCARTER: I was there with you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes. Well, I was proud to be there with you.
MR. McCARTER: We started together, but you got out a little earlier than me.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I notice that the current president points out that his oldest son is in his fourth year at Western -- West Virginia, rather than being a senior. So...
MR. McCARTER: I know all about that fifth- and sixth-year senior.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I had just one little quick question. Tuesday night, I didn't get a chance to hear who won the game between North Carolina State and Clemson, basketball. Did you know?
MR. McCARTER: Clemson won.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: All right.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Kind of a follow-up. I've heard this a good bit about the coach's salary, how it came up to a contract and so forth and this and that.

Do you serve on that committee?
MR. McCARTER: I do not. I do not.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. The staff has some.
MS. CASTO: There's just a couple of things we just need for the record, Mr. McCarter.
MR. McCARTER: Uh-huh.
MS. CASTO: He did disclose on his economic interest statement and his personal data questionnaire that the company, that he is the president and CEO, does some work with Redfern Health Center at Clemson. He disclosed that, and that the company does work with some other State entities. So that's all above board.

Ms. McAbee and Mr. Swann said in theirs that they were named in a federal lawsuit in 2008 as a member of the board. I don't think you were on the board then, but we just need to...
MR. McCARTER: I was not. I'm not involved in that lawsuit.
MS. CASTO: Okay. That's it.
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.

Any other discussion?

There being none, all in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it. Thank you.
MR. McCARTER: Thank y'all.

Joseph D. Swann
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Mr. Joseph D. Swann.
MR. SWANN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SWANN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement of why you'd like to continue to serve?
MR. SWANN: Thank you very much. I would.

I've been fortunate to serve Clemson as an elected member of the board since 1990. And as all of you know, we have a new president at Clemson, and I'm hopeful that my experience on the board and my experience in the industry will be helpful as he gets his feet on the ground and starts moving Clemson forward on the foundation that President Barker has moved us to over the last 14 years.

I very much appreciate the opportunity to serve Clemson and serve South Carolina in that way.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Any questions or comments from members of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes, I've got one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What was this federal case about that all three of you -- or two of you were in?
MR. SWANN: The executive secretary of the board was terminated, and he filed a suit against the board and against Clemson.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. That's all. I do remember that.
Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: No, I'm good.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I hear good things about our new president. I am going to get to the coach's salary next, but did you have a committee to search out a -- how did Clemson go about hiring our new president?
MR. SWANN: We had a search committee that -- I believe there were seven people on the search committee, and the search committee identified, with the help of a consultant -- I think there were 80 to 100 candidates. And we interviewed a number of those and cut the number down, and the entire board then interviewed the candidates and made the selection.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I've met our new president several times, and I'm really impressed with him. I've heard nothing but good things about him, and you've done a very good job.
MR. SWANN: We're very proud to have him.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now, let's go to the concept -- let me tell you why I'm asking this question. I've heard -- and I just wanted to clear it up about -- and I like our coach, and I like our team, and go Tigers -- that our coach, with this last contract, would make more money if he was terminated than if he continued on to fulfill his length of contract. Is that correct?

And I'll ask you this question. Did you serve on the committee?
MR. SWANN: I chair the committee.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. So maybe you can comment on that.
MR. SWANN: I can clear it up, yes. You know, unfortunately, that is true. That's the way colleges have evolved over a few years here, is that, based on the length of the contract, it's formula is however many years in the contract times whatever the annual salary is. There's also a buyout for the coach, if he leaves.

And I would say that part of the contract was something that did not get the oversight that it should have had. We need to do something different with the next contracts that we do, rather than just multiply the number of years times the base contract value.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: When will you revisit the next contract?
MR. SWANN: The contract has in it automatic annual increases starting, I think, Senator, in year -- maybe year three. And they are based on wins, and they're based on the ATR's of the players. That's like the grade point average that the players have, and a number of other things that come into account on -- if you win "X" number of games and if so many students graduate -- a certain percentage graduates, then the coaches' salary is adjusted annually at that point.

There will be a point where what we're doing is not enough, the way salaries have been escalating over the last few years.

And so my guess is, it'll be three years, and we'll be revisiting it again. But I don't know that, of course.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you said you served as chairman of the committee.

Who else was on the committee?
MR. SWANN: The committees of past Chairman Hendrix and Chairman Wilkins.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And the other members of the committee didn't have any input or --
MR. SWANN: They did not, no, sir. In 2008, we established a compensation committee, because, at that time, you might recall that Coach Saban had gotten a huge contract, and we wanted to make sure we didn't get surprised by a contract like that.

But the committee redoes anyone that has a multi-year contract and anyone who has a salary that's $175,000 a year.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And I don't want to dwell on that, but one more. Athletic facilities, I think an issue is going to be coming up pretty soon.

Who makes those determinations? Does the committee look at that also?
MR. SWANN: There's a finance committee that reviews what the athletic department is proposing, and student affairs, I think, also reviews it. I think it's the chairman of student affairs, and then it goes forward to the full board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Ms. Henderson, I think you had a question.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, I just want to say, first of all, being from Greenville, that we thank you so much for all the great investments. Y'all have made Greenville not only an icon, which is fabulous, but now Greenville is one city I'm looking forward to seeing.
I just wanted to bring up a couple of things that I think are really good ideas I wanted to ask you about. One of -- under the information that Martha gave us about auditing courses to ensure there's still interest.
Clemson is so big on STEM, and, you know, my big deal with my kids is, now, you know, the job market is different. When we all came along, we could go major in pretty much anything we wanted to and go get a job, but it's not like that now. And, you know, I would think -- I'm hoping that universities do look at that and say, you know, We don't have but four or five kids that are taking, you know, Italian, or whatever it is.

And so maybe we need to start changing our curriculums too. So I just applaud that, and I'm glad to see y'all continuing to do that.

But on that same note, and that is, what are you all doing to get into high school areas where you're talking to parents and kids about making choices about -- you know, making choices about their education that are going to be able to get -- be employed?

And another thing with employers, too, is being able to say, you know, manufacturing and engineering, these are not, you know, assembly line jobs like they were when we were younger. And as parents, we're like, No, you shouldn't go into manufacturing because, you know, it's so different.

So, you know, I hear it all over from parents. I hear it from schools. I hear it from teachers, to do more, to be able to help people understand what the job market is like and make the right choices with their education and, you know, their career path.

Does Clemson have programs where they're doing that kind of thing?
MR. SWANN: We do. We do have counseling programs. I think we could do more. And if we did -- you know, if we had the opportunity to talk with students about the marketplace, I think we could do more to help them in their choice.

The number of Clemson students that leave, they graduate from Clemson, it's a very high number, 82 percent. I believe that's the highest in the state. And for athletics, it's about the same as well.
And for bridge it's about the same. For the people that are entering through bridge or graduating, about 82 percent. I believe that's over 6 years, and a high number of them have jobs within the first six to nine months, not all of them, though, in their field of study.

And so I think the problem is the field of study. I'd like to see us do more in there.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any more questions?
Senator Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: One quick one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: This is following what you talked about, Mr. Chairman. And it's really for all three of you.

It seems to me that, as far as the terms of coach's salaries and what you're spending on athletics, not only at Clemson, but at USC and some other schools, that's the market now. If we're not competitive, we're going to get left behind. And all I have to do is go down to a Clemson game, and the place is packed. And I remember when it wasn't.

And I think the economic impact on this state, not only Clemson, but USC, far exceeds what you're spending in salaries for these people in upgrades. So I support what you're doing.
MR. SWANN: I brought a little bit of data on that, if you'd like me to share it with you.

But, basically, a game like the South Carolina-Clemson game or the Georgia-Clemson game brings $20 million to the Upstate. This is a study that was done in 2010. It brings $733,000 in state taxes, and it brings $542,000 to local government.

So we are very lucky in South Carolina with two terrific teams, Carolina and Clemson. And you are exactly correct, Coach Swinney's salary is about the twentieth-highest salary, and we want to finish in the top 20, 25 every year. And that's where that number kind of targets out. It's a little bit higher with Coach Morris, because that is an abnormally high salary for an offensive coordinator.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I just commend Coach Swinney and staff for having such high standards. You don't hear about many problems over there. So you can pass that on to him.
MR. SWANN: Well, thank you very much, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: There's only one problem. That last game.
MR. SWANN: I'd like to see the Legislature pass a law that we had to win that game.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to follow up Representative Whitmire, because I think that's an important point. And a lot of times, we are approached about the salary of a football coach and the professors and the coach makes "X" amount, but that's a point that I always like to bring out, the economic impact to the town and to the state. But, also, I know you have that on the -- if you can touch on it, very briefly, in terms of what it does for the school.
MR. SWANN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: In other words, buildings and -- you know, it's just not isolated to football, but the university benefits.
MR. SWANN: Yes, sir. You're absolutely correct. And, in fact, our applications are up over 12 percent this year, while a lot of universities in the country are seeing a decline in applications. It's more than 2,000 additional applications. We'll have over 20,000 applications for 3,200 openings, 3,200 slots. And we'll fill 750 slots with bridge students and about 1,000 transfer slots.

The economic impact, the Georgia games, someone did a study on that, and there was -- the impact of that game-day experience was 5- to $8 million in advertising for our state and for our university.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: And a lot of things, such as buildings. And a lot of revenue to run the school, a percentage of it comes from that.
MR. SWANN: Well, from -- I think what it does is, it encourages people to give to the university, and from that point of view, it's very helpful.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Because it's really kind of on that same line, two things. I guess one is, I think Swinney is -- he and his staff do a fantastic job.

Are those athletic revenues that are paying those salaries? Are there any revenues from general tuition fees paid by the students?
MR. SWANN: There are none, no. And, in fact, that's one of the main questions that the compensation committee looks at. Do we have the money to pay the salaries?

And you may be interested that the playoff situation that will start next year, the added income that Clemson will get for that playoff will many times over pay for the increase in Coach Swinney's salary.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I guess following up on that, too, and you kind of touched on it. I understood you to say, he's labeled one of the top -- he was paid the twentieth in the country.
MR. SWANN: That's a moving target. That's what it was when he got his contract.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So I'd rather he be paid in the top, if that correlates to a top five finish, I'd rather be -- of course, don't settle for the top twenty.
MR. SWANN: I'll certainly note that. Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Chairman, I just want to, for the record, so note all three have been fiscally responsible members of the trustees at Clemson University, and they've done a remarkable job. They've been good ambassadors, not just for Clemson University, but for this great state we live in.
MR. SWANN: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Move for favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is favorable, and a second is heard.

Let me ask the staff. Do you have any follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: I just have one. You stated in your personal data questionnaire that you were fined by the ethics commission for failure to file the final report on a senate race you ran in.
Have you filed that report yet?
MR. SWANN: I did immediately.
MS. CASTO: Right.
MR. SWANN: But I was like a couple of weeks late on it.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: But that's cleared up?
MR. SWANN: It is.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. The motion is a favorable report.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you.

That concludes Clemson University. You're doing a terrific job, and we appreciate your service. MR. SWANN: Thank you, sir.

Coastal Carolina University

2nd Congressional District - Seat 2
Term expires 2017

Oran P. Smith
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have Coastal Carolina University, Oran P. Smith.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How do you do, sir?
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would, please, just raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SMITH: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Would you like to make a statement of why you'd like to serve on Coastal Carolina University board?
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir. I was a mere child, 21 years ago, when I ran into the board for Costal Carolina for the first time. You see, I grew up in Greer, and Senator J. Verne Smith told me that I needed to be on the board of Coastal Carolina, and I generally did what Uncle Verne told me to do. That, and Senator John Courson also indicated that with Coastal Carolina becoming the newest State university, that it would be a great opportunity for someone like me who was very interested in higher education.

We've been restructuring the Coastal Carolina board. I'm now the only representative of the 2nd Congressional District in the Columbia area, in general. I'm the chairman of the Academic & Student Affairs Committee of the board and have been for about eight years. During the time I've been on the board, 20 years, we've seen phenomenal growth. We had about 4,000 when they were making their -- making a way to the campus the first time. I mean, now we're -- and depending on head count or FTE or how you count, but we've crossed over 9,000 students for sure. So more than double.

We have a tremendous impact on the Waccamaw region of the state, which tends to be an independent -- the independent republic of Horry tends to be a place somewhat distant from the rest of the state, but we had an over $500 million year economic impact on that region and on the state in academics, which has been my area of the board. We've sought every year to strengthen our economic program. Even the last 30 days, our Wall Fellows program, which is associated with the Wall School of Business, met with Warren Buffett in Nebraska.

And, also, we're very thankful to the Legislature for agreeing to pass a piece of legislation that allows us to establish our first Ph.D. program. So Coastal Carolina has a Ph.D. of -- doctorate in marine science.
You've probably heard of our athletic programs, baseball, football, and, of course, we do quite well. We have probably the only billionaire who is coaching football in the state. Our coach, Joe Moglia, is also the chairman and CEO of TD Ameritrade.

But you may not have heard of some of the other sports, like soccer. And we played Berkeley California, and if we had beaten them, we would have been in the final eight in soccer.

But what I wanted to express to you today, because we do serve at your pleasure as trustees, I just -- actually, very personally, I want you to know the way the Coastal Carolina University and its board operates, we're a very collegial institution, and we're relatively small in board number. There are 17 of us. We have a very strong relationship with our president, a very open relationship with our president. And I think in some ways, we operate similar to the South Carolina Senate, in that if a board member is not comfortable with something, we make sure we give that due diligence and talk about that issue until the members are comfortable.

When necessary, we've been very aggressive with the administration and told them there are areas that we think that maybe we can save some funds. We have been the university that's known, lately, for our unwillingness to increase tuition. In fact, our tuition for in-state students has been flat for the last couple of years.

We have with us, after me this morning, our chairman of the board, Wyatt Henderson, and he has shown great leadership, and he has a willingness to interact with the board members and interact with the administration and the governance of the university. So I want you to know, I think we may be slightly unusual, in that we have a truly collegial approach to the governance to Coastal and are very dedicated to making sure that all the views are heard on the board and that we ask the appropriate questions.

Thank you for the opportunity.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments from the Committee?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Question five, you say that the ratio of out-of-state students to in-state students is high, but you didn't give a number there.
MR. SMITH: Yes. There are a number of different ways to calculate that -- head count, enrollment, full-time equivalency enrollment; and another way that's -- calculating it is the percentage of students that may not be from South Carolina but who are attending Coastal as a part of the Academic Common Market, which means they would get in-state rates.

So I think the safe figure -- and Chairman Henderson may have a more specific figure -- is roughly 51 to 59 percent is in-state. So among South Carolina institutions of higher learning, we're relatively high in out-of-state participation in the student body. Most of that is because we are flooded with applications from out-of-state students. They want to be there, and they're competitive. They are good students, you know, from New Jersey and New York.

You know, we have a student -- does anybody know of anybody from North Dakota? Could you please ask them to apply to Coastal? Because we have a student from every state except for North Dakota. But it's a good thing, in that, we're marketable in the Northeast and attract a lot of folks from the Northeast and Midwest.

I'll say this, though, the concern that I would have as a South Carolinian is, we would not want to exclude any South Carolina student who was qualified to attend Coastal. So that's become a board policy. If a student meets our requirements and they're from South Carolina, they will be accepted; and not only accepted, but accepted at any point along the way. So if they're a student that's applied for fall or the spring or the summer, we want that continuing relationship and not to shut students out.

But the application percentage is tilted toward out-of-state. We have many, many more percentagewise from out of South Carolina who want to come to Coastal than within South Carolina. Not saying that we have a weak in-state pool, but we have such a strong pool from out of state.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What's your graduation rate?
MR. SMITH: Our graduation rate for six years -- and, here, I'm going from the Commission on Higher Education data. The six-year graduation rate, according to CHE and their most recent report, is 46.3 percent, which means we're frankly better than Francis Marion and USC Upstate, but nowhere in the ballpark with Clemson.
Much of that has to do with, we still have the lingering effects of Coastal Carolina being a former branch campus of the University of South Carolina. So a lot of students, to this day, still think of Coastal as the place to start and then to go somewhere else. They want to finish up at USC Columbia, or they want to finish up at Clemson, or even, perhaps, somewhere back closer to home, for those that are from out of state. So our graduation rate suffers from that, but it is, I would say, in the moderate -- in the middle range among the state.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are you as a board doing anything to improve that percentage? Because I'm sure you want it higher.
MR. SMITH: We do. We do. We are. And I'm glad you said that, because I brought my handout from our last board meeting.

But we have an academic success model that not only -- it's a slightly different issue, but it's really the same, and that's retention, the keeping the students that we have, but also graduating the students that we have. And that's a challenge that we have, frankly, by being close to the beach.

So there are academic ways of keeping these students and getting them to graduate. There are more student affairs related ways of doing that. We are presently building our first real university union on the campus to get students to spend more time on the campus, but, primarily, we're working with academic advising.

Some of the research we've done nationally, we found that the number one reason a student will want to come back and graduate on time is the quality of the academic advising they're getting, that interaction with their professors and their advisors so that they're on track. And, frankly -- and I don't want to put words in the chairman's mouth here. He can speak for himself. But Chairman Henderson has been very direct with the faculty, to the point of having a meeting with the entire faculty to encourage them to help us with retention. And we have a multi-point plan here of how they can help us do that we are enacting right now.

Our retention rates were on the rise, and then they -- we reached a little bit of a trough, and now we're back on the rise again. So we want to continue that momentum.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you for your service. I didn't realize you'd been on the board for so long. So that's a great commitment to that university.

My question, just so I know Coastal, but I know your marine programs are, obviously, big, and I'm curious as to the Academic Common Market.

What are the degrees that most people are coming to Coastal for that they're not able to get other places in their state?
MR. SMITH: Well, I think you put your finger on the number one. You know, every institution has limited resources. So we, like any other, want to focus on areas that we think we can be truly excellent. And the faculty -- the quality of the faculty we have in marine science, known most places as marine biology, are just so strong that that's why we've asked for the Ph.D. program. That's why we've pushed so hard for research in that program, and that's probably the most attractive now.

I have to tell you this in the interest of complete disclosure, and that is, a lot of kids -- students come to Coastal Carolina for marine biology, and they find out it's not swimming and playing with dolphins.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Right.
MR. SMITH: They find out that it is a rigorous program. And we've had to be very careful to make sure students that apply, particularly from other states that will be coming a long way to Coastal Carolina, make sure they understand what they're getting into when they take marine biology at Coastal Carolina. So that's probably our number one area of strength.

The business college is also very strong. Our College of Education supplies most of the teachers in the Horry County region, but it's really marine science, the College of Science, in general, and the College of Business that are our real strengths.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Coastal's a little bit unique. District 1 is dealing with the penny sales tax.

Do you support the penny sales tax for Horry County? How much revenue on a yearly basis do y'all get from that penny sales tax?
MR. SMITH: You know, I'm not sure of that exact figure. I believe our chairman may have that. But the history of that is, the Horry County School District and the Horry Georgetown Technical College, which is our neighbor -- we share a road, which, by the way, the State just gave us that road that we now maintain -- but the road between Coastal and Georgetown Tech, there was an opportunity for those that come to Horry County as tourists, to help us strengthen education within the county.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Like people from Oconee.
MR. SMITH: Like people from out of state, from, maybe, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but people from Oconee as well to help not only the schools of Horry County, but Coastal Carolina and Horry Georgetown Tech. So Coastal Carolina gets relatively a small percentage of that penny.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Is that millions a day or millions a year?
MR. SMITH: But we do get --
MR. HENDERSON: 8 and a half to $10 million a year.
MR. SMITH: And that's a piece of the penny. That's a fraction of the penny.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I understand.
MR. SMITH: Most of --
MR. HENDERSON: Five percent.
MR. SMITH: Five percent of the penny, most of which we've been using to build buildings. Our doubling of our student body has really put a lot of stress on our facility groups. We're still the lowest square footage per student. So the penny sales tax has helped us catch up in the building process.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: If I could, Mr. Chairman, I have another question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sure.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you've alluded to the question about in-state versus out-of-state, and you've got more out-of-state than in-state. I see USC and Clemson advertising for students.

Have y'all done any outreach within the state of South Carolina, trying to attract -- and I'm concerned that we've got more out-of-state students. And I understand the location. I understand all the dynamics. But I just -- I have a concern that we've got a State-supported institution that's got more out-of-state students than it does in-state students.
MR. SMITH: Well, I think I might have committed the same error that Trustee McAbee did.

We're slightly still in-state, but I don't want to sugarcoat that. We're slightly more in-state, but it is a very high percentage of out-of-state, so much so that I understand your concern.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do y'all do any outreach? I mean, do y'all spend any money advertising within the state?
MR. SMITH: We have. We have.
In fact, for many months, and I think nearly a year, our billboard was the billboard at the zoo exit, here in Columbia. And we have also advertised around the state. We had a series of ads called Coastal is my Classroom that touted our marine science programs and others that ran in the newspapers across the state.

We've gotten much more active in what we call "earned media," free media, to get Coastal on the radar screens of young people, primarily through social media, Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and some of the things that the young folks use.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And one final question. I think the chairman brought it up earlier, from Clemson.

Does your board approve -- do y'all review the books that are used in the classrooms or that are determined to be read or in the faculty curriculum at Coastal?
MR. SMITH: Well, I think that's an interesting sort of relationship that we have at Coastal. And that is, there's not a process where the facility bring some reading project to the board and say, We want your approval, or, We want you to pick it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Should that be the case?
MR. SMITH: I'm not necessarily in favor of that. I do think it's a relationship issue. And, again, my sermon I gave you at the beginning about our collegial relationship we have as trustees with the newness of the administration, we have frank talks amongst ourselves as trustees and the provost, who is the head of the faculty, about what may be bubbling up, what are some of the books they're looking at, because we don't want do get bit by assigning a book that, frankly, taxpayers and tuition payers and parents find reprehensible. So it's more of an informal conversation.

We don't get the books. We don't give thumbs-up, but it is an ongoing conversation that we have about, really, two things. That's books and graduation speakers, because I think it's a theory of our board or a feeling that we have -- that who we have on the platform as a graduation speaker and the kind of books we have kids read for the summer, that's kind of symbolic of who we are.

So for instance, our book for this summer -- I don't know if you've heard of a gentleman, a really young guy, who's founded a company that makes shoes. It's called the TOMS Shoe Company, and for every shoe that you buy from him, he gives away a pair of shoes to someone who doesn't have them. Our summer project was to learn about his life and how he came to found that company and the values that he had.

And so...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?

I've got a quick question. Mr. Smith, if a potential student wanted to attend Coastal Carolina, and the application deadline was on 5 o'clock on January the 30th, and that student didn't quite make the deadline, and the partial application came in a day late, would you accept the student or not?
MR. SMITH: Wow, that's a tough question.
I would say, there would be a very strong possibility that we would look kindly on that if it were a South Carolina student, because we want to get as many South Carolina students in as we can. And I'm not sure of the specific policy of admissions on that type of...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The reason I asked that, that was your application for this position.
So what do you think we ought to do?
MR. SMITH: I think I was standing in your office at 4:59.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: With a partial application. Seriously, I think we'll have to vote, and if there's any opposition to accept this application, because you were standing there, but it did come in late.
MR. SMITH: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Any objection to accepting his application?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Not a one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other question? Does the staff have any?
MS. CASTO: We do. Mr. Smith, now, on your personal data questionnaire, number 26 deals with the -- have you ever been disciplined or fined by the State Ethics Commission? You answered no, and then you said you had a late filing fee of $100.

Did you pay the fee?
MR. SMITH: I did pay the fee, and I was fined.
MS. CASTO: And when was this?
MR. SMITH: This was the very last report -- or the next to the last report. Not the most recent one, but the one before.
MS. CASTO: And it's only been one time?
MR. SMITH: As far as I know, yes. I could check. It was during the switchover from paper to computer.
MS. CASTO: And, also, the personal data questionnaire, number 30, which just asks if you are a registered lobbyist. We see you around the State House all the time.

Are you not required to be registered as president and CEO of Palmetto Family Council?
MR. SMITH: No. I come and testify a lot in meetings, but I don't lobby, and I'm not a registered lobbyist.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
Questions or comments?
What's the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is a favorable report. Is there a second?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, Mr. Smith.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, sir.

4th Congressional District - Seat 4
Term expires 2017
(2 Candidates)

D. Wyatt Henderson
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, D. Wyatt Henderson.
Good afternoon, sir.
MR. HENDERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We appreciate your patience.
MR. HENDERSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would, (raising hand).

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. HENDERSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
MR. HENDERSON: Well, anytime anyone gives me an opportunity to talk about Coastal Carolina, I certainly will. First, let me just state for the record that the Representative and I are not related.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Sounds like you want to get that out there.
MR. HENDERSON: Well, I didn't know where the questions were going afterwards, but I just wanted to put that to bed, if I could.
I'm proud to say that I've been on this Coastal board now for about five years. I'm in my third year of a four-year term as chair.

Probably the biggest accomplishment that we've had while being on the board is, we've had our in-state tuition at zero percent, and we're in our second year of that. Tuition is near and dear to my heart, and while we've done it for the first two years, I've got the intention of trying to make it happen for a third year, but I'll know in another month or so when I look at forecasted numbers for next year.

Our in-state tuition is lower than the state average. We're lower than Winthrop, the College of Charleston, Clemson, USC Columbia, USC Upstate, Lander, SC State, and The Citadel.

When I first came on the board back in 2009, I took a look at the budget. And if you wondered why numbers were so important to me, I'm a licensed CPA here in South Carolina. I've owned my own firm for about 15 years.

And so I may not know a whole lot, but I do kind of know numbers.
And so when I got on board for the first time, the first thing I did was took a look at the budget. And we really were saddled then with the recession of 2008 and 2009.
And so we took an aggressive approach because the budget needed it. We ended up cutting about 5 percent of our normal operating budget. And by doing that, we were a -- running the numbers -- few of the four-year institutions in South Carolina that did not layoff or furlough anybody during the recession, which is something that we're quite proud of.

Over the last 16 months, we've made the effort to do a cost-benefit analysis at Coastal of every department, every major -- every cost center, every foundation, and we have a new policy that is, if what you're spending on behalf of the State at Coastal, if it doesn't improve retention, increase our operation of efficiency, help hold down tuition, add value to the degree in which you're striving towards, or further serve to benefit our community or state, that expenditure was eliminated or reduced. And as Dr. Smith had said, we added a Ph.D. in marine science. Other than our three research institutions, we're the only one that's going to give an opportunity to add a terminal degree in which we are thankful for CHE, as well as the general standards of their support in that.

We're currently constructing a 1,200-bed housing dorm facility on campus. Our most recent rating from Moody's, when they issued those bonds, were the highest you could get. We're very proud of it.
Talking about what are we offering our students to improve our graduation rate, Dr. Smith has led the effort by -- I'm surprised he didn't mention it to you, but he's led the effort. We now offer several degrees in which you can earn in three years. A BS degree if you go during the summer. We've got the programs available where you can get -- you finish with a BS degree in three years, and then you can go right into your master's and get your master's within four years.

And so we're very conscious about -- of what it costs for higher education, and we're doing everything that we possibly can at Coastal to help hold down the cost of higher education.

I don't know if you knew this or not, but two out of three teachers in Horry County either got their degree at Coastal or a certificate from Coastal. So there's a huge tie there to the local teaching community.
And then the final note is, since I've been on the board, we've added eight buildings to our campus. And like Dr. Smith said, we're trying to increase our infrastructure, but we've added the eight buildings without asking for or receiving any construction money from the General Assembly. So we've been able to do that with that local penny sales tax.
And I'll answer any questions you have, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

Any questions or comments for Mr. Henderson?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Question two. And it's just a statement from me on the question.

I just have to commend you for cutting $7 million. I assume that was during the recession.
MR. HENDERSON: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And not laying off a person through that process. So I just have to commend you and the board members.
MR. HENDERSON: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just a couple.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you for your service, but I asked earlier about advertising for in-state students. Do y'all do any out-of-state advertising, trying to bring out-of-state students into the state?
MR. HENDERSON: You'd be surprised, Senator, how little out-of-state advertising actually we have to do.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: But you do, though?
MR. HENDERSON: We do very little. We're committing a lot of resources to in-state. One thing that we are doing this year is, we're holding more sessions with our high school students to get them interested in state, to take a look at Coastal. It's not a secret that the -- a lot of students from South Carolina, if given the choice, they're either going to go to Clemson or USC or Coastal. If they're accepted to Coastal and they don't get accepted to Clemson or USC, they may very well come to Coastal and transfer later.

And so we're putting forth additional resources this coming year in order to attract more in-state students to get those students to take a very serious look.

So the short answer to your question is, we do very little out-of-state advertising, but this coming year, we're actually concentrating our efforts more in state.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And one last question, if I could, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I was going to talk about the qualifying applicant.

What is your SAT score requirement, and in what avenue -- what -- in a nutshell, what is a qualified applicant?
MR. HENDERSON: Our average SAT score for this past year was 1010. When you look at qualified applicants, we don't necessarily have an SAT score. I use myself as a good example. When I went to Coastal, my SAT scores were terrible, but they gave me a chance.

And so I ended up doing very well.

And so we don't look at the SAT score as a stand alone indicator of success -- of future success.

And so our average last year was a 1010. I would say that if you're looking at cutoff, if you're looking for a hard number, you're probably looking at the mid-800s.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And that's basically what a qualified student is, based on their SAT score?
MR. HENDERSON: Yes, sir. And one further comment on the in-state/out-of-state is, if you're a qualified student -- even if you're not qualified -- we're getting back into the bridge program that we set up with Horry-Georgetown Tech, and if you're not qualified, we're actually going to offer you an opportunity to go to the bridge program. So in the hopes to get more students in state and down to Coastal, it certainly is a challenge.

It really is, but we do not turn away any qualified in-state students.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Real quickly. Y'all have always been the best there is at Coastal Carolina University. Y'all have a great administration and a great faculty, and you have been responsible, no question, and have been for many years.

Please, Mr. Henderson, tell us a little bit about your president.
MR. HENDERSON: President DeCenzo started at Coastal as the dean of the business school just about the time that I got back involved with Coastal, and I saw -- I've been able to witness Dr. DeCenzo's progression through the university and his developing into one of our great leaders, and he's done a great job.

One of the things I'll say about Dr. DeCenzo is, he's very acutely aware of every State dollar that we get. And one thing that we make sure is, it gets spent as wisely as it possibly can be. He's a tremendous leader, and he's done great things for the university, and we hope that he sticks around for another 15 or 20 years.
SENATOR McGILL: What a testament. This man is civically involved in the whole region and state, not just in Conway and the Horry County area.

But students who graduate from Coastal have a little bounce in their step. Proud.

You're doing a good job, all of you from Coastal.
MR. HENDERSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I've got one last thing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I've been an educator, until I got down here, all my life. And I just want to say thanks for realizing that not just a test score makes a good college student. You can't measure when young people get in there, work hard, and hit the books. What I've found, at least when I was teaching, is that a lot of the most successful people in life later, not necessarily have the highest scores, but they're willing to put the work into it. So you've got the right attitude there.

And so, what Senator McGill said, it sounds like you've got a great school.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Does the staff have any follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Henderson, you said that you're a member of the South Carolina Tax Council.
MR. HENDERSON: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: I think -- is that a 501(c)(3)?
MR. HENDERSON: It is.
MS. CASTO: Do they get any State funds?
MR. HENDERSON: Not that I'm aware of.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Also, on his economic interest statement, he does report that he had football team's flights to Kentucky and North Dakota.
MR. HENDERSON: Right.
MS. CASTO: You went to North Dakota, whether there's a student or not. But he nor the candidate prior had reported their per diem and subsistence for board members.
MR. HENDERSON: No, ma'am. The first act, when I got on the board is, I cut out per diem and, specifically, for travel allowances. So the board members received nothing.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Nobody's ever said that. Wow.
SENATOR McGILL: For the record, finally.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, finally.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you think you can beat Carolina?
MR. HENDERSON: As long as the check clears.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is for a favorable report.   A second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir, for your willingness to continue to serve.

Rebecca C. Faulkner
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

Next is Ms. Rebecca C. Faulkner.
Good afternoon.
MS. FAULKNER: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would, raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. FAULKNER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to share with the Committee why you'd like to serve on Coastal Carolina Board?
MS. FAULKNER: Well, I'm here interested in serving this state, and I was looking for an opportunity in which to do that. I'm not a politician. So that would not be my forte, but I still would like to serve the state.

When I started looking at the board of trustees and looking at the bylaws of the board of trustees for Coastal Carolina, it said that there had -- needed to be two representatives from each congressional district.

And so I applied, thinking there's only one, and it's the board chairman. And I must say, I'm not presumptuous enough to be challenging the board chairman. But it was my understanding that there were going to be two from each congressional district. But I'm very excited.
I am an educator. I have been all my life. I'm a product of Greenville County Schools. I worked there.

I have worked for USC Upstate for the last ten years -- well, actually eleven, but I actually retired last year, and I'm back doing adjunct work. Now, it's hard to retire. But I'm just delighted to be here, and I'm excited for the opportunity to get to meet with you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions or comments?

The staff had a good question.
MS. CASTO: Yes. The bylaws may say that but last -- but in 2012, the -- that could be something the board needs to change, those bylaws. But the Legislature, with the creation of the 7th Congressional District, we did a lot of the board things mentioned. Coastal Carolina was one that, prior to last year, had two from each congressional district. They only have one from each congressional district, and the other at large.
MS. FAULKNER: Okay. Well, that explains a lot. I saw an awful lot of at large.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: There is a question from Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What do you teach at USC Upstate?
MS. FAULKNER: I teach in the School of Education, and I teach -- most of my time has been on the Greenville campus at the University Center.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are you also turning out teachers, or you're just --
MS. FAULKNER: Yes. I teach juniors and seniors, sometimes graduate courses, but their education as well.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You've got a very impressive résumé.
MS. FAULKNER: Well, thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
Are you also placed with --
MS. FAULKNER: Western Governors?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes.
MS. FAULKNER: I've done the -- I read at a seminar for their student teachers when this came out.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you do that -- so that's --
MS. FAULKNER: That's online.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Online.

And that's the same with West Virginia as well?
MS. FAULKNER: Uh-huh. And those are education programs.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And there's just one at each of those schools?
MS. FAULKNER: (Nodding head.)
MS. CASTO: Are you registered to vote, because on your personal data questionnaire, you failed to answer the question.
MS. FAULKNER: Oh, did I? Oh, I vote.
MS. CASTO: Oh, okay.
MS. FAULKNER: Be assured, I do.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
MS. FAULKNER: I must have missed that. Sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No questions?

Motion is for a favorable report. A second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
MS. FAULKNER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you so much.

At-Large - Seat 8
Term expires 2017

Fred F. DuBard
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

Let's go to Coastal Carolina, Fred DuBard. Let's get caught up on that. We're dancing around here. Would it be Tab S?
MS. CASTO: He is behind Tab T, as in Tom.
SEN. PEELER: Not according to mine.
(Off the record.) MS. CASTO: His is for Coastal Carolina.
SEN. PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. DUBARD: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. DUBARD: I'm honored to be considered for the Board of Coastal Carolina. I hope and I think I bring some talents to help improve the university. I'm from northeastern South Carolina and do what I can to make that and the whole state a better place to live.
SEN. PEELER: Everybody get caught up on your information, tabs and all? Any questions or comments?
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: I just want to briefly -- you can read certainly what is on these difference sheets, but he carries the academia going in to serve on this Board -- his father served on this Board for many years, Mr. Fred DuBard.
SEN. PEELER: I thought so.
SEN. MCGILL: But this young man has cut a new trail in thought and I can tell you, man, that he worked, not just with the media many years ago, but ran a multi-million dollar corporate company in that region of the state. But he, serving on this Coastal Carolina Board, I can tell you, Dave DeCensa and that crowd, would be clapping every step of the way. I can tell you that his family -- which I can't imagine this university not having a DuBard on the Board -- but I can tell you this, that he would be a great asset to that university.
MR. DUBARD: Thank you, Senator. That's very kind.
SEN. PEELER: Other questions or comments? Staff, do you have follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork was all in order and he's good to go. He's running unopposed for this seat.
SEN. PEELER: So you graduated from Duke and Harvard?
MR. DUBARD: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Whitmire has a question.
REP. WHITMIRE: Welcome, sir.
MR. DUBARD: Thank you.
REP. WHITMIRE: I see all these degrees from schools I couldn't even get into, but, gosh, your driver's record needs to have a little work on it. What happened with the suspended license for not paying a traffic ticket? Was there a mixup or something?
MR. DUBARD: Yeah, frankly, I'm trying to figure out what that was. I do a lot of driving in my job with South Carolina Future Minds, and sometimes I'm on the small roads and my mind wonders. I now try and stay to the interstates so I know what's happening where. Frankly, I think it was a time there.
REP. WHITMIRE: Well, it says -- maybe staff can help me out on this. It says, license suspended for failure to pay traffic ticket in February '09. And then in November of '08, charge of failure to pay a traffic ticket, was that the same ticket?
MR. DUBARD: I believe that was.
MS. CASTO: That was the same ticket. I believe it was in Beaufort that you got a ticket.
REP. WHITMIRE: Oh, yeah. There was confusion in the letters and my requirements. I'm sure -- I promise you it wasn't intentional.
SEN. PEELER: All those super highways around Florence and Kingstree, I see where you would get confused in Beaufort. Those small one-laners down there. Senator Hayes.
SEN. HAYES: Coastal, what is its percentage of out-of-state students, do you know?
MR. DUBARD: No, sir. I honestly don't. I've been looking at the website, I've been doing that, and I can tell you a lot of other facts, but I can't quite recall that number.
SEN. HAYES: What is your thought as far as the university's makeup as far as out-of-state, in-state, minority, non-minority? Is it where it needs to be, or what are your thoughts in that regard?
MR. DUBARD: I really want to look at it. I'm coming into it. I do know -- my understanding from reading the stuff is they had a strategic plan that went through 2013, so I'm not sure what their strategic plan from there on out is. They're a strong mid-sized university in the northeastern region.

I would like to know what their plan is for the northeast region and what South Carolina's plan is for Coastal Carolina in supporting state development.

If I could come back to you in a year, I'd be happy to. But right now, I'm in the learning stage.
SEN. MCGILL: Move favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up or anything?
MS. CASTO: No, his paperwork was all in order.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorable. Seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it.
MR. DUBARD: Thank you very much.
SEN. PEELER: Appreciate it.

At-Large - Seat 10
Term expires 2017

Samuel J. Swad
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Samuel J. Swad from Gaffney.
MR. SWAD: Yes. My name is Samuel Swad, and I'm a family physician with Gaffney --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm sorry. Let me swear you in.
MR. SWAD: Oh, I'm sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SWAD: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MR. SWAD: I'm probably not as eloquent as the others, but I'm used to being in a room with one patient, instead of all these folks.
I'm a graduate of Coastal Carolina University. I have a business degree from there, and glad to be a graduate from there.

And so I was there when there were about four buildings, no dormitories, drove back and forth from Myrtle Beach to Conway. I graduated with no debt, because back then you didn't need to take student loans because you needed to work to pay your way as you went. So one of my big issues, not with Coastal, just education in general, is students graduating with 40-, $50,000 in debt in a lackluster job market.

So I'd like to help continue to guide Coastal in that regard. This would be my fourth term. I guess the biggest accomplishment that I find there is our hiring the new president. I think we did a good job there. He's incredibly financially astute, as is our chairman. And with the leadership of those two, they've really done a good job economically.

So if you have any questions...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I noticed that you're from Ohio, that you lived there and then came down here to go to school.
MR. SWAD: No. I was born in Ohio, but in 1963, my parents had the good sense to move to South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay.
MR. SWAD: And I started kindergarten.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yet another one of the Ohioans here.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: He's been here almost long enough to be a South Carolinian.
SENATOR McGILL: Chairman, let me ask --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: This is not meant to be a controversial question.

What do you think about that merger issue with the College of Charleston and MUSC?
MR. SWAD: My niece -- the first I heard of it was when --
SENATOR McGILL: Say no more.
MR. SWAD: Yeah. It's a nonissue to me.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good answer. Good answer.
MR. SWAD: I went to the School of Medicine. I don't have any business in Charleston about that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service, but, also, I want to commend your selection of your president. I've had an opportunity to work with him.

What was your football record this last year?
MR. SWAD: I think eight and --
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Twelve and three.
MR. SWAD: Twelve and three.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I went to the meeting on his coach too.
MR. SWAD: Well, everybody used to say, What are you doing hiring a financial guy as a football coach?

I said, He's not a financial guy. He's a stockbroker. Stockbrokers aren't financial guys. They're salesmen. Salesmen are good coaches.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You're showing them what you're doing, hiring him. Congratulations.
MR. SWAD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Does the staff have anything?
MS. CASTO: No. His paperwork was all in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: It's a decision of mine, I'm going to give him a favorable report. And he's my doctor.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

At-Large - Seat 14
Term expires 2017

Daniel W.R. Moore, Sr.
Screened, Friday, February 28, 2014

(From Thursday, February 20, 2014)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Mr. Moore was up next, but he called in. And he has the flu today, and I recommended him to stay home. So we'll reschedule him.

(From Friday, February 28, 2014)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. We'll call the meeting back to order.

We'll go to Coastal Carolina University, Daniel W.R. Moore, Sr.
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir. Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. MOORE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement to the Committee.
MR. MOORE: I just offer for reelection to the board at Coastal. I have a deep attachment to the university and have had for a number of years. I have served on the board for three terms now, and I would like to serve another term.

So many good things have happened at Coastal during my tenure, and there are several things that I would like to see fostered and moved along through another term. One of which is, our marine science program, which we just got a Ph.D. program to be offered there, and our Waites Island Research Center is just phenomenal, and it's on the north end of North Myrtle Beach, where I live and have lived all my life. And I'm very involved in that through the connections to City Government and with the university.

So I'm hoping to be able to help promote a lot of different synergies through our city and university, in terms of collaboration of and, perhaps, programs for young children to see the ecological ways of the Coast, and things of that nature.

There are just a host of things going on that I'm very excited about for our area of the Coast and for the institution.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Questions, comments?
Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.

Mr. Moore --
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- tell me a little bit about the marine science program and the Waites Island Laboratory. I'm fascinated about it.
MR. MOORE: Okay. Dr. Paul Gayes is the director of the marine science program at the university and has been for a number of years. Dr. Gayes has been involved in leading-edge research, in regards to erosion, factors, erosion control programs. There's so many different scientific discoveries and research that's taking place.
Mapping through sonar, in terms of mapping the ocean's floor to check temperatures regarding marine life and the estuaries. Waites Island, being part of a bequest to our institution, many, many years ago, by the Boyce and Tillman family. It enabled us to have a staging area, that's very pristine on the Coast, which that's few and far between, and allows us the opportunity to study so many different marine-life actives.

And it just -- it's amazing what a collaboration -- you may or may not have read -- it probably was in the State newspaper, not too long ago, maybe about eight or nine months ago -- a new modeling for hurricane landfall predictions. And this is leading-edge research, and that's done under Dr. Gayes' program there through marine science.

But offering the new Ph.D. program, it enables us to have a higher stature around the country, especially when you're dealing with Woods Hole in Massachusetts, some of these Scripps Institutes in California, some of these real high-professional marine science entities.

So it gives us a lot of opportunity to -- you know, through cross-training, cross-research, and things of that nature -- perhaps, eventually be able to market our intellectual findings.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Does it do anything dealing with the fisheries?
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir. Yes, and, like I say, the temperatures and the temperature aspects -- and you may, again, in reading recently in Global Warming and all these other issues in regards to environment, brings to bear certain species of fish, and certain -- through wildlife management and marine biological management -- reasons for fish not spawning or breeding in certain areas.

And a lot of it has to do with lack of habitat, temperatures that rise or fall, that don't -- they're not conducive to fish or marine life existing in that environment anymore.

So all of these things are being looked at as areas of research.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's good because, obviously, that's one of your big industries here.
MR. MOORE: Absolutely, the Coast. Yes, sir. And the preservation thereof too.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes. Good.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon.
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Help me understand what kind of involve -- I know you live close. I heard all that.

How has attendance been as a member of the board?
MR. MOORE: I am on campus probably once or twice a month, on average, sometimes more often.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
MR. MOORE: Just depending upon committee meetings. I'm getting ready -- we're having a meet local student through Horry and Georgetown County meet the students and their parents.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. MOORE: An event coming up March 21st, and I've signed up as a trustee to meet parents and, you know, be involved in meeting prospective students, new students, and things of that nature.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And your attendance as a board member at meetings, specifically of that, is that in the 80 to 90 percent.
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions or comments?

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Same question.
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Have you heard of anything, as it relates to thank you as to personnel problems at the Medical University Hospital?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack, he's from coastal Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Oh, I'm --
MR. MOORE: I'm a rare today, because I was sick for the screening last week. I'm sorry.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Withdrawn. Thank you.
MR. MOORE: I'm trying to answer whatever.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: We don't want to put that on you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, I can see where the confusion is. His name on the list, but it's Coastal Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay. All right.
MS. CASTO: He had the flu last week.
MR. MOORE: I did.
SENATOR McGILL: Chairman, at the proper time, motion favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report and a second.

Does the staff have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: I just have one.

Mr. Moore --
MR. MOORE: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Do you currently serve on the North Myrtle Beach Zoning Board?
MR. MOORE: I currently serve on the -- I'm chairman under the Zoning Board of Appeals.
MS. CASTO: Appeals.

Okay. And you're appointed by whom?
MR. MOORE: Mayor-council.
MS. CASTO: Okay. So that's not --
MR. MOORE: I have served on that for 20 years.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the eyes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. MOORE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Y'all have a good day.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You too.

College of Charleston

1st Congressional District - Seat 1
Term Expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

Joseph F. Thompson
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next we'll go to the College of Charleston. Our first candidate is Joseph F. Thompson, incumbent. That's good.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. THOMPSON: Yes, I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement for the committee?
MR. THOMPSON: I do. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I'm offering for reelection to seek number one, First Congressional District, College of Charleston Board of Trustees.

It's been my pleasure to serve for the past 16 years where I served on numerous committees and have chaired the governmental affairs, business and finance and audit committees.

I am a 1974 graduate of the college and take great pride in being able to serve my alma mater as a member of this board of trustees. I have and will continue to be an advocate for efficiency in governing the college in order to make the best use of available funds and to keep tuition as low as possible. I'm also an advocate of maintaining a high percentage of in-state students at the college and was a supporter of the college's self-imposed, out-of-state student cap of 33 percent several years ago.

If reelected to the board, I will continue to advocate for these positions while working to keep the college's academic programs the best that they can be.

Thank you for your opportunity to be here today before this committee.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments from members of the committee?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Thompson, this is follow up from yesterday. I don't know if you've been made aware of that, but what are your feelings on the role of the board members as regards to the general curriculum of the college? Do you have any input on that, or do you just let the folks at the college --
MR. THOMPSON: We approve curriculum for courses that are added and so forth. You know, we have a curriculum. It has to come before us. If you're referring to the book --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes.
MR. THOMPSON: Okay. The book was a mistake. Shouldn't have happened. We should have been involved in it. We were not. It's my personal feeling. The buck stops with us.

We took our eye off the ball and trusted that task to someone who let us down. Someone who should have used good common sense. And we found out about it when the horse was out of the barn, quite frankly.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Will that happen again?
MR. THOMPSON: No, it will not. We have taken steps -- we had quite a lengthy Academic Affairs committee meeting at our October meeting -- at our October board meeting, and we pretty much laid it out that -- and we'll -- I'm sure we will make this policy. But we are to be involved in any future selections either by having a board member serve on that committee that picks out the book or having the whole book reviewed by the full board before it is put out to the public.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I have two of my children are graduates. And I think a lot of the college, but I'll be honest with you, it gave the college a black eye, at least, in my part of the state.
MR. THOMPSON: Very embarrassing. Very embarrassing.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm glad to hear you say that.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: I don't know if I need to get into this here, but I thought I would get your opinion. Since you work at MUSC and you're on the board for the other, what do you think of the possible merger of the two?
MR. THOMPSON: I figured that was coming. I'll have to -- MUSC, of course, pays my salary, and you know last week the board came out against it. So I would just like to sort of plead the Fifth on that one. I respect my board, and I also respect the legislators, the gentlemen who put forth the bill. And I'd just like to not make a statement on that, if I could.
SENATOR HAYES: All right. That's probably wise.
SENATOR PEELER: Well, as a board member, would you be required to make a statement ultimately?
MR. THOMPSON: Well, at the MUSC meeting, they had representative -- I mean, board members, staff abstain. And if our board takes that up at our meeting in March, that's what I intend to do, is abstain. I don't think it's right for me to vote on that.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. And, again, being consistent, your attendance record as far as being a member of the board?
MR. THOMPSON: I had to miss three meetings in the past four years. I had -- two of them were business related. One of them was a trip that my wife and I had planned, a Viking River Cruise, which we had to pay for a whole year ahead of time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. THOMPSON: But in the 16 years, I believe I missed a total of five meetings out of about 80.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you all meet once a quarter as well?
MR. THOMPSON: Once a quarter, yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I think you've put on the record already in Mr. Whitmire's comments that you were not aware -- the board was not aware of the selection of the book prior to that selection; is that correct?
MR. THOMPSON: That's correct. I was not.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I think I took from your comments that that selection did not -- does that -- it's my understanding that that selection of that book did not reflect your views.
MR. THOMPSON: Absolutely not.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How about the views of the board?
MR. THOMPSON: I can't speak for the board.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Did the board take any censor action after the fact?
MR. THOMPSON: We did. In the Academic Affairs Committee meeting we expressed our displeasure. But, like I said, the horse was already out of the barn.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Was that a unanimous -- was that a recorded vote?
MR. THOMPSON: No. It is not been a recorded vote yet.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you all anticipate the board taking a formal action of --
MR. THOMPSON: I'm very hopeful that at our March meeting we will have that as an agenda item and take that up. I'm not the chairman of the board, but I hope that that will be addressed. And that will, in fact --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I would like to have the information from that board meeting and may want to know when that board meeting is going to be. May want to attend that board meeting.
MR. THOMPSON: I think it's March 21st.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to just for the record to share that Mr. Thompson has been an excellent board member, and that he -- I've studied this thing since yesterday and I had -- you have been a good board member and that you are a person of honor and you are a person of integrity that has made a difference on this board and that we are proud that you're running again.
MR. THOMPSON: Thank you very much, Senator.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions, comments?

Staff, do you have some follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: Just for the record, on his economic interest statement he does report his salary from MUSC and his per diem from the College of Charleston.
SENATOR PEELER: All right.

Let's get back to the merger. If that was successful, would you have to resign from the board or resign your job, which one --
MR. THOMPSON: Well, I would have to resign my seat. From what I understand, there will be a whole new board, so we probably all will have to resign our seats. But, yes, it would definitely be a conflict of interest.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Walk me through the process of selecting a new president. It's been in the news. Search committee. Postponed. Give me -- just walk me through that.
MR. THOMPSON: Well, search committee started meeting several months ago. Have finished their deliberations. And we're in the process of meeting as a board to bring forth finalists, which has not been determined yet.
SENATOR PEELER: When will that be determined?
MR. THOMPSON: Well, we are meeting Friday. Next Friday, the 28th, but I can't really say when the final resolution will --
SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MR. THOMPSON: We are under a confidentiality agreement, also.
SENATOR PEELER: All right. What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Move favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Favorable, second.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. THOMPSON: Thank you very much.

R. Scott Woods
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Mr. R. Scott Woods is running for College of Charleston, 1st Congressional District.

Welcome, Mr. Woods.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WOODS: I do.

I, first, want to thank the Committee and staff for being flexible in my schedule. I'm going tomorrow to Washington, D.C., for the better part of the week. So thank you all for that in advance.

I also apologize in advance. I've never been through this process before, and it's very clear I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. So if I sound a little disjointed, please take that into consideration. I appreciate that.

I'm here today to talk to you about money for the College of Charleston for a couple of reasons. I am a graduate of the college, and the college is an exceptional school, and I want it to continue to be outstanding.

I'm also here to see what the college can do for the community at large and the state at large, both in terms of this community and in terms of helping to serve the industry that was here and to prepare to offer students to attract industry to our state, rather than graduate folks that are qualified for the work outside of our state. So I want to reverse some trends here.

I have very much passion for workforce development. I think our schools, whether we're talking 12-K, or graduate schools or colleges, to produce folks that have a skill set to meet the needs of the workforce. We have some very challenging existing industries, and we have some others that we want to attract in this area.

I currently run the South Carolina Federal Credit Union. I work with that organization. I manage a $1.3 billion balance sheet with a $65 million operating space I budget every year. So I do believe that I have the leadership skills to serve in this capacity.

I also feel I have the government skills, and if you look at my résumé, I do have experience serving on another board of trustees for the Charleston Southern University. I was elected for that. I served on it for five years, two of those being the chairman. So I do feel like I do have the skill set to know what it takes to serve the needs of the facility and the staff and the students, but, also, to know what it's like to be accountable to the governing body that puts you there.

I do feel the college should continue to work closely with the business community to align themselves with what the community needs and graduate students that produce those type of skill sets. I would like to see the college expand its offering to an emerging need in our business community, such as biomedical and ecological engineering and also in IT. The IT demand in our state and our region is about to explode, and we'd like to see our schools graduate those students with those needs so they can work there.

I could go on, but I wanted to paint that picture for you and welcome your questions.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Before we call questions, is it the University of Charleston or College -- what's the title?
MS. CASTO: It's still the College of Charleston.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It still is.

Well, where are they saying University?
MR. WOODS: Legislation and the House.

It's funny you said that to me, I'm an incumbent. I've had my eye on this for some years, waiting for the seat to become available, not because of any dissatisfaction with the incumbent currently serving on the board. I just feel like I have a lot to offer.

But I had set this as the goal before this merger issue came, and now I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking. It's become very much of a hot topic. But, again, I've been part of mergers between companies.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I've got my son graduated from there and my daughter graduated from there, and, actually, one of my kin folks wrote the charter.
MR. WOODS: So noted.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes. So we certainly are vested, money-wise too.

All right. Questions from the Committee members?
Representative Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, going back to the merger question, obviously, if it's something that we vote on, you would proceed, obviously, you know, carry that out. But what are your opinions on why this does or does not need to happen and what you think the benefits or pros and cons would be?
MR. WOODS: My opinion right now is, I think it is worth vetting. It's not been vetted to the point that it has been talked about, but no real items have been questioned in the legislation, like what to do with office space, anywhere from staff to trustees to the trustees from MUSC to community leaders. Everyone has an opinion, but very few people have facts. There's suggestions that it can save money because you're combining two institutions, and, therefore, you would use less State resources. There'd be less competition for State resources.

I think that in theory, from some of the things that are put forward, there are some things that do make a lot of sense. It would be great to have another research university in the state and offer Ph.D. programs down there. But I also think it's important that they maintain the independence, in terms of each school. I mean, when you have a world-class university there.

My wife had breast cancer a few years ago, and she went to MUSC. And we took my three daughters down there to see her one afternoon as she recovered from cosmetic surgery, and were playing a game that we play in Charleston very often when -- we play license plate bingo. We might have picked 40 states in the MUSC parking lot. Now, that speaks a good -- I'm not here to advocate for MUSC, if I'm off track, but what I'm saying is, that is outstanding for us.

But the College of Charleston is a world-class institution as well, with its rich heritage and its academic offerings. It's a nationally leading liberal arts college, and we can't water that down either.

So the long answer to your question, we should move forward, vetting it carefully, with an eye on maintaining balance between the two institutions.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other questions?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'd like -- I'm sorry. Oh, go ahead.
SENATOR McGILL: Are you in favor of the merger?
MR. WOODS: I think it should be looked at. I should have just said that.
SENATOR McGILL: And I got it. And I understand it, but this is going to be a big decision for this General Assembly. And I don't see them merging at all. I mean, I'm giving you my opinion.

But I also say that because that will be a major transition. Keep this in the minds of the future board members. But most times when you buy this $2 million computer system, and it's supposed to save on employees and it's supposed to be more efficient, sometimes it's not.

And I'm hearing all this negative stuff coming up across the state now, and it's against this merger. And the sad part, the College of Charleston does not need to be put in this talk and noise with MUSC.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Are you finished?
SENATOR McGILL: I am through.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Let me change gears from that.

There's been talks about the possibility of the college buying or purchasing Charleston Law School.

Just give me your comments of whatever.
MR. WOODS: I don't want to sound like a broken record, but -- without saying, well, I think it should be looked at. But if I'm turning into a political parrot here, I just might answer your question.

I think it's another field of study that the college can offer. I have not vetted this at all. So my off-the-cuff answer is, I certainly think it makes more sense for the College of Charleston to go into a field of law than a field of medicine. So I feel it should be looked at.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Let me ask you this too. You've been on the board, and I understand it was good -- a good Baptist college.
MR. WOODS: Baptist college, yes. Back in the day.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you're not an incumbent at the College of Charleston. Let me ask you this, what do you think is the proper place to do selection of the president of the university?
MR. WOODS: Well, I'll be honest with you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes. I want you to be honest.
MR. WOODS: I am, and I fall back on my CEO experience. I care what my employees think. I hire them to come and do a job and do it well, but at the end of the day -- and I have about 450 employees. On any given day, probably 425 of them can do my job better than I can do it myself.

I want to know what they think, but they have imperfect information. They have a piece of the knowledge, but myself and my senior management team have a complete picture of whatever situations we're addressing. So at the end of the day, what they want is an input on the bigger picture.

So I think they have valuable input, but at the end of the day, that's the trustees' decision.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Anything else from the Committee?

I'm going to ask this of every person running for the College of Charleston, and this is coming from several House members approaching me on the subject.

They're very upset about a specific book. I don't know if it was required reading, but 4,000 were ordered by the College of Charleston. And a speaker was invited down -- $13,000. The total bill was $52,000 -- promoting a specific lifestyle. I know, you know, about academic freedom and everything else, but there were evidently some parents highly offended, because I think this was a book intended for freshmen.

Where do you see your role as a trustee if elected?

You know, I know there's so many different ways of looking at things, but these House members are generally upset. And, in fact, they looked into taking away that $52,000.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Don't be so quick. Don't be assuming that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, it's true. You may not know it.

I know it's tough to ask you, being the first one.
MR. WOODS: Oh, no. This is the easiest question I've gotten all day.
I found out about that. See, I live just across the river. If I sat up on my roof, I can see the college from my house. I go to sporting events there, and my workplace works with the college.

And so we have a very close relationship with the college, and I have a huge respect for the college and the people that work there and the people who lead there. And the fact that it is a liberal arts school, there's a certain amount that needs to be expected from them. When I went there, I was an accounting major. An accounting major at a liberal arts school is sometimes a little hard to see.

But I found out about the reading list when my wife came home, and she was just really put out, because she had found out about that book at church. I pulled it up on the Internet. And I have three daughters. And let me just tell you my opinion.

A rising freshmen is not a college student. The rising freshmen is still a child, still a high school student. You don't become a college student in your first months or year there or semester at a college.

And what I saw on the graphical images of the book, I found -- offensive doesn't touch it, as a father of three daughters.

Now, that being said, I don't know if the trustees should approve -- their stamp of approval on some reading. I mean, that's getting down really to the weeds. I think what the trustees should do is set the tone, set the culture, set the expectation of what is going to be done there. Again, from a liberal arts college, there has to be a -- not a certain degree, but a large degree of creativity or type of leeway given.

But that's the line I would draw as a trustee. But that's just not acceptable. So I don't mean to be critical of the current trustees.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If there was a private school -- I mean, I think we're giving almost $20 million in public money. And so it's -- I saw the book today. I mean --
MR. WOODS: Yeah. I saw the book too.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You know, and I was in the Army and everything else, and that's -- it's just highly offensive.
MR. WOODS: Well, if a man walked in a room and gave that book to my 16-year-old, who is going to college in two years, that man would find himself on the floor. Let me be clear that I think it was a terrible book.

Now, should trustees be looking at approving college reading lists? I don't know if that's the details of the trustees' duties. I think they should set the culture so they know that is not acceptable. I don't care how creative and artistic schools are.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You have to have some kind of standards.
Representative Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, my -- and it has nothing to do with you. And I think one of the things you did say, which was -- I agree with that. The trustees are not there to, quote/unquote, run the day-to-day operations. But, for the record, I think that what happens -- the position -- some of my colleagues, the position that they took from me, for the record, was offensive to me because a school of liberal arts --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Representative Mack, hold that. I think they want us to go there. If you don't mind holding that.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, I thank you for your indulgence. We were working on the ethics legislation in the Senate, a very important piece of legislation, and I had to be down there.

But I thank you for covering, and who had -- Mr. Mack, you had a question?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just making a comment for the record, and, basically, it's in regard to the book controversy at the College of Charleston. And for the record, my concern -- I have not seen the book, and I take it under your word and other people that it probably was offensive.

My point and the thing I'm concerned about is setting a precedence that we are -- when I say "we," the outside public is determining literature with regards to a liberal arts education; a time when students are supposed to be exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly, develop critical thinking, thought process, who they determine themselves to be.

I went to the predominately black school, Howard University, and, you know, my dictators, slavery, which affects me personally, you know, to this day, and a lot of things that were not, quote/unquote, pleasant and some just downright bad.
But it concerns me that our body in the House -- some members of the House took a punitive action with regards to College of Charleston with reading material. And, again, it goes beyond the reading material. I haven't seen it. I take your word that it's bad.

But, you know, college is a time where students have to grow up. They're going to be exposed with not only literature, but in terms of life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And hopefully, prayerfully -- you know, my wife and I have had three sons who finished college. I thank God every day they all are doing well.

But it is very, very -- it can be a very, very touchy thing for parents, in terms of what they're being exposed to or not. So I understand that. But, again, this is just for the record. It doesn't have anything to do with your testimony before us today -- or your appearing before us today.

But I was just concerned about the precedence that we may set as a body in taking punitive action because we don't approve of some of the materials at school. So I just wanted to say that for the record.
MR. WOODS: Representative Mack, may I make a quick comment on that?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes.
MR. WOODS: I hear what you're saying about liberal arts college, and I agree with you on that. I just think that an incoming freshman, fresh out of high school, it was too much. Junior year, senior year, it is what it is.

You know, we took art appreciation. We saw naked people, and you would read books that had racy things in it. So...

I know, you're right. They've got to grow up, and, personally, I think some reading for incoming isn't appropriate.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: And I agree, and we'll agree to disagree. I mean, but I know that there are -- I said on my radio show, that if you have a 10- or 11-year-old, and with the Internet and access to information, if you don't think that they -- at 10 and 11, children have seen childbirth and all kinds of things -- then I think we're being very naive.

We'll just agree to disagree on that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

I'm sorry. Were you through with your questions and comments?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just want to follow back up, kind of getting us back on our focus here. And I hear Representative Mack, and -- but, I guess, trying to get back to the role of a trustee in setting the tone, I think you mentioned.

Where is that line from that standpoint?

And, I assume -- you know, we'll ask, I'm sure. We'll have the opportunity to ask other trustees that are currently serving.
Where is that line for the trustee? I mean, do we say as a trustee, whatever they want to do is okay? I mean, why do we need a board of trustees if there's no oversight from the trustees?
MR. WOODS: Well, telling the administration and staff, in your words, Hey, whatever you want to do, that's not setting a tone. Setting a tone is meeting with the college president, as you would do quarterly, I suppose; meeting with the director of academic affairs; and setting certain standards. I don't know whether that comes in the form of a dictate or whether that comes in the form of commenting on an experience that happened at this school and as an example for a case or things that happened at other schools, and we won't want that happening here. We don't want our incoming freshman, in this example, exposed to these kinds of things. Maybe for the upper classmen, that's okay.

But you have to set the tone through directive.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you know who makes that decision currently within the college?
MR. WOODS: No, sir, I don't. Again, being an outsider, I don't know.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I think it said it was a committee, like a faculty-student staff.
MS. HINSON: Provost, actually, and there was a selection committee. With the provost, often it has the final word on it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'm done.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: No. I don't want to say anything, Chairman. No. I won't make a comment about such a thing.

I'm going to tell you, a lot does not surprise me, but this doesn't surprise me. I didn't know of it ten minutes ago.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It's bad. It's real bad.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Let me just say, Mr. Chairman --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I look forward to the trustees being before us.

And I assume that will be tomorrow?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And if I have the book, I will bring it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Were you asked about your opinion about the proposed merger of MUSC? Were you asked about that?
MR. WOODS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And the law school?
MR. WOODS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have any --
MS. CASTO: His paperwork was all in order. He's a CPA, so it was fairly easy.

But he did disclose he is the president and CEO of South Carolina Federal. They have an ATM in the Stern Student Center at the College of Charleston. They get $19,000 for --
MR. WOODS: We pay.
MS. CASTO: You pay $19,000 to the college to put -- that ATM.

And then he also disclosed that -- you have a sports marketing contract?
MR. WOODS: We buy advertising in the coliseum. And, again, we give them money. And then also give $5,000 annually to the foundation.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So your money's going in, not out.
MR. WOODS: Right, right. And I can also disclose -- which I didn't know if I should have done this or not -- but we have similar relationships with The Citadel, with MUSC, and with SC State, and with, I believe, Carolina. No, Carolina Collegiate does that.

So multiple relationships with State institutions, very similar to this, but the money's going in, not coming out.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And let the record further reflect, that's the organization, and that's not you individually.
MR. WOODS: Not personally, no, sir. I wanted to overdisclose.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes. Oh, I agree.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

What's the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion will be favorable.

Is there a second?
SENATOR ALEXANDER Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. WOODS: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Members of the Committee, for your indulgence today.

2nd Congressional - Seat 2
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

John H. Busch
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next we have John H. Busch. Mr. Busch is also an incumbent.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
MR. BUSCH: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you have a brief statement?
MR. BUSCH: Mr. Chairman, I have served on the board of trustees for eight years now. I live in Chapin, represent the Second Congressional District, Seat 3. I have served on various committees on the college board of trustees. I'm an '85 graduate where I was involved in athletics and student government.

My two main focuses at the college and what I request to you is to continue to be an advocate for equal access to all South Carolinians to a higher education at the College of Charleston and continue to be a strong applicant for keeping in-state tuition as low as possible and as affordable as possible for students and their families.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Questions?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Mr. Busch. I'm going to be asking each one of you the same question. You heard what I said before. Were you aware of the controversial decision to bring that book to freshmen, I understand, and if so, did you attempt to check into that or if you're not aware, where does the board's responsibility lie?
MR. BUSCH: I became aware of the book in August of last year. The book was already in the hands of the students while the students were still at home with their parents, and it was an embarrassment. And we addressed it at our October board meeting. I sit on the Academic Affairs Committee, and we essentially discussed it and took the steps that we would be involved in selection process.

The program has been around for approximately ten years, been successful in the past and didn't really require any oversight. Once we saw that book, we realized we had to be involved in the process and ensure the college would represent itself well to incoming freshman. One of the first opportunities for freshmen and their parents to be introduced to the College of Charleston.

So in summary, it was an embarrassment. Not something that we liked at all. The consensus of the board was in opposition to the book or such a book. The theme of the book, of students discovering who they are during their college education, that's an appropriate theme. There are other books that could be used to help a student explore that theme.

And so we took steps in October to say we're going to be involved in this process. I understand the Ways and Means Committee has taken steps to ensure that General Assembly is involved in the process in terms of voicing their view. And at our next meeting, we'll take stronger steps to be involved and ensure something like that doesn't happen again.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right. It was kind of -- I serve on Ways and Means, and it was kind of an embarrassment, the back and forth. College of Charleston did not need to go through that. And I -- my daughter, I sent her down in 1996. I live 250 miles away. I would have been extremely upset if I had known that was going to be part of her freshman curriculum.

Who was responsible for making this decision to purchase the book?
MR. BUSCH: The Selection Committee that reviews and chooses the book, essentially it falls under the office of the provost. The provost and his staff. The provost is entrusted with Academic Affairs essentially, and it was assumed that good decisions would be made and that the board didn't need to micromanage what the provost office does.

And so to answer your question, that's how it was handled, and then we've taken steps to --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So the buck stopped with the provost?
MR. BUSCH: It did, and ultimately he reports to the president. And I don't think the president was involved or aware until the book came out, as far as I know. But I don't know that to be true.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I certainly hope all of you, if you are reelected, will take measured care to make sure that doesn't happen again.
MR. BUSCH: We will.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

Your attendance over the last few years or since your service on the board?
MR. BUSCH: It's been a hundred percent attendance.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And I think you've pretty well addressed the other questions. I guess my question, and you're saying that the board has kind of taken a censor of that situation with the book. Besides -- you said that the provost ultimately ends up with that, who else is on that Selection Committee? How many individuals and what is their position with the college that was on the Selection Committee of that book?
MR. BUSCH: The number of individuals, I'll ask in just a moment. It's made up of faculty, staff, and I believe students. But I'll verify that with our chair.

Do you have a number?

Approximately 30. It's made up of students and faculty and staff.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I noticed there was a question dealing with the Francis Marion proposed campus in Mount Pleasant. What's your position as far as what impact that will have or what involvement the College of Charleston should have in that position?
MR. BUSCH: I start from the position of students and of student need. There's a need for students to receive training, whether in this case Francis Marion, the one that's highlighted is in nursing, to -- and if there's a need for students, that's what higher ed in South Carolina, that's what we are to do. If the College of Charleston can help fill that need, then we need to be involved in that.

If Francis Marion wants to come to Mount Pleasant, come to the Charleston area and fill a need that the College of Charleston has chosen not to, then I support Francis Marion doing that. I also support College of Charleston collaborating with Francis Marion. That particular program of, say, nursing, College of Charleston has expertise in science with the biology, chemistry, things like that. I see an opportunity for us to collaborate with Francis Marion, again, to meet the needs of the students, that's what comes first.

So, in general, I'm supportive of Francis Marion doing that. College of Charleston is making a choice whether or not to offer curriculum based on what the students' needs and desires are in the area. And Francis Marion saw one that was unfilled and that's why they decided to come there.
SENATOR HAYES: So Francis Marion is looking to put a nursing program there. And you all don't have such a program at College of Charleston?
MR. BUSCH: That's correct.
SENATOR HAYES: How about MUSC, do they have -- I'm sure they have a nursing program?
MR. BUSCH: They do have a nursing program. I'm not extremely well-versed in nursing, but there's different types of nursing. There's the associate degree that a student might get at Trident Tech, for example. There's a LPN, an RN, a BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I believe what Francis Marion would provide is essentially taking a student who is a graduate of, say, Trident Tech, with a two-year degree in nursing, creating -- giving them an opportunity to achieve a BSN, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

I don't know specifically how that differs from what MUSC offers, but I believe there is a difference. And, yes, MUSC does offer a nursing program.
SENATOR HAYES: Nothing further.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander has another question.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I apologize. I have one other one I mean to clarify. It was the purchase of the books. Did the author come to the college as well?
MR. BUSCH: Yes, Senator Alexander. That's one of the criteria the committee uses is they would like to get a living author that they could bring to the campus to be able to give a lecture and be able to engage with students. In this case, yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you all paid that individual to come and talk about this book?
MR. BUSCH: That's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And did that go through the same vetting process?
MR. BUSCH: Yes, Senator. That's all part of the book selection process, looking for that author in that same process.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So had the author come and given the presentation that the -- speech before the board even knew anything about it, or was the board aware of the problem prior to the individual coming and making appearance? And how much did you all pay this person to come and speak about this book?
MR. BUSCH: I was not aware until after the person had come and spoken. The amount that was paid to the person, I'll have to ask about that. I'm not sure.

13,000.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: $13,000 to come -- what length was that presentation?
MR. BUSCH: I believe it would have been about an hour lecture, I think. And, of course, was probably on campus for two days. Approximately two days.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Has that been consistent with what's been paid for someone to come in the past?
MR. BUSCH: That's correct. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Busch, in your -- on your personal data questionnaire, you put that you had been fined by the Ethics Commission for late filing. Do you know when that was?
MR. BUSCH: I can't recall, and it was a situation where I thought I had submitted properly the filing. And it was determined they did not have one on record, so I had to resubmit.
MS. CASTO: And that's only been one time since you've been on the board?
MR. BUSCH: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Also, do you have your personal data questionnaire, the packet that Julie handed to you?
MR. BUSCH: Yes.
MS. CASTO: If you will look at question number 32, it talks about contracts for businesses. You originally put yes, and then you scratched out yes and put no.
Can you kind of explain?
MR. BUSCH: Yes. Because the -- what I had scratched through, the company I work for, Selah Genomics. I had sold my company to Selah Genomics in 2012, and so last year I was working for Selah Genomics. And my first thought was that it was me, being the owner of the company. Then I realized I no longer own the company, so it is no longer me.
MS. CASTO: Do they have a contract with the State?
MR. BUSCH: They provide services for researchers that are -- for example, University of South Carolina. So individual purchase orders, but not an ongoing contract with any State agencies.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Busch, let me suggest this. For your benefit, for the school's benefit, and for the benefit of the State of South Carolina, I would recommend getting some type of forensic audit, for lack of a better word, from start to finish on this book. As you can see today, there are more questions than answers about the book.
MR. BUSCH: I see.
SENATOR PEELER: I would suggest you do that, getting your staff to go from start to finish so you will have a chronicled answer to the question because the questions aren't going to stop.
MR. BUSCH: I understand.
SENATOR PEELER: I would recommend that.
MR. BUSCH: We'll take that recommendation as something we shall do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Now, the suggested merger between MUSC and the College of Charleston, do you have a position on it?
MR. BUSCH: My opinion is that when members initiated legislation for the merger, when they speak of a city like Charleston that is booming needs a large comprehensive research university, I understand that position. And my thought is that let's identify the specific good that we would like to achieve to benefit the community of Charleston, and then evaluate ways in which we could achieve that.

College of Charleston and MUSC professors collaborate on programs to begin with. Whether or not a merger is the right answer, it may or may not be. I feel like we need more information. We might create something like a consortium.

But I say start with the good that we're trying to achieve, and I support the good we are trying to achieve. And I fully understand that and think that's a correct assessment and strategy going forward.

Whether or not a merger is appropriate or consortium of bringing the two together in some fashion, that remains to be seen. And really I think with more information, I think one thing -- it will be difficult is that when you have two institutions that staff and students have said and faculty have said they don't support it, trying to force two institutions together, the ones that have to carry out the execution, it may prove difficult. And so if we could come up with some solution to achieve that, good, that we can gain support, I think that would be the right strategy to pursue that.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you think the board as a whole will take a stand? Do you anticipate you all taking a vote similar to what MUSC did?
MR. BUSCH: I don't know. While we have discussed it informally, we have not done that yet. I'm sure that we're going to take it up at our March meeting to have a stand, a position.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Any other question, comments?
Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman, we want you to hear the whole story and not just from five or six or ten people. And I know we've got everybody in this room today. Of course, College of Charleston, where we learn so many things about students that had graduated, but Senator McConnell, and, of course, Senator Ravenel and others have just given us testimonies over the years of how great the College of Charleston is. And if you talk to former President Sanders, he would always say, you know, it's easy to get into Clemson or Carolina, but you're going to have a hard time getting into the College of Charleston.

And to be honest with you, it is an absolute honor for a student to be admitted to the College of Charleston. College of Charleston is in a different climate today. You've got your own identity. You're growing. You've come to the table in a big way.

I can tell you this, that when I heard about this merger, you know, you always say you want to hear all sides and get a good feeling for it, but I simply think that -- I think it would hurt the College of Charleston and I think it would hurt MUSC to take the two great identities and merge them, which 99 percent of the time draw down the strength of both universities.

I am of the opinion that these other universities in this state, I don't know how joyous they'll be. I'm kind of hearing some of the climate right now across this state, that they're not too pleased with the idea of a merger. I will tell you this, that we're delighted that you're considering one of our former colleagues for that seat for that presidency, but I realize, too, you've got to choose the president that is best for the university.

And I also understand that in this merger process, where there's a quick reaction and a quick emotion to move forward, I think we are right, you need to study it, you need to look at it in a positive way, but you've got to weigh what is in the interest of the College of Charleston because the College of Charleston, according to the knowledge that I have, is really come a long way. Now you're on top, and there's no reason for you to drop three or four notches down. Not because of MUSC, but I know you're talking about the School of Law, and that has the potential itself.

But I'm of the opinion, Chairman, and I'm sharing this only because we've got all those in this room. I wouldn't move just because four or five or eight people say do it. I'd study it, and I'd understand whether it's the right thing to do.

You're on top of it. You don't need to think any different, because you are.
MR. BUSCH: Thank you, Senator McGill. I think Clemson and Carolina can rest assured in one point that we won't be able to field a football team. We won't be able to do it.
SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?
SENATOR HAYES: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second is heard. All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

Thank you, sir.
MR. BUSCH: Thank you.

Randolph R. Lowell
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If there's no objection, we'll go ahead and get started. I'd call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee to Screen College and University Boards of Trustees.

First up we have the College of Charleston, Randolph R. Lowell from Blythewood.

Mr. Lowell, if you would, please raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. LOWELL: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement to give the Committee on why you'd like to serve on the board?
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'd like to thank you for allowing me an opportunity to be here and the opportunity to serve on the college board. Thank you for allowing me to come today, as opposed to last week, and that was as a result of my wedding on Saturday. I now have a wife, which is also going to require me to amend my personal data questionnaire. While it was accurate at the time I filed it, as of Saturday, I now have a wife and she's employed by the State of South Carolina.

So question number 31 on my PDQ needs to be amended for what I said. My wife is employed by the Office of Regulatory Staff as an attorney.

As for me, I'm born and bred in the Lowcountry, graduated from Summerville High School. I spent five years at the College of Charleston, four as an undergrad and one as a graduate assistant with the men's soccer team. And then I went on to complete that graduate degree in conjunction with my law degree at USC. As far as my service on the board, I view service on the College of Charleston board as a way to give back to the college, as a way to give back to the state, and as a form of public and civic service.

As the son of a schoolteacher, I place a high value on a quality education. It's the one thing that can never be taken away from anybody, and it's the foundation, I believe, for a productive society and also for economic development. The college is facing a number of the opportunities and challenges. I hope that my service on other boards and my professional experience will offer a useful perspective and be beneficial to the college and allow me to be a productive board member and to help the charter, of course, and help navigate these opportunities and challenges for the College of Charleston, going forward.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Mr. Lowell, welcome.

I asked this of all the candidates last week for the College of Charleston. You probably know what's coming.

What is your position, if you are elected as a trustee, on the highly controversial, at least in my opinion, freshman selection for a book that all freshmen were, quote, encouraged to read?
MR. LOWELL: I have not read the book. I was not on the committee that selected the book. My knowledge of that issue and controversy is essentially from what I've read in a newspaper.

On the one hand, I've read the comment from the professor of the College of Charleston, who defended the selection as -- that this is something that helps put issues in front of college freshmen that need to be discussed. From the perspective of other important issues, and sometimes controversial issues that should be discussed in an academic setting, I believe that is accurate. As far as the selection of that book, again, I have not read it; however, it also occurs to me that there may be another book that could have served the same purpose and gotten to the same place without necessarily injecting some of the controversy that was created by that particular selection.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, this is my opinion. It seems to me like it would have been better served if it had been an elective for maybe a junior or senior, instead of incoming freshmen that are 17 or 18 years old. I've spoken to several parents who were very upset about, you know, the situation, not only at the College of Charleston, but also a school in the Upstate.

You know, I would hope, if you are elected, that you would at least, you know, consider strongly, you know, age appropriateness for a book like this, which I can tell you is pretty bad, at least in my opinion.

Thank you.
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: If this is your opportunity, in your work, would there be anything that excludes you from being able to exercise the duties and responsibilities that would be required as a member of the board?
MR. LOWELL: No, sir, not that I'm aware of.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So if you did, would you be able to work your schedule around and --
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir. And that's --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- attend board meetings?
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir. In the two current boards that I serve on, that's what I do. I've got that board list, the schedule of the meetings, and I adjust my schedule accordingly.

My service on the hospital board, I have not missed a committee or full board meeting since I've been on it. I did miss a board meeting for the Humanities Council Board, and that was this past Friday. I was in Charleston preparing for the wedding on Saturday. So they kindly excused my presence.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lowell, you mentioned this, actually, one of your -- in your questionnaire here. And that is, Moving to research institution status and strengthening the ties with MUSC are also natural progressions in the growth of the college.

So on that issue, what's your opinion or view on the merger question?
MR. LOWELL: My opinion is that -- and I have not researched it in depth to where I could offer a final opinion, but at this point in time, based on what I have see and based on what I know, I think there is -- certainly that would be worth further study and consideration. I mean, obviously there's going to be some synergy between MUSC and the College of Charleston. There have been discussions about a merger off and on for probably 60 years.

When you look at the College of Charleston, they identify what they consider to be aspirational peer institutions and universities, and almost all of those were research universities.
From MUSC's perspective, they are limited in what they can offer from a graduate perspective. And since you're both downtown, you're both in the same community.

And one of the advantages and disadvantages of both those schools is, you're located on the peninsula. So you're essentially landlocked. You have a finite amount of space. They're sharing that space.

So it seems like there may be some value in exploring a better way to essentially exploit that togetherness.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay. Do you think the College of Charleston should have an engineering school?
MR. LOWELL: I do not know. I think you'd have to look at the -- I have not looked at the need for engineers of this trajectory. I know that Clemson has a very fine engineering school. My father graduated from Clemson with both a bachelor's and a master's in engineering.

Carolina has a fine engineering school.

At this point, I'm not sure that the College of Charleston would need to move in that direction, but I don't want to be a defendant and answer today, having not studied.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions?

Mr. Lowell, you currently serve on the Memorial Hospital Board?
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is that an appointed position, or how --
MR. LOWELL: It is. Richland County Council elects us.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. So if you're successful in this, would you resign from the board?
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Just with the hospital, because of dual-office holding?
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
Staff, do you --
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman, let me just say real quick --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh. Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: -- your resume is one of the best I think we've ever had put in this room with us meeting. But I do advise, personally, try to think long and hard before y'all consider that merger. Just a little private advice.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir. It was good advice.
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir. I grew up in the home of an engineer, as I mentioned, and I grew up with the philosophy to measure twice and cut once.
SENATOR McGILL: Thank you, Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's all. Any others?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Lowell, you did say that your law firm works with several state agencies and represents several State agencies on issues. If elected, you would have to disclose these on your economic interest form.
MR. LOWELL: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is that it?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Motion presented for favor.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable, and a second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.
Thank you, and I appreciate your willingness to serve.
MR. LOWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, members of the Committee.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. And good luck on your -- the rest of your married life.
MR. LOWELL: Thank you very much.

3rd Congressional - Seat 5
Term expires 2018

Annaliza O. Moorhead
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next candidate, Annaliza Moorhead. Annaliza Moorhead, sorry.
MS. MOORHEAD: You were right. Annaliza.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. MOORHEAD: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you have brief statement?
MS. MOORHEAD: I do. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee for having me here this morning.

I am a certified public accountant and a 1992 graduate of the Honors College at the College of Charleston. I am from Anderson.
Serving my alma mater as a trustee has given me an insight perspective that will enable me to continue to make sound decisions on behalf of the college. I am happy to give my time to fulfill the stewardship responsibilities of a trustee. I am also pleased to be a liaison between the legislature, the constituents of the Third Congressional District and the college.

I would like to thank the South Carolina legislature for entrusting me with the responsibilities of being a trustee of the state institution and hope that I will be allowed to continue in this capacity for the next four years.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions? Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Ms. Moorhead.
MS. MOORHEAD: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Following up, I'm going to be asking every candidate, give me your opinion on this controversy down there.
MS. MOORHEAD: Absolutely. Obviously, I did not sit on that committee, but I would not have chosen that book, personally. I do regret that the book was chosen, and I especially regret that it has distracted from a lot of the more important issues at the College of Charleston.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, you know, where we live up in our area of the woods --
MS. MOORHEAD: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- this is not acceptable to 99 percent of the people.
MS. MOORHEAD: I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I certainly hope that the board -- future board will do due diligence in making sure that something like this does not happen again.
MS. MOORHEAD: We absolutely will, and we do respect your opinions. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

And what I've mentioned to Mr. Busch earlier, for all candidates and especially the incumbents, to get us information, factual information from start to finish on this subject.
MS. MOORHEAD: Absolutely.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions?

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Moorhead, can you share some information on -- you stated that the college has a diversity plan. Can you give us some details on that?
MS. MOORHEAD: Well, currently, I believe approximately 15.15 percent -- I think 15 percent of our student body is made up of minorities. That is made up of all minority groups, I do believe. And we do now have a strategic plan for diversity that was put in place in 2012, and that's the first official plan that we have had in our 245-year history.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Your attendance.
MS. MOORHEAD: I believe I've missed two out of 23 meetings in the past four years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Do you see the role of the board having an oversight in these book selections going forward?
MS. MOORHEAD: Absolutely going forward, yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Because I believe I saw where -- aren't you a graduate of the college?
MS. MOORHEAD: I am, 1992.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: If such a book had been -- was that required reading for all of the incoming freshmen?
MS. MOORHEAD: When I was there, we did not have this program. It started in 2002 as part of convocation.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So it is a required reading?
MS. MOORHEAD: My reading, it said it was encouraged to read the book.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you all bought how many thousand copies?
MS. MOORHEAD: 2- or 3-, 4-.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Did you all pay full price for the book?
MS. MOORHEAD: I really -- I do not know how much we paid.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Could you all get me that information?
MS. MOORHEAD: I'm sure we could, yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And so are you envisioning the board taking some other action?
MS. MOORHEAD: We have put in place a policy that we will now be more involved in the book process. I do not think that this will happen again. I don't think a book will make it through the college program, if the program even survives this one.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you think the provost office needs to have more oversight, then, from that standpoint?
MS. MOORHEAD: This committee was made up of 30 people. I don't necessarily think that the provost office needed more oversight. I think we've all learned a lot from this experience, and we will have to approve it. We will have to be more involved.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, ma'am.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Was anyone reprimanded or punished in any way?
MS. MOORHEAD: I don't think anyone was specifically punished or reprimanded or if you mean by released from the college. Definitely they know our displeasure and --
SENATOR PEELER: Every action requires a reaction. Was there any -- what was the reaction?
MS. MOORHEAD: They knew our displeasure, and we have to change the way in which we choose the books from now on for this program.
SENATOR PEELER: The question was, was it in writing or was -- it just seems like I'm hearing more out of Columbia and less in Charleston about this subject.
MS. MOORHEAD: Right, I agree. It's something that we -- I guess we dealt with this issue back in October, and it has sort of resurfaced in the last two weeks, it seems.

But going forward, like I said, we will be involved in choosing the book, or at least approving. And especially making policy for the method in which it is chosen.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Just looking at your bio, it doesn't have -- are you working for anybody now or for yourself?
MS. MOORHEAD: I am not. I'm staying home with my children right now. I am a certified public accountant. I worked for Ernst & Young and Elliott Davis.
SENATOR HAYES: But right now you're not employed?
MS. MOORHEAD: That's correct.
SENATOR HAYES: What is your position on this merger issue?
MS. MOORHEAD: I do fully support more collaboration with MUSC. We have no idea how much such a merger would cost or what the end result would be. So I'm not sure what the legal entities should be. I think that we do need to study it more. I'm sure we will take this up in the March board meeting. But I don't want to rush to just put these two institutions together with so much resistance that is out there. However, I do believe collaboration in an increased amount is very important.
SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Staff, do you have any additional questions?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork was in order.
MS. MOORHEAD: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second. All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you.
MS. MOORHEAD: Thank you very much.

4th Congressional - Seat 7
Term expires 2018

John B. Wood, Jr.
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next, John B. Wood.

Good morning.
MR. WOOD: Good morning.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir, I do. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, committee members.

It's been my pleasure to serve as a board member for the last eight years. Seat Number 7 from the Fourth Congressional District, Greenville, South Carolina.

I'm a lifelong South Carolinian, 30 years in the banking industry. I have three children. I'm a single dad. So the importance of affordable, good public education is at the forefront of my thinking, especially as they approach college age. And I appreciate this opportunity to meet with you today.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: For the record, sir, welcome.
MR. WOOD: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Your feelings on the book controversy.
MR. WOOD: Well, I'm just going to say that it would not have been my choice. I don't agree with the content. My personal feelings and beliefs are very conservative in nature.

I do think that we need to allow the college some academic freedom, but I think -- to be perfectly honest with you, I think common sense was completely lost in the process. And I think that some of the administration should have been involved and should have known what was going on.

I think that we've taken steps, and I believe that we did pass a resolution that requires administrative involvement going forward, if we choose to continue the program.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Would you get us a copy of that? We don't have to have it today, but I would like to have it for future reference.
MR. WOOD: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Have you read the book?
MR. WOOD: No, sir, I have not.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You need to take a look at it.
MR. WOOD: I've read excerpts, yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Pretty bad.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. I understand that.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

Good morning, as well, and appreciate your service on the board.

Let me start with your attendance as a board member, please, sir.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. My attendance and participation I believe has been a hundred percent; however, I will say that I have not been able to attend all the meetings face to face. I have joined by teleconference on occasion.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
Okay. I see that you are a graduate of the College of Charleston.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. 1983.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I heard your response to Mr. Whitmire. If you had been a freshman given the task of having to read that book, what would have been -- would you have had an opportunity not to have done that?
MR. WOOD: I think I would have been disgusted, and I know my parents would have been disgusted.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And do you think the selection of that book, is that reflective overall of the view of the board at the college?
MR. WOOD: No, sir. I think our board has spoken pretty clearly on that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And as far as the selection of the new president, I think it had been spoken to earlier, do you -- can you elaborate on that timetable?
MR. WOOD: As I think Mr. Thompson mentioned, we are under a confidentiality agreement. We have a plan in place, a search committee. We will review recommendations, finalists, announce our finalists and vote. I think our goal is to have that done in very short order. I would hope if not by the March meeting, shortly thereafter.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: You mentioned earlier that, you know, you have some young children coming along --
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: -- and you want to make sure that there's affordable college options, public college options for them.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: What can be done by the college to help reign in the cost of tuition? I know obviously the General Assembly could spend more, so you would have to do less on tuition. But other than that, what can be done to help keep the costs reasonable as far as tuition?
MR. WOOD: Well, I think I stated in my answers to the questions in the bio information, I think when you add something, you need to look at what you can eliminate as well. I think that the programs that we add going forward need to be programs that are going to be supported by the Lowcountry, that supply the needs of businesses in South Carolina that will foster stewardship, contributions, participation, collaboration, almost on an entrepreneurial basis.

But, again, I think if you add a program, you need to look at taking something away that's not working. I mean, I'm in the private sector. I work in the banking industry. I see businesses have to make tough decisions every day.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Mack had a question.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I think Senator Hayes asked what I was going to ask, and you sort of answered, which was pulling on your expertise from the banking industry. Your thoughts on some of the things that could make college more affordable, and I think you kind of hit that.
MR. WOOD: Okay. I mean, I'm happy to answer any specifics. But, again, I think that it's like running a household, a business, anything else. I think that you've got to have a dollar to spend a dollar, and I think you need to make sure you spend it wisely. And I think as we look at, again, adding majors, adding programs, we need to look at what we can eliminate and replace and more productive, you know, programs, I guess, and majors.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Mr. Wood, it just seems like the candidates for the College of Charleston, normally that's the most vanilla of all colleges that we've screened over the years. But it seems like this one is getting the most scrutiny, and it's kind of a trifecta. Choosing a new president, proposed merger between MUSC and the College of Charleston, and then the book.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: But like I said earlier, it would be good because you're going to get more questions about it as we go forward on this election about the book.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: And it's unfortunate that this has happened, but it did. And we need some more information about it.
MR. WOOD: I understand that. And I think that as we -- it's a good time to address it because we're at a crossroads with the selection of a new president. And I think, you know, we'll nip it in the bud for sure.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you anticipate you all having some kind of formal vote on the suggestion merger? Would you recommend that?
MR. WOOD: At this point I would not. I don't think as a board, and I certainly don't have enough information. You know, if it were voting on a loan at the bank, I can tell you I don't have near enough information. I am certainly in favor of a collaboration and working with the Medical University and any of the other colleges in South Carolina to be more efficient and provide the majors and the graduates and the programs that we need to further our children and businesses in South Carolina.

But at this point, I simply don't think we have enough information. I would hate to see us force a shotgun wedding and have a bad result.
SENATOR PEELER: I think that's a good analogy.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir, I do, too.
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: More of a positive, I'm assuming your credit rating at the College of Charleston is very well?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: And I assume you have a good funded balance, that you're solid financially?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: And there's so many good things going on at the College of Charleston. What's one that you can share that you like, too? How are your students, are your students great?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. I think -- and I tried to explain this in answers to my questions. I think the greatest thing about the College of Charleston is the experience these kids get there and the experience that I had there. You are basically in small classes. Your professors know who you are, the coaches know who you are, the administration knows who you are. Your fellow students know who you are. It is a true sense of community, and it's like no other compass in South Carolina. It's compact, it's urban, it's in a very magical city in a magical part of the country. And I think that you just -- you know, the world is your oyster if you're at the College of Charleston. It is a gem.

And I would say I agree with just about everything you said, Senator McGill, as far as your thoughts on the merger. I think we need a lot more information before we go down that road.
SENATOR MCGILL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have additional follow up?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Wood, just a couple of questions.
MR. WOOD: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: You reported that you were fined by the Ethics Commission for late filing.
MR. WOOD: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Even in his packet, he enclosed a check -- a copy of the check he wrote to the Ethics Commission on May 2013.

Is this the only --
SENATOR PEELER: That's easy for a banker to do.
MR. WOOD: You're right. I take it very seriously, too. I hate to be late on anything.
MS. CASTO: Is this the only time that you've been fined by the Ethics Commission?
MR. WOOD: Yes, ma'am. That was an oversight on my part.
MS. CASTO: And on your Economic Interest Statement, you did not report your per diem travel and mileage, but you did include a letter from the college. And I do have to commend the College of Charleston. They're the only ones who send their board members a letter saying, "We have paid you this much in mileage, per diem, subsistence" for their service on the board.

Do you usually report it on your economic interest statement?
MR. WOOD: I do. But when I completed the form, I did not have the letter. And the letter came in just as it was going out the door, and I just attached it. So that was the reason that was not disclosed. Obviously, full disclosure on everything.
MS. CASTO: Right. Thank you.
MR. WOOD: Yes, ma'am.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Mr. Wood.

What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Second?
SENATOR HAYES: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. WOOD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5th Congressional - Seat 9
Term expires 2018

Frank M. Gadsden
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next, Mr. Frank Gadsden.
MR. GADSDEN: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. GADSDEN: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Do you have a statement?
MR. GADSDEN: Yes, sir.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I'm a 1980 alumnus of the College of Charleston. I was born and raised in Charleston, have been in Clover, South Carolina, for the past 34 years. I met my wife at the college, and I thought it wise to follow her home.

Both of my sons are graduates and one daughter-in-law is a graduate of the college. My father is a graduate. It's kind of in our heritage. It's been an honor and a distinction to be able to serve in this capacity for the past eight years. I just appreciate the opportunity to be here.

Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: For the record, your viewpoint on the book controversy.
MR. GADSDEN: It's disturbing. The decision should have never been made. I do believe in the program. I think it's a valuable program for our freshman, but in this case it was the absolute wrong decision to make.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Explain to me the program, so I'll know a little bit more about. You said it was started in 2002?
MR. GADSDEN: I believe it originated in 2002. It's changed over the years somewhat in its nature. It started out purely as a part of the convocation for freshman. It was required reading. The book was presented in the summertime. They were asked to read it, and then the author would come on campus during convocation and speak to the book and have the opportunity to speak to students.

Now it's more integrated into the first semester that they're on campus and that, again, they're required to read it before they come or are asked to read it before they come on campus. And the author will come in for a couple of days.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What's the purpose of this program?
MR. GADSDEN: I think it's just an enrichment to try and empower them and to talk about common themes. To be able to focus on the same issue, all the freshman at the same time.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So even though they're not, quote, required to read the book, they're encouraged. That's the word I've heard.
MR. GADSDEN: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Which means they're supposed to read the book, correct?
MR. GADSDEN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's where the rub is, isn't it?
MR. GADSDEN: Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Attendance.
MR. GADSDEN: I've attended a hundred percent of my meetings since I've been on the board. The majority of them in person, some of them by telephone.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'm going to follow up on Mr. Whitmire. As far as this being required or encouraged, you bought thousands of copies of the book, do the students end up -- do they have to pay individually or does the college pay for these books?
MR. GADSDEN: No. It comes out of the college's budget.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Which is ultimately -- they don't have to pay separate from that standpoint?
MR. GADSDEN: Correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you think -- and I heard you say personally you were regretful or something of that -- were you aware of the selection of the book prior to this?
MR. GADSDEN: No. I found out in the fall of last year.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How did you find out?
MR. GADSDEN: Through the board and through private discussions, just individuals voicing displeasure.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you think that -- is the selection of that book, does that reflect the view of the board of trustees at the College of Charleston?
MR. GADSDEN: In my opinion, no, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And I think I'm going to follow up, too, Mr. Chairman, if I could, from something earlier. I'm not sure I got anything clear. When the individuals that were part of this selection and made this selection, has there been any -- I understand you all have had dialogue with them. Was there any response from those individuals, did they see anything wrong with the selection of this once it was brought to their attention or have they stood by the decision to select this book?
MR. GADSDEN: I don't think there's been any formal response from that committee that I'm aware of. I know that they are aware of our displeasure as a board.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, has there -- has -- I mean, has that -- you know, folks hear my displeasure a lot on something maybe, but has there been an effort to bring that group together to have an understanding as to why they selected? I mean, I've got books selected by a lot of different colleges and universities up here that have not selected anything like this.

Has there been any dialogue as to try to get some kind of understanding of why they chose that book over all the different books that they had the option to choose?
MR. GADSDEN: At our October meeting it was -- it was thoroughly vetted by the board. The discussion was to become more active in the process.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I understand that.
Did you all have anybody that was a part of the selection of the book --
MR. GADSDEN: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- there meeting with the board?
MR. GADSDEN: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.
MR. GADSDEN: Not in an official capacity. I don't know the individual makeup, the individuals on that committee personally. There could have been someone in that room for that meeting who was on that committee.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: To your knowledge, does that selection committee stand by the selection of that book?
MR. GADSDEN: To my knowledge, yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Really?
MR. GADSDEN: I don't know anything otherwise. They made that decision, and I have not heard anything to the contrary.
SENATOR PEELER: So this could happen again?
MR. GADSDEN: No, sir. It will not happen again. Our board has taken a position to become more involved with that process.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.

I appreciate your service on the board. You're almost a constituent of mine. I think you're a constituent of the chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Mine.
SENATOR HAYES: But you're close.
MR. GADSDEN: I'm closer to you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We have two good ones up here.
SENATOR HAYES: And I'm familiar with your work at the Clover Community. You lost a good board member, Herb Kirsh, I think. He's one of the founding members there.
MR. GADSDEN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: You mentioned in just reading what you submitted, we've talked about the merger with you at MUSC, but you mentioned here about the Charleston School of Law.
Do you have a position on whether that should be involved -- should be involved with the School of Law at the College of Charleston?
MR. GADSDEN: I kind of take the same position on it. If it makes sense and it's affordable and the State approves it, then I think it's an entertaining notion. But only if it's affordable.
SENATOR HAYES: Is there anything in motion -- anybody looking at that right now? Because I understood it was probably going to be sold to a private entity.
MR. GADSDEN: Well, my understanding is the school of law has a contract with a private entity. I think we are in discussions with that private entity, but I'm not aware of any movement forward with that.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: As a follow up, Senator from York said that he's close to Clover, but I represent your area. It is true that your wife is related to Nicky McCarter, right?
MR. GADSDEN: Distantly, yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Did you know that before you asked her to marry you?
MR. GADSDEN: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I noticed he didn't bring that up.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
Staff, do you have any follow up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.

All your paperwork was in order. Thank you.
MR. GADSDEN: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. I'll make a motion as a favorable report.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'll second it.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it. Thank you.
MR. GADSDEN: Thank you.

6th Congressional - Seat 11
Term expires 2018

Demetria N. Clemons
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Demetria Clemons.

Ms. Clemons, you had a copy of the test, so you know all the questions that are going to be asked.

Let me swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. CLEMONS: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the search committee.

I represent Seat 11, the Sixth Congressional District. I've always admired the beauty and mystique of the College of Charleston campus. As a student attending Bishop England High School in the early 1970s, I walked along the cistern waiting for the day to attend classes in Randolph Hall and walk across the cistern.

Graduating from the College of Charleston in 1975 gave me a solid foundation to excel at The Citadel, completing a master's degree in counseling, and continuing my studies at American University.

My career is a testament to the quality of education received at the College of Charleston and the leadership opportunities as an employee.
I have served as a trustee since 2004. I am currently serving as chair of the Student Affairs Committee. I also serve on Academic Affairs, Alumni Affairs, and the Executive Committee.

I want to continue serving on the board of trustees because the next four years will be monumental in the history of the college. It is my desire to be an instrumental part of the college's future.

I was a student administrator and a parent at the College of Charleston. I sincerely believe my long experience with the College of Charleston enables me to make decisions with a perspective few people will ever have. I want to give back to the college that gave so much to me.

If reelected to the board, I'm committed to fulfilling our social responsibilities and to serving the educational needs of our community of South Carolina and of the Southeast.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Mr. Whitmire has a question.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I bet you know what it is.
MS. CLEMONS: Yes, I do.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Here's your shot at your opinion on the book controversy.
MS. CLEMONS: Well, I serve on the Academic Affairs Committee, and we were not aware of the book selection. And I think it's very important for you to understand that the selection of the book in no way exemplifies the core values of the College of Charleston.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, that's good to hear. I guess my concern following up on what Senator Alexander was asking awhile ago, seems to me this selection committee kind of wants to do their own thing. They have to do what the board of trustees expects and from what I'm hearing from those of you so far, your values pretty much are with mine and Senator's Alexander's and I would assume the board members here.
MS. CLEMONS: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What you said, this won't happen again, I heard that from other board members. Walk me through the process of how it will not happen again.
MS. CLEMONS: Well, I think what will happen is that the Academic Affairs Committee will work with the provost making sure that his team is aware of the process and what we're expecting in the future.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What if the selection committee chooses a book similar to this one, what are you going to do?
MS. CLEMONS: The selection committee will be given the task that books in the future should align with our core values, and if they the book does not, then it shouldn't be considered.

We are going through a process right now, our strategic plan has our core values in three statements. In 2006, our board actually approved seven core values for the College of Charleston. And what we're doing now is we're revisiting that, and we want to make sure that everyone on the college campus is aware of the values and that they, you know, affirm those values.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I guess what gives me the most heartburn, this wasn't a junior or senior elected course.
MS. CLEMONS: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: This was freshmen, just got on campus, some probably still 17 years old. Parents sent them down entrusting the college to take care of them.
MS. CLEMONS: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Maybe the first time from home, and they're told to read this. That's what disturbs me the most.
MS. CLEMONS: It won't happen again.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning.
MS. CLEMONS: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Your attendance as a board member?
MS. CLEMONS: A hundred percent. I attended three --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: By phone?
MS. CLEMONS: -- by phone, yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I certainly understand from that standpoint.

So you do -- I assume you do believe that there is a responsibility in the job of the board to have oversight of these -- or involvement and approval of the book selection going forward?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Has a book been selected for next year?
MS. CLEMONS: I'm not aware.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Is the new policy in place that will be involved in that selection going forward as of this -- for this summer, or has that selection already been made?
MS. CLEMONS: I'm not aware if that selection has been made.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Can you just get information to us?
MS. CLEMONS: It has not been made.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. So what is the value of paying someone $13,000 to come and speak about the book? Help me understand why that's part of the educational value of someone to -- and is that good use of the -- I think several of you all have said funding is a weakness and an issue, but yet you spend $13,000 to bring somebody in. I assume that's coming out of the college's funding.
MS. CLEMONS: The intent of the process was a part of our convocation, and convocation has gone through several changes. And what has happened in the past is that we would have the author come in and speak at convocation. And the last year was the first time that we had a book that was very controversial.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, I guess I hadn't written a book, but if I had somebody that was going to buy several thousand copies of my book and they're already making money off of that, it looks like they would come for free. I guess from that standpoint, if you're wanting to have them come to -- but are you aware -- has -- and I understand you all have expressed your displeasure. Are you aware of -- have you all requested that the president or anyone, I mean, communicate to this selection committee why they selected -- has there been a disconnect there? I mean, have we had any input as to, of all the books, why in the world they selected that book?
MS. CLEMONS: We raised those questions in our Academic Affairs Committee meeting.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Among yourselves?
MS. CLEMONS: No. No. No. The Academic Affairs Committee, the way we have it set up is that a trustee along with a College of Charleston staff, we have several working committees, so Academic Affairs is actually a committee. It's chaired by Dr. Cherry Daniel along with Provost Hynd.

So during that meeting we shared our concern with the provost.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What was the response then from the provost? I mean, have they stood by that decision, or I mean, do they --
MS. CLEMONS: Yes. They did stand by the decision. And they stood by the decision under academic freedom.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I don't know what to say to that, Mr. Chairman.
MS. CLEMONS: We challenged them. Please understand that the board did challenge them.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Who runs the college, the academics or the board?
MS. CLEMONS: The board of trustees.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.

Two questions. One, I notice you graduated in '75.
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR HAYES: You're 58 years old?
MS. CLEMONS: Did you have to say that?
SENATOR HAYES: It's going to get better. It's going to get better.
SENATOR PEELER: For the record, you don't look 58.
MS. CLEMONS: I completed my degree in three years.
SENATOR HAYES: I was going to say because I'm 61 and I graduated in '75. So I don't know how you did it. I wish I had found out how to do that in my time.
MS. CLEMONS: I completed in three.
SENATOR HAYES: I don't think I could have done it if I was at the College of Charleston in three years. I'm sorry I brought that up.
MS. CLEMONS: That wasn't recorded on the record, was it?
SENATOR HAYES: Strike it from the record. (Laughter.)

The other thing is I noticed you thought the school should improve on diversity. How do you think that the College of Charleston could improve on diversity?
MS. CLEMONS: Well, diversity is one of our core values, okay? And diversity, as we defined it, is a commitment to a global-oriented and diverse academic community. And I think it's very important that while we have a diversity strategic plan, diversity is something that you have to talk and you have to walk in. And I'm kind of old fashioned. I applaud the college for the diversity plan, but what I did is I actually recruited students.

And, you know, you just -- I think that the best thing to improve is the old-fashioned way of actually going to the schools, connecting with the guidance counselors. And one of the greatest values that I had while serving on the board was in 2010 when I actually saw about six African-American females cross the cistern, and they were actually students of the school that I was principal in middle school. Okay. So it wasn't high school that they were recruited. I recruited them in seventh and eighth grade.

And I think that if the college has a partnership with Charleston County schools, schools throughout the state and with the middle schools, I think that that will help us. You have to be aggressive about the approach, and I was aggressive. I said, "You're smart, and you're going to the College of Charleston."
SENATOR HAYES: Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack, did you have --
SENATOR MCGILL: Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Let me first say that no question your life is dedicated to education. That's a great thing, as all the others in this room have shared today. I noticed on here that it says College of Charleston/MUSC Task Force.
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR MCGILL: How long ago was that task force put together?
MS. CLEMONS: Probably I think last May.
SENATOR MCGILL: Last May?
MS. CLEMONS: I think so.
SENATOR MCGILL: All right. And the purpose of that task force?
MS. CLEMONS: The purpose of the task force was to -- that was our -- we were to review what we were already doing as far as collaboration. Because there was so much going on between the College of Charleston and MUSC that we really didn't have on paper. So initially we looked at what we were doing as far as professors over there working with students, our professors working with their professors. And we went -- it was four -- two members from the College of Charleston -- well, it was four from the College of Charleston and four from MUSC, and then we expanded inviting the City and the Chamber. And we met --
SENATOR MCGILL: The task force was about collaboration, not so much merger at that point?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR MCGILL: All right. Good answer.
Who created the collaboration task force?
MS. CLEMONS: I think that chairs of the two boards decided that we needed to get together.
SENATOR MCGILL: Let me say this to you. The sensitivity of diversification, you're right on target.
MS. CLEMONS: Thank you.
SENATOR MCGILL: Socially, we have to keep working and keep working. Representative Mack, who is still here, but we have to make sure that we make sure that not just men are taken care of, but we have to make sure these ladies are taken care of. And we've got to make sure that diversity is there for all students. You're on it, I take it.
MS. CLEMONS: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: Yes. Ms. Clemons, I do have a couple of questions.
MS. CLEMONS: Uh-huh.
MS. CASTO: On your Economic Interest Statement, you report your Bamberg School salary, her retirement deferred comp, and her per diem from the College of Charleston.

On your credit report, there are several unpaid medical bills. Have you cleared those up?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes. Yes.
MS. CASTO: All of them? Because you had nine unpaid medical bills.
MS. CLEMONS: Right, yes.
MS. CASTO: They've been cleared up since we got a copy of the credit record?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
MS. CASTO: And there was an unpaid Time Warner bill.
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
MS. CASTO: That's everything that I have.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Clemons, I noticed on the information that you are on the Presidential Search Committee.
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Can you kind of walk us through how that was created and how long have you all been working? And let me tell you what I'm getting at.

Have you felt any pressure because of your service on the search committee to make a decision one way or the other and when? Have you felt any inside or outside pressure?
MS. CLEMONS: No pressure whatsoever. The search committee was a search committee of 15 individuals. It was a very diverse committee. We had a student on the committee representing the Student Government Association Foundation. The Alumni Board had a member. And we had seven board of trustee members.
SENATOR PEELER: And you've made your report to the full board now --
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: -- or suggestion?

And when do you anticipate hiring a new president?
MS. CLEMONS: We have a meeting on the 28th.
SENATOR PEELER: Of this month?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. If there are no other questions, what is the desire of the committee today?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

Ayes have it.

Thank you, ma'am. Thanks for your service.
MS. CLEMONS: Thank you.

7th Congressional - Seat 13
Term expires 2018

Henrietta U. Golding
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Next, Henrietta Golding.
MS. GOLDING: Good morning.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. GOLDING: I do. Thank you very much.
SENATOR PEELER: Was it a year ago when we screened you?
MS. GOLDING: Yes, sir. It was one year ago.
SENATOR PEELER: Can you imagine all this has happened in one year?
MS. GOLDING: No. I had absolutely no idea.
SENATOR PEELER: Are you responsible for all of this?
MS. GOLDING: I'm not responsible for one thing.

But I do want to thank this committee for -- number one, for approving me last year and for the experience I've had this year. It's been a wonderful experience in spite of the controversy we've had. I have attended every board meeting. I attended graduation and several other functions.

And I'm going to tell you, the College of Charleston is a fantastic, unique, higher education institution in the state of South Carolina and in this country. And we should all be very proud of it.

Senator McGill, it is an historical, outstanding, higher education institution. And I'm going to be right up front to tell you, I do not agree with merger because I believe that the College of Charleston eventually will lose its identity.

Now, I can change my mind. But I did want to say up front that I believe that the state of South Carolina has such a unique institution, that I believe we should do everything we can to preserve its status in this state and in this country.

I'm a 1974 graduate from the College of Charleston. My sister is a 1975 graduate. Her daughter graduated I believe it was in 2006.
I have College of Charleston maroon through my blood. And since the College of Charleston, I went to USC Law School and I graduated and I have been practicing law with McNair Law Firm in Horry County for approximately 36 years.

I have been very active with the college since I have -- since my graduation. I have served on the foundation board and have annually contributed to the college. I am dedicated to the college because it gave me something that I never had before and no one in my family had, and that was an opportunity to have an education and an opportunity to have a profession.

I will be more than glad to answer any questions you may have.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, ma'am.

You said you can change your mind.
MS. GOLDING: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: I bet not very often.

You don't have to answer that.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you very much.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire has a question.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Ms. Golding. Your opinion on the book controversy.
MS. GOLDING: I have not read the book. I will not read the book. When I first heard about it was at the attendance of the board meeting and several of the board members and one of the trustees, Mr. Belk, has brought the book and read some excerpts of it. I find it appalling, and that's why I will not read the book. I simply cannot.

As far as the College of Charleston having presented that to the freshman, I do not think that was appropriate at all. And that has been expressed to the faculty and to the committee that selected it. I attended the Academic Affairs Committee meeting in -- I believe it was in October. And that was a very hotly -- a hot meeting. It was a full room, many faculty members, many board of trustees were there, and that was the major topic of discussion. And the faculty members and the provost office received a clear message not to do this again. Not to have any type of book like this again.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What was their response to that meeting?
MS. GOLDING: Their response was they still want academic freedom. Their criteria was that they wanted to get the student body thinking. To provoke thoughts. And certainly that is a noble idea. But yet I believe that with freshmen -- and as you suggested earlier, if it was a selection that an individual made, so be it. But not send it out to all the freshmen and say, "Read this."
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right. We do have, you know, such a diversity of freshmen. What might be fine for one freshman is going to be totally anathema to the other one and especially the parents.

I guess my concern is there seems to be a disconnect between the faculty, which seems to be on a liberal bent, and hearing from you trustees seems to be more on the conservative side.

How do you get these two groups to kind of reach common ground?
MS. GOLDING: I don't think that -- and I'll have to disagree with you as far as the liberal vent because we don't take a political thermometer and say, "Where are you, liberal or conservative?"

Their rationale was we wanted to have our young people thinking. We want to provoke thoughts, you know. And I don't -- as I said earlier, that's noble. But yet I agree with you, there was a disconnect. I do not believe the disconnect exists any more, and I can promise you that it will not exist, if there's any misunderstanding at this point with the faculty.

The message has gotten loud and clear to the provost, to the president, and to the faculty members. And we will make sure that no book that will be issued will be so offense or will be offensive in the future.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. And I meant to tell all of the trustee candidates, I'm not just asking for myself. Numerous legislators approached me. They want to know your view for future reference. That's just something I'm passing on. So thank you.
MS. GOLDING: We appreciate that. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Golding, I appreciate your views as relates to the merger. That's been one of my concerns about it. I'm leaning against it. I'm still getting information.

But the -- for all the graduates in the history -- all the graduates that have history with the Medical University and the College of Charleston, if a merger takes place, you have an entirely different entity. That changes that degree for every graduate that has graduated, say, from the College of Charleston.

Your thoughts on that?
MS. GOLDING: I agree. I think eventually that the merger would result in the College of Charleston not being a distinct entity anymore. We were formed in 1770. We were one of the first -- I think the top 12, the oldest schools in this country. We have historical significance in Charleston. And where will the lines be drawn? MUSC has many more employees than we do. MUSC has much more revenue and bond issues than we do.

Their goals are so different. By merging them, you know, because of the more money, more employees, it's essentially more power or more muscle with MUSC. Then what happens to the smaller partner? And that's my big concern. We cannot lose the identity of the College of Charleston and its heritage.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you.
MS. GOLDING: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Mr. Chairman, I guess I'll make my daily spiel as relates to on the record with the book, if you notice I have not asked any questions on the book. My good friend here represents the liberal wing of this committee.

My thoughts for the record, and I said it yesterday, we did screen one candidate, is simply that -- and I saw the book, wasn't, in my opinion, a good thing. But I'm also afraid that -- concerned that we do not overreact because one of the things about college, even at the freshman level, you grow up and you get exposed to different ideas, you read things that are not -- you know, when I was in college in early '70s, we read things on dictators and horrible people, slavery, the horrors of slavery. So that is a time when you have to decide, apply critical thinking and grow.

And I'm convinced that with all the board -- and I do -- and I love the college. I know a lot of the board members, I know a lot of the personnel there. I know about the diversity program there and the people involved with it. It's not just a -- it's not just a program going through the motions, but you're really reaching out to the community and doing some great things and I appreciate that.

For the record, again, I hope that I'll be talking to a lot of my colleagues, that the college does not get the, quote/unquote, black eye. I work with a lot of police departments in terms of diversity and things of that nature. One of the things I'll tell them in opening, they might have 2-, 300, 400 police officers, law enforcement officers, and one could be a knucklehead and the whole department has a problem, you know. I supervise five, six people and have had a knucklehead in there. So that's part of it. So I just hope we don't overreact.

The last thing I'm going to say is that we view things out of different lenses. And me being an African-American male growing up in segregated South Carolina, you know, this is low on the list of things that offend me. I'm offended by the Ben Tillman statute on the Statehouse grounds. I'm offended by the John C. Calhoun statue at Marion Square in Charleston.

And as far as the aspect of young people, I have three sons. And the youngest is 32 now, but I have feared for their life growing up, all doing well. But being black males in the South in this culture, we just have to look at Florida. So, you know, we look at things through different lenses. So that's why I've not asked any questions as applied to the book because I think the way things are now you will probably be having people read Dick and Jane.

Anyway, I just wanted to make that statement for the record.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you.
SENATOR HAYES: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander. I'm sorry, Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Just a couple of things. I noticed in your -- what you submitted, you thought they need to improve courses in computer science and engineering. Would you explain that.
MS. GOLDING: Yes. We have found over the last, I think, several years, but it's been that there's more demand in our computer science department and a result of that would be through the Boeing effort as well. But in today's world, computer technology is everywhere, and that seems to be the area that is growing most with jobs. And I think our responsibility at the college is not only to educate but to help with respect to finding employment and occupation and professionalism. And if we add that, I think that is a step towards that direction.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you. And the other thing with your legal background, do you have any thoughts on the law school at the College of Charleston?
MS. GOLDING: If you would provide us the money, I think it would be wonderful.
SENATOR HAYES: Would you use the money for that if you had the money?
MS. GOLDING: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that that would fit with College of Charleston. Only if you would provide us the money. I do not think that we should -- that currently the budget and the monies we receive from the State should be diverted towards the college because we need it for our existing programs now and what we have.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Now Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, and I'm glad he went first. I was going to keep my mouth shut on the $13,000, but now that you've opened up the door about the need for the money, do you think that was an appropriate use of college money to pay the author of that book $13,000 to come and speak to the freshmen or the convocation or the student body?
MS. GOLDING: In hindsight, no.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And help me understand, if we get into a situation, it's my understanding from other individuals that a book has not been selected for the --
MS. GOLDING: That's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: If a book is selected -- if this book were to be selected, the same book were to be selected for this next year, what is different in the process going forward that would preclude that from being utilized and buying thousands of copies and having that individual come back?
MS. GOLDING: Board participation. It was not there last year. It's there this year.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Help me understand -- but help me understand what role the board is going to have. I mean, in that regard, then, if that's the case, does that mean if they make that selection and the board says no, they'll not have the ability to do it?
MS. GOLDING: That's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So does that mean you won't provide the funding for it, or how do you preclude --
MS. GOLDING: A directive. We communicate our directives, our policies through the president. The president will see and has received directives that this book was inappropriate and will not -- at this point in time, the president knows that won't happen. Through -- we have also communicated that through the provost.

We have not issued written directives, but we have at every board meeting that I've attended, and which has been every board meeting, there has been discussion. It is a topic that the president of the college as well as the provost, all administration know that that book was not appropriate and should never have been part of the program.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It was my understanding that the president was not aware of the book that had been selected.
MS. GOLDING: That is my understanding from the past.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: But the provost was --
MS. GOLDING: That's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And the provost endorsed that selection.
MS. GOLDING: I don't --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Or allowed -- it certainly allowed it to go forward.
MS. GOLDING: That's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. Thank very much.
MS. GOLDING: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Let me say this for the record. Testament in this room today, College of Charleston's faculty is academically responsible and respected all over this state, not just the College of Charleston, but also that for the record that a handful of people made this decision on this so-called book that has been purchased or paid for by the school. And I appreciate the candid responses that are being made. But for the record, that needs to be so stated.
MS. GOLDING: I appreciate that. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork is all in order. Thank you.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you.
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable report.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill moves for a favorable report.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)

Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you so much for your service.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

At-Large - Seat 15
Term expires 2018

Daniel Ravenel
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next Daniel Ravenel.

Good morning, sir.
MR. RAVENEL: Good morning, Senator.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. RAVENEL: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Do you have a brief statement?
MR. RAVENEL: Well, I really hadn't prepared anything, but I will tell you that I graduated from the College of Charleston in 1972. Henri Golding followed me as president of the student body.

I have had a lingering and lasting love for my institution essentially because while I might have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, during my college career my mother died and we had a dialysis machine in the house and it cost us everything we had. Came very close to declaring bankruptcy. My father died shortly after I graduated. I was an only child, and I operated that dialysis machine.

So without the College of Charleston being what it was then, I would not have the opportunity to be a college graduate.

So with that in mind, I am mortified about some of the recent controversies. We've had in some senses a crisis of leadership on different levels. The board is a grand group of folks, and I think they're very well-meaning and have done a wonderful job of trying to clean up. But I can give you instance after instance where the community has come to the board members, such as myself, particularly about an expanded curriculum. You all have been talking a good bit. I wish I could have been the first one to speak as opposed to the last. I think I might have been able to answer some of the questions.

But the reality is that the community needs expanded services from higher education in the Charleston area. It is as Henri just said, it does have a lot to do with computer science and engineering, but there are other things as well. The port is asking us to develop programs that will enable them to hire more people in supply chain management. So there are some other areas, and you all are going to be asked to help provide for those areas.

But it really boils down to advanced degrees, and the college has never had the opportunity really to provide a great number of advanced degrees. We have some good ones, marine biology being the longest standing master's program at the college. But we also need Ph.D. programs, which we've never had. So I guess that's my opening statement, Senator.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome Mr. Ravenel. I notice your home address. My kinfolk lived right down the street back in the 1700s. So unfortunately, they moved away, and I didn't get any of that property.
MR. RAVENEL: I'm pleased to know that you were once a neighbor, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Many, many, many moons ago.

Your opinion on the book controversy.
MR. RAVENEL: Well, first of all, I think the program ought to be eliminated. I'm not saying that because of your distaste for it. Two years ago we had another book selected, called -- I think it's called Three Cups, something or other. It was about a guy who developed schools in Afghanistan. Well, it turned out that it was a fraud. And we had invited him to the campus, he spoke. I was on the podium or on the stage when he spoke. Everybody was very impressed about all the good things he had done in Afghanistan to educate women.

But the reality was it was a fraud. It was exposed on 60 Minutes. Some of you may be aware of it. That was three years or two years ago, the third book earlier.

And now we have this. This book is not a book. It's a comic book. If you will, I've done -- gave my a copy of it, and I was horrified. Why would we give students a comic book to read? They've had plenty of experience with that. Despite the distastefulness of it.

But, I mean, it just -- to me, it was not an intellectual exercise at all. So I think the program is flawed, and I'm going to make a motion at the next meeting to do away with the program.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm assuming that 13,000, somewhere in that ballpark, is spent every time to bring in these speakers. Is that probably correct?
MR. RAVENEL: I have no idea. But, yeah, I would make that presumption that some money is paid.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I just don't want to hear another Ways and Means meeting where the back and forth was, you know, really hurting the College of Charleston. Because I care a lot about it because of my son and daughter graduating from there. Of course, a lot of folks on this -- around here, you know, have direct interest, also.

So I like what I'm hearing from all of the candidates so far. I hope you will follow up. And I don't want to see any kind of censorship, but I do want to see some common sense exhibited by the provost and these folks. Because it seems like, you know, these books are not just controversial, they're just way outside the pale.
MR. RAVENEL: I think the system is flawed. I mean, I think it's that simple. We need to stop and take a another look at the whole idea.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Thank you, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Let me start my comments by certainly saying to all the board members that are here and those that are willing to serve that I appreciate the job that you have done or will do, from that standpoint. And as we find ourself a many a time on issues that come before the general assembly, it's only after something has been brought to our attention from that standpoint. And so it's no reflection upon you all and you all's works from that standpoint.

And as far as your -- let me start off, too, I guess for the attendance for your board service, what kind of attendance?
MR. RAVENEL: I missed a meeting in June three years ago. I believe that's the only one. I have attended every meeting personally.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And I think you pretty well answered everything. I just want to -- and I think I've heard consistently, at least to this point, that board members and their displeasure and they've met in October and things, are those that have come before us. I guess my question is without putting you or anyone in an awkward situation, was there any dissention among any of the board members that were at the board meeting as to what we're hearing today as far as the way to -- the view of the selection of that book?
MR. RAVENEL: The greatest discussion was during the Academic Affairs meeting. I think it was in August. I think you've been told it was in October, but I believe it was in August of that year.

But it was a firestorm. I mean, the board members that were there, and I'm not a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, but I do sit in that committee because it's early and I can get there and see what's going on. It was a firestorm. People were very upset.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So is it my understanding, then, no action has been taken by the board as a board. It would be in the March meeting before any action is taken by the board?
MR. RAVENEL: I'm not familiar with what the agenda is for the March meeting, but I can tell you that the message was sent in the August meeting of last year that this was not acceptable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Was that a board meeting or a committee meeting with the academics?
MR. RAVENEL: It was a committee meeting, but I would say 60 or 70 percent of the board was there. The meetings are held, you know --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. RAVENEL: -- if your meeting -- the next meeting is going to be at, say, 10:30, and the Academic Affairs ends at 10:30, you're likely to go to the Academic Affairs in order to --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So there's been at least one board -- is it correct, has there been at least one board meeting since that and there was no action by the board?
MR. RAVENEL: That's true, Senator. But I would say that the message was very clear at that Academic Affairs meeting, this is unacceptable. You know, it was a lengthy discussion. And I am convinced that they know that that was an inappropriate selection, a comic book and a book with distasteful items in it.

The problem is with the process, though, I think. We apparently don't have the review that we need over the selection of a book like that, and we need to correct that process. And I think we ought to stop it. Just my opinion.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'm going to stop at that point.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Two questions. Personally, this is probably the most important. Are you any relation at all to cousin Arthur Ravenel?
MR. RAVENEL: Well, it depends on whether you're Republican or a Democrat.
SENATOR HAYES: I've been both, but I'm a Republican now.
MR. RAVENEL: Arthur is my fourth cousin and dear friend. And he -- this will come as a surprise to you. He gave me a thousand dollars once and never asked for repayment. Which I don't think anybody in this room can make that claim.

But Arthur has been a strong member of our family and was very helpful to me as a child and remains a good friend. I see him every Sunday at church.
SENATOR HAYES: You go to the Huguenot church there?
MR. RAVENEL: That's this tie.
SENATOR HAYES: My wife is tied somehow to the Huguenots, but I won't get into that.

But on a more -- on a different note.
MR. RAVENEL: Yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: On being -- are you a Realtor in Charleston?
MR. RAVENEL: That's right.
SENATOR HAYES: So you're very involved in the Charleston community. I would like to get your perspective on what we've talked about as far as the merger with MUSC and the law school issue and the Francis Marion issue, just very briefly your thoughts.
MR. RAVENEL: Can I take the last one first?
SENATOR HAYES: Yes.
MR. RAVENEL: Francis Marion is -- Fred Carter has done a wonderful job there. I was on the CHE for eight years and watched Francis Marion really develop as an academic institution. We met there several times. He's done a great job.

The College of Charleston does not offer the program that Francis Marion would offer in Mount Pleasant. If anybody should feel a turf defense is necessary, would be Trident Technical College, it would seem to me. But, you know, I'm not sure they should feel that way either.

But I think, you know, it shows that these schools need to be relatively diverse in their curriculums in order to allow students the opportunity to have employment. I mean, this is a vocational effort when you get down to it. I think that's -- perhaps it's probably a good thing, but I want to see what he does. I think Fred is a reliable president and will do a good job.

The merger, I'm on the committee that Demetria serves on as one of the four representatives of the college, along with the provost and the finance director or -- the VP for finance, Steve Osborne. And when we first arrived, we were told by our opposite members that merger was out of the question. We have never really pursued the question of merger so much as collaboration.

I think that there is a need, as I said earlier, for an expanded curriculum for the Charleston area as it relates to engineering and these other areas, computer science. If that can be done at minimal expense without duplication -- another thing I did, Senator, and you may remember, we worked together on a plan, the higher education plan for the State of South Carolina. And we determined that we needed to have more higher education involvement in the economy. And this is just really kind of a follow up to that. We do need more higher education. We need to use those resources wisely. I mean, I think that's, you know, a forgone conclusion.

What was the first thing you asked me?
SENATOR HAYES: The law school.
MR. RAVENEL: The law school. I'm not a lawyer. I think we probably have enough lawyers.
SENATOR HAYES: I am a lawyer. I agree.
MR. RAVENEL: I'm not going to say that I need to make the judgment of whether we need more lawyers, but I think we probably have enough. There are a lot of people in Charleston that want it to happen. They see an institution that has made great strides in short order, and they are worried that that degree that they have been issued, these are the alumni, and the other alumni, and they approach members of the College of Charleston board of trustees on a regular basis at every occasion to ask us to support buying the law school.

The latest thing I heard last week was the alumni president, John Robinson, said that he thought he could get the law school donated to the State of South Carolina. That shows you the desperation we're dealing with here. But it's a low priority item for me. I think it's much more important to expand the curriculum. This presidential search is very important, it's the future of the college.

There's just so much you can ask us to do at one time. So we haven't spent a lot of time, I don't think, maybe other members or the trustees might have, but I haven't spent a lot of time on it. But it is a hot issue in Charleston, as Representative Mack will tell you.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Ravenel, good to see you.
MR. RAVENEL: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: My father says to tell you hi.
MR. RAVENEL: His father is one of the great men I've known. He was in the YMCA movement with me 40 years ago. You all should know that David Mack -- the name David Mack, not only does it have your embellishment, your involvement, but his father is one of the really great men I've known.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you. You would have wrapped up my vote even if you had opposition.
MR. RAVENEL: I only tell the truth. I raised my hand.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you. I wanted to ask you, you mentioned earlier, which perked my interest about the need to get more advanced degrees. And I know that's one of the arguments with respect to the merger, that it would produce these engineering degrees and advanced degrees to keep up with what's going on in the Lowcountry with so much technology.

Did you see a methodology to do that without the merger, maybe more of a collaboration between the two schools?
MR. RAVENEL: I think that The Citadel has a lot of good professors. I think that there are programs that would be created that would enable them to be a bigger part of it. I would like to see Carolina and Clemson get involved in these programs as well.

But I think we've got to meet the economic needs. You know, we're going to lose some of these -- we have 260 software development firms in Charleston now. 260. The term "silicon harbor" is now being used in reference to Charleston. I grew up in abject poverty really. When you and I were in school, Charleston was a poor place. We've got a very bright future now. We need not shortchange it.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: That's the selling point. When you hear people really push the merger, it's to compete with Boeing, to facilitate Boeing, the air turbine and all of these things. So you see a methodology to do that without -- based on the information you have right now, there's other avenues, in other words?
MR. RAVENEL: Obviously, you're going to have to expand the faculty and the facilities in order to meet the needs, but I think there are ways to economize on it, I really do.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Last question. In terms of college being affordable for many, many students, for the vast -- vast majority of students, how do you go about doing that? Your thoughts about making it more affordable.
MR. RAVENEL: Well, when Henri and I were in school, the State took over the College of Charleston. The tuition went from $650 a semester to $250 a semester. It more or less saved me because it was tough to come up with $650 in those days, a semester.
I think that we have -- in some respects we need to do more in terms of trimming the administrative costs of the college. I know that that view is shared by several of the trustees.
We have a presidential change coming, and it would be the appropriate time to, if not minimize, at least rethink our administrative staff. That we have a lot of people working in the president's office and a lot of people around the campus that we just need to rethink it. So this is an opportune time for us to reevaluate that area.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill, did you have --
SENATOR MCGILL: I'll be real brief.

You're right about the collaboration. And I can tell you, last Friday -- I think it was last Friday, Consulate General from Japan, I met him down at the port with Jim Newsome. Chairman Leatherman could not be there, but we went. We invited him months earlier to come and visit the port and visit Boeing. Those that have not visited Boeing, I've had five or six chances to do it, turned it down because of so much work going on but was able to go the other day.

And to see that 787 and to find out the wings themselves are flown in from Japan and assembled right there at the Charleston plant. And there are a couple other countries involved in a big way. But to find out some 200,000 suppliers were involved in that process, that's amazing.

But let me ask you a question. Has nothing to do with your job. When you were a young person, you grew up in Charleston?
MR. RAVENEL: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: Did you ever participate in AAU boxing?
MR. RAVENEL: Mattie Matthews was the boxing coach, and he coached at -- let's see, I think St. Michael's church. And, yes, I was a boxer. I will tell you I was scared to death the entire time I was in the ring, and I probably wasn't very effective as a boxer. But I've tried -- I've tried a lot of stuff, Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: I had to ask you that. I found some of my father's old scrapbooks, your name in those scrapbooks.
MR. RAVENEL: Good Lord.
SENATOR MCGILL: And I asked Arthur to give them to you, and evidently he hasn't given them to you.
MR. RAVENEL: Senator, you have embarrassed me in front of my peers.
SENATOR MCGILL: A very tempered person.
MR. RAVENEL: Now she's going to read my credit report, which is the scariest part of the whole thing.
SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have some follow up?
MS. CASTO: I do have a question. You were the incoming president of the alumni association; is that correct?
MR. RAVENEL: Yes.
MS. CASTO: There is an alumni representative on the bond. You will not be serving two seats on the board, correct?
MR. RAVENEL: No. No. That's our chairman, as it stands now. And I hope he's renominated by the nominating committee I think in another couple of weeks for that seat.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
MR. RAVENEL: The credit report was okay?
MS. CASTO: It was. You want me to look again?
MR. RAVENEL: I'm in business, you know. Things happen.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Ravenel, did I understand you correctly that the book controversy, that wasn't the new controversy, that was a controversy before, another book?
MR. RAVENEL: We had another book that the credibility of the author was destroyed on national television. I mean, we just caused our students to read that book a year before. There's a flaw here. There's something -- you know, this book's bad enough, but the --
SENATOR PEELER: You know the saying, no lesson in the second kick of the mule. This was the second kick. It just seems like the time is appropriate for your motion. And you said you were going to move at the next meeting to terminate the program?
MR. RAVENEL: Yeah. Like I said, I wish I had been here first to say that and relieved a lot of your questions.
SENATOR PEELER: How would that happen, if you were successful, and I hope you are --
MR. RAVENEL: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: -- how would that happen and when?
MR. RAVENEL: We just would not fund it, I think is the way to go about it. Probably just go in to budget and finance and just not fund them.
SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir.
MR. RAVENEL: As I understand it, there's been a motion -- or perhaps already passed the bill to defund the college.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Correct. $52,000.
MR. RAVENEL: That hurts. I mean, we're sorry about that because we could probably use the money doing something else.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You pass this, and I'll say it gets back in there.
MR. RAVENEL: That sounds great. We could strike a deal right here.
SENATOR PEELER: Well --
MR. RAVENEL: I don't think anybody is in favor of foolishness. I think that's where we come from.
SENATOR PEELER: Using Ravenel logic, if you've got $13,000 to spend on an author to come and talk about this, you've got more money than you need.
MR. RAVENEL: I understand, Senator.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: For the record, too, they spent 39,000 on buying the book. So it's over $50,000 that was spent. $52,000 that was spent. And it's just hard for me to understand how higher education says they need additional money if they can spend that kind of money on these types of projects. So I commend your proposed action as well.
MR. RAVENEL: I am pleased that I didn't write that check.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable --
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: -- and seconded.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.
MR. RAVENEL: Thank you so much for your service.

At-Large - Seat 17
Term expires 2018

Donald H. Belk
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, Mr. Donald Belk.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. BELK: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
MR. BELK: First thing, I graduated in 2000. I know I look like I got a lot of years on me. But I went back and got a degree in U.S. History as an adult, as a nontraditional student. I was able to retire just a little early, so I didn't have a degree so that's what I wanted. And then I wanted it primarily from the College of Charleston because of the reputation of the college.

And so my wife and I moved to the Isle of Palms, and that was a big consideration for me. I enjoyed my time there. I love the college like all you do and everyone else does. And I'm happy to be a part of the college.

But I did have a brief statement. So I wish to be considered as a candidate for the College of Charleston Board of Trustees because as a two-term incumbent, I now have institutional knowledge and the time and talent to help the college maintain its position as a preeminent world-class institution of higher learning.
Many challenging changes await all universities in the next decade. Mainly technology. Smart classrooms, pod casts, online learning, et cetera. As a seasoned professional, I feel like I'm up to the task to help institute these changes.

I always try to be active with the student promotional events and student initiatives. Two awards are given in my name each year. The Donald H. Belk Student Service Award is given each year to the faculty or administrative person that is most active in promoting student activities.

Also, the Don Belk Souls of Fire Award is given to the minority student that is outstanding in the minority community at the College of Charleston. I'm very proud of these. I'm more proud of these than if I would have had the Palmetto Award because to be honored by those who you serve is the greatest award of them all.

That's what I have to say.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Belk. Your opinion on the book.
MR. BELK: Thank you. Well, as one trustee has already said, we were going to discuss the book. So I took it with me. I took it and I had the pages marked and everything because if the students can read that, why can't we read it in a committee? Why can't we bring out the points that are so objectionable or questionable?

Well, I did that. I asked the question, how can two -- two naked females on top of each other, how can that be -- how can that be art or how can that be learning, you know? And I asked that question.
Well, it was an offensive question to the person doing it, but I wanted to ask it. And I saw no value in that. It was an illustrated book. And it was over the top. And I agree with Senator Mack there, is that you have to be careful when you say something because you'll alienate faculty. You do not want to do that. It will be like throwing out the baby with the bath water. You do not want to do it. You want to choose your words wisely, just as all you do with your profession.

But it was over the top. And I believe in academic freedom. I do not believe the book should be stopped. I think that they serve a worthwhile purpose, but I think you need more input, you know. And so that's about where I stand on it. I know we have a canned presentation that says that we all are -- you know, we all promote the college and stand for it. But this was over the top, I personally thought.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So you're saying that you do not approve of that book?
MR. BELK: Not at all. Not at all. There's ways to discuss everyday issues without being so graphic.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And I go back to my point I made earlier. If this had been elected for a higher junior, senior, that's a lot different than basically required reading for incoming freshman. Which it needs to be obviously looked at.

Just giving this info to the board members who are running today, a lot of my colleagues in the House would like to hear from the trustees who were not running this year but are up later, they want to know their position on this issue. You can mail it to me at the Blatt Building, and I will make sure they get that. But they definitely want to hear from the rest of you.
MR. BELK: That will be done. And our executive secretary is here today, you know. She will do that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's great. Thank you for your service. I'm sorry I had to ask every one of you this question, but it was --
MR. BELK: No.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- a lot of folks -- well, it's not an issue I like to bring up. I mean, we should be talking about -- like Senator McGill, extol the virtues of the College of Charleston. I prefer to do that, but this was just something in my moral values standpoint I felt I needed to do.
MR. BELK: I think you should. And as a history major, you remember Jesse Helms, the late Senator Helms, funding of the arts with Robert Mapplethorpe. You remember all that?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I remember that.
MR. BELK: That was all the same issues and funding was withheld. You need to remember -- we need to remember history.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's true. That's true. Thank you, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I noticed you were born in Rock Hill. I think you lived there for a little while.
MR. BELK: Long while.
SENATOR HAYES: One thing I don't understand is why you would leave Rock Hill and go to Isle of Palms.
MR. BELK: Sometimes I question myself. I stay and my wife likes it and my child likes it.
SENATOR HAYES: Isn't it true -- I don't mean -- you're unopposed so you should be all right. You're the uncle of Representative Gary Simrill?
MR. BELK: That is my claim to fame.
SENATOR HAYES: I've always been proud to support you. I think you've done a wonderful job on the board. I noticed your stuff that you submitted is that you would like to attract more students and become more competitive. How would you suggest the college do that?
MR. BELK: I would say that we need to look at what Clemson and the University of South Carolina is doing. They have programs to help students. And one of them is they have academic redemption or grade forgiveness where you would have a course stand on its on. You would not average a course that the students had a D or F in. So if Clemson and the University of South Carolina can do that, why can't we?

Also, our standards are extremely high and did not take -- they do not take into consideration that the college in 2005 -- it was initiated in 2008 -- changed its grading to a plus/minus system.

And so what that did, when you put in a minus, when you do not have that at the University of South Carolina, they have a plus system, Clemson has a flat A, B system, it caused our students to start, to help, losing their LIFE scholarships. Because the minus, if you make an 80, that might would be a minus at the University of South Carolina. And Clemson, that would be a 3.0, which would hold your LIFE Scholarship.

So our students are at a disadvantage. Not enough thought was done -- or no thought was done when this was instituted. I have given our committee chair, Dr. Cherry Daniels, a package. She agrees with me. We're going to be working on that.

So, Senator Hayes, that's why I put that in there. And then if I can get that done, fine; if I can't, then I'll live with whatever.
SENATOR HAYES: All right. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: That completes your questions?
SENATOR HAYES: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning and I appreciate your presentation. Maybe the reason he moved from Rock Hill is he didn't want to pay the 6 percent on the house down at the Isle of Palms.
MR. BELK: I couldn't afford it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just an observation there. But thank goodness you only having one residence.

Your attendance since being a board member?
MR. BELK: I think a few years ago I missed one time. But I'm very fortunate, I'm local so it's easy for me to attend.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I commend you for going back at 56 or the later age to get that -- graduated at that -- what profession were you in that allowed you to --
MR. BELK: I was in real estate and some minor building and lending. That all in real estate. That's mostly it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. I think that Representative Whitmire has mentioned this from the book standpoint, I think we've about finished that aspect of it.

What do you see as the ability to -- I mean, the College of Charleston as far as the makeup of in state, out of state, from that standpoint, I think you commented on that. Would you do that for the record is, do you think that's an appropriate amount? I believe that's a 65/35.
MR. BELK: I think it is because one out-of-state student equals two and a half moneywise, two and a half in-state students. So the revenue generated from out-of-state students is so much.

Also, the College of Charleston is limited. It's limited to enrollment. Other colleges are --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What is your limit to the enrollment, as to what amount?
MR. BELK: Well, because we are landlocked. We're a city college. We don't have satellites. I think we're up to 11,000. 10,000 is what it should be. We have really increased enrollment, and it's about to capacity. We are to capacity. We just don't have the room to grow.

So out-of-state students are necessary for the continued success of the College of Charleston.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you accept most of the South Carolina in-state students that apply?
MR. BELK: No. Because it's so competitive to get into College of Charleston. And you just take the top ones. Our average SAT is 1170, and so we're limited. We don't have 40,000 students. You know, 40,000 spaces like the University of South Carolina. One of their schools of arts and sciences is as big as the College of Charleston. University of South Carolina.

So keeping it in perspective, we are limited to how many students we can take. So we take the students, whether they are traditional students, minority students that we think can do the best. You can't set someone up for failure. So that's what we do. We take what we consider the best. Usually it works. It works pretty well.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Obviously, you've had a great success. Are most of your students graduating in four years or five years or six years?
MR. BELK: We have one of the -- I have to look and see. I've got it in my pocket. But we have one of the best four-year graduation rates in South Carolina. Our six-year graduation rate does not come up to that. We need to be at a six-year graduation rate of 76 percent, and we are not at the moment. And so that's what we're trying for.

We're trying to, among other things, get our LIFE Scholarship retention up to 60 percent. And we're trying to have other promotionals that we can have more students getting the Dean's List and so forth like that, you know. So we're working on that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, thank you. Again, I want to, Mr. Chairman, commend all of the individuals here for their service and those of you willing to serve. And certainly any questions on this other is no reflection. I think it's been an unfortunate situation with this book situation, but I appreciate the candor of all the responses that we've heard here today from that standpoint.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.

Any other questions from the members?

Staff, do you have any follow up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: Favorable report.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is for favorable report from senator from Rock Hill.

Is there a second?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second heard.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you, Mr. Belk.
MR. BELK: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: That completes our screening for the candidates for the College of Charleston Board of Trustees. The supermajority of those candidates running unopposed, but I just wanted to let you know I think you've heard this morning you do have opposition and that's that comic book. So when you're talking to members of the general assembly for your vote, trust me, you will be asked about that comic book.

Thank you. And we'll take a break now for lunch.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, until 1:30.

Francis Marion University

1st Congressional District - Seat 1
Term expires 2018

Mark S. Moore
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Let's go ahead and get started. I'd like to call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the Joint Committee to screen candidates for the College and University of Boards of Trustees.

First, we have Francis Marion University, the First Congressional District Seat 1, Mark S. Moore.

Mr. Moore, if you would let me swear you in and then we'll get started. Raise your hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Make sure your green light is lit.
MR. MOORE: It is.
SEN. PEELER: Okay, good. Mr. Moore, would you like to make a brief statement to the Committee on why you would like to serve?
MR. MOORE: Well, basically, I came before you a year ago and was asked the same question, and basically, with regard to Francis Marion, I think it's doing everything that a public institution should do. I think it exemplifies what a public institution should be. They're taking people within the community, offering affordable education, giving them a skill set that they can then use and integrate back into the labor force. It creates economic opportunity for the community, and also the university is focused towards putting back into the community, which I think is extremely important particularly in the Pee Dee as they are the only four-year university in that region, public university.
SEN. PEELER: Okay. Any questions or comments from members of the Committee?

Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: Thank you. Welcome, Mr. Moore.
MR. MOORE: Thank you.
REP. WHITMIRE: Question 5, the ideal ratio of in-state versus out-of-state, and I notice that Francis Marion has a very diverse, you know, population. And what really, you know, got my attention was 37 percent of the students are first in their family to attend college. That's to commend you and the rest of the Board and the university for that.
MR. MOORE: Thank you.
REP. WHITMIRE: What's the total enrollment?
MR. MOORE: Just over 4,000.
REP. WHITMIRE: Has that been fairly stable throughout the years?
MR. MOORE: Yes, sir. I think it's almost exactly where it was the previous year.
REP. WHITMIRE: Well, all I can say is, I like the fact that you keep your costs down and serve a lot of in-state students, and I'll just state well done.
MR. MOORE: Thank you, Your Honor -- or Representative. I'm used to being in court.SEN. PEELER: Just don't call him senator. Mr. Mack.
REP. MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Moore, good to see you.
MR. MOORE: Good to see you.
REP. MACK: Living in Mount Pleasant and the plans in terms of getting a new campus in the Mount Pleasant area, what are your thoughts on that?
MR. MOORE: Well, basically, my understanding of the situation is that Mount Pleasant approached the university, was seeking to address an issue where there were basically a number of students who didn't have access to the type of education they wanted locally and approached with that opportunity.

The focus has been primarily on serving a group that's underserved. You have a number of people coming out of Trident Tech who can't complete four-year degrees without leaving the area. You know, it's not so much to replicate what they do at other schools, but to try to enhance the educational experience for the folks there in Charleston.

The primary focus starting out is with the RN -- or RN to BS Nursing Degree. Something that a lot of folks could not get down there at this time.

Again, the focus is primarily concerned with meeting needs that aren't available to folks down there. Obviously there's some concern that there's limitations on the number of students that can go to the College of Charleston and other schools in the area.

But Francis Marion is working with, not only Trident Tech, but the College of Charleston in hopes to coordinate and not replicate and basically duplicate resources but to primarily provide those opportunities and basically fill in the gaps.
REP. MACK: Let me say for the record, being from Charleston, I'm very excited about the proposed new facility there. I've been kept in the loop and I'm very excited about it. And also for you and the other Board members at Francis Marion that we commend you for what you have done, as my colleague, Representative Whitmire, mentioned as it relates to diversity.

I know there's been a lot of hard work by Dr. Fred Carter actually going out and touching people. You have a very good culture there, so I wanted to say that to you and the other Board members.
MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. McCoy.
REP. MCCOY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Moore, how are you doing today? Good to see you.
MR. MOORE: Good to see you.
REP. MCCOY: A quick question kind of touching a little bit of what Representative Mack discussed with you. Has there been any talk with the Board about what -- Francis Marion possibly purchasing the Charleston School of Law?
MR. MOORE: Francis Marion may be the only one that's not in line to do that. Somehow I knew I was going to get a question about that.
REP. MCCOY: I didn't know if that had come up a lot. Certainly that's a hot topic in Charleston right now. And, you know, I have my opinion as to where it should go, and I didn't know if your school had discussed that at all.
MR. MOORE: No, I don't think that's anything Francis Marion is looking at. I think that -- you know, the situation in Charleston, obviously I work there with the School of Law. You know, for those of us, as administrators there, we're kind of caught in the middle of the situation. Obviously everybody has opinions on it. There's a lot of talk about what may or may not have happened out there.

But, you know, for now, our job pretty much remains the same internally which is to focus on what we do. I'm a Career Services Assistant Dean there, so my job is to try to identify opportunities and try to prepare those students for the work force, so I have enough of my own challenges as it is.

But, to my knowledge, there is no discussion about Francis Marion being involved in any of this.
REP. MCCOY: Sounds like a plan. Just had to ask.
MR. MOORE: I'm hoping all that stays separate.
REP. MCCOY: I do as well. Thank you again. I appreciate all you've done for Francis Marion.
MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
SEN. PEELER: The Mount Pleasant campus, did that go through the Higher Education Commission, did they take a stance on that, and what was it?
MR. MOORE: I would probably have to defer.
SEN. PEELER: If you don't know, you don't know.
MR. MOORE: I don't know off the top of my head. I apologize. I presume anything that would be forthcoming would have to be cleared by the Commission on Higher Education.
SEN. PEELER: All right. Senator McGill, welcome. We're on Francis Marion. Your area down in there.
SEN. MCGILL: Yes, sir. Great school. Great advancement. For all the universities, Francis Marion takes the lead.
MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
SEN. MCGILL: Absolutely.
MR. MOORE: I'm very proud to be associated with it.
SEN. PEELER: That comes from the Pope of the Pee Dee.

Any other questions or comments from the members of the Committee? Well, Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No. All of his paperwork was in order.
REP. WHITMIRE: I move as favorable.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorable.
MR. MCCOY: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it.

Thank you all very much.

5th Congressional District - Seat 5
Term expires 2018

J. Mark Bunch
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it.

Thank you all very much.

Next, J. Mark Bunch from Gaffney.

Mr. Bunch, if you would, raise your right hand.
MR. BUNCH: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so you help you God?
MR. BUNCH: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Do you have a statement as to why you would like to serve?
MR. BUNCH: For me, it's exciting to be a part of Francis Marion. I'm a graduate of Francis Marion. My wife is a graduate. Many family members over the years. It's exciting to watch Francis Marion continue to meet the needs of the Pee Dee region and now look to assist in other parts of the state for students that are looking for a four-year degree.

I'm very excited about the progress and the direction of our school and looking forward to be a part of Francis Marion for a long while, so thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Questions or comments? Mr. Whitmire, I know you have one. No?
REP. WHITMIRE: Well, just to make you happy.
SEN. PEELER: All right.
REP. WHITMIRE: I was -- once again, I'm referring to the first generation of college students. Also, I noticed that 58 percent of the students come from the Pee Dee region. So, in my opinion, that's what a regional university should be doing; serving the students in that area. You know, traditionally, you know, you've had a lot of low income families in that area. And, you know, once you get that first generation through college, I just have to feel that, you know, the eventual economy is going to pick up and better paying jobs and things like that.

All I can say is, you guys are doing a good job.

MR. BUNCH: Thank you very much.
SEN. PEELER: Any other questions or comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Bunch, and this is the one probably for all of the Board members, I don't know if we need to advise all the Boards or what, but some report their per diem and subsistence, some don't.
And also on your economic interest statement, do you -- on the formal one, do you report your salary since you are receiving a State salary?
MR. BUNCH: I don't know. I did it last year for the first one, and I've not done the statement for this year, so I can't answer that. I'm sorry. MS. CASTO: All right. You probably need to report your salary.

And, Daniel, for all of the Board members, they need to report their per diem and subsistence.
MR. BUNCH: Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Desire of the Committee?
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Move favorably.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Second. All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. BUNCH: Thank you, Senator Peeler.

6th Congressional District - Seat 6
Term expires 2018

Floyd L. Keels
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Next, Floyd L. Keels from Lake City.

Morning, sir. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. KEELS: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Keels, would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. KEELS: It is, indeed, an honor for me to represent Francis Marion, a great school with a long tradition of quality and affordable education. And it just makes me feel good to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
SEN. PEELER: Any questions or comments? Mr. Mack.
REP. MACK: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Keels, it's good to see you again.
MR. KEELS: Thank you.
REP. MACK: You've mentioned -- I saw in some of your information you mentioned working to make college more affordable, and that's something that we all are looking to do. What are some of your thoughts on that, not only for Francis Marion, but some thoughts that might could help us throughout the state of South Carolina?
MR. KEELS: Sure. I think affordable education, just like working in an industry, requires continuous improvement. Looking at best practices that may be working at some other institution may work at Francis Marion. For instance, allowing the university, for instance, to use some form of program that would allow students who are interested in receiving education that may not be able to actively be involved on campus to receive study of that sort.

That's just one thought. It's remote. It's not something that I vetted with anyone other than just thinking about it. I think it's something that USC does, and I'm sure some of the other universities around the country are doing similar kinds of things to make it more affordable.
MR. WHITMIRE: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Yes, sir, Mr. Mack. Any questions, comments?
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman, let me just say this.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: Floyd Keels is probably one of the rare occasions -- of finance, this man's academia in finance is second to none.

And I can tell you he not only served as the Governor's -- on his list of just a handful of individuals that advised about the finances of this state, but he is a contributor, not just civically, but he's a contributor. Even through Santee Electrical co-op's some 44,000 homes, citizens without power, and they went through it with -- it was a major hardship on the Williamsburg -- that whole region was hit real hard. And to see Floyd up -- he looks a little rested. But it's because of his leadership that you go through tragedies like that.

And, of course, I understand that just a handful of people still do not have their power, Mr. Keels. But what a reputation. An impeccably fine man. Just not in honesty, but a person that contributes and helps the state as a whole. I'm glad to see that you're here today, Floyd, and also I'd like to move favorably.
REP. WHITMIRE: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Second is heard. Staff, do you have a follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Just the same about your per diem and subsistence.
MR. KEELS: Per diem, I do not receive a per diem, and no subsistance. It terms of salary, I've never -- I don't know if that's something I did in the past.
MS. CASTO: Well, this would be travel expenses to all Francis Marion Board meetings.
MR. KEELS: I have never filed for any expenses for my service to Francis Marion.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Good. Will you be here tomorrow for the reception, co-ops? Is that tomorrow? MR. KEELS: If something is happening tomorrow, I'm not aware.
SEN. PEELER: I think the electric co-ops are having a reception tomorrow. Maybe I'm wrong.
MR. KEELS: Oh, yes, sir. I will be. Thank you. Thank you so much. Again, the storm. Thank you. I do appreciate it. I will be here.
SEN. PEELER: Since we're working on Mondays and Fridays, my days are kind of mixed up too. I thought it was tomorrow. Thank God for the co-ops.
MR. KEELS: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: And thank God for you and your service. A motion has been and seconded. All in favor say aye. COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Others, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. KEELS: Thank you very much.

At-Large - Seat 8
Term expires 2018

Robert E. Lee
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Next, Robert E. Lee from Marion. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. LEE: I do.
SEN. PEELER: You want to make a statement?
MR. LEE: Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I'm a second generation Francis Marion student. My mother is the first person in her family to go to college, and she finished Francis Marion and was a school teacher, and my parents were missionaries in West Africa for 27 years, and she finished while they were on furlough in college. Francis Marion was kind of a foregone conclusion. I decided I wanted to be on the Board in 1987 when I graduated and sat in the audience and saw those folks up there and said, I want to do that.

And part of -- I have enjoyed serving. One, I served because if it weren't for Francis Marion, I couldn't have gotten to where I am and I think that's my obligation. I live in the community, I serve in the community, I practice law in the community, and it's my job to help others get to the same place, and that's what we do.

We take very seriously what tuition is because we realize that the majority of our children, if they don't get to Francis Marion, they're not going anywhere, and that's their one shot.

And so that's why I serve. That's why I enjoy serving. That's why I want to continue to serve.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you, sir. Questions? Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: On your Question Number 27 you mention you were suspended from the practice of law for six months. Can you give a little detail on that?
MR. LEE: Sure. The opinion is attached, as well as the explanation. I was -- what happened is, I was billing for traveling to depositions, when I was, in fact, attending by telephone. So when that was brought to my attention, I self-reported to the Bar.

I actually -- if you read the opinion, and if you could read the self-report, pretty much the opinion was adopted from what I did.

Probably the most embarrassing thing of that was not telling my children and wife at the time it was my fault. I had to explain that to them.

And as he told me, he said, you can either deal with this one of two ways: It can end your career and your life or you can take it and make it a positive.

So I have since then spoken at the law school. Went and talked to them, the students, about the problems I got into, how I got into them, how they should avoid them, the consequences, both personally, financially, the whole thing.

So it's something of which I'm not proud, but I have to live with it. You know, I view that you're not defined by your mistakes; you're defined by how you deal with them.
REP. WHITMIRE: Any issues since then?
MR. LEE: No, absolutely not.
SEN. PEELER: You say you speak to the USC School of Law about ethics. Are you compensated for that?
MR. LEE: No, absolutely not.

And, if I can, Mr. Chairman, on the per diem issue -- this is an aside -- as a Board, about -- I want to say about five years ago when we had, you know, constraints with the budget, as a Board, we pretty much decided that nobody would take a per diem.

So as a Board, I haven't -- I've been on the Board for almost 16 years now, and I've never, to my recollection, asked for per diem. So that was kind a decision we all made just to kind of do our part in some small way. We were asking for others to feel some pain, we ought to feel some, too. Since that was the only compensation we get, I think all but one trustee waived it. I think he would get it and donate it to a scholarship, the Foundation.
SEN. PEELER: I notice on your credit report you have a couple of liens. One for over $6,000. Is that settled yet?
MR. LEE: It is settled. Those are items left over from the divorce and we're haggling about those.
SEN. PEELER: Okay. Any other questions or comments?
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman, let me just say this.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: I have known Mr. Lee a number of years, and he is -- as he states, he's focused and he is the same as anyone eligible for any type of error or mistake. But he is the type of person that's going to make it right, but he's more than that. Mr. Lee is a community contributor. He's always reached out and helped others. And I know this, that he is well qualified to serve by experience on this University Board of Trustees.
SEN. PEELER: I'll take that as a motion to favorably move forward.
SEN. MCGILL: So moved.
REP. MCCOY: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Seconded. Any other discussion, any follow-up questions from Staff?
MS. CASTO: You also put on your personal data questionnaire you're a Special Referee in the Court of Common Pleas.
MR. LEE: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Do you receive any financial --
MR. LEE: I'm compensated by the parties, but not by the State.
MS. CASTO: Not by the State. And you also submitted a copy of a check dated January 13, 2014 to the Department of Revenue for a 2010 tax debt.
MR. LEE: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Can you explain that?
MR. LEE: What happened, I was in the law firm of McLain & Lee and we divided the law firm and split and the IRS audited us. And what the IRS gave us -- what McLain & Lee reported to the State, the State had my address as being one of about four addresses prior to where I live.

So when I got this, I immediately called them, and then they had sent it to somebody else, and I had to go actually through someone at -- the legislature to get a statement from our Department of Revenue so I could get it dealt with.

So as soon as I knew who it was, I didn't try to argue about whether interest should be waived or penalty because of address issues.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SEN. PEELER: Any more questions or comments? The motion was made and seconded.

All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Others, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. LEE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

At-Large - Seat 10
Term expires 2018

Kenneth W. Jackson
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Kenneth W. Jackson from Florence. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. JACKSON: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. JACKSON: Yes, sir. I am a product of Francis Marion. I'm a native of the Pee Dee and I'm a first generation college graduate. I have been involved with Francis Marion in one way or another for 30 years, and it's an honor for me to serve on the Board and I'd like to continue serving.
SEN. PEELER: Good. Questions or comments? Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: You know, Mr. Chairman, it's a blessing living in that area. This gentleman, as well, has a great reputation. He was most recently named of the year --
MR. JACKSON: Realtor.
SEN. MCGILL: Realtor of the year. In the real estate business, it's a competitive business, but this man, you would think he's a local pastor. He really helps and reaches out to a lot of people and we're proud. At the appropriate time, I'd like to move favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Questions or comments? Anybody?
SEN. MCGILL: How could you question the man on that?
SEN. PEELER: Well, I didn't know if you were bragging or complaining.
SEN. MCGILL: Bragging, bragging, bragging. Fine man.
SEN. PEELER: Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, his paperwork was all in order.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill moves for a favorable report.
REP. MCCOY: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, Mr. Jackson.

At-Large - Seat 12
Term expires 2018

William E. Gunn
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, Mr. Jackson.

Next William E. Gunn.
MR. GUNN: Good morning, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. GUNN: Yes, sir, I do.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you.
MR. GUNN: Senator Peeler and Members of the Committee, it's been a real pleasure for me to serve on Francis Marion Board for the past four years. I grew up in Florence. I did not attend Francis Marion, which as we knew at that time was USC Florence, as it started out in the basement in the public library and has grown to the campus that it is today. But it's been a real treat for me to serve and try to give back to the community, the community that gave me so much as a young man. I have a lot of friends in the area and just enjoy serving, I think, a very defined and specific mission the university has, and I'm very proud of the work they do and the work they continue to do.
SEN. PEELER: Is there questions, comments?
SEN. MCGILL: You know, Mr. Chairman, back when Governor Campbell was front and center helping all of the counties in this state, he was front and center with Governor Campbell sitting at the round table making big decisions for all of us. Wise financial decisions. And this man has worked pretty much with every administration since that time, and he is a great contributor at the university.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you, Senator McGill. Have Gunn, will travel.
MR. GUNN: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Questions or comments?
SEN. MCGILL: Move favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Staff, do you have any?
MS. CASTO: I have one.
SEN. PEELER: Okay.
MS. CASTO: You put on your personal data questionnaire you've been involved in a Federal investigation as the Director of Florence airport. Can you explain that?
MR. GUNN: I'll be happy to. I retired from state government in January of 2011, and after about 15 months of being retired, I had a conversation with Dr. Carter who said, would you have any interest in becoming the director of the airport? I said, the Florence Airport? I said, you know I live in Columbia, don't you? He said, well, yeah. They're looking to make some changes down there. Would you talk to some folks down there including former representatives Toy Nettles and Robert Brown? And I said, well, I'll be happy to talk to them. I don't know if I'm the guy they're looking for.

Long story short, I took the job at Florence Airport as Executive Director. When I got there, I realized they were involved -- the airport was under suit from the U.S. Government for -- the airport had overcharged the U.S. General Services for some space for the Transportation Security Administration.

But happily I can report that about 30 days later, with some good legal help, we were able to settle that suit out of court. I was not a defendant, a named defendant.
SEN. PEELER: Okay. More?
MS. CASTO: No.
SEN. PEELER: Motion seconded for favorable report. All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. GUNN: Thank you very much.

At-Large - Seat 13
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

R. Tracy Freeman
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I apologize for the inconvenience.

Next, Francis Marion University, R. Tracy Freeman from North Augusta.

Good morning.
MR. FREEMAN: Good morning, Senator -- Excuse me, good evening -- and the rest of the committee members.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. FREEMAN: I do, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement you'd like to share?
MR. FREEMAN: Yes. I would like to continue my efforts of serving on the Francis Marion University board, to continue my aiding the university in the long-term and short-term goals that we have set forth over the last four years. I'm a graduate of Francis Marion University, class of 1992. I have served on various boards since that time.

Actually, Dr. Fred Carter, who many of you all should know, his first year there, he said that he actually thought I worked there, because every time he turned around, I was there, even though I was 153 miles from North Augusta, South Carolina, when Francis Marion University called upon me there.

And ever since then, I would like to continue my efforts, not only recruiting students, but also being a liaison between the university and some of the staff members that were there when I was there and are still there today, showing them that, hey, this is a product of you, and now I can come back and serve well and also show the university.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Questions, comments from members?
Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What has your attendance been, as far as on the board?
MR. FREEMAN: In the four years, which I'm including June 30th, I have not missed a board meeting and/or a graduation.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You seems to be on there a lot, but just to make sure, that does include the board meetings?
MR. FREEMAN: Yes. Yes, sir. We have four meetings, quarterly. And then also we have the retreat at Lake Moultrie once a year and also the graduations. And as a matter of fact, just as soon as I get finished here, I'm shooting up there this evening. We're having Alumni Awards Night tonight, which I was a recipient of. I volunteered a year approximately three or four years ago. And then also, we have a board meeting tomorrow.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Freeman, I appreciate your willingness to continue to serve. You said something -- you have something printed in your info that I think is very important, that Francis Marion University needs to utilize alumni and board to attract potential students, and I think that's very important in terms of continuing to build a brand of the university.

Expand on that, your thoughts on how board and alumni can get involved to attract students.
MR. FREEMAN: Sure. I have done this three or four times in the North Augusta/Aiken vicinity. There are three things I will talk to you all later on tonight about. One, is Francis Marion University, and the other, enjoying my career, which is building houses. And I have held several events for prospective students, invited alumni also to host events.

Approximately two years ago, I had the director of enrollment come down, and also under her assistance, we had paid for all of the food and everything in the room and everything else. We turned around; we only had two students. But we at least gained that one student.

And so one student -- no offense to any other universities here -- but one student at Francis Marion is one less student somewhere else.

And so -- and like I said, again, branding, as you said, sir, it really upsets me that you'll have some people say, Well, I don't want to get involved.

Well, you spent four or five years there. You had to get involved somehow. And so you had to have some bit of pride into your university.

And as I said, again, I was just in Indiana last night, up until 12 o'clock last night and then back to Columbia. But I still wore my Francis Marion University shirt. So I'm definitely a branded person when it comes to Francis Marion University, and I will go anywhere.

If a student says, hey, I want to think about attending Francis Marion University, and they're in Spartanburg, I get them in it. I like to meet the parents and students together. If they ask any questions of me, any questions I can't answer, I will turn around and I will get the answer for them the next day.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, and welcome, Mr. Freeman.

You're not related to James Freeman that runs the barbecue place down there, are you?
MR. FREEMAN: No, sir. We are very, very good friends with the family. Everybody -- my ex -- as a matter of fact, my dad actually helps him cook sometimes when Mr. James Owen passed away.

But we own three companies, so we're still there. We're not going anywhere.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, if you said you were related, I was going to vote for you right now. Well, that's good barbecue. I'll tell you.
MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Question eight, you said, In your opinion, the largest weakness of the university is the retention rate of the freshmen class. Now, you've been on the board for four years.

What have you and the other members of the board done to -- first off, what's the percentage, do you know, that is retained going into the sophomore year?
MR. FREEMAN: Don't quote me. I do have that in my portfolio here. I think it's 40 or 47 percent.

Francis Marion -- and, again, no offense to any other universities. But a lot of people -- we've been in business for forty -- going on 44 years. A lot of people think Francis Marion University is just a little, small university on the way to Myrtle Beach. And what happens is, we have students that attend the first year, and then, all of a sudden, they go, oh.

And so then, they have to either back out or -- you know, for various reasons. And then we have had some students that are from the Pee Dee region that goes to some of the other universities and decide to come and take a course during the summer at Francis Marion, and then, all of a sudden, they go, Whoa, wait a minute here. This is a lot tougher than I thought it was.

And so that's the biggest judgment. A lot of freshmen students think it's just, you know, a breeze. No, it's not.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you have programs in place that help the transition of these students?
MR. FREEMAN: That is correct, yes, sir. We do have a -- what's this within the -- I'm on the academy committee, but they do have a retention side that they have at the school that these students -- you have also, of course, your advisors. And it's nothing to where when a student comes in -- I know students that stay there at least a year, because they try everything they can from the top to the bottom.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Thank you.

That's all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone have questions or comments?
SENATOR MCGILL: Chairman, let me just say that -- Mr. Freeman, how long have you been serving at Francis Marion University?
MR. FREEMAN: June 30 -- or July 1st will be four years.
SENATOR McGILL: Four years.
MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: I know that the university is fiscally the same, solid. I know Fred Carter does a grand job.
MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: And it is a -- I want to say tough, but I'll say a firm university. You're going to have to study if you go to Francis Marion University. I can tell you that.
MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: But a good report, a good reputation, and we like that you are willing to serve.

In the proper time, I'd like to move favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

I have some follow-ups and then I'll --

Mr. Freeman, I see on the personal data questionnaire, the delinquent taxes, and you answered, Currently filing.
Can you explain that?
MR. FREEMAN: Sure. What that was, is -- like I'll say again, I'm a residential homebuilder. And, as you all know, what the residential homebuilding market had done before. And so I actually pulled some money out of an IRA to help the business stay afloat. And then I got hit with a 48-percent tax.

And so those are currently working with -- I have a payment plan with the IRS and the State in making those payments back.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: One more question, Mr. Freeman.
MR. FREEMAN: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Do you do any business with the State or the local entities where you live?
MR. FREEMAN: No, ma'am, I don't. If I do at all, I do do something -- like I said, I'm a residential builder, and I'm building houses for the USDA, which is federal, but no State entity. And if there is a State entity, it's usually through a subcontractor or the GC of that particular project.

Now, I will say, approximately four -- excuse me, six years ago, we did have a bus charter business, and we did do business with Francis Marion University, but that business has now since ceased.

So to answer your question, now that I no longer -- I do not do any --
MS. CASTO: But if you did have any contracts, you would report them on there?
MR. FREEMAN: Of course, yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill moves for a favorable report.

Is there a second?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. FREEMAN: Thank you all, and y'all have a good day now.

Deborah Adams
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Oh, okay. Hi.

Ms. Deborah Adams, let me swear you in.
MS. ADAMS: Okay.
SEN. PEELER: Would you raise your right hand? Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MS. ADAMS: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Please be seated.
MS. ADAMS: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you would like to serve on the Francis Marion Board of Trustees?
MS. ADAMS: Yes, sir. I would like to serve to help further the institution and to help it become a prominent institution within the state.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Any questions or comments of Ms. Adams?

It's under Tab G.
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman?
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: Did she -- I see on the economic interest statement you reported South Carolina lottery fee. Did you win the grand price?
MS. ADAMS: No, sir. I worked for the South Carolina Educational Lottery for three years, so I have some money in the State retirement account.
SEN. PEELER: What did you do with the lottery?
MS. ADAMS: Information technology, computer systems.
SEN. MCGILL: Conservationist?
MS. ADAMS: Yes, sir. That's one of my interests and passions.
SEN. HAYES: Mr. Chairman?
SEN. PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SEN. HAYES: I noticed in your answering questions that you mentioned that you thought that the university ought to go outside the boundaries of the Pee Dee. How would you propose to do that?
MS. ADAMS: Well, really to me it's all about marketing and selling the university, telling personal stories about how people have been successful attending the university.

I think Francis Marion is a great value for the education. It's the second lowest tuition rate in state, and I think that is a good selling point. It's a good draw for nursing candidates. And I think it's just matter of marketing, or a big part of it is marketing and getting out, you know, to high schools beyond the Pee Dee and taking current students along and, you know, bringing their stories out to high schools beyond the Pee Dee.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you, Senator. Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: I'm looking at your answers to the questions. Number 5, give me a percentage that you think out-of-state students should be attending Francis Marion, ballpark.
MS. ADAMS: I'm trying to recall what the -- when I looked at those statistics, what the current rate was. I believe -- do you mind if I look at my notes?
REP. WHITMIRE: Sure, go right ahead.
MS. ADAMS: If I was correct in remembering this, it was a rather low rate. Around five percent maybe. And, you know, somewhere between 5 and 10 percent I would say is a good target for out-of-state students.

The problem is, tuition is so high for out-of-state students and we've got -- out-of-state students have a better draw in North Carolina and Florida. I don't recall what the numbers were for Georgia. But both of those neighboring states offer better tuition rates for out-of-state students, so we have a difficulty with our out-of-state tuition rates being beyond what our bordering states are, so we're going to have a difficult time increasing that out-of-state student ratio or numbers.
So that will be something -- that would be a challenge and something that will really take some research and some, you know, investigation to try to get a good feel on what that -- you know, what the optimum target rate should be.
REP. WHITMIRE: I see on Question 6, have you ever visited the campus, you said, I have not visited Francis Marion.

What made you choose Francis Marion to want to be a Board member when you've never been there?
MS. ADAMS: I live in Cheraw, and although I've never been on campus, I've gone, you know, by the campus and I'm familiar with the campus as far as what it does for the Pee Dee area and what it does for Florence and the surrounding area.

So it's -- I consider that my home -- the closest university to my home and the university that I would want to work for and work to help improve or to help them meet their mission. That would be -- that's the best choice for me, I believe.
REP. WHITMIRE: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: I noticed you served six years in the Army.
MS. ADAMS: Yes, sir. Active duty.
SEN. PEELER: Okay, good. Where were you stationed?
MS. ADAMS: I was stationed originally for three years in the Military District of Washington and then for three years in Germany.
SEN. PEELER: What made you want to go into the military?
MS. ADAMS: The education.
SEN. PEELER: Okay, good. Dr. Carter would like that, too. Any other questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork was all in order. Thank you.SEN. MCGILL: Favorably.
REP. MCCOY: The motion is favorably. Is there a second?
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed no. And the ayes have it. Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. ADAMS: Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.

At-Large - Seat 14
Term expires 2018

L. Franklin Elmore
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Okay. L. Franklin Elmore from Greenville. Morning, sir. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. ELMORE: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. ELMORE: Thank you. I'm a first generation FMU graduate. I attended the University of South Carolina at Florence. I was in the second graduation class. I was President of the Student Body while I was there. I went back and founded a Kappa Alpha Order, the Delta Chapter, in 1976 after my graduation.

I worked while I was at Francis Marion, both on the work studies, student loan program, Pell grant, please loan me some money, or whatever you can think of to get through college.

This is my opportunity to give something back to Francis Marion. It allowed me to pursue a law degree and to have some semblance of a successful law practice that is now nationwide. I am very grateful. This is my opportunity to give something back.

I've served on the Board since 2001.When President Carter came on the Board, we have made great strides in the Pee Dee, and now into the Lowcountry with the Mount Pleasant Campus.

I think there was a question earlier about where do we stand with CHE? The application is pending. The review is -- it's under review, is my understanding.
SEN. PEELER: Earlier, before we got started, we chatted a little bit about the medical school. Would you clear that up?
MR. ELMORE: I will.
SEN. PEELER: Is Francis Marion planning on building a medical school?
MR. ELMORE: No, sir, not at all. We're in a consortium with the University of South Carolina Medical School. We have a nursing program of our own on campus with the Carolinas Hospital System and McLeod Hospital System in consortium with the medical university -- the University of South Carolina Medical School. We will provide residency programs with first and second year medical students who are currently doing their residency programs at Greenville Hospital Systems in Greenville. Greenville will take the third and fourth year students. We'll take the first and second year students. They will receive a degree from the University of South Carolina Medical School. Not from Francis Marion.

We are merely providing the facilities through the Allied Health Center, which we ought to begin construction on within the next year.

Francis Marion has -- I don't think we're going to have a med school. I'll be surprised if we have a law school. I'll be real surprised if we invest in a football team. That's not our mission.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments?
SEN. MCGILL: Observation.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: You speak lightly of sports, but the way I understand it, one of the first baseball games you all played against the University of South Carolina, called Carolina, I understand that something remarkable happened that day. What happened?
MR. ELMORE: When we opened our new athletic complex last year, against the defending National Champions, University of South Carolina, they went down in a significant defeat. Significant. It was really a feather in our cap.

I don't mean to speak lightly of sports. Francis Marion has won a National Golf Championship. We have a great basketball program. We have a great soccer program.

One question I always get is: Why don't we have a football program. Well, the fact of the matter of it is the expense of it. A football program costs about $3,000,000 a year. It's not USC, it's not Clemson, and you can't generate that kind of revenue.

It would be great, but the fact of the matter is, I just don't see that in our future within the next several years.
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman, let me just say this for the record, and we want what you said about the grand defeat on the record, too, but, academically, Francis Marion University can go toe to toe with any of the colleges and universities in this state. You are blessed to have Dr. Fred Carter, who would be great at any university.

But this university has been fiscally responsible. That we want to make sure is on the record here today. Fiscally responsible. MR. ELMORE: Thank you, Senator McGill. Absolutely. Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Elmore, you put on your personal data questionnaire that you serve on the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board for the 13th Judicial Circuit.
MR. ELMORE: For the South Carolina Bar Association.
MS. CASTO: For the Bar. So you're not appointed by -- it's not a legislative appointment?
MR. ELMORE: No, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: The Bar appoints you?
MR. ELMORE: The Bar appoints me.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SEN. PEELER: Any others? Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: USC being defeated, that is on the record, correct? I just want to make sure.
MS. CASTO: Yes.
MR. ELMORE: I did want to point out that, Representative Whitmire, that 95 percent of Francis Marion students are from South Carolina. I think that's the highest of any State supported institution. Our mission is to serve regionally. But as Senator McGill says, academically our reputation is now attracting students from all over the state, and we're very proud of that. In large part, that's due to President Carter's stewardship and leadership and to the tremendous faculty that we've able to recruit.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: I'm a former educator and what you're telling me, this is what we've been needing throughout South Carolina. When I get a chance, I would like to come down and visit your university because it sounds like you've got everything going right now. And from what Senator McGill says, it's an outstanding university. Well done.
MR. ELMORE: Thank you.SEN. PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REP. MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I wanted to ask, because I know President Fred Carter gets out and he's an ambassador for the school. Do you see that as a role of -- you and some of the other Board members, you do that. Because I'm of the theory that you're either building your brand or your brand is tearing down. I know the leadership there does a tremendous job of building the brand. What are your thoughts about that, Board members going out and really promoting the school?
MR. ELMORE: Well, I'm in the Upstate and so I've got a little competition where I am between Clemson, Furman, Lander, Presbyterian College and Newberry. But we do hold events, alumni events in the Upstate. We hold recruiting events for high school guidance counselors throughout the state.

And so we are attempting to continue to attract other students from around the state. We have a lot of students who transfer to Francis Marion from other institutions only to find out that it's a little tougher than they thought.

We are listed in U.S. News and Business -- U.S. News and World Report among the top best values of public colleges in the Southeast, and we're very proud of that. We are very proud of our diversity. We are very proud of the fact of our service to our region of the state.

And I think what really reaffirms that is the invitation by the Mayor of Mount Pleasant. He could have chosen any other institution in this state to come down and to work with them to develop the programs that the students in the Tri County area needed. He chose Francis Marion.

He chose Francis Marion because of President Carter, because of our academic reputation, and because of our faculty.
And, you know, I think that's all you can say about a university. When the decisions are being made on that basis, you're doing the right things, and we intend to continue to do that.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Hayes, welcome. We're are on the Francis Marion University Board of Trustees, L. Franklin Elmore from Greenville. I didn't know if you had any questions or comments.
SEN. HAYES: No. Sorry I'm late, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. PEELER: No problem. Any further questions, comments? What is your desire?
SEN. MCGILL: Move favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorable. Is there a second?
REP. MCCOY: Second.
SEN. PEELER: All in favor say aye.
COMMITTEE: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: All opposed say no. And the ayes have it. Thank you.
MR. ELMORE: We invite any of you to campus. We would love to have you.

Lander University

At-Large - Seat 8
Term expires 2018

Robert A. Barber, Jr.
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Robert A. Barber, Jr.
SEN. ALEXANDER: As he comes to the podium, I would like the record to reflect that's the shortest, briefest statement I ever heard from Bobby Bowers.
MR. BOWERS: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: And Bobby is the one that told me, Don't write it when you say it, and don't say it when you can wink it. He doesn't listen to his own advice.

If you would, raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. BARBER: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. BARBER: Very brief, yes, sir. I'm concluding my first term on the Board. It's been an honor to be there. I've gotten a very good experience which came from serving the four years under the leadership of Bobby Bowers on the committee. So Bobby is my mentor on the Board.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Mr. McCoy.
REP. MCCOY: Mr. Chairman, if I could, I'd like to entertain a motion, if it's all right with Mr. Barber, that we conclude and we have this meeting down on Bowen's Island. It would be a lot nicer to be outside right now than to be indoors.SEN. PEELER: I'll tell you, wouldn't that be nice?
REP. MCCOY: It would. And just a brief comment: Mr. Barber, I appreciate all that you do in Charleston and I appreciate all that you do for the Board, and I think the Board is mighty lucky to have you as a member there, and I look forward to seeing you around Charleston hopefully very soon.
MR. BARBER: Thank you. I appreciate it.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REP. MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Always good to you see, Mr. Barber.
MR. BARBER: Thank you, sir.
REP. MACK: I appreciate your years of service in a variety of capacities. I wanted to ask your thoughts on making college more affordable. What are some of your thoughts on that?
MR. BARBER: Well, Lander has worked very hard in that regard, keeping tuition down, but still $10,000 is an awful lot.

We got a report back this year from one of our members who was trying to study particularly the big issue of student debt. I don't know -- I don't have an answer. We have run a very lean budget. I think our tuition is probably the lowest of any of the four-year schools in the state.

Like everybody else, I wish we had more money coming in and, if we don't, we will have to get it somewhere, but we have kept thing very, very lean over at Lander.
REP. MACK: Last question: Your thoughts about the future of Lander in terms of financially and in these hard times. MR. BARBER: Lander is a wonderful place to go to school. It is very small and yet you get State tuition. It has some great programs. One of the programs that I was most familiar with because I was fortunate to have a couple of very, very outstanding high school teachers. For many years Lander was teaching people to be teachers and did a great job of it.

And, today, like any other institutions, we have to be more creative. And part of what Lander has done is to develop some programs, sort of niche programs that help attract students. We have an outstanding nursing program. We're implementing a Montessori education program where we will teach teachers to teach in Montessori schools.

We got a great equestrian program. Thanks to a lot of support outside, we have a phenomenal baseball/track complex, which is a center piece in Greenwood.

So Lander is doing a great job. It's a challenge I think for Lander when you have some other outstanding State institutions, like Clemson up the road and Carolina and other places in terms of competing for the students you want. But I think Lander looks at itself, you know, as definitely admitting students who can perform adequately, but also not forgetting that Lander addresses the needs of those eight or nine counties right around Greenwood. And so many of those students who come from those counties are first generation students.

That is a challenge for us to try to, you know, admit students with better credentials and at the same time making sure we don't forgot the very important mission we serve by serving the communities close by.
REP. MACK: I just wanted to make one last comment that I visited the campus once. I think four years ago. I spoke to a group there and just loved the atmosphere and I think that Lander does serve a very important niche in the state of South Carolina.
MR. BARBER: I agree.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Mr. Chairman. And good to see you. We actually were freshman together back in the House of Representatives.
MR. BARBER: It's been a while ago.
SEN. ALEXANDER: It has been.

You say here, if my understanding is correct, that 93 percent of the current student body is in-state students.
MR. BARBER: I think that is correct.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Roughly that number.
MR. BARBER: I asked for that information and that's what I got, so I'm assuming that's on the button.
SEN. ALEXANDER: That's outstanding to have that. Other than in your tenure on the Board, please characterize your attendance for me of attending Board meetings.
MR. BARBER: If I have missed one, I think it was only one.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Okay.
MR. BARBER: But otherwise, I make a point to go to all the meetings, committee meetings and as many graduations as I can as well.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Okay, good.
SEN. PEELER: Additional questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork is all in order.
SEN. PEELER: Good. Motion is favorable for the report. Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
THE COMMISSION: Aye.SEN. PEELER: Opposed no. And the ayes have it. Thank you very much.
MR. BARBER: Thank you, sir.

At-Large - Seat 9
Term expires 2018

Maurice Holloway
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Okay. Who is next?
MS. CASTO: I can tell you about -- on the record about Holloway, if you want me to.
SEN. PEELER: He's Lander University?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. He's not due here until 4:45. He's running unopposed. He's the area manager of AT&T here. He finished Lander. Grew up in Lander. He has five siblings. He's been on the Board for the past two years. There wasn't anything in his record that was -- that would have raised any red flags.

Since he's running unopposed, I wasn't sure if you wanted to wait around until 4:45. It's just three o'clock.
(Off the record.)
SEN. PEELER: Let me have your attention a minute. The remaining candidate is Maurice Holloway. He's not due to be here until 4:45. It's for the Lander University. He's an incumbent. He had asked us last week to move him to today. It's going to be an hour and 45 minutes. Would you all object to us maybe giving him a call, asking him could he come in on either Thursday or Friday? He lives in Lexington, and we'll accommodate his schedule. We could screen him out, but I'd hate to start that precedent of not physically screening.
REP. HENDERSON: Or maybe he's already on his way over here.
MR. WHITMIRE: Let's see if we can work it in Thursday.
MS. CASTO: He had a meeting this afternoon at 2:00 and when we scheduled him, he called and said, can I be put at the end of the day? So that's why we put him at the end of the day, to accommodate him.
SEN. PEELER: So I don't think he would be offended if we just asked him to come in and we'll accommodate him anytime Thursday or Friday. We'll squeeze him in between screenings.
MR. MCCOY: He's an incumbent, unopposed.
MS. CASTO: Right.
SEN. PEELER: If it wasn't starting such a bad precedent, I'd say we go ahead and screen him out, but I'll rather him be here.
MS. CASTO: At least you can put a face with a name.
SEN. PEELER: We'll stand adjourned.
(The meeting was adjourned at 3:07 p.m.)
(The meeting was reopened at 3:22 p.m.)
SEN. PEELER: We'll come back to order. Thank you, Mr. Holloway, for being very patient with us. We have Mr. Maurice Holloway, Lander University, At-Large Seat Number 9.

Would you please raise your right hand? Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. HOLLOWAY: I do. BYSEN. PEELER: Q. Mr. Holloway, would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on the Board?
MR. HOLLOWAY: I would like to serve on the Board for one reason -- one main reason, I love Lander.
I graduated from Lander in '74. I served on the Board gratefully since 2008 -- or 1988, but I really like the product that we offer and would like to continue to improve on that product. Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: I do and I may have interpreted wrong. When did you go on the Board?
MR. HOLLOWAY: 1988.
MS. CASTO: I thought I saw 2010. So you've been on the Board --
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes.
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Chairman?
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: Mr. Holloway?
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCGILL: You graduated in?
MR. HOLLOWAY: '78.
SEN. MCGILL: '78.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCGILL: I got it now. And you live in Lexington?
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCGILL: And what do you do in Lexington?
MR. HOLLOWAY: I work for AT&T and I've been with them for 36 years.
REP. HENDERSON: Back in the Bell days.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, I've seen all the transitions.
SEN. MCGILL: Just like everybody else, you got all these students loans. I try to tell my children how grateful you should be. They ain't got all those student loans.
REP. MCCOY: Still paying mine.
SEN. MCGILL: God bless you, son.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Thank you, sir.
SEN. PEELER: So you've been on the Board since '88?
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Being that the question has been asked, I'll follow up.

During your tenure on the Board, how would you classify to surmise your Board attendance as far as for meetings and responsibilities as a Board member?
MR. HOLLOWAY: I try to be very responsible with my attendance to the Board. There have been limited times that I've been absent from the Board. I take great responsibility in being on the Board.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Is that 80 percent or greater?
MR. HOLLOWAY: I'm going to say 80 or greater.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Are you up-to-date on your questions?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: All right. What's the desire of the committee?
REP. MCCOY: Favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorably report. Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you so much for your service.
MR. HOLLOWAY: As a servant to our state, we appreciate the time and effort you all put in to serve us. We are grateful for that too. Thank you.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you very kindly.
SEN. PEELER: There is no other business. Now we'll stand adjourned.

At-Large - Seat 10
Term expires 2018

Mamie W. Nicholson
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Good to see you.

Next, Mamie W. Nicholson from Greenwood.

How do you do, ma'am?
MS. NICHOLSON: Morning.
SEN. PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God? MS. NICHOLSON: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. NICHOLSON: I would. Good morning, Chairman and other members of the Committee. I've been pleased to serve on the Lander University Board of Trustees for a number of years. Prior to that, I also served on the Lander University foundation and on the Board of Visitors. I've also served on a number of committees in support of Lander within the broader Greenwood community.

I have given my service to Lander because I do value what Lander does in our community, what it provides in our state as far as our students, and also the impact that it has by being located in our community of Greenwood.

Lander provides in our community an educational institution, but it is also an outlet for cultural activities, for athletics, for just, in general, activities walking around the campus, and it is a beautiful place to walk around.

So I've enjoyed my service to Lander, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue. Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Could you might get Senator Nicholson to drive you down? MS. NICHOLSON: I did get him to drive me down. He's in his office.
SEN. PEELER: Oh, okay.
MS. NICHOLSON: He has a parking permit.
SEN. PEELER: Okay, all right. I was wondering whether you thought that might help or hurt. I just didn't know.
MS. NICHOLSON: He is here somewhere.
SEN. PEELER: Don't take chances.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman, I think the fact that he's not in here demonstrates that she felt like that might hurt.
MS. NICHOLSON: He may use it as an opportunity to campaign.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Could I have one other follow-up?
SEN. PEELER: Certainly. Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service on the Board, and please help me out. It's kind of a theme with me: As far as attendance during your tenure, how would you characterize that, please, ma'am?
MS. NICHOLSON: I attend almost all of the Board meetings. The only conflict I ever have with attending a Board meeting is when my foundation that I'm employed, where my paycheck comes from, is meeting the same day, and that has happened maybe once or twice. We have quarterly meetings as well. If my meeting at work ends in time, I still show up at Lander's meeting.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Okay.
MS. NICHOLSON: It is very important to me and it's placed on my schedule the first of every year.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, ma'am.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Does staff have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No. I just have to say, Ms. Nicholson's economic interest statement was the most thorough I had ever seen. She put every nickel and dime in that she receives.
MS. NICHOLSON: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: She has to be a fine lady to put up with Senator Nicholson.
MS. NICHOLSON: He's a fine man, if I say so myself.
SEN. PEELER: Oh, yes. He is a good one.
Motion is a favorable report. Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. The ayes have it. Thank you, ma'am. I sure appreciate your service to the State and the greater Greenwood community.
MS. NICHOLSON: Thank you so much.
SEN. PEELER: You're a well thought of lady.
MS. NICHOLSON: Thank you.

At-Large - Seat 11
Term expires 2018

Claude C. Robinson
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Next, Claude C. Robinson of Greenville. MR. ROBINSON: Good afternoon.
SEN. PEELER: Good afternoon. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. ROBINSON: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Do you have a brief statement?
MR. ROBINSON: Sure. You know, Lander has been a big part of my life for a very long time. My wife and I both attended and graduated from Lander. My older brother did. My older brother was one of the first in our family to attend college, as someone mentioned earlier. And to my mother's credit, we were both going to do that, and we did.

So I've been part of Lander. I was very fortunate when I was there to receive some scholarship monies to attend Lander University, or Lander College it was at the time.

I have been very close to the school since and served in a number of capacities and also maintained relationships with those folks there. So if I'm so fortunate to be able to serve with the other more than qualified folks I see around the trustee table of Lander University, I'll be very privileged indeed. Thank you.SEN. PEELER: Okay. Questions, comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up? I'm sorry.   Mr. McCoy.
REP. MCCOY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's hard to see me here down on the end.

Mr. Robinson, thank you for offering yourself for service to this university. And as a new candidate, I see that you're running unopposed right now. What would be a vision for you in how you would like to see the school progress or some things you would like to see possibly in your first term?
MR. ROBINSON: First term. Well, that's a great question, and would require a lot of effort, of course.

I think, Number 1, stabilization and improvement of enrollment and quality of those students that are looking to Lander University for their quality education. You know, we got a lot of competitive pressures obviously in State schools, as well as out of state schools.

So tuition continues to be a challenge. I would like to see us address that in some way, be that through some cost reduction or increase funding for scholarships so that more qualified students can come to our university.

I'd like to raise the bar a little bit in terms of the perceived quality of that education. Maybe look at some additional programs. Maybe some things we're not offering today that might attract a new student. You know, it's not any easier financially for the school, and so we've got to create some opportunities and be a little bit outside of the box in our thinking to improve those numbers as well as enrollment at Lander.
REP. MCCOY: Thank you.
MR. ROBINSON: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you,
Mr. Chairman. As far as your work responsibilities and other community involvement, I commend you on both of those.

Is there anything that you would envision precluding you from being able to fulfill the responsibilities as a Board member?
MR. ROBINSON: No, sir, Senator. I try to position myself, all in my career, when I make a commitment to serve in any capacity to find time to do so, and I would not take any other obligation that would restrict me from being able to fulfill that responsibility.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Staff, do you have any additional questions?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork was in order.
MR. ROBINSON: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: With no further questions, what's the desire?
SEN. HAYES: Favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is in favor and seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. ROBINSON: Thank you.

At-Large - Seat 12
Term expires 2018
(3 Candidates)

John V. Nicholson, Jr.
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: John V. Nicholson, Jr., Ridgeway. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
DR. NICHOLSON: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Dr. Nicholson, would you like to make a brief statement?
DR. NICHOLSON: Yes. I think Bobby Bowers pretty much hit it on the head, and I think we got a really good cohesive Board that is working together.

And we've got some big decisions to make in going forward with administration in the future -- in the near future, and I think that I have been a part of those decisions in the past and I would like to continue on the Board.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Mr. McCoy.
REP. MCCOY: Dr. Nicholson, how are you doing today? It's good to see you.
DR. NICHOLSON: Just fine. Thank you.
REP. MCCOY: I appreciate all that you have done for the university and all that you've done for the community too. My family is from right there in that area as well, as you know.

Dr. Nicholson, I asked this question a minute ago as well. Representative Mack and I have talked about this, and it's an issue that a lot of folks struggle with in terms of affordability of education.

How would you help folks, or what's your idea to kind of help folks that maybe don't have the means to go to this particular institution and making the school more affordable for more folks to do, to attend?
DR. NICHOLSON: I think that's the $64,000 question. I think that the only things that can be done is to do, like Lander has done in the past, is just try to be as good a steward of that money as we possibly can and to go to other sources -- industry, individuals, corporations, whatever -- to try to take up some of the slack.

And I think that Greenwood is a -- might be a little bit easier than, for instance, Columbia as far as expense goes for students.

But I think that the main thing is just using the resources as well as we can to make it as affordable as we can.
REP. MCCOY: Thank you, Dr. Nicholson. I think Lander is mighty lucky to have you. I appreciate your time.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SEN. HAYES: I think someone else previously talked about the nursing program at Lander. With the medical background that you have, do you think there's anything that Lander can or should do to try to expand on the medical offerings that it has?
DR. NICHOLSON: Well, first of all, Senator, I'm a dentist, but Lander has a tremendous reputation in the nursing community, and our nursing students just ace the tests as they come out of Lander and they do as well or better than many other institutions in the state.

I really feel that if we just can keep up with what we're doing -- and we're starting a program for nursing administration at the Master's level, and I think that that's a way that we can incorporate the liberal arts training that you get at Lander in with the technical training of the nursing program.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Senator McGill.
SEN. MCGILL: One question: Dr. Nicholson, did you hear that Mrs. Nicholson's son just got into MUSC dental school?
DR. NICHOLSON: No. No, I didn't know that.
SEN. MCGILL: He was just admitted.
DR. NICHOLSON: Well, he's in for an experience.
SEN. PEELER: Another Dr. Nicholson.
DR. NICHOLSON: He still has got to take the Boards. That's enough for any one lifetime.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir, Mr. Chairman, and good afternoon, Doctor. Your tenure on the Board?
DR. NICHOLSON: Four years.
SEN. ALEXANDER: How do you describe your ability of attendance while you've been on the Board?
DR. NICHOLSON: I think I missed two meetings from conflict in four years. And I've tried to go to graduations and other meetings that we could -- scholarship dinners and things like that that have come up.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REP. HENDERSON: Thank you,
Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Dr. Nicholson, for your service.

I wanted to -- and I should have picked up on this earlier. Lander is one of the few schools that has actually lost its attendance, enrollment, whatever you want to call it. I guess enrollment is down. And so what can you attribute that to, and what are you all doing as a Board to try to reverse that and move your enrollment back up?
DR. NICHOLSON: I think that enrollment is down -- we've had a recession and I think that it hit the upper state, you know, particularly hard, or that section. And I think that Lander had grown very rapidly, and at this point might need to consolidate for a short period of time before we move student numbers back up again.

But -- we love to have qualified students, but I think that there's a fine line that every school walks between admitting all comers and many qualified comers.
REP. HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Nicholson.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? Staff, any additional questions?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork was in order.
SEN. MCGILL: Favorably.
SEN. PEELER: The motion is favorably. Second?
MR. MCCOY: Second.
SEN. PEELER: The second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it.
DR. NICHOLSON: Thank you, sir.

Donald H. Scott
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Others, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, Mr. Stone.

So let's go back up to Mr. Scott. Donald H. Scott. I believe he's here.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. SCOTT: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Do you have a brief statement you would like to make to the committee?
MR. SCOTT: Well, I graduated from Lander University. I have served as President of the Alumni Board. I serve on the Executive Council. I live in Greenwood. I attend most all the Lander functions. I have endowed two scholarships. Both my wife and two children graduated from Lander. I don't think you could find a more avid supporter of Lander University than I am. I am committed to it and I give regularly on an annual basis.
SEN. PEELER: Good. Questions, comments? Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And good afternoon. As far as your ability as far as your time constraints, would you be able to be an active Board member and someone that would meet those responsibilities if you were so chosen and elected?
MR. SCOTT: Yes, I would.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Any other questions? Senator Hayes.
SEN. HAYES: A graduate and you live in Greenwood now?
MR. SCOTT: I do.
SEN. HAYES: What vision do you have for Lander, what it should do, if you should be elected?
MR. SCOTT: Well, I know we need to grow the endowment there and continue the programs and so forth.

One of the things that I've always liked about Lander, it has a small school feel than more of a prestigious private, but it's affordable with the State funding and so forth for a State university.

I want to continue to see it continuously grow in areas that can -- we just started an Honors College there. I'd like to see it continue to grow in that way and meet the needs of some of our more excellent students in South Carolina. I think that's one area that we need to grow in, and I am very pleased to see us headed in that direction.
SEN. PEELER: Other questions, comments? Staff, do you have an additional question?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
SEN. PEELER: What's the desire of committee?
SEN. MCGILL: Favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorable.
MR. ALEXANDER: Second.
SEN. PEELER: Second is heard. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. SCOTT: Thank you.

DeWitt Boyd Stone, Jr.
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Mr. Scott is not here yet, so we will go to Dewitt Boyd Stone, Jr.

Mr. Stone, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. STONE: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Do you have a brief statement on why you would like to serve on the Lander Board?
MR. STONE: I think my statement is before you. I'll just say for the public record: I'm a great grandson of Samuel Lander, the Methodist minister who founded the university. Actually, he founded with Williamston Female College, and it moved to the Greenwood in 1904, and he died just as he moved, and so they renamed it in honor of the founder.
My mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins have attended Lander for a hundred years.

I retired from Clemson about 10 years ago, and Dr. Ball asked me if I would like to come down and help Lander out a little bit because of the family connection and because some of my experience in grantsmanship and campus planning, and I agreed to do that. And   I've been essentially a half-time volunteer for 10 years. Enjoyed every minute of it. And this is, I think, an opportunity for me to continue to serve Lander.
SEN. PEELER: Questions? Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Chairman.

Good to see you. Where do you think that your experience -- having been affiliated with Clemson, how can that help you serve as a Board member there at Lander University?
MR. STONE: Two or three ways, Senator. One of my responsibilities at Clemson was, I was in charge of academic space planning. I was on every building committee that had to do with academic or residential buildings. Probably 20 building committees.

My first degree is in engineering. You can probably see that from my record. I've served on three city and county planning commissions. And so that's a lot of experience I think that I've already applied.

I've been at Lander now on two master planning committees, two dormitory building committees, one of them which we're just about to break ground for, and a new renovation of the plaza. So facilities planning, energy efficiency, things of that sort.

Secondly, one of the last things I did at Clemson was to get a $1.6 million grant from the Howard Hughes foundation for science education and the life sciences. And that grant was put in -- the leadership of that project was put into the hands of a very capable person in the 4-H part of Clemson, youth development. And she was able to get that renewed, I think, twice. So there's probably three or $4 million there.

Since going to Lander, I've probably -- with others now, not just me -- but with others probably helped bring two to $5 million to Lander in the past 12 years.

And the other thing I would say is that, at previous institutions, I was the president of the local chapter of the Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi, at the University of Tennessee at Martin. And then I was secretary of the Clemson chapter for a number of years.

We are in the process right now of bringing that Honor Society to Lander. It's a larger, bigger, more prestigious Honor Society than the one Lander has had.

I'm very interested in the high ability students and helped restart an honor's international program that Larry Jackson started back in the '80s which required a semester abroad, which is really unusual for honors programs. We started with Dr. John Moore, philosophy professor, as the leader of that in 2005 or 6. That program continued until last year. It was strengthened and turned into Lander's new Honors College. And we have about 35 continuing students and 35 freshman this year in the Honors College, which is a brand new thing for Lander.

It does not absolutely require study abroad any longer, but it requires what we're calling a break-away experience. Preferably somewhere else that somebody else evaluates.
Our second largest experience, second to study abroad, has been to utilize the Washington semester in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina.

And for about the last three years, under the leadership of one of our political science professors, we have had one or two students each semester in the USC Honors College, Washington semester. And we have never had a student interview for that program that was not selected for it, and it's a very stiff selection situation.

So, I think various kinds of background in things, plus the family connection.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you. And one final question, if I could: Obviously, with your volunteering there now, are there any restrictions that would preclude you from being active as a Board member and meeting those obligations and responsibilities?
MR. STONE: I appreciate that question because I did not put that in my written information, but I will essentially hand over the study abroad program to the professor of Spanish, who has been my right-hand person doing all of the language placements for that program.

We placed about 35 students abroad where they actually stay in the home, speak the language. Out of 140 or 50 that we've sent abroad, we're negotiating now to hand that over to him. I could not as a trustee run that program. It was a $48,000 budget of State money.

I would ask the Board Chair, if it was his wish, I would love to be the trustee that continues to serve on building committees because of my past experience doing that.

And the other thing I do at Lander is, I chair the arboretum committee, which is a town mix of folks that are trying to establish an arboretum. Again, there is some foundation money involved and would not be appropriate for a trustee to be managing those funds, and so I will turn that over to someone else.

I'm glad you asked, because those things did need clarification.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir. I appreciate your willingness to serve.
SEN. PEELER: Question, comments?

Mr. Stone, would you give a comment about State support for higher education?
MR. STONE: That's -- the trend is strongly downward in the last 10 years. You all know that. That is not new information to anybody.

If we could get back to -- if Lander could get back to the funding that it had 10 years ago, our tuition could be about $8,500 instead of $10,100 per year. You will see in my statement that I looked at some schools in Georgia and North Carolina. UNC Williamston was probably the most dramatic case I could find where a full year's tuition is about $6,400. Now, that's a school -- generally the same sort of school that Lander is in terms of size and admission, but that's about 65 percent the tuition cost.

State budgets are far beyond my competence to be -- you know, I'm no expert to critique, but it looks to me like Georgia and North Carolina are putting more money in their higher education systems than South Carolina is. So there needs to be some additional State support.

Now, we need to build foundation resources. One of the problems you have -- we like being the smallest -- or I like and I think Lander generally likes being the smallest of the State colleges because we like to be in the personal attention business.

The problem is, if you're smallest and you have a small endowment, when economic times get hard, you don't have much of a cushion, and that's the situation we're in right now.

I hope I addressed your question.
SEN. PEELER: Okay. Any other questions, comments? Staff, do you have follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander, do you have one? Do you have a motion?
SEN. ALEXANDER: Yes, favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorable report. Seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Others, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, Mr. Stone.

At-Large - Seat 13
Term expires 2018

Ray D. Hunt
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Now, we go to Ray Hunt. You want to be recorded as aye, Mr. Whitmire.

Have a seat.
MR. HUNT: Good afternoon.
SEN. PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. HUNT: Yes, sir.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HUNT: I just have enjoyed my last 15 years on the Board and would like to continue.
SEN. PEELER: Good.
MR. HUNT: Keep it short and sweet.
SEN. PEELER: Brevity is a plus with me. Questions or comments for Mr. Hunt? Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Good to see you. Thank you for your service.
MR. HUNT: Thank you.
MR. ALEXANDER: A theme that I have is dealing with, if you would speak to your attendance and involvement as a member of the Board.
MR. HUNT: If it's not 100 percent, it's very, very close. I can remember maybe two Board meetings in the last 15 years that I've missed. I just finished as Chair of the Board in July.
SEN. ALEXANDER: I appreciate that. And earlier, and you may not have been here, but earlier it was mentioned that maybe enrollment has kind of seen a little bit of a decline due to economic downturn and things of that standpoint. Have you all had to make any changes to your staff or anything? How have you addressed the -- and I don't know how much it's gone down. It may just be a very slight amount.
MR. HUNT: It's a very small amount. I mean, as of this morning, we have about 2664 FTE students.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Students, okay.
MR. HUNT: That's the spring semester. It has gone down a little bit, but I think you would see that statewide, except maybe the four large institutions in the state.
SEN. ALEXANDER: But it's certainly not to the point where it's had a significant impact on your facility.
MR. HUNT: Not yet.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Well, we don't want it to.
MR. HUNT: We don't either.
SEN. PEELER: Other questions, comments from the members of the Committee? Staff, do you have any follow-ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork is all in order.
SEN. PEELER: What's the desire?
REP. WHITMIRE: Favorably.
REP. MCCOY: Motion is favorable. Seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. The ayes have it. Thank you, sir.

At-Large - Seat 15
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

Marcia Thrift Hydrick
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: Mr. Hunt is not here yet, so we'll go to Marcia Hydrick.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MS. HYDRICK: I do.

Like you said, my name is Marcia Hydrick. I'm a graduate of Lander University. I was there in 1977 to 1981. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Lander was the perfect fit for me when I graduated high school. Being from the small town of Westminster, South Carolina, I felt at home when I was welcomed at Lander by a gracious group of faculty and staff and administration. There I found confidence that I needed going from a small town to a smaller, at that time, college.

Some of the professors that made such a huge difference in my life were the reading program and the math department, which were not really related to what I ended up majoring in but helped me build a great foundation, and some of those professors were there for years. And one has since passed away, which I thought the world of, Betty Horne. She made a huge difference in my life at that school and so have many others.

But I was able to take that education back to our family business and have been with that business for 30 years and feel like that I have some expertise in construction, marketing, development, and business in general.

I can't say that I could give you all the credentials Mr. Stone has from Clemson, but I have two children that attended the State university at Clemson, so I am familiar with education in general. I have a daughter that's in law school in Charleston right now.
SEN. PEELER: Questions? Mr. McCoy.
REP. MCCOY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Miss Hydrick, I appreciate you serving and your willingness to come up here and come in front of the committee. A couple of questions: I've read on your profile that you're President of Thrift Brothers Highway Construction. Can you tell the committee a little bit about what you do?
MS. HYDRICK: Okay. It's Thrift Brothers, Incorporated. We are general contractors. We have developed and built SCDOT roads, as far as the highway is concerned, for 40 plus years. My father and his brother started the business.

We since have sold our heavy highway division. We sold it in '03 due to their age and just the fact that they were ready to retire, and that's about the only way I could talk them into settling down quite a bit would be to sell the heavy highway division, so we did sell it on a very good note. It was a nice way for them to end that part of our business, but we still do some small county and city roads. We still have a small road grading division. And we still do some development and we also maintain properties that my family has built over the years. So that's a large part of your business now, is maintaining what we have.
REP. MCCOY: Okay. You kind of were touching on a little bit of what I was going towards here in terms of projects that you all do or project that may be funded by different entities. Do you all do mostly county projects or town projects, or do you all have any sort of State contracts whatsoever?
MS. HYDRICK: The only contracts that we have completed in the last two years would be with the City of Anderson. We rebuilt the recreation project there. They redid some of their sport center fields.

But as far as any SCDOT projects, we have not had any contracts with the SCDOT in several years.
REP. MCCOY: Okay.
MS. HYDRICK: Although we still do maintain our license to be able to do that.
REP. MCCOY: You have ability to do that if called upon.
MS. HYDRICK: I hope my -- I'm the individual that holds the license to do the building and the grading.
REP. MCCOY: Okay. And I'm by no means an expert in this field, but I guess that would have to be -- if you were elected to the Board, and since they do receive State funding, I guess you would have to disclose any sort of contracts that you would have with SCDOT or the State.
MS. HYDRICK: Absolutely. REP. MCCOY: And, finally, in reading on here too, you're talking about the biggest weakness that you foresee at Lander. You talk about the crime rate in the community.

Coming from a background as a former solicitor, I'm very interested to hear kind of your insight on that.
MS. HYDRICK: Well, it tweaked my interest. In the past couple of years, I had a couple of students say that their parents were concerned about the crime in Greenwood, and, of course, some of the times the media hype from that will also sensationalize things, as we all know. I did some research and SLED did a census in 2010, and Greenwood is the fourth highest violent crime rate county in our state. And I just feel like that maybe that's something -- some attention that Lander -- and they might -- I am innocently speaking from my own point of view. I always felt safe there. But maybe that's something that we could partner with local authorities or local -- give that some attention, to see if that is, in fact, a weakness that needs to be addressed.
REP. MCCOY: Now, are we talking about crime possibly that happens to students, or is this just crime in the community?
MS. HYDRICK: I think it's violent crime in the community, is the statistic that I read by SLED.
REP. MCCOY: Okay.
MS. HYDRICK: And I did not mean that in a negative way.
REP. MCCOY: Sure.
MS. HYDRICK: I mean that in more of an awareness way, that maybe that is something that would be needed to be looked at or addressed.
REP. MCCOY: Sure, and I agree with you. Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
SEN. WHITMIRE: Welcome, Ms. Hydrick.
MS. HYDRICK: Hey, it's good to see you.
SEN. WHITMIRE: It's nice to have a local lady running for the Lander Board.
MS. HYDRICK: Well, thank you. It's nice to get out of the county for the day.
SEN. WHITMIRE: I want to say for the record that Thrift Brothers has been an asset, not only for Oconee County, but for the State of South Carolina for many decades. I can personally say that the church I attend was burned to the ground in 2009. And who came to our rescue? Thrift Brothers. I mean, we were in tough times. They provided heavy equipment. Got everything torn down and leveled and didn't charge us what they could have charged us. They were very, very generous in their help. So I just wanted to say thank you.
MS. HYDRICK: Thank you.
REP. WHITMIRE: What Peter said, that's the first time I read from any candidates that you're concerned about, you know, the crime rate. And, of course, you not having served on the Board before, that's going to be something, I'm sure, if you're elected, you will look at.
MS. HYDRICK: They're probably all wringing their hands behind my back here. I don't want us to get hung up on that subject. That's just a thought. That's just something that kind of struck my -- I have a daughter that went to Clemson and is now in Charleston. I'm always concerned about her safety, so...
REP. WHITMIRE: My daughter went there also, and I also had one at Winthrop. You know, no matter where the school is in the state, you always care about your children.
MS. HYDRICK: And it doesn't have anything to do with Lander. Those were not my intentions. The concern I had was Greenwood County. I lived there after I finished school at Lander for almost three years.
REP. WHITMIRE: Well, thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. HYDRICK: I thank you for your kind comments.SEN. ALEXANDER: Good afternoon: It's always a pleasure to see you, and I echo those comments. Not only has Thrift Brothers been involved in the community and the State, but we appreciate your great volunteerism. You commented in here about a lot of the different things that you've been involved in the communities as well, and we appreciate that service.

Would you not agree with me -- you mentioned that you got your degree from Lander. Would you not also agree that maybe you got a second degree by the privilege of working with two such individual -- outstanding individuals in the community for the 30 years with their association?
MS. HYDRICK: Well, that's probably been the hardest degree of my life.
MR. ALEXANDER: It certainly has served you well.
MS. HYDRICK: It has. It has. My son works with us now and I tell him the same thing. He might not be thinking he's getting his second degree, but he is, and it will be worth it one day.
MR. ALEXANDER: And I want a little bit of a clarity. I think I heard you say earlier that you got them to agree to retire in 2003. Would you maybe want to rephrase? Because I continue to see them continuing to get up early in the morning. I would not classify that as being retired for what they are doing.
MS. HYDRICK: You're right. They still go to the office at 5:30 every morning. They semi-retired. They go home at noon, and we get to put out the fires they started.
SEN. ALEXANDER: I appreciate your willingness to serve, too. And obviously, being President of the company and a tremendous leader from that standpoint, I would assume there would be no problem with you having the ability to fulfill the responsibility as a member of the Board of Lander University.
MS. HYDRICK: No, sir. I don't foresee that.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REP. MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Hydrick, great to see you and thank you for your willingness to serve.

I wanted to follow up on Representative McCoy. I was very interested also in what you mentioned about the crime problem, what you see as the crime problem. How would you rate the security at Lander? Because, you know, a county having those numbers is one thing, but when we send our children to a college campus, one of the things we're concerned about is the security as it relates to that college campus. How would you rate that security?
MS. HYDRICK: I would say that it would be -- as far as me being able to rate it and be their hands on, I don't think I could give you an honest answer with that.
MR. MACK: Just from the outside looking in.
MS. HYDRICK: As far as I know, it's been very good.
MR. MACK: In other words --
MS. HYDRICK: I felt safe when I was there.
REP. MACK: Have there been glaring instances that you could see from the community standpoint that there may be an issue of safety as it relates to the students on campus? Have you seen any of that?
MS. HYDRICK: No, sir, I have not.
REP. MACK: Okay, thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Other questions or comments?
REP. MCCOY: Move favorably.
SEN. ALEXANDER: I move after the staff --
SEN. PEELER: Does the Staff have any follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork is in order.
SEN. PEELER: She is your constituent.
SEN. ALEXANDER: She is.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
MR. WHITMIRE: No.
SEN. ALEXANDER: And I'd also like to put one more comment in the record, too.
SEN. PEELER: All right.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That is, as Mr. Whitmire mentioned about the Methodist church in Walhalla burning. The Presbyterian church across the street, unfortunately we have just gone through a fire back in September, and her family has been very generous and kind in assisting us as well too. We're grateful for that.

I would move that she would be favorably reported.
SEN. PEELER: The motion is favorably reported, and the second is heard.

Before we take the vote, I have to ask: Sherry, are you related to Sherry?
MS. HYDRICK: I am. Sherry is my younger sister, but I've always been Sherry's sister.
SEN. PEELER: People ask me about Bob. They say, are you Bob's brother? I say, no, he's my brother.
MS. HYDRICK: Actually, Sherry was here today. She dropped me off so I would not have to drive around finding a parking place.
SEN. PEELER: Well, the looks run in the family. And if I would have known you, I would have gotten you to do the milk commercials along with Bill and Bob.
MS. HYDRICK: That's okay. I'll just let her stick to that.
SEN. PEELER: All right. No more questions or comments. We'll take it to a vote. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you very much.
MS. HYDRICK: Thank you for the opportunity.

Rosemary K. Wicker
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

MS. CASTO: Mr. Chairman, the next person is Rosemary Wicker. Oh, she's just coming in the door.
SEN. PEELER: She's down the hall. We'll wait just a moment.

How do you do, ma'am? I don't want to rush you at all. We're running a little ahead of schedule, which is unusual for us.
MS. WICKER: Early is good.
SEN. PEELER: Are you comfortable?
MS. WICKER: I am.
SEN. PEELER: We will swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MS. WICKER: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement about why you would like to serve on the Board?
MS. WICKER: Yes, I would. My name is Rosemary Wicker and I'm an alumni of Lander. My husband also. And now that I'm retired -- I have spent my life in education. I have considerable knowledge of, not only the school systems, but higher ed, and I'm interested in serving now that I'm retired and have time to do so. Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Questions or comments of Ms. Wicker?
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good afternoon. With your situation, I guess, being retired, a theme that I have is your ability to fulfill the responsibilities and the duties. If you were so chosen, is there anything that would preclude you from attending the meetings?
MS. WICKER: No, sir, not at all.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Okay.
MS. WICKER: I am retired. I'm working part-time for the next couple of months. But after that, I will be full-time retired.
SEN. PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REP. WHITMIRE: Good afternoon. I notice that your husband is a Presbyterian.
MS. WICKER: Yes, sir.
REP. WHITMIRE: Is he still active or is he retired?
MS. WICKER: He retired. And after a year-and-a-half, he went back to work part-time. He's currently at Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church in Abbeville County.
REP. WHITMIRE: Okay, I know where that is. We've got a Presbyterian here on the Senate side that may need some help. Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. WICKER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Hayes has a question.
SEN. HAYES: You said you retired. What was the last job you retired from?
MS. WICKER: The last job that I retired from was from Piedmont Technical College. I served as a biology instructor and taught full-time anatomy and physiology.

Immediately prior to that, I spent 18 years at the Upper Savannah Math and Science Hub, or Science Center. The name has changed through the years. But our function was to do professional development for teachers, K through 12, and every now and then for higher ed.

But we worked with our colleges in the area and universities in the area and provided opportunities for the teachers because we wanted to see them do a better job in mathematics and science, and I think we did a fairly good job of that.
SEN. HAYES: Well, good. Someone earlier commented about the education program at Lander. With your background in education, is it something you think -- what is your vision for the education program at Lander?
MS. WICKER: Well, I think there's always room for improvement. Lander does have a Montessori program. They have an excellent special education program. I am very familiar with it and many of the instructors there.

Personally, I would like to see the reinstatement of more avenues for secondary education there. I know now they have the English, the art, and mathematics, but I think the sciences need a secondary program also.
SEN. PEELER: Other questions, comments? Representative Henderson.
REP. HENDERSON: Thank you, Ms. Wicker, or maybe I should say Ms. Wicker. Just looking at your impressive resume and some of your answers to questions, I just wanted to ask you -- I'm just curious about the Upper Savannah Science and Mathematics Regional Center, what that is, and if there would be any conflict between the two as far as -- I guess, since they do receive State funding.
MS. WICKER: They no longer receive State funding.
REP. HENDERSON: Oh, okay.
MS. WICKER: And it was -- the hubs or the regional centers began 20 years ago through a National Science Foundation grant. The State of South Carolina put in half. That's when Carroll Campbell was governor and Barbara Nielson was at the State Department.
Through the years, we received very generous funding through the State. We then became under the State Department of Education.
In the last maybe three years, we no longer receive funds directly from -- excuse me -- they no longer receive funds directly from the State Department of Education.

And, yes, I can understand your concern. But since I left that center and went to Piedmont Tech, I've been very careful not to interfere. That's one reason I have not gone into doing professional development on my own because I don't want to do anything that might interfere with the things they have done.

But I do say that while I was there, Lander University was extremely supportive. Dr. Ball was extremely supportive. You know, it's a great program, but I would not want to personally interfere with that program at all.
REP. HENDERSON: I will say that being the parent of two in college and one getting ready to go, your idea about having more outreach to high school students I think is just really important, not only for your school, because I know where it is in Greenwood and being a smaller town, but also with science and technology given that that's where the jobs are. And I've mentioned this to one other, you know, trustee from Clemson I think the other day, but encouraging students to be involved in the technology and the engineering and math fields, and your background is obviously in that area. But I think that's a very good thing, and that that would be a very good program for you all to be involved in.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Other questions, comments? Staff, do you have any additional questions?
MS. CASTO: Dr. Wicker, just one. You said that you currently teach a course at USC Union in Laurens.
MS. WICKER: Yes.
MS. CASTO: And that's to the end of this year?
MS. WICKER: It will end the first of May. They were looking for someone as an instructor to do the dual credit program. And since I was retired, they kind of begged me a little bit, and I said, sure, I'll go in. So I'm teaching just a couple of hours a day there and that will be finished in May.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: I have one last question. We check on the history of speeding tickets. I noticed you had one in '07. I can't picture you speeding. That must have been a mistake. There's got to be a story behind that.

Any other questions or comments? What's the desire -- the motion is favorable and seconded. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you.
MS. WICKER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Was it a highway patrolman? I'm going to have to scold him.
MS. WICKER: It must have been. It must have been the one my son argued with, well, she wasn't really speeding. You do the crime, you do the time, you pay the fines.
SEN. PEELER: That's right. That's right.

At-Large - Seat 15
Term expires 2018

Bobby M. Bowers
Screened Monday, February 24, 2014

SEN. PEELER: If there's no objection, we'll come back to order, and I'd like to note that we have perfect attendance, so that's good.

Up next is Lander University. Under Tab 1 is Bobby Bowers. That's I. Not Tab 1. Tab I.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. BOWERS: I do.
SEN. PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement? And I know there's no such thing for you.
MR. BOWERS: I usually get paid a lot to talk. This is a freebie.

Mr. Chairman, I'm running again for Lander University Board. I've been on there for 15 years. I think it's critical to have some continuity on that Board right now because I know in the next couple years we will be going -- have to replace our president. He plans on retiring. And also, if he retires, we've got two or three people who are up for retirement, so it's going to be critical to get a good foundation for a new administrative staff to go along with the president.

So I think my experience on the various committees of the Board would be helpful to be on it again.
SEN. PEELER: Good. Questions or comments for Mr. Bowers.
SEN. PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you. It's a pleasure to have you with us today. I appreciate all that you do.

You're attendance as a member of the Board, how would you clarify that over your tenure as a Board member?
MR. BOWERS: I hope to be there next week at the Board meeting. I'm there unless I'm sick.
SEN. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Thank you. Any other questions or comments? Staff, do you have any follow-up questions?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Bowers?
MR. BOWERS: Yes.
MS. CASTO: You serve on the First Steps Board.
MR. BOWERS: I'm ex officio.
MS. CASTO: Is that the State First Steps Board?
MR. BOWERS: State First Steps.
MS. CASTO: And your ex officio because of your position --
MR. BOWERS: My position.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
MR. BOWERS: I don't know what they'll do when we restructure because I won't be in that position after restructuring.
MS. CASTO: And First Steps has to be reauthorized, too.

And you also serve on the Boundary Commission?
MR. BOWER: I do, along with Senator Hayes.
MS. CASTO: And is that an ex officio or is that due to your position?
MR. BOWERS: No, I'm on the board by law and my position.
MS. CASTO: Okay, great. And lastly, you report your Budget and Control Board salary. I'm assuming you get no per diem or subsistence from First Steps.
MR. BOWERS: No.
MS. CASTO: Are you retired?
MR. BOWERS: No. Well, I retired, and I'm back full-time.
MS. CASTO: But you don't report your retirement on your economic interest.
MR. BOWERS: No, they told me not to.
MS. CASTO: "They" being?
MR. BOWERS: The Ethics Commission.
MS. CASTO: We have others that do.
MR. BOWERS: They told me not to. I did that before, and they said, you ain't got to put that on there.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SEN. PEELER: Questions, comments? What is the desire --
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Favorably.
SEN. PEELER: Motion is favorably and a second. All in favor say aye.
COMMISSION: Aye.
SEN. PEELER: Opposed, no. And the ayes have it. Thank you, sir.
MR. BOWERS: I still want you to call me, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. PEELER: We love to tease you, Bobby. We do appreciate what you do.

Medical University of South Carolina

1st Congressional District - Medical Seat
Term expires 2018

Donald R. Johnson, II
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Donald R. Johnson, II.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir, I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any statement you'd like to make?
DR. JOHNSON: A brief one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. Brevity is a plus.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
Committee members, I've appreciate the opportunity to come up here and speak with you again. I've been on the MUSC board for 20 years now. I'm from the 1st Congressional District, so I'm kind of a local guy on the board, Summerville guy, born in Knightsville, Summerville.
College of Charles graduate, so I do have some thoughts on that merger. I went there on a music scholarship in medical school, and I did my training on spinal surgeon San Antonio, San Francisco, University of Hong Kong back, to San Francisco, and then back home.

I've been lucky enough to be the chairman of the Medical University board. I served in that role from '02 to '06, and some of my colleagues behind me have asked me to re-up for that chairmanship again in August, which I'm going to do, if I'm successfully elected again.

But I think I'm in a unique position for a number of different reasons, I think, to help this university and to help the board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Good.
Questions, comments?
Mr. McCoy.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Johnson, thank you for being here with us, and thank you for your willingness to serve. You've been on the board for a long time, ask and I commend your service, and I think the MUSC board is mighty lucky to have you on there.

I especially just want to make a comment. I'm just having this kind of personal issue close to me. My daughter has spent a good bit of time at the MUSC Children's Hospital. And I want to tell that the folks that you have working over there and the doctors that you have, all the way down from the doctor's office, all the way down to the staff, are topnotch, and they've taken very good care of my family, and I wanted to tell you how sincerely grateful I am for that.

So thank you, Doctor. And if there's anything I can do for you, please let me know, and it's an honor to have you here.
Thank you for your service.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Johnson, always good to see you.

The same question. Are you aware of the situation as it relates to employee challenges or problems there at the hospital at the Medical University?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. Representative Mack, what I want you to here from us, and I think you've heard that from our chairman and from Dr. Baker, who's the heard of the Hospital Committee, our board is aware of this issue. Our board has made concerted efforts to stay focused on this issue.

As you know, Ray Greenberg worked on this issue before he left us. I think we're going to solve this, as Dr. Baker said. And I give you my assurance that we'll do everything we can.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Well, I look forward to working with you on that. I think you have a great board, Dr. Greenberg, Dr. Slaughter, great people with integrity, great leadership.

I think that there are some problems deep within the university, and I'm so glad, on a personal note, that you're running unopposed, because several years ago, when I had a very bad back problem and had trouble walking, Dr. Johnson and his group got me straight. And I really, really appreciate that on a personal note. I think if you had opposition, I'd have to resign from the board and start campaigning for you. So...
DR. JOHNSON: I thought that was your secret. I hasn't told anybody that.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you so much.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. And I commend you for getting Representative Mack straightened out. I congratulate you on doing that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If we can just keep him straightened out.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And your involvement -- and, again, I do appreciate your service and your willingness to continue to serve. And your involvement as the board member, obviously, has been outstanding.

But, for the record, could you give me an idea of what kind of percentage of attendance and involvement with the board?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. I don't think I've ever missed a meeting. I have the advantage of being local, and I also have the disadvantage of being local, because, even when there isn't a meeting, I get called at some point whether it's from one of the local physicians or the administrators. So I can't recall ever missing a meeting.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You know, we continue to have an issue with the shortage of primary care physicians, especially in the rural areas of our state.

So is --
DR. JOHNSON: It's an enormous problem. As I'm sure all of y'all know, we actually have two counties that have no primary care physicians in them.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
DR. JOHNSON: And that's just unconscionable, I think. I view the issue, perhaps, a little differently than some of, particularly, my physician colleagues. I think we actually underestimate what we in the past have called physician extenders, and I particularly don't like that moniker, to be honest with you.

You did hear that it's harder to get into PA school than into medical school. That's absolutely correct. It is harder. It's harder to get into nurse anesthetist school also.

We do not have a nurse practitioner school at MUSC. We haven't for a couple of years. That program has been morphed to a degree, that you all should be aware of, called a DNP, a doctor of nurse practitioner.

We have 210 that are currently being trained right now in all levels at MUSC. Our, by way of background, our physical therapists ail get doctorate degrees now. Before that time, all pharmacist became doctors.

They're Pharm.D.s. if you go to an MUSC graduation, you can't wait until the end to see the doctors, because everybody that graduates is getting a doctorate now. The PAs do not have a doctorate yet. The nurse anesthetist program will move to a doctorate by level by '16.

My point in all that is, I think, we can create as many medical schools as we want to here, and we all know, we have four now, and there is some thoughts of a fifth one going up in Florence. That's fine. The bottleneck is the residency programs. Until there are anymore federal funds, and no one anticipates this, we could actually graduate more medical students than there are places for them to do residency programs.

The future is icy. Again, I hold a view that some of my physicians would not agree. The future of primary care, and of a lot of medical care, is with these doctor nurse practitioners and physician's assistants.
In my group, we employee 12 physician assistants. And anybody that comes to see me, I think Representative Mack would tell you this, I'll be honest with my patients and say, If I taught them just a tiny little bit more surgery, they could completely replace me. Even in my very subspecialized world, the nurse practitioners -- or sorry, the physician's assistants and the nurse practitioners, could provide every bit of good care that any physician could, except for some subspecialty surgical care that takes years to learn.

So I think the future of the deliver of primary care is not going to be us trying to take physicians that we burden with a $200,000 debt, have a difficult time finding a residency, and then wonder why you don't want to become a primary care physician, make $150,000 a year, when you can become a nurse anesthetist and make $180,000 a year or a PA and make $135,000 a year. Those financial metrics make no sense. Primary care will be delivered by the doctor nurse practitioner and the physician's assistant in the future.

That's what's going on, not just in this state, but across the country.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Ms. Henderson and then Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Dr. Johnson, I really appreciate, not only your service, but your comments on healthcare, and I just wanted to follow up on that.

So you're saying -- I want to make sure I've got this right.

So you all have 210s student in your doctor of nurse practitioner program?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: When is that -- is that new?
DR. JOHNSON: I think we've graduated two classes, maybe three classes. It is relatively new.

The master's level nurse practitioner program was phased out about four or five years ago.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay. And then you said, you all will start a doctor of nurse anesthetist -- well, I can't hardly say it -- in 2016.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, yes. I can only say because my wife is one.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes. It's really hard.
So are you saying that, or is there differences of opinion -- I think there is, and that's why I'm asking -- within the medical community then?

I mean, and as a state, is legislature -- I mean, we're going to have to come to grips with -- are these people going to be practicing independently or under doctors' supervision?
DR. JOHNSON: Well, I think that, of course, you know better than I, that gets back to the scope of practice. The scope of practice define what each of these medical professionals can or cannot do. Scope of practice varies from state to state.

There are some states that have expanded scope of practices, where nurse practitioners and PAs essentially function the way that M.D.s do. And there's some federal agencies, such as the VA. The VA allows a wide scope of practice to a number of groups of medical practitioners that we don't in South Carolina.

So that's actually a slightly different issue, in terms of what will the state allow or regulate them to do.
My opinion, when asked the question on what do we do with this shortage of primary care, we can keep banging on the same old nail, which is how do we get more M.D.s in these places. We tried and tried for years. We've tried various and sundry different programs. It simply doesn't work, for a lot of different reasons.

To me, the pathway that makes a lot more sense is, getting these very highly educated, previously known physician extenders in there providing the services that we need.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Right. Well, as you know, within your profession, there are many who disagree with that.
DR. JOHNSON: Absolutely. I had started off saying, I might have a minority, but I'm probably, in all deference, in a little bit better position than a lot of my colleagues that have differing opinions, because I've been aware, and this is an issue that I've worked on, thought about, and been a member of this board and seen what's happened over the last 20 years.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Right. It's really the only logical solution to a continuing problem.

But thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Mack, thank you for your patience.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Johnson, you probably touched on it with your last answer, but I was going to ask specifically about rural areas in our state.

The Medical University is a juggernaut, as far as healthcare is concerned, what it's able to do, many different layers. And one of the challenges in rural areas is access to healthcare.

What are your thoughts on that?
DR. JOHNSON: Pretty much the same. If someone said to me, you know, what school do you think you need to expand at MUSC, it actually wouldn't be the medical school or the dental school. It'd be the PA school. The doctor nurse practitioner program is big, it's vigorous, and we're going to see the fruits of that born, I think, in the next ten years or so.

But if I had a child that was ready to go to school and asked, should he go medical school or PA school, I'd have a hard time telling him not to try to go to PA school, to be honest with you. It'd be harder to get into.

But in terms of the debt he would have, the amount of training, length of time, and then what he would be able to do when he got out, I think I'd try to steer him in that direction.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: (Shaking head.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No?

Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Let me say this. I remember years ago -- I can only relate to experiences I've had, but 20, 21 years ago, when you were running for this position, and you were all over this business, all over that State House, and I got this call from John McKissick -- and half of you know John McKissick.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, we do.
SENATOR MCGILL: And he said, we've got a young man that needs to be elected to this MUSC Board. He has the academia and the work ethic, and he will make an excellent member. And, of course, that persuaded me, but watching you with your work ethic and knowing what you do with your spine clinic and knowing by testament from others what you do for the Medical University, you're quite an ambassador for the Medical University.

Now, I want to say this to you. I'm proud of you, but I want to say this. Growing up in Kingstree I had five ladies who were my campaign managers for city council. I was 21 years old, and they told me, you'll never win, but you get out there and try, and that'll be good exposure.

Well, I didn't like that, Mr. Chairman. So I got me a pair of tennis shoes on, and I got five ladies to help. And one of my ladies, she was a midwife, and she had delivered 16-, 1,800 children. I didn't know anything about it.

But people always wondered the direction that we're heading. Sometimes we have to back up, and figure out what did work, what was affordable. And I'm not saying that's the direction, because a lot of horrific things happened back years ago. But, it's true, you've got to look at everything.

And as money tightens up, I'm listening very keenly to what you're saying. Why not try something, if it will save money? I mean, it's kind of like Dr. Baker, and here we have another doctor that's running for the same seat.

And I said it yesterday, if 100 doctors want to run for the MUSC seat, that's wonderful. It's commendable. I think you're going to have a hard time, but it's commendable. But I also will say this to you, I listen to what this doctor talked about that's running against Dr. Baker, and all of what you're saying is part of that medical family.

And so I feel that y'all are focused in the right direction of where we should be in years to come. And on that thing with the Medical University, by a testament in this room, today when they started talking about a lot of these out-of-staters coming to the Medical University, probably international students, there are a lot of alumnis all over the world from MUSC. So we anticipate that.

And, of course, I'm proud of one document only my wall. I shared it a year, because I've got an 1841 MUSC diploma hanging on my wall. It was my great-grandfather who graduated in medicine and rode to in Charleston by stagecoach. So I wanted to kick a little bit of that in and...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Was that from Kingstree?
SENATOR McGILL: He had to go to Georgetown to catch the stagecoach from Kingstree.

But, anyway, I've shown it to Bo and others, but I'm going to tell you, we're proud of MUSC.
DR. JOHNSON: It's hard to disagree with Coach McKissick, isn't it?
SENATOR MCGILL: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Being from Gaffney, it's pretty easy.
DR. JOHNSON: I understand that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Did you play ball for the coach?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. For a little while, I did.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. He's found the Fountain of Youth. Coach Provence is still alive, but they used to have some pretty good rivalries going.
DR. JOHNSON: I'm recently taking care of Coach McKissick. My dad actually hired him. My dad was a school administrator in Summerville.

I'm recently taking care of a back problem he had. He wouldn't mind me saying this. He actually cracked a bone in his back.

He came in, he said I've got a little backache, Don, but check it out.

And he fractured his back, but he was walking around like nothing was going on.

And I said, Well, all right. We'll put a little brace on you. Come back in a few weeks and see me, but behave yourself.

Of course, he didn't. He came back in about four weeks. I couldn't even see where the fracture was. And he's in his 80s now.

And I said, Coach, I thought you're going to live to 150, because your biology is different than an person I've ever seen.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have a follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork was all in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.
DR. JOHNSON: May I ask a question? I didn't get an opportunity to ask the merger question -- to answer the merger question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, good. You have a unique prospective, having graduated from the College of Charleston.

Yes, sir. I would like to hear that.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. I would say this. I would say that I think the idea should be explored. The process, the way that it's been handled, is flawed, and the timing is horrendous.

Now, the timing is horrendous because we are in the midst of a presidential search, and I'm on that search committee. Our last meeting with our recruiter went something like this.

The recruiter said, Do you know how many people are now not applying for this job?

And of course, we can't effect that. But to my point that the timing couldn't have been worse, in terms of us trying to get a president right now.

The process, it just seems to me, that a conclusion has been made before a analysis and the due diligence has been done. I don't hear anybody talking about what happens to our HUD bonds.

What if our bond convenance are broken and Bank of America calls $120 million worth of bonds? But no discussion about that.

What happens with the SACS accreditation, Southern Association of Colleges, for the College of Charleston? No discussion.

There's some things that I think a proper due diligence would require that you go through. I'm not afraid, nor would I neglect us going through that due diligence. I think, actually, we should, and if it's a reason for us to get together, then let's do that. But, again, I think the process is flawed because a conclusion had been made before I see a thoughtful analysis has been done.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Motion favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

And we really, really appreciate your willingness to serve, Doctor.

2nd Congressional District - Medical Seat
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

C. Guy Castles, III
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, C. Guy Castles, III, Columbia, 2nd Congressional District.

Dr. Castles, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. CASTLES: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Have a seat.

Do you have a brief statement you'd like to present to the Committee?
DR. CASTLES: Yes, sir. Thank you.

I'm Guy Castles. I'm a pediatrician. I am running for a seat that used to be held by Dr. Roland for 32 years. It's an open seat.
And I have a lot of interest in the Medical University, in that, I'm a second-generation graduate, and I have a third generation there. I'm very proud of the fact that my daughter's in the PA school there.

I bring board experience by serving on the hospital board at Palmetto Health Richland, which is our hospital in Columbia, but I also bring children's hospital experience. And most of you know about children's hospitals. They lose money, and you have to combine them with women's services, which is on the board table now for MUSC to bring forth a $500 million women's and children's center, which I certainly have a lot of insight and understand the needs of South Carolina.

You may not know this, but you cannot get an appointment with a developmental pediatrician in the state of South Carolina presently. We only have one neurologist in Columbia. There are three in MUSC. We have no pediatric neurosurgeon in South Carolina, except we have one at -- I'm sorry, we have none in Columbia, one at MUSC.

So your children's needs are tremendous right now, because we do not have subspecialties. So whether you live in Columbia or Greenville, you are traveling right now, and MUSC is not meeting all of those needs. Neither is Columbia and neither is Greenville.

And so that's going to be a very high priority for the state in children's services.

Most importantly, I'm a referring physician to MUSC, and I understand what has to come back to me to keep my referrals. It's just as easy for me to send somebody to Emory or Duke or somewhere else. MUSC is my top choice. That's pretty much where I send everybody. All our heart children are done at MUSC through a collaborative program.

I've been on the admissions committee the Medical University. We presently take 155 students. There are several that -- I've had 17 students working in my office tonight. They're either doctors or medical students. Three are in PA school, and one's in dental school.
So in if last 22 years, I've employed students in my office that are now physicians, dentists, and PAs. I understand their plight and their hard work and how you get to where you're going.

Finally, what I'd like to say is that we have a problem in South Carolina with third- and fourth-year students finding -- and I'm speaking just to medical students at this point -- finding rotations. There are now four medical student schools in South Carolina. One in Greenville, and one in Columbia and one in Spartanburg and MUSC.

We must keep MUSC the gem and continue to have access and places for the training to these students once they're accepted.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

You're -- good morning.
DR. CASTLES: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good to see you. I appreciate your willingness to serve.

Is there anything within your duties with your work that would require you to not be able to fulfill the duty as a member of the board?
DR. CASTLES: No, sir. My nurse and I have been working real well on getting down here to -- the things that you have to do to run for the board and I found that my schedule is flexible enough to be out of town to make meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. I think you say in your comments that MUSC is your primary referral hospital.
DR. CASTLES: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Where else, other than MUSC, would be a place that you would refer?
DR. CASTLES: Well, we have to send children -- it depends on what's wrong with the child to start with. We try to network with Greenville as much as we can. Presently in Greenville, that's where our gastroenterologist is. We only have one. We try to keep everyone in the state, if that's possible, but there are some needs that MUSC cannot meet.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: By and largely, the great majority you would refer to MUSC.
DR. CASTLES: Ninety-five percent go to MUSC, yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome Dr. Castles.
DR. CASTLES: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: First off, I notice you've got triplets.
DR. CASTLES: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, good luck on that. But also I notice that you have a daughter who is majoring in special needs education.

I just want to say, that's great, because I was an educator for 30 years. My wife was also a special educator. So I appreciate her being willing to get in that field.
DR. CASTLES: I'd like to say just one thing about her. She's at Clemson, and she's in her second year, and she's doing her special needs, and her language is sign language. That's her foreign language.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Wow.
DR. CASTLES: And to you and to me, the guy that was at the president's, when he was doing the sign language, and it really wasn't a sign language kind of person, you know, it was a hoax. And she's not a card-carrying, banner-waving girl, but to her, she was terribly offended that someone would attack -- she took that as an attack on special needs persons.

I'm very proud of her. She is a great girl. I just -- you know, I just -- it's nice for you to know too that they are -- the entities that in our colleges that are teaching things like sign language -- because that's her minor language --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right.

And I know you're not going to get rich doing that --
DR. CASTLES: No. Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- but it's a calling. It really is.

You mentioned that you would like to see MUSC expand you allied health schools.

Could you go into that a little bit?
DR. CASTLES: I'd be glad to.

First of all, I have some interest. My daughter Mason is in PA school at MUSC. You may not know this, but they only take 66 people into PA school at MUSC. In fact, it is harder to get into PA school than it is to get into medical school at MUSC. And they only take 45 in occupational therapy.

Now, if you look at the broad span of where medicine is going, you're going to find out that our current Obama Care or healthcare as, whatever you'd like to call that, is placing tremendous needs on what you call the physician extender. The physician extender is the nurse practitioner and the physician's assistant. And by the way, they're very offended if you call them a physician extender.

But that's the way the health -- things are going presently, is that the physician will do more complicated things. So these people are going to have to be trained, and the numbers are going to have to go up. And to provide healthcare in South Carolina -- I know there's a telemedicine type of thing coming out of MUSC, but to continue to provide that, we're going to have to create more physician's assistants and nurse practitioners. And, clearly, the School of Allied Health has got to grow.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you want it just at MUSC, or would you like it to expand to some other regional campuses?
DR. CASTLES: I think it's a sheer numbers game. If other regional campuses could put in the appropriate training. It's interesting to know that the physician's assistant trains with the medical students. They use the same simulation labs. They're in the same pharmacy schools.

So you would have to -- I'm not so sure other entities, certainly the University of South Carolina could support a physician's assistant school. Presently the only physician's assistant school is at MUSC.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Well, I agree where what you're saying, and thank you for your willingness to serve.
DR. CASTLES: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Dr. Castles.

I'm from Greenville, and I'm involved with the medical school there. I wanted to expand to what Mr. Whitmire said. I agree with you that medicine is going to where PA's -- I call them paramedical professionals, whatever you want to call them -- are doing more care.

But the problem is, in my opinion, that discourages people from wanting to become a doctor, because the head of the admissions at the one in Greenville is a friend of mine, and we've had this conversation. And it's, you know, because a student will look at it and say, I could go to PA school and have half as much debt, and I'm still seeing patients, and I'm still, you know, doing medicine. And I could go to medical school, basically be supervising PAs and have the consultants and principals, PAs and have twice as much debt.

And, you know this, what is the role -- how are you all seeing it being involved in -- actually the discussion in healthcare about getting to what you're talking about, because it's also going the affect the number of doctors, and it's also -- I see the battles.

We had a PA bill that we passed last year that allowed doctors to supervise three PAs now, instead of two, and that was a huge battle. And it took a year with every specialty group involved because it's this scope of practicing thing that we see all the time.

I just wanted to get your ideas about that whole situation and how you think you can help get us for where we need to be.
DR. CASTLES: I think, first of all, I'm terribly opposed to healthcare that's being delivered and exposed to drugstores and MinuteClinic type of situations and freestanding physician's assistance, nurse practitioners, things like that. I think that things have to be within appropriate medical supervision. But the physician extender is there to help with screening and to the less complicates patient.

And, as you know, most of the training that is provided to the physician's assistant or the nurse practitioner is done by the physician himself. When they leave school, they're not really adequately prepared to be on their own, because it's only a two-and-a-half year masters type of program.

It's going to take physician base, and now physicians and hospitals are actually being accepting to physician's assistants, and they need them, and they rely on them. And, actually, the orthopedist that I go to, most of the time, I see his physician's assistant. I am a physician, and I understand the clear roles; however, last year we had problems placing our physicians graduates from all four, and it'll even be harder this year because this Greenville will be turning a class out, as will Spartanburg into the residency programs, because as the number of applicants has grown, the actual residency spots in South Carolina have not grown with that.

And then, of course, actually, it's got to have more funding. So it's in the higher education calling, it's not going to medical school, it's then what you're going to do. And I think both of you, or everyone here knows that if you go out of state to do your residency, the chances that you're coming back to practice here are very slim.

So being able to keep people in South Carolina in their residency programs is just tremendously important.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Dr. Castles, you're a new candidate and not an incumbent.

But the vote on the discussed merger between the College of Charleston and MUSC, if you had voted, would you have voted, and, if so, how would you have voted?
DR. CASTLES: Well, Senator Peeler, I'd like to tell you that I knew a lot about that; however, I don't. In fact, Mr. Stephenson alluded that he had seen reports on studies that have been done that I, quite frankly, have no idea about. I would just answer that question and say that at this time I would have to be open-minded because I don't have the appropriate information that other members would have that I just don't have.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I understand. Thank you.

Any other question or comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: Dr. Castles, you currently serve on the Palmetto Hospital Board.
DR. CASTLES: I do.
MS. CASTO: And, if elected, you would resign from that position?
DR. CASTLES: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: In favor.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Favor.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. A second is heard.
ALL MEMBERS: All in favor, say aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

James Lemon
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.   Thank you, sir.

Next James Lemon.

Good morning.
DR. LEMON: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. LEMON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement?
DR. LEMON: I would. Good morning. I am James Lemon. I practice oral and maxillofacial surgery here in Columbia, South Carolina. This is my 31st year.

I finished the dental school in Charleston, as did my nephew, my brothers finished medical school, as did my uncle. My son has just gotten into dental school in Charleston with Senator Nicholson's son, and I would not be running for this board had he gotten in, because of the perceived conflict -- conflict of interest. But he is in. He will begin in June.

In my practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery here in Columbia, after graduating from dental school and being in a hospital-based residency for five years, I felt like was exposed to all parts of hospital, university admissions.

Here, I treat facial trauma at Richland, repairing facial bones. I've been on the Children's Rehabilitation Services Committee of taking care of indigent patients with clefts. My point in that statement is, that I'm exposed to physicians, dentists, nurses, surgical techs, and I spend daily contact with an occupational therapist. My wife finished OT school in Charleston, and I may be exaggerating about the daily contact, but she did finish down there.

And I think that someone who has a background and is exposed to all the disciplines, and not just the medical school -- because the dental school is important, the school of nursing is important, and I think they need to all work in concert, and I feel that I can represent all of those entities.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

And my theme in getting on the record, your is there anything that would preclude you from being an active member of the board, if you're so chosen, and fulfill the duties and responsibilities as a member of the board.
DR. LEMON: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Also here, I see where it says -- that you comment about the lag behind other universities, in terms of amount of support from alumni, your alumni.

What would you attribute that lag in?
DR. LEMON: I don't know what I would attribute it to, but the dental school is going -- the tuition will be over $60,000. In Georgia, for in-state, it's less than half that. At North Carolina, it's less than half that.

I've talked to the people in the dental school and the medical school, and they say that the alumni support has not been on the level of other schools. There's a Society of 1824, which I've contributed to and sent a letter to the other alumni, asking them to contribute, and we got some response.

It -- obviously, the tuition will not increase the bottom line for the Medical University. As Tom Stephenson said, It's small numbers. But for that individual, it's paying 60,000 tuition and coming out with $300,000 in debt and cannot open his own practice because the banks wouldn't lend the money that's significant. So I don't know what the alumni support is not what it should be, but that's something we need to address. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Doctor.

In your statement, you -- this kind of confuses me. To become a doctor, you're paying $35,000 a year, but to become a dentist, it's 65,000?

Explain that difference for me.
DR. LEMON: Well, the differences, I'm told -- because, obviously, being one who will write the checks, I posed the same question. The dental school and the equipment required to train dentists is much greater than the ongoing equipment required to train nurses, pharmacists, and physicians. The basic sciences they go through are the same. That's not expensive.

Then the physicians in training go into the hospital and go into the clinics. The dental students go into a dental office with X-ray equipment that has to be constantly refurbished with drills and all sorts of things that are very expensive. And the overhead, if you will, for the dental school is it significantly higher than for any of the other schools.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So that's going to want a dental student is going to have a much higher debt.
DR. LEMON: I had lunch with a young dentist, which I typically do, like last year. I don't remember exactly when.

And I said, Why are you working for this corporation? Why did you decide not to set up your own practice?
She said, I'll pay off my student debt at age 50, I hope. Fifty years old.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Wow.
DR. LEMON: The banks wouldn't lend them the money. And what's happening in dentistry -- because, obviously, I have a dental background, and I've got some medical background, but they're going into Aspen Dental Care and all these places, where the corporations, who understand that there's a market there -- they're saying, We'll hire you for 110,000, and you can pay it off. The banks aren't going to lend him the money. Then what happens is, you've got on overseer who's not a dentist, who says, You didn't do enough crowns this month. You saw 40 people, and the average number of people needing crowns, which is more money, would be that.

So they're put into a tough situation for young people who are very ethical, but need a job.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Lemon, you mentioned -- it's very interesting what you were saying, with regards to the cost and the expenses involved. You mentioned getting the alumni more involved.
Would you go into that in a little more detail how involved the alumni can help alleviate some of the specifics, how involved an alumni in numbers can help deal with that situation?
DR. LEMON: Well, in the first place, they're attempting to do this now by raising money through certain programs. Years ago, when I was on the boards of visitors, they had a program where you could leave with life insurance. You could leave money, and that's been done at a lot of places. That turned out not to be such a great scenario because it's all put off, and they need. So the next step was to have programs set up, where you would contribute on a five-year pledge and do those things.

The thing that I think would also be very helpful to have -- and they're doing some of that now, is to have alumni come in as part-time professors. And there are many of my friends that are doing that now, and that would reduce the cost from having to pay a full-tenured professor than having a part-time people coming in. And they're very good. We have so many people that would like to give back, in that respect.

And those are the ways that I would try to increase the representation of the alumni to decrease costs.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions, comments?
Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Thank you for your observation, because we hear that with different departments, and not just at MUSC, other universities. And I want to make sure we totally understand that this man's a member of finance and is the vice chairman of finance, Senate Finance. And I'm a member of Senate Finance as well. And we know that right now -- first of all, thank you for Bo and Mark. We appreciate both of them helping us along the path sometimes. The meandering path is hard to follow, but they always will tell us truthfully what's going on at MUSC.

But what I wanted to share with you is this. I believe y'all are down to like 3 percent State funding. Don, I think it's somewhere in that neighborhood.
DR. JOHNSON: Somewhere around 3.
SENATOR McGILL: I want, it's not hard for me to understand why MUSC and other universities are struggling and having a hard time in any of the departments if you're not receiving the funds that you had in the past or the percentages. I do know that y'all have been successful in going after some of the Federal money over the last three years, and you've done well. And I personally always liked Greenberg. I thought he was, not just efficient, but he was effective, and he was well-respected up here in the General Assembly.

But we're hearing testimony after testimony about monies, Mr. Chairman, because this man chairs the healthcare subcommittee of Senate Finance. And I can tell you that it's going to get tougher.
And I do know about dental students. I have a brother that was a dental student, who had to find where his money was going to come from to open up. And, I can tell you, you're right. We need to look at it now because it's horrible now, but it's going to get far worse.

All these interest rates are getting ready to go up. And we're getting ready to see the economy toughen up. And I'm not a negative person. I don't believe in looking at it that way, but, Chairman, what's going to happen in your case, the request that will become stronger, and I like the idea about the alumnis getting involved and getting private and public together to make that difference.

But we as a state have got to make that decision, and that's why this merger -- and I've said it before -- I'm of the opinion, if you put the College of Charleston and USC together, you're going to see both institutions drop four or five steps, if you even attempted to do that. And I also can tell you that, you raised a point that has got to be addressed by the General Assembly, by those at MUSC, the trustees. We have distinguished members that are trustees at MUSC. And I'm talking about distinguished.

And we're blessed to have you, but we've got a great, professional faculty at MUSC. I don't care where you go. It's all about business. But I can tell you the reputation in both.

And I'll say about the College of Charleston and MUSC, both prestigious colleges and universities all over the country, MUSC all over the world. And it's that reputation that Governor James Edwards worked and many others that worked to preserve and protect, and that's what you're doing today. But I can tell you, the issue you raised just then, is the direct opposite. Dean Sanders, he will tell you, he's not getting all the funding he needs, but he's not fussing about it. He's trying to figure out how to solve the problem. That's what you've got to do.

And so we've got to get that James Edwards building paid for. I don't know how much we owe for it, but we as a General Assembly, we've got to get that thing paid for. That's what the governor says. He wants it paid for before he meets the Lord.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: An exit into Williamsburg. That will do it.
SENATOR McGILL: There you go.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?
SENATOR HAYES: Move favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I got the motion. I have a couple of questions for you.
DR. LEMON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Dr. Lemon, a couple of things. The MUSC Board of Visitors, you served on that.
DR. LEMON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the mission the board? Are they appointed? How do you become a member of the Board of Visitors?
DR. LEMON: The Board of Visitors is an effort, in my opinion -- and I have not seen the directive get alumni involved in the university for purposes of serving as an ambassador. And that's the reason that they take the people down there that are alumni -- not all alumni -- and show them the school, tell them the needs, and have them go back to their respective communities and to legislatures, in order to promote the university.

As far as any decision-making person that's on the Board of Visitors has none.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. I don't know in whether I had to give you a head start or a leg up on serving on the board, but I was curious to know how that worked. And then I asked Dr. Castle, is this my last QU? You're a new candidate. If the vote that the board took recently on the proposal of merging the College of Charles and MUSC.

Do you have enough information to express an opinion on that yet?
DR. LEMON: With the information I have, my answer would have been no. I'm all for -- you've heard me speak of saving money. There were a lot of duplication of services. There's a 40 percent overlap in security. The security forces walk by each other from these schools, and they're covering the same area. But that's small dollars.

I talked to the people at Regents, the Medical University of Georgia became Regents by consolidating. They said the initial start-up costs were enormous, that down the road they think there are going to be savings by eliminating a duplication of services, but in our state, at this point in time, I don't see the funds to where that start-up would be appropriate, and the main reason would be that the schools don't have a great fit. If this is something that, down the road, in a transitional state, can save money in a step-by-step process where you began more science programs at the College of Charleston, which would segway into the Medical University so that you could get graduate money, and you could have monies coming in -- and I don't want for it sound like all I think about is money, but I think that's the biggest problem. And I think that the start-up cost of that scenario would make it a nonfeasible.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Staff, do you have any additional questions before we take the next one?
MS. CASTO: Dr. Lemon, I just have one.
Do you have the packet that Julie gave you?
DR. LEMON: I do. Y'all caught me on that.
MS. CASTO: Oh. Well, if you will look on the personal data questionnaire, number 31.
DR. LEMON: Yes.
MS. CASTO: It's on page 4.
DR. LEMON: Yes.
MS. CASTO: It says, Do you or any member of your immediate family receive any income, compensation, or benefits from state or local agencies? You put no, and then you put a question mark and put Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital to cover ER.
Can you explain that?
DR. LEMON: Several years ago, the young doctors -- a plastic surgeon said that they were paying the orthopedic surgeons to take call at night.

And so we went and negotiated a fee for us to get $500 a night to take call. The orthopods were getting 1,000. I said, I'll never send a plastic surgeon to do my bidding again.

But the reason I put that is, I didn't know whether that was a State institution, and did those funds I found out those funds -- I later found out that funds don't come from the state.
MS. CASTO: Okay. But you still -- but if you go in or send anyone in during the night, you still get the $500?
DR. LEMON: That's right.
MS. CASTO: Correct?
Okay. And, also, on your economic interest form, I think Julie got you a new --
DR. LEMON: Yeah -- I thought that check on the right covered all the checks.
MS. CASTO: All right.
DR. LEMON: I don't have any regulated business associations or property investments.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Great.

Thank you.
DR. LEMON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Y'all ready to vote?

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you very much, sir.

Stanley C. Baker, Jr.
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you very much, sir.

Next, Stanley C. Baker, Jr.

Hello, Dr. Baker, how do you, sir?

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. BAKER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir. Do you want to get back into the milk business one day?

Now, you're under oath.
DR. BAKER: I'm in the pool business right now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

Would you like to make a brief statement to the Committee?
DR. BAKER: I do.
I represent the 3rd congressional district as a sergeant interiors. I'm still on the faculty at MUSC as a clinical professor in Greenwood. I teach surgery to the family practice residents two days a week. The rest of the time, I'm at the farm with my cows.

I've served on the board since 1977. I've missed five times. I've been chairman of the board of trustees. I've been vice-chairman of the board of trustees.

In the past 14 years, I've been subchairman of a subcommittee for the hospital in the medical practice. So I can speak well from those. And I think that's the strength that I brick to the board.

There's been a lot of questions about the employment at the hospital. I'm very familiar with that, and that's going to be answered. And, other than, that I have a statement in front of me that you have, and I'll be happen to answer any questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.
Questions or comments?
SENATOR McGILL: Proud of this man.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir senator.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you've already taken care of -- congratulations on missing only five meetings in over 30 years of service.
DR. BAKER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I appreciate -- obviously, you've seen a lot of changes in medicine since you've --
DR. BAKER: I have.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And at MUSC as well over that period of time.
DR. BAKER: Yeah, we've grown from 60 students, when I went to medical school there so, to now, 165 in medicine. And we're growing in all departments. Dentistry is growing, and we are limited the number of physicians we can take in Charleston, and we are trying to address to have a two-year medical school somewhere else in the state, and that would give us -- if that can be worked out -- another additional 12 students a year.

So that's important to know. We're addressing that as rapidly as we can. You're limited to the number of M.D.s you can have is according to the number of hospital beds you have.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
DR. BAKER: And that's the reason we are looking to build an additional new hospital, and that's going to be the new children's hospital and a women's hospital in one building. And that will adjoin with the hospital we built four years ago.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. If I read your information here, roughly, you have 350 applicants per -- for each slot that's available; is that correct?
DR. BAKER: For the M.D.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: For the M.D.
DR. BAKER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And then you're not from a rural area, but what do you perceive -- I hear a lot of problems with -- we have a lot physicians that go in to be primary care physicians and come out as specialists.

And so we have a shortage of primary care doctors.
DR. BAKER: You do have. And primary care is internal medicine and OB/GYN is considered primary care.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
DR. BAKER: And your family doctor is considered primary care. And you're right. That addresses the question that I heard about PA's.

We've got three programs. We've got a PA, which is physician's assistant. We've got the nurse practitioner's program. And we also are now instituting a doctor of nursing, which is a degree higher than that.
Medicine is different. And when I started practicing medicine, most people wanted to work as an individual or in private practice. Now the trend is going to be employed by hospitals, and that's entirely different.

The hospitalists make a diagnosis of a patient. They treat them in the hospital, and then they're turned loose in the community. There's a shortage of primary physicians. You're right. And they're going to have to be supplemented by another force, and that's either PAs or nurse practitioners or a doctor of nursing.

The physician is going to make the diagnosis and set up the treatment plan and turn those other to these people to follow through, and if they have problems, then refer them back.

So medicine is different.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
DR. BAKER: Obama Care is not the answer, but something like that has got to take effect.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Baker, I appreciate your service over the many years and your attendance record is phenomenal. I agree.

I wanted to find out, did you have knowledge of the -- and I'm asking all of the incumbents this -- of the employee situation?
DR. BAKER: Very much so.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay.
DR. BAKER: And being around the hospital and that's where it is located.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Right.
DR. BAKER: Being the chairman of that committee, I'm very familiar with it, and it's going to be answered.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay. And I don't want you to get into any particular personnel matters. I understand that.

But any general things you can tell me, in terms of the situation there? because from my perspective, it's getting worse from an internal point of view.
DR. BAKER: Well, I don't think it's getting worse. I think we're working towards an answer.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay.
DR. BAKER: We've got a personnel director, Mr. Ellis. He's very familiar with that, and we're actively addressing it right now.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.

And I want to thank you for your service as well. I noticed on your letter, you mentioned the percentages of in-state and out-of-state, and I noticed that the health professions was 40 percent out-of-state, and graduate studies was 43 percent out-of-state.

Do you think -- is that money-driven, that you want to get the out of state students, or are they just that much better students?
DR. BAKER: Better students. Those are the Ph.D.s, and they're are from all over the country applying there.
SENATOR HAYES: And the health profession, is that -- what is that? That is the PA or --
DR. BAKER: No. The health professions are nursing anesthetist, a PA's, physical therapy, occupational therapy.
SENATOR HAYES: And why would you get so many from out of state on those, compared to doctors and dentists and nursing and all the rest?
DR. BAKER: Well, they apply, and you take the best that you can get.
SENATOR HAYES: So only 13 percent are the best from out of state on medicine and 22 percent on dental, but 40 percent on the others.
DR. BAKER: We lean very heavily to take the in-state physicians.
SENATOR HAYES: But why not for the other one?
DR. BAKER: The interest is not there in a lot of it, and they can't compete in a lot of that. They go straight from college, and there's no competition.
SENATOR HAYES: All right. Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions, comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork is all in order.
DR. BAKER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, you look good, Dr. Baker.

Do you feel good?
DR. BAKER: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

All right.
SENATOR McGILL: Move favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable report, seconded.

All in favor, say aye.

All Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Richard M. Christian, Jr.
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER:

Next, we have Richard M. Christian, Jr.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
DR. CHRISTIAN: Hard to follow Dr. Baker when you're vying for the same spot.

I do feel like I've practiced in Greenwood for over 20. The only place that I've been -- which is a little unusual, there's a lot of movement in years a lot of movement in orthopedic surgeons.

And I also feel like we do take care of the smaller communities. My clinic has offices in McCormick and Edgefield and Abbeville, so we're able to take care of some of those other need communities. I'm not from a big city. So hopefully I can add that part.

I also think that orthopedics is involved with the legislature now because of certain issues from the physical therapy board and also from the podiatry board that -- and it helps to have someone, I think, who's been in practice for a long timing. I think medicine has changed a considerable amount.

My father was a physician. Every one of my uncles was a physician. My sister is a physician. So I've been around medicine for a long period of time.

And my interest is just, you know, to keep South Carolina strong and represent the people in trying to take care of the people of the state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Questions, comment?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you and good morning.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I appreciate your willingness to serve.

In your role with your profession and work, is there anything that would preclude you from being an active member of the board to carry out duties, if you were so chosen?
DR. CHRISTIAN: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I understand you're in orthopedics; is that right?
DR. CHRISTIAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just as an aside, I think we were talking about legislative things. There was also discussion about having to require some type of trainer at all sporting events, and things of that nature.

Are you aware of that?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I am not aware of that. We take care of three of the high schools in our area, and I've had the privilege, I feel like, to take care of Ninety Six High School, and I've been there since 1995. I try to make its to all the football games. We've had several state champions. My partners take care of Greenwood High School, as well as Abbeville High School.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: On a volunteer basis?
DR. CHRISTIAN: On a volunteer basis.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for that service.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?
You're a new candidate. I want to ask you about the proposed merger between the College of Charleston and MUSC.

Do you have an opinion on that?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I would have is to say that I'm -- you know, not as familiar as I would like to be to make a statement. I actually went to Wofford and was an English major that had to go back and take all my medical requirements after that. And there's a huge difference between the liberal arts and the medicine fields. And I think we need for try to keep the Medical University as strong as we possibly can, and if the college would decrease that strengthen, I think it would be something I would oppose.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think that's a great analogy.

Any other questions?

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: I noticed -- when we were discussing earlier the percentage of in-state and out-of state, I noticed in your letter, you mentioned you think it's around 90 percent in the state, and you think that's appropriate.

Why do you think we should lean more toward in-state than out-of-state?
DR. CHRISTIAN: If you have people who are born and raised here, you probably have a much higher attrition rate of keeping the people here. And it's fun to take care of the people in the smaller communities. I really enjoyed going to McCormick and taking care of the people there and also in Abbeville. And, you know, we're now operating in that Abbeville Hospital some.

So I think the more people we can keep and the better candidates we can keep, the stronger we keep the state, as far as our medicine care.
SENATOR HAYES: Is that the whole truth for health professionals, as well as -- not just doctors, but health professionals as well?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I think it does. I think that we employee a physician assistant. And I think the physician assistants have great strengths, as far as helping us. I think that when you have too many physician assistants, that you lose control, and we've had up to four working in my office, and it did not work out.

One that we can share, I think is very beneficial. The physician assistants, they can also be molded, as far as what you need. From a surgical field, you know, there are certain ones who only work in surgery to help surgical needs. So their training is different from the one who's in the office at all times, taking care and helping manage the office patients.

So I have a lot of interest in that standpoint from the affiliation.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions, comments?
Staff, do you have a follow-up.
MS. CASTO: No, sir. His paperwork was all good.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right.

What's the desire of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR HAYES: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And a second.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Thank y'all.

4th Congressional District - Lay Seat
Term expires 2018

Thomas L. Stephenson
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If there's no objection, we'll go ahead and get started. I'd like to welcome everybody and call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee to Screen College and University Boards of Trustees. And this morning we have the Medical University of South Carolina.

First candidate, Thomas L. Stephenson.

Good morning, sir.
MR. STEPHENSON: Good morning, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Please take a seat, and make yourself comfortable. Make sure the green light is burning so the microphone will work.
MR. STEPHENSON: It's on.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Would you like to make a brief statement on why you would like to serve?
MR. STEPHENSON: Senator, I live in Greenville, and I'm a lawyer, not a doctor. And I was fortunate enough to be elected to this board 16 years ago, and I've seen this institution come from a very good Medical University to something that is on par with Johns Hopkins, Duke, and the Emory's of the world in a lot of respects. I don't take credit for that.

I tell people that I stayed out of the way, while the people down there made this happen. And I've grown to love the place. We've got a lot going on down there, with their plans to build a new women's and children's hospital that we need to get off the ground. And with healthcare changing and education changing, I sort of want to see it through.

I am the current chairman, which is sort of odd. How did that happen? I don't know, but it's fun for a lawyer to tell a bunch of doctors what to do. They don't listen, but I get to tell them.
So does that answer your question?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir.

Any questions or comments from members of the Committee?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And welcome, Mr. Stevenson.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm sure it's going to be asked by all the board members --
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- but give me your take on the controversy with the MUSC and the College of Charleston proposed merger.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir. This has been discussed off and on for 20 years. And it came up in earnest about two years ago, and I firmly believe that higher education and healthcare, we've got to be open to change. You have to look at options.

And when it came up, I said, That might be a good idea. You know, who knows?

And I went and met with the board of the College of Charleston. We looked at it, and concluded that it would provide no benefit to MUSC. As a matter of fact, it would provide a hindrance.

And the reason I say that is, there are no synergies between the two institutions. The College of Charleston is a fine liberal arts college, history teachers, English teachers, those sorts of things, very little of the sciences that would be beneficial to us. So if you merge the two, you've got an apple and an orange. It takes a lot of money, a lot of time, and the cultures are totally different.

The tenure systems are different. The academy years are different. The software's different. And we concluded, it would cost millions and millions just to try and put them together and have no net gain.
And so I came to the conclude, along with our entire board. We voted, as y'all probably know, about a month ago, that we did not believe a merger was the thing to do.

Now, we all realize, that it isn't up to us. It's up to y'all. And if the legislature concludes in its wisdom that we should do it, we will do it.
We felt incumbent to tell you guys that we're on the ground, we've studied it, and we think that merger is not the thing to do.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: We'll, I'm glad to hear you say that because I totally agree with you --
MR. STEPHENSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- from my viewpoint. And I may be speaking for a lot of House members who agree with me, this is not something we need to do. So...
MR. STEPHENSON: All right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you for your service.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And good morning.
MR. STEPHENSON: Good morning, Senator.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We appreciate your service. And two or three things, I guess. One is on your years of service.

How would you classify your attendance record from being involved with the board and duties and responsibilities.
MR. STEPHENSON: You know, I haven't checked, but just my recollect, I don't believe I've missed a meeting in a couple years, you know. Being a working guy, there have been a few meeting I've missed in my sixteen-year tenure, but not many. And I cannot recall one I've messed in the last two or three years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And if you would speak briefly. You talk about the clinical enterprise. You've said it's a way we can improve, but it's also the biggest strength.
MR. STEPHENSON: Well, you guys probably know. We have some doctors down there who are truly world class, as good as anybody in the world.

If a baby gets sick in Greenville, Representative Henderson, really sick, where are you going to send that baby? To Charleston.
If you have to have a heart transplant in Greenville, where did you go? Charles.

So our clinical enterprise is a gem in this state, and I hope we continue to make the strides we've made in the last 20 years and continue to make it better.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So you've certainly made improvements, buy yet, a ways to go, that you say.
MR. STEPHENSON: We'll, I'll admit, I'm not going to call any names, but we have certain departments that are not world class, as in any large enterprise, and we have room for improvement, certainly.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, we appreciate -- y'all have a tremendous reputation. Y'all are doing a tremendous job, and I personally appreciate what you're doing.
MR. STEPHENSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I apologize for being late, but it was sort of Medical University related.
First of all, let me say that, Mr. Stephenson, it's great to have you and the Medical University board here. I'm a very big sport of the Medical University. A lot of it is personal reason, which you just said.

I have an 11-year-old granddaughter that came down with almost pneumonia as a baby, and the Medical University children's hospital took care of her and got her right.
And so I have a strong emotional attachment to the Medical University.

One of the things I wanted to -- you know, to put on your radar, and I don't hold any of the board members accountable for this is -- I don't know if you're aware, but you have a major employee problem right now going on at the Medical University. And my encouragement to you as a board is to have some dialogue. And I'll raise this with all of the board members coming before us today.

And I was on the phone with some of the administration, some of the employee that are having problems, and it's widespread throughout the university.

So I would just encourage you to encourage the administration to have open dialogue and conversation with some of the employees that do work -- to right the situation.

I just wanted to get your comments on that.
MR. STEPHENSON: Now, Representative Mack, I'm aware of that. And, as you know, we have 13,000 down there. A huge number of employees.

And the problem you speak of is really in the hospital, not the university side of it. The hospital, a very large minority contingent down there, and there are issues. We have dialogue with them, which we'll continue.

We have -- finally have a black woman on our board, Barbara Williams, from Orangeburg. Barbara has been engaging in a dialogue with some of those people herself and continues to report to the board.
I'm not here to tell you it's fixed, but I'm here to tell you that we're listening, and we're aware that there are issues.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: And my last comment is, I would encourage you to have the administration to talk more. And, again, personnel matters are very -- tend to be very sensitive. And people on the outside don't have all the information. But one of if things my fellow legislatures from that area.

We're getting complaints from a variety of different people. So it's not just one person in the hospital, one department, and I'm afraid that you've created a culture there that's problematic.

So I just want to do point that out.
MR. STEPHENSON: Well, as you know, we're looking for a new president. That's the biggest handicap we have down there. It's awful hard to run a ship without a captain. Not that our interim president is not doing a good job, but an interim captain doesn't run a ship the way a captain would.

So it's my great hope that we will get a president, he will or she will direct attention to some of those problems you're talking about, along with many others.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Mr. Mack.

Other questions? Senator.
SENATOR McGILL: The attorneys meet -- I'm sorry. I'm late as well. I was working on some church issues.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: But anyway, you said, Where did you go if you're sick? And you said, MUSC.

Where did you go if you've got a spine problem?
MR. STEPHENSON: You go to see Dr. Don Johnson.
SENATOR MCGILL: I just wanted to see if we all know.
MR. STEPHENSON: My partner, Billy Wilkins -- y'all may know former Judge Wilkins. He started -- this is crazy, but he started doing CrossFit, and Billy's about 73 years old. And y'all know what CrossFit is.

When he started doing it, I said, Billy, you're crazy.

Well, he burst a disc. I probably used the wrong word. And I sent him down to see Don, and Don operated on him the day before yesterday. And he's back in Greenville all stove up.

But, no. There's some great doctors who are not employed by us, Senator.
SENATOR McGILL: Let me just say this. I want to say it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Hold on. I thought you said "cross stitch".
MR. STEPHENSON: Cross fit.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Both of them are equally as shocking.
MR. STEPHENSON: Well, he should have been doing cross stitch.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. I'm sorry to interrupt.
Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Let me just say this, that, for the record, MUSC has been and continues to be fiscally responsible. And I can tell you that -- I'm talking about the minority problem -- it goes on everywhere. It's not just with MUSC.

And the thing is, it's an issue that has to be worked on every day, every week, every month. And, I can tell you now, one of the biggest issues are between male and female. And, I can tell you, we've got to keep working to make that difference. And I agree with representative Mac, that we've got to be sensitive, and I understand about the issue at MUSC.

I understand there were issues at Boeing and other issues in other locations, but it's every all over this state and all over this country. And, we, as good public servants, but, we, as good people, should work in it every day from a love and compassionate standpoint.

So we want to thank you. I appreciate -- this man's come here, laying it square out on the table, and I appreciate that. I sure do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you. Just a couple of questions.

I noticed, just looking at the questionnaire that you filled out, you mentioned tuition, and, of course, the school has a waiting list in a number of areas.

What, in your opinion -- of course, I know one answer to the tuition. It's for us to spend more in the General Essentially on MUSC.
But putting that aside, what can be done to help lowering tuition and also expanding the number of slots that are available at MUSC.
MR. STEPHENSON: Well, Senator, we've got to learn to do more with less. We were shocked to learn at the last meeting, that the average doctor -- average, average doctor -- graduates MUSC with about $200,000 in debt. That's average.

Keep in mind that there are a number of people down there who are fortunate enough to have parents that can pay for it; so they've got zero debt.

So that means, the average working stiff, probably has $250,000 in debt when he graduates or she graduates. Can you imagine getting out of med school and owing the equivalent of a nice house before you hit the ground? And we want them to go into primary care. And, as you probably know, primary care doesn't pay what specialties pay, and that's part of the problem.

I'm stating the problem, not the answer. We've got to figure a way to educate these students would raising tuition, and we've only got 2700 students. So, you know, we not like the University of South Carolina or the College of Charleston or Clemson.

We don't really raise a huge sum of money when you raise tuition, because the number of students are not that large, but it is important. And, as y'all know, our state can't fund higher education the way some other states do, and we do depend on it, but we've made a commitment as a board to -- I don't believe we're going to raise it this year. I believe we've said no more increases.

And, again, to answer your question, we've got to learn to do more with less. We've been pretty good about that.
SENATOR HAYES: Is there any plans expand the size of the student body?
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir, marginally. We think that we're going to add 10 or 12 people to this class, and I think we have about 120 physicians. I may be a little bit wrong, which would take it to about 130 admitted every year.
SENATOR HAYES: Of course, I'm just not talking, because I know there's a number of schools there, the dental school, et cetera, et cetera. So is that kind of across the board, or you just talking across the medical school?
MR. STEPHENSON: I'm talking about M.D.s. I have not heard any plan to expand the dental school. The dental school is pretty full. I think we have about 64 a year admitted. And I may be wrong. They may add a few, but there's no plan to expand it in a large way.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Other questions or comments.

Staff, do you have any questions?
MS. CASTO: I have one question.

You are currently the chairman of the board?
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: And have been for --
MR. STEPHENSON: It's two-year terms, and I am finishing my second term. So we will have a new chairman come August.
MS. CASTO: August.
Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
What's the desire of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report. A second.

And in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.   Thank you, sir.
MR. STEPHENSON: Thank you. Yes, sir.

5th Congressional District - Lay Seat
Term expires 2018

Terri R. Barnes
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

And we really, really appreciate your willingness to serve, Doctor.

Next, Terri R. Barnes from Rock Hill.

How do you do?
MS. BARNES: Hey.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. BARNES: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like for make a brief statement on why you'd like to serve?
MS. BARNES: Okay. Thank you.

Thank y'all for being here today. I know it's not your normal day to be here. I appreciate y'all willing to serve too.

I come with a different -- a much different background than the other people that have spoken. I come because I have time and the business experience to serve in some capacity and want to serve in some capacity in the higher ed system, and this position was available and have interest in the Medical University and would like to serve for that reason.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good morning.
MS. BARNES: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And thank you for your willingness to serve. I believe I saw where you were a Clemson graduate.
MS. BARNES: I am.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And what was that degree in?
MS. BARNES: Recreation and parks administration.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And what is your business that you're involved in?
MS. BARNES: Okay. Since the early '80s, I've been involved in technology. I'm a partner in a company with -- I have two other equal business partners, and we actually sell technology, primarily Hewlett-Packard to corporate and education businesses in North and South Carolina.

So what I disclosed was that we're on the South Carolina list of state contract as an agent for Hewlett-Packard. So I do solicit business from colleges and universities and any SLED or corporate business in North and South Carolina.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So how would that work if you were a member? I think you also disclosed that currently you have no contracts with MUSC; is that correct?
MS. BARNES: That is correct. I don't have any with MUSC at all. They would be -- they could be a potential customer. Everybody's a potential customer. But I wanted to disclose that the contract, the WSCA South Carolina state contract is held by Hewlett-Packard and not by Applied Data, which is my company.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Are there other agents as well in the state of South Carolina, other than your company?
MS. BARNES: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So how many more?
MS. BARNES: I think there's about ten people -- ten companies that are listed. Hewlett-Packard chose the companies they were going to list. Ours happened to be one of them, because of the business that we do have. We specialize in K-12.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you -- as far as doing business with MUSC, how would you proceed with trying to have them as a customer or a client?
MS. BARNES: If it was a conflict of interest, I would not proceed with having them as a customer. They don't have to buy -- if they chose to buy Hewlett-Packard products, they would not have to buy them from me.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MS. BARNES: If it was not a conflict of interest, we would pursue it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Sure.
MS. BARNES: So what would normally happen would be, a state institution would be interested in buying products off the state contract.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And those prices have already been set by that contract.
MS. BARNES: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So there's no question about what price they're going to be paying from that standpoint. That's already gone through competitive bid through the procurement process.
MS. BARNES: Right.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You're really just servicing that contract, to some extent. You're providing the product and the support at the state level.
MS. BARNES: Exactly.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Rather than HP having to come out from Washington state, or wherever they are.
MS. BARNES: Exactly. The product, normally, in the state contract situation like the Medical University would place a purchase order with Hewlett-Packard directly and name an agent, if that agent were us, then Hewlett-Packard would pay our company a percentage of that to facilitate the transaction and support the business.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you wouldn't see yourself as a board member trying to encourage them to do business with Hewlett-Packard.
MS. BARNES: I would not.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MS. BARNES: And I don't think they are doing business with Hewlett-Packard.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You live in Rock Hill, but your company is in Charlotte, or something?
MS. BARNES: Our corporate office is in Charlotte, North Carolina, yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Good deal.

And is there anything with your business that would preclude you from being able to be active in the duties and responsibilities as a board member.
MS. BARNES: It would not, and that was one thing I left out of my introduction.

I'm at a time and place in my life, with my children being out of college, that I do have the time to serve, and that's why I've waited until this point in my life to even try to serve on any kind board, because I wouldn't want to give it until I could it the time and attention that I needed to do that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Not so much a question. I notice that you heard about the board from Dr. Cody Fishburn. So you couldn't have learned from a better person. He was an he outstanding member of the board for many, many years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I agree.
SENATOR HAYES: And I just wanted to say that Terri is well thought of in Rock Hill, York County, 5th District.
And at the appropriate time, I'd like to move for approval.
MS. BARNES: Thank you, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, let's get a second, then we'll discuss further.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. The motion is made and a second is heard.

Any other discussion? Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.

Senator Alexander has a question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: No. I don't have anything.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, okay. All right.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.
MS. BARNES: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve.
SENATOR HAYES: So I did not know you were kin to Gary Simrill. Now I may want to withdraw my motion.
MS. BARNES: Do we have to tell everything while we're sitting up here?
SENATOR HAYES: We had his uncle. His uncle is on the College of Charleston Board, so we are glad to have another relative.
MS. BARNES: He is my uncle too.

6th Congressional District - Medical Seat
Term expires 2018

Ragin C. Monteith
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, okay. All right.

Next, we have Ragin C. Monteith.

How do you do?
DR. MONTEITH: I'm good.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. MONTEITH: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to serve?
DR. MONTEITH: Sure.

My name is Dr. Ragin Monteith. I'm a pediatrician in town. And it seems like I just was here. I guess I was, last year.

And so I've been on the board since -- August was my first meeting, and it's been a wonderful experience. Everybody's been very welcoming, and I would love to just continue to serve, and I've heard at least your first term to really understand the workings of a big university, such as MUSC. So I'd like to continue to do that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So you haven't messed up since the last time we've screened you, right?
DR. MONTEITH: No.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Questions, comments?
Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And thank you for being back with us again this year. And you mentioned your first board in August.

What kind of attendance record have you had since joining the board?
DR. MONTEITH: Well, I've attended every meeting, except for this last one, because of the snow storm, but I did call in on Thursday.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So your work has had no -- and other duties and responsibilities has not been a problem for you?
DR. MONTEITH: No. I just put in my vacation time, and I head on to Charleston every other month.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. What about -- you've been on the board for six, eight months, whatever, what has been the biggest surprise from -- or exceeded or didn't exceed your expectation from what you were expecting besides -- I mean, obviously -- I mean, being openly received, that doesn't surprise me.

Has there been anything else from that standpoint?
DR. MONTEITH: No. I really didn't know what to expect because it was my first time serving on a board, such as MUSC. And it was pretty overwhelming in the because there's a lot to learn, financial, hospital, university. So that's the just kind of getting my feet in and learning more about the process and how the board meetings run and sometimes figuring out where in your agenda book.

But it's been good. Everybody's been very helpful with directing me and helping me along in the process. So...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

Thank you, Dr. Monteith. I do remember you from last year, because I do remember we were all very impressed with your résumé and everything at such a young age.

I just picked up on something, and you may not know a lot about it, because I know you're new.

Tell me about the online nursing program.

Is that like a BA program or --
DR. MONTEITH: It's a -- no. I think it's beyond the BA program.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay.
DR. MONTEITH: But from what I've learned, it's the number two nursing online program, and I've actually met some people that are part of that program. And it's been very good for the university, I think, because a lot of the people who are doing the program, are working mothers. So they're able to work their normal jobs and take classes and then come down every so often for testing.

So I think it's a great program, and I'm also learning about the doctor of nurse practitioner program. We actually have a --
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Right, right.
DR. MONTEITH: -- nurse practitioner in our office that just stated that graduated from MUSC.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, only the online, I think, if you're already doing and online program, I encourage y'all to take a look at the recertification. I have several friends that are in their 40s and 50s, wanting to go back to work, and there is nowhere to go to be recertified if you worked as a nurse 15, 20 years ago. Greenville Technical has a small program, and then there's a couple of online programs in South Dakota, or something.

But it's definitely a market for -- there's a need for people that want to return to work. So since you already have a program, that's why I was asking about it.
DR. MONTEITH: Yes. And I will look into it.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Monteith, good to see you again.
DR. MONTEITH: Good to see you.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: No, you have not been on the board long. I remember you were from last time. But do you have any knowledge of some of the employment issues -- personnel issues at the Medical University right now?
DR. MONTEITH: Well, as you know, it was before my time starting, and I've heard that Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Slaughter, who was his chief of staff at the time, have been making great strides toward improving it. And I think they are still also in the process of working on this issue.

But as far as I know, this was before I got there.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Oh, yeah.
DR. MONTEITH: So I'm just sort of learning.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes. I was just wondering whether you were aware and whether there was some conversation and you felt the ball was some.
DR. MONTEITH: Yes. I think it is moving in the right direction, but like I said, I just became aware of the issue.

And so I'm learning about it as well.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: And, again, as I said earlier, this is not directed to the board in any way. I think it's a joint effort between the administration, the board, and what some of us can do as legislatures to get involved and to have some conversation and help smooth some of these situations through.
DR. MONTEITH: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you.
DR. MONTEITH: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow-ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork was all in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable, and a second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye. Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, ma'am.
DR. MONTEITH: All right. Thank you so much.

7th Congressional District - Medical Seat
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

James A. Battle
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

James A. Battle, Jr.

Hey, Jim.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. BATTLE: Yes. Thank you.

I appreciate y'all allowing me to appear before you this morning. Everything I have to say, y'all heard less than a year ago, but I will repeat it. I live in a very rural area in South Carolina, very interested in rural health, served on a rural hospital board for 20 years before I ran for the general assembly. I became familiar with medical MUSC at that time because of how much they helped us with your doctors and our hospitals and so forth, and would like to see them -- us now, continue to help the rural areas of South Carolina.

I'd like to make one comment. We've been talking about trying to get primary care down into the rural areas. When I was on that board, we had a number of doctors that were willing to move to Marion County and work, who really wanted to. We were close to the beach. We had hunting and fishing, had a golf course that was very inexpensive.

The problem with getting doctors down into the rural areas, were the doctors' wives. It was not the doctors themselves so much. It was just that, we don't have as much to offer in those rural areas, and that was one of the tough things. But it's a challenge that we're all faced with.
I also would like to say that, since I have served since August, on the Medical University board, it has become very apparent to me that we have a world-class hospital, a world-class teaching university. And we don't need to do anything to diminish that. We not only need to preserve it, we need to help it flourish, if you will. And I felt like my background, having served on a hospital board and all of my life in business, makes me uniquely qualified to do that.

And that's pretty much it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Staff, do you have any?

No?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good to see you. Thank you for your service, sir.
MR. BATTLE: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So your attendance has been, since August?
MR. BATTLE: I've been there every time, and I have been there a number of times that we weren't even meeting, just meeting with the staff, trying to get arms around this huge structure and financials and so forth.

But, yes, my attendance is perfect.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Just two things. One, just very briefly, your thoughts on the merger.

And, second, your thoughts on in-state versus out-of-state, what the percentage ought to be, and what would you shoot for, at least?
MR. BATTLE: Let me take up the merger first. As you know, I'm on the board, and we voted unanimously to oppose the merger on a number of levels.

As the businessman, one of the things that concerned me -- and this has been said in other words, but this was my thought process -- having been involved in business a number of years, if two public corporations wanted to merge, it would take a long time to come up with enough information to decide whether it was a good idea or not a good idea. One of the things you would do is, you'd have a performer. You would combine the two financial statements, the income statements, the balance sheets. You would make projections, as to what this is going to look like.

Those of us that are sitting on the board at this point, I don't even know what the finances of the College of Charles look like. I have no idea what the combined financial statements would look like.

I know that the cultures are different. That's been said as well.

And so we just haven't had enough information to make a good decision, and in the corporate world, you do all the detail work ahead of time and then the boards vote, based on this detailed information. You have a pretty good idea of where things are going.
What we're being asked to do is to merge it, and then work out the details later, and that just doesn't make good sense to me.

And so for that reason, somebody said they had an open mind. I mean, I won't say that there's not something that can present it, some time that says this is a good idea, and at that appointment, you know, I would change my mind. But at this time, I can't see any reason at all that we should be doing this, and if there's somebody upset, it's very bad timing because it is -- and I'm not on the committee. I'm not on the search committee, but I have been told that a number of qualified applicants have withdrawn their names.

Why would you want to leave a good job and come to a place that been a place may or may not be there a year and a half or two years from now?

On the out-of-state, in-state, I -- you know, I'm not sure. I think I said in my statement, there's so many variables out there. It's hard to coming up with a precise percentage.

I went to The Citadel. The citadel has -- over 50 percent of its students come from out of state, or did at one time, and I presume it's still like that, which shows that The Citadel is better known or more popular in other parts of the country than it is in the state of South Carolina. If you had to depend on South Carolina Carolinians to make The Citadel operate, it probably wouldn't happen.

I heard some numbers up here about where we are with all of that. When I ask the question, what is our percentage of out-of-state students, I was told it was about 15 percent. I heard different numbers up here, which are probably more correct than what I said. But you've got to understand we have six colleges, and each one of them is different.

I also was told that at the Medical University, that a number of folks can't get in when they apply. So they come down to Charleston and start working. They try to work in the medical field at some point and keep trying to do whatever's necessary to qualify to get accept. And by the time they're accepted, they're residences of South Carolina, which distorts the numbers a little bit.

But to answer your question, it looks to me like the 15 percent that I was told would be a good number for the Medical University, but that's not based on any -- I mean that's just an opinion. I haven't been in higher education long enough to know the statistics of it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Battle, that is one of the best explanations, pro or con, that I've heard as it relates to the merger. But then you were part of a very brilliant class freshman class 18 years ago.
MR. BATTLE: Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Probably the best in the history of the House.
MR. BATTLE: And I think the best of us are still there.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: But, Mr. Battle, I wanted to ask the same question I've been asking. What have you heard, as it relates to some of the personnel challenges at the Medical University that's going on right now?
MR. BATTLE: To be honest, I probably have learned more this morning than I knew about it beforehand. I had heard some rumblings, but I have been working on the financials and trying to get my arms around that because that is my fort, my background. And what I know about other parts of it is, folks from the university come in and present to us at every meeting, and that has not been one of the things that was discussed in an open session. So I was not aware of the magnitude of this problem.

But like the others, I assure you that I will know a lot more about it, you know, shortly because I will look into it.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Well, thank you, because one of the things that I wanted to do is to put it on the radar of the board members, because, again, the bottom line I'm interested in is not, quote/unquote, picking sides but to be able to work through the challenges, and there are some serious challenges. So I look forward to working with you on that.
MR. BATTLE: When you live down there, you're right there. You here it. I mean, you know, it doesn't get to Marion County that much, but you're right there. So you would know.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Chairman, I just want to say very quickly -- because we all have know Jim Battle a long time. Impeccable reputation, highly successful business person.
And I can tell you, at the proper time, I'd like to move favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is favorable report, and a second is heard.

Any other discussion, question, or comment?

Staff, do you have any?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.

Robin Tallon
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.

Next, Robin Tallon, Florence.

Good evening, sir.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. TALLON: I do, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like a make a brief comment?
MR. TALLON: I will be brief, and, again, it's a great privilege to be here this morning, and I thank you all for your service.

I'm thinking about Yancey rising to -- what do you call it here? A point of personal privilege. I've known Harvey Peeler for 35 years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: At least.
MR. TALLON: I'm sorry. Senator Chairman Harvey Peeler. He calls me Eddie Tallon. Eddie's a dear friend and a second cousin of mine. He also grew up in Florence, where his father served in law enforcement and distinguished himself and did community service.

I am seeking my third term only the board, and I'll just sum it up. We are -- the loss, the void that was left at MUSC when President Greenberg retired -- no, excuse me, took another job with the University of Texas system. We're faced with making the biggest decision on the board in hiring a new president. That will have an impact on the immediate future of MUSC and as time goes on.

It's a very critical time, and it has been noted here this morning, we've lost some very experienced leadership on that board through retirement, and of course, Melvin Berlinsky, who passed away; long time service of Dr. Rowland not seeking reelection to the board; Dr. Wiseman retiring; and, as mentioned, Cody is no longer with us.

And I reconsidered an earlier, decision just to retire and continue to serve the board, hopefully as a member because. When I was approached to reconsider, given the circumstances of the leadership that was retiring off the board, the new president and the challenges that the board would be faced there, and the least of these, of course, the merger.

And so I'm here today, asking that you look at my desire to continue my service, and I'd be happy to answer any questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions, comments?

Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: I'll get mine out of the way quickly. I can tell you, of course, we've all known Congressman Tallon a long time. And, I can tell you, his mother and father are two of the kindest South Carolinians that you've ever met. And -- but his reputation is from being a successful, business person. Tallons all over the state of South Carolina. You got in congress and had to virtually shut everything down because he spent all his of time civically helping other people.

I'd like to move at the appropriate time for Robin Tallon to get a favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll take that motion in a second.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion or questions.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: One question for the record, if I could, Mr. Chairman.

And good to see you this morning in your willingness to serve. And what your past service -- again, with your duties and responsibilities is there anything that would preclude you from being an active member of the board in duties and responsibilities that go along with that?
MR. TALLON: No, Senator.

Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SENATOR HAYES: Two things. I noticed on the questionnaire, it asked you about the in-state out-of-state ratio. You thought the ideal ratio was 50/50.

Can you just --
MR. TALLON: No. That must have been a misprint by me. No -- I'm sorry.

Did you want to ask the other question?
SENATOR HAYES: Well, go ahead and answer that one.
MR. TALLON: I have been very, very interested in our programs in our nursing school. Dr. Stewart, who heads those programs up in -- as I think we've talked a bit about this morning, the online programs. And, really, as Georgia Tech, for example, offering engineering degrees online now, these programs are designed where working mothers and young people ask others can get their degrees in areas where there a demand for degrees, but they know no state line. And I think we're reaching out to a lot of students.

I mean, from to Spain and halfway around the world. And it's a very successful program. I feel like we're leading the nation in this program. A lot of work has gone into it.
And when you take into consideration, the total enrollment at MUSC, technology, I think, will grow opportunities outside of the state and they'll be very cost effective. But also, we don't make any money educating a medical student at MUSC. We lose money.

And, yes, we'd like to educate more and you've heard the problems with the residencies. We've got four schools in this state and nowhere for these people to go to do their rotations. So we're going to see a different approach.

So I believe we'll have more synergies with out-of-state people because our programs are world class. We will lead the nation in online education. However, I think our physicians --
SENATOR HAYES: Let me qualify that. The residency program, what do you think is the proper ratio on the resident's programs when they come to Charleston?
MR. TALLON: I'm sorry. All across the board, or physicians?
SENATOR HAYES: Well, taking out the graduate Ph.D. program. With the other programs, what do you think those should be?
MR. TALLON: Well, it varies by discipline. Of course, we want to see a high representation among physicians. Doctors who are being trained, for many, many reasons. We're a state-supported Medical University. We're one of the best in the country.

We want to be there for our students, and we probably have -- I don't know -- close to maybe only -- I mean, a great majority of those students are in state. And probably not but 20 percent from out of state, maybe a little less than that in the other areas. And I think Dr. Baker talked a bit about that, the applications we're getting and the number of applicants that qualify from the state. So you're going to see higher levels on-campus students in the other disciplines. To give an overall with everything, I just --
SENATOR HAYES: Couldn't do it.
MR. TALLON: I couldn't do it.
SENATOR HAYES: It'd be difficult.
MR. TALLON: I couldn't do it.

And I don't know. An area -- I mean, it's something we probably shouldn't talk about, but, you know, the out-of-state tuition is, what, twice what the in-state is. And we're not a for-profit institution. We don't make any money educating students.

So sometimes the right ratio of out-of-state students can help maintain a lower tuition for in-state students.
SENATOR HAYES: I think on the flip side, I think it was mentioned by some of the others that the likelihood of in-state students staying in state is probably pretty good.
MR. TALLON: Much, much better.
SENATOR HAYES: Particularly when you're looking for PAs and others to go down into rural areas.
MR. TALLON: Absolutely, yes, sir.
SENATOR HAYES: All right. Well, the other question I had was, what ideas do you have, as far as, at least, dealing with the tuition issue on the cost of education?
MR. TALLON: Well, it's tough, and it's sort of part of my previous answer. It's because we are probably in-line at MUSC with private institutions across the country, but we're much higher than a lot of the public institutions. But the excellent care, the quality of staff, the capital investment in equipment to educate the specialists and the world-class doctors that we're dealing with, that's why our cost is up with other private institutions, and, of course, as we all know, the difficulty that our state has in providing the kind of assistance that other medical centers might be able to get to help students in their tuition.

There's another issue that -- as we started looking at this whole thing. The college -- the tuition is what it is, but this discussion about the debt that these students graduate with, a great deal of that goes to living in Charleston. And, of course, we don't have dormitories, and their housing, and their loans. All that comes into play, but that's something that could be thought of to sort of mitigate the high cost of just attending, beyond the tuition.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Senator McGill, by previous motion, a favorable report and seconded.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.
MR. TALLON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Robin Tallon. I'll tell Eddie -- Cousin Eddie you said hello.
MR. TALLON: Please do.

South Carolina State University

3rd Congressional District - Seat 3
Term expires 2018

Erika A. Abraham
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: We'll start back up. Next up we have the South Carolina State University candidates. First we have Erika Abraham.
Come forward, and I'll need to swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. ABRAHAM: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Take a seat and make sure your green light is burning, so we can hear you.

Do you have a brief statement for the committee why you would like to serve on the board.
MS. ABRAHAM: Yes. I would like to serve on the board at South Carolina State University. I think it is a great opportunity for me to use my background from the financial industry to help strengthen the school, developing their mission, and their strategic planning around their financial goals. So that's when I saw the opportunity, I made me decide to pursue it.
SENATOR PEELER: Good. Members, do you have any questions?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'll defer for a moment.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. All right.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I just ask, what do you believe the biggest challenge at the university would be for you or for the board?
MS. ABRAHAM: I think the biggest weakness at the university has been the lack of stability in several areas such as leadership. There have been quite a few changes within the board itself. So I think having stability and some consistency in the board, as well as the school, and the leadership will set the tone for everything else that happens at the school because they're going to look to the leaders for direction. If that's constantly changing, I feel like the school isn't feeling like they have a clear direction and they are all going in with a unanimous goal.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And obviously, with you not being on the board, what I've done is consistently ask others about their attendance, but do you know how often the board meets?
MS. ABRAHAM: I had asked that before I even committed to, you know, running. But they told me that right now it is usually every other month and in the evening, and that they were looking to possibly go towards teleconferencing. Because, I mean, that definitely was something that I considered, but I have never gotten a concrete answer on it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Would your employment be an issue with you having the ability to attend meetings on a regular basis?
MS. ABRAHAM: Before I sought the seat, I did reach out to my district manager and she was very supportive and gave her blessing and support in running. She's been very flexible. They grant us community service time and any type of state legislative or anything like that counts under that. So I'm willing to take that opportunity to do it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your willingness to serve.
Thank you, Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I do agree, thank you for your willingness to serve. There's been a major problem in terms of enrollment. 3,400 students is way down. That's a critical issue. What are some of your thoughts on improving that particular situation?
MS. ABRAHAM: Again, where they're allocating their finances, I think a huge thing with this day and age is social media, and the Internet is going to be how you bring students in. That's the first thing you do is get on the computer and research schools where you want to go, et cetera. So them being more dominant in those areas I think would definitely grab the attention of potential students, as well as, again, the leadership. People are scared. When I read articles and researched them, were they going to lose their accreditation, so would you want to go to a school where your degree may no longer have any value.

So I understand as soon as they get everything structured and more stable, I think more students would be willing to commit and go there. But again, they're going to have to be a dominant force. South Carolina State used to be a huge, you know, school as far as HBCU, and so I think they've lost that. I think they've lost that in South Carolina and just overall. So I think them redeeming themselves and becoming that school again.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Yes. My wife and mother are graduates are South Carolina University.
MS. ABRAHAM: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Would you be amenable as a board member going in, again, long-term of going into schools and actually communicating to students, building a rapport, working to build a brand, quite frankly, build the brand back up of South Carolina State University?
MS. ABRAHAM: Most definitely. That was one of the things that I would want to do that for the school, but I had also looked at it as an opportunity. We do financial literacy with the bank that I'm with and making sure that students are aware. I see so many college students and everything, even young adults outside of college age, they come in and have no idea about the basics of finance, savings, building credit, and establishing credit, et cetera.

So I would move to be able to go in and educate them that way as well, but most definitely bringing that, you know, presence back to the school, somewhere to be proud you attend. I have family members that graduated from there as well, so most definitely.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Abraham, thank you for offering to serve. As you know, there have been quite a few issues dealing with State that I'm hopeful that you will try to rectify once you get elected.
I notice that you are a store manager at Wells Fargo in Seneca, which is just right -- I'm in Walhalla.
MS. ABRAHAM: Okay. Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: In fact, I give you some money every month.
MS. ABRAHAM: I appreciate it.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: A lot of money.

One thing that did kind of jump out at me is you obviously must have some kind of race car because I'm looking at eight speeding tickets and a couple other tickets, too.

Tell me how some of that happened.
MS. ABRAHAM: I have had -- I haven't had but one speeding ticket, I would say, within the last five years. I'm going to tell you, from 2002 until about 2006, I was getting them left and right. I had a 4Runner. I didn't have a fast car, but I just had a lead foot. I've got better because the insurance was like my biggest thing, I can't afford to pay this insurance.

So now, thank God, I have a car that is a little fast, but I've gotten one ticket. And it is no excuse, my son had -- my son was -- he hadn't even turned two, and he had to use the restroom and we was coming down this little road trying to get to the gas station. The cop asked why doesn't he have on a diaper. I said, "He's potty trained, he doesn't have a diaper." He still gave me the ticket. That is probably the only speeding ticket I've gotten in the last five years.

I got a ticket for making a wrong turn downtown in 2011. I got that in 2011.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: With a young child, you need to slow down.
MS. ABRAHAM: I know. That's what honestly has made me most definitely a lot more aware. I lost my sister-in-law in Orangeburg, she lived in Columbia, she was driving to work in Orangeburg October 3, 2012, in a car accident. So most definitely I take it, you know, very personally, so ...
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You need to be careful going down that interstate.
MS. ABRAHAM: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You're running unopposed. I look forward to hearing good things from you.
MS. ABRAHAM: Thank you. I appreciate it.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Good luck.
MS. ABRAHAM: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. Her paperwork was all in order.
SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Abraham, do you know former Senator Waldrep, Bob Waldrep who formerly occupied this seat?
MS. ABRAHAM: I don't personally know him. I'm familiar with his name.
SENATOR PEELER: I would reach out to him for some institutional knowledge and history and maybe he can give you some advice.
MS. ABRAHAM: Sure, most definitely. Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I move for a favorable report.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report.

Second?
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: The ayes have it.

Thank you.
MS. ABRAHAM: Thank you for your time and consideration.

At-Large - Seat 8
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

Sidney J. Evering, II
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Now to Sidney Evering.

How are you?
MR. EVERING: Good. How are you?
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. EVERING: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Would you make to make a brief statement.
MR. EVERING: Sure. Thank you, Senator Peeler and representatives. I appreciate the opportunity to be here before you this afternoon.

I am running for Seat Number 8 of the South Carolina State Board of Trustees. As you can see from my packet, I'm originally from Orangeburg, South Carolina. I have a very good working knowledge and familiarity with the school, even though I did not attend South Carolina State. To be quite frank with you, my grandmother's home is basically a block away from the school. It's the first school I ever set foot on. It really gave me an idea of what institution of higher education is all about.

Like most, I've looked at some of the challenges that the school has faced, the recent challenges, and I see that there's an opportunity for me to assist and try to get the school back on the proper footing it should be on. And with that, I am opening myself up as a candidate.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

All right. Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Evering.
MR. EVERING: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I noticed you're talking about trying to actively recruit faculty and students from all over the world.
MR. EVERING: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: How are you going to do that?
MR. EVERING: Well, I just think you really have to make a concerted effort to go out. Obviously, I don't know the ins and outs of the school's finances. I know from what I read in the paper, there's some challenges there. But I understand you can get a grasp on that. I think certain funds need to be allocated to broadening the scope of your outreach for the university.

I know that, obviously, South Carolina State is a historically black college and university. I don't think you ever want to get away from that core because of what it means and what it has brought to the community, but in the same token, to be quite frank with you, minority students have other options. So in order to grow the base, I think you have to diversify the student population and the faculty and to reach out whether it is by social media like Ms. Abraham -- Ms. Abraham indicated or by other means. But I just think for the long-term success of a university, you just have to broaden, broaden the outreach.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: This is just me.
MR. EVERING: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: My opinion. Seems to me like we should be focusing on in-state students. One issue we have is being able to get minorities educated where they can go out and be gainfully employed to be a success in life.

Do you -- well, I know you're not there now, but I'm wondering, if you go -- I used to be an educator. Do you go to the schools and with recruiters and point out the value of an SC State education? I just wonder how that is done now.
MR. EVERING: Yeah. By all means, I don't want you to misunderstand me, that they would neglect in-state students by any stretch of the imagination. Like I said in my packet, I believe that any time you invest public dollars into a university, that's an investment into the community that you want an adequate return on.

The best way to get that return is to have the students stay in the local community and, you know, contribute as good, productive citizens, but in order for local students to want to attend the university, you're going to have to restore some of the credibility of the university.

One of the important challenges we have is to make sure that the public has confidence in the university, and you guys have confidence in the university.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: They have to have a reason for wanting to go there. That's true.

Any whites attend SC State?
MR. EVERING: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you know what the percentage might be?
MR. EVERING: I do not. I've seen white students on the campus.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I remember a young man from Walhalla many, many years ago was on the football team down there. So I know it goes back a good ways and stuff.
MR. EVERING: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If you're elected, good luck to you. I look forward to SC State regaining its prominence that it had in the past.
MR. EVERING: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate your willingness to serve. Question, and you mentioned, and rightfully so, there are things that need to improve there in terms of accountability for the public.

I'll ask you the same question I asked Ms. Abraham, do you see a value in actually, as a potential board member, going into the schools selling the brand, you know, even though they're working through some problems, but a vision of where State is going? Do you see that as viable activity?
MR. EVERING: Absolutely. I think one of the first things that I would like to see happen with the school, if I'm elected, is to have a vision laid out. A plan. That not only that the university and the students are aware of, but that the public is aware of, that the General Assembly is aware of. Where is the school going to be in, 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road?

Once you've got that plan laid out and publicized, then you can begin to sell it. Go into the schools. I would, by all means, be willing to go into the schools. Part of what I do now as an attorney, I'm director of diversity for my firm. And I go out to law schools and I recruit minority law students. In fact, as soon as I leave here today, I'm going to Raleigh for a program my firm is having where we're talking to minority law students from law schools all over North Carolina.

So I have experience in doing that and engaging students. So I think that is a very viable means. But once you have a plan and you know -- have a vision and know where the school is headed.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Well, I wouldn't wait too long in terms of making sure that everything fits perfectly before you go out. I would begin to -- and acknowledge that they're having some challenges. There are some problems. "I'm new on the board, this is our vision, this is what we want to do. But from day one that your child steps on that campus, we have a commitment to help your child grow from an educational standpoint, form a social standpoint" or whatever.

Thank you.
MR. EVERING: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Mr. Mack.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
What do you see -- good afternoon. And I concur with Mr. Mack, I appreciate your willingness to serve.

What do you see as the function and the role of the board of trustees at SC State or in any university or college from that standpoint?
MR. EVERING: I see the function of the board as kind of a guiding body. If I may make an analogy, it will be more like owning a team and not necessarily coaching a team. I don't think the board should be involved with the day-to-day activities, but it should be involved in helping to establish a vision, helping to establish some guidelines of where the school is headed and kind of providing that road map. And, also, kind of being the advocate for the school in terms of being out in the public and trying to raise the stature of the university.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I have heard I think in previous years maybe about some concern about -- so you don't -- I think from what I'm hearing is you don't see the board having any role in the day-to-day operation of SC State?
MR. EVERING: I think that's the job of the president and administration and the faculty is to handle the day-to-day operations of the university.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And this morning we had -- we had quite a discussion about College of Charleston and challenges that they're having or potential opportunities as far as mergers and things of that nature. But there's a lot of sentiment about more collaboration between schools and universities.

Where do you see SC State as having the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions of higher learning that would be beneficial to the students that attend SC State?
MR. EVERING: One obvious collaboration opportunity might be with the school right next door, with Claflin University. That's a school that I think is doing good things. Obviously, I know it's a private institution, but there might be some -- might be some opportunities to do local collaborations.

I don't see why we can't -- why SC State can't collaborate with schools all over the state, whether that be the University of South Carolina or Clemson University, College of Charleston. It's a public school just like those institutions and if the opportunity presents itself, I think there should be some collaboration.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow-ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. All of his paperwork was in order.
SENATOR PEELER: Good.

What's the desire of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move for favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion for favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: And seconded.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Oppose, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you.
MR. EVERING: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you again for your willingness to serve.
MR. EVERING: Thank you.

Robert Porcher, Jr.
Screened Friday, February 28, 2014

(From Friday, February 21, 2014)

SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Porcher is not here.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Porcher, Julie just called him. He is in Charleston, said he did not know he needed to be here. We e-mailed on January the 30 -- January 31st all of the candidates, and I gave them their time for the screening. And I said I needed to know back by Monday, February 3rd, if that time suited you. You will see in the schedule several are out of sequence, and that's because we had to rearrange their scheduled time.

If I do not hear from you, the e-mail said, we expect you to be here for your hearing at that time.

His e-mail went through. We checked our Internet system. So he received the e-mail. We're not -- or someone did. We are not sure what happened. But, again, that was on January 31st.

On Monday, February 3rd, after the deadline when they were supposed to let me know, we sent everybody a list of their time to be here. So he has received at least two notifications of what time to be here for his screening.
SENATOR PEELER: Was he wanting to reschedule now?
MS. CASTO: He just said he didn't know he needed to be here was the telephone conversation.
SENATOR PEELER: But he does now?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Try to fit him in, if you can.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: That's the only thing we can do, I guess. Maybe do it in a positive, respond that he got the e-mail rather than a I'll assume you got it if we don't hear from you. Maybe that way.

We'll try to reschedule him and act accordingly.

(From screening, Friday, February 28, 2014)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You too.
Now, South Carolina State University, Robert Porcher, Jr.

Hopefully we've saved the best until last.

What do you think?
MR. PORCHER: I hope so.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let's swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. PORCHER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement to the Committee on why you would like to serve?
MR. PORCHER: Yes. I'm going to ask if I can sit in this seat. I know this seat here is hot. Everybody was sitting there; so I'd like to sit in this one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Make sure your green light is burning.
MR. PORCHER: Yes. It's burning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Got you.
MR. PORCHER: Again, my name is Robert Porcher, Jr., from Wando, South Carolina, in Berkeley County, and I'm honored that this committee has given me the opportunity to come before you to be considered as a trustee for South Carolina State University, from District 8.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And good afternoon, sir, and thank you for your willingness to serve. And just for the record of consistency from my standpoint -- and I notice -- I think that you're retired, if my memory serves me correctly.
MR. PORCHER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: But is there anything within your responsibilities that you have that will preclude you from being an active member of the board in fulfilling the duties and the responsibilities of being a board member.
MR. PORCHER: No.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, sir.
MR. PORCHER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Hayes.
SENATOR HAYES: Is there anything that you -- being a new board member on a South Carolina State Board are there any ideas that you have on how to improve the university?
MR. PORCHER: Well, as the new board member, if appointed, I would like to meet -- come to the first meetings -- to the meetings and work, along with the chair of that committee, to find out what plans they have in mind, and then I will inject whatever I have that may be able to correlate with what is already outlined by the chairperson of the meeting. And if the ideas that are presented, I feel that it's not going to be beneficial to the students at the university, then I would voice my opinion and add whatever it is that I have in mind.
SENATOR HAYES: Thank you.
MR. PORCHER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions or comments?
SENATOR McGILL: Just briefly, Chairman.

I see that -- United States Marine Core.
MR. PORCHER: Two years.
SENATOR McGILL: Twenty-six years active pastor.
MR. PORCHER: Yes.
SENATOR MCGILL: And you had a son that was drafted by the Detroit Lions.
MR. PORCHER: Yes.
SENATOR MCGILL: Congratulations.
MR. PORCHER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: They need a little tough, divine guidance at South Carolina State. We've got that.

Other questions or comments?

Does staff have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. And everything is in order.
MR. PORCHER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report; seconded.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir, and I appreciate your willingness to serve.
MR. PORCHER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Members, that concludes today's screening.

At-Large - Seat 10
Term expires 2018

Harrison Rearden
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: SC State, Harrison Rearden.

Mr. Rearden. How do you do, sir?
MR. REARDEN: All right.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Rearden, it's your time. Let me swear you in before you sit down.
MR. REARDEN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
MR. REARDEN: Yes, I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Please take a seat and make sure your light is burning green.
MR. REARDEN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief opening statement on why you would like to serve on the board?
MR. REARDEN: Yes, I would. And I appreciate the opportunity. I'm all about public service. I have an affinity for public service. And that's what this position, if you elect me, is all about with me.

In my application process, I listed a few of the things that I have been about in the community and that I am about in the community currently.

But in particular, I'm concerned about South Carolina State College. I graduated there. I'm an active member of the alumni. I contribute regularly, and I think mightily for a person of my size. But I'm serious about the school, that I'm concerned about it, to be very frank with you.

And rather than continuing to talk about it, I have decided to attempt to do something about it. And I guess we'll get into the particulars later on, if you need to. But I'm just concerned about the school because on the end -- at the end of the day, there will be no losers except the students. And I have taken that very seriously.

I really appreciate the opportunity, and I'm open for any further questions, comments, what have you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

It is open. Members, do you have any questions of Mr. Rearden?
SENATOR MCGILL: I'd just like to say --
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: -- certainly he's a man of honor, but also -- he's a man of honor, but he's also a person who has civically reached out to help others for years and years. Nothing new to this man. And I can tell you that I personally am delighted to hear that you have asked for this opportunity to serve.
SENATOR PEELER: I agree with that. I hear good things about your service on the Department of Transportation. And you just rotated off of that board, right?
MR. REARDEN: Yes. I forgot to take my ID off. This says DOT.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Good.

Senator Alexander, do you have any questions?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good afternoon, sir. Thank you again for your willingness to serve.

Is there anything -- one of the areas that I'm concerned about is not just at SC State but anywhere is someone being on the board and being able to be an active, engaged member. Is there anything that would preclude your attendance or have an issue with your being able to attend board meetings if you were elected?
MR. REARDEN: Very good question, and I appreciate it, Senator.

The answer is no.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
MR. REARDEN: I am very busy after I retired from the W-2 side.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. REARDEN: But I prioritize my schedule, and I manage it myself.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: All right, sir.
MR. REARDEN: If elected, this would rise to the top as far as my schedule. It was the DOT, and this would be South Carolina State University. I can handle that easily. And I do believe in attending meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: All right, sir.
MR. REARDEN: My attendance record is a hundred percent.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What do you see as the role -- if you're on the board, what do you see as the role of a board member?
MR. REARDEN: As a board member, I think very clearly we should be setting policy and we should be observant and overseeing that that policy is carried out. I would make a clarification that I'm not about micromanagement. I don't think as a board we need to sit in another office next door to the president or whatever or some other phase and micromanage.

But I do feel that we need to take this as a very serious and strong responsibility to ensure that the rules of the state are adhered to and the rules of administration, which comes under state oversight.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What do you see as the greatest challenge for the university at this time?
MR. REARDEN: I think the greatest challenge is in two areas. One is the board itself. I understand we're in the process of regenerating and adding new board members. I understand that.
But the board itself, I think the board must be cohesive. And the board must be diligent. Must due diligence. And also I think at the administrative level, the student administration. I really think that we are about change, have a new president there.

I would make it very clear that I'm not going in to fire a president. Quote. I'm not going in for that. I'm not going in with a hidden agenda. I'm not going in wanting somebody to hire my friend or hire somebody, and if you don't hire the person I want, you're in trouble. I'm not going into any of that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Are you aware of that being a issue in the -- a issue or a -- in the past?
MR. REARDEN: In the past. That is prior to this administration, I want to be clear.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
MR. REARDEN: Yes. And that's why I throw that in. We all serve in communities, we're up and down the boardwalks of your communities, and we hear things.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. REARDEN: But I wanted to be very clear about that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir. Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Just wanted to echo what my Pee Dee senator said, Senator McGill. Mr. Rearden, I have known him for many years, and he's a man of integrity, a man that gives to the community. And I have no doubt whatsoever in terms of the good job he will do for the board.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Rearden.
MR. REARDEN: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I have to say you've got about the most impressive resume I've seen so far in two days. Thank you, sir, for you service to the State in many capacities.

Question 4, where it says, "What can the college and university do to attract more students?" Something I agree with you on this, where you said, "Contacts should be made much earlier with guidance counselors, high school administrators, marketing the university."
What would you want these contacts to be saying about SC State? How would you sell the university positively?
MR. REARDEN: I appreciate that question. As a matter of fact, from the alumni standpoint, we've already begun, are already working with a committee on that from our alumni -- not the college, the alumni. And we are, first of all, setting out the curriculum according to the students' lifetime pursuit, whatever they would like to major in or what have you.

But also we are setting out the history of the school. We're going on from an alumni standpoint as though there are no problems there because we are letting those be handled at another level. In our alumni meetings, we don't even get into that.

But I would say also as relates to the tuition, I'm also an a committee to raise $50,000 just to be given to the school by the 1st of June. There are two or three other efforts to raise money, but this is a half dozen of us came together a month ago. And we have a number of people that we're looking at off of our alumni list, and we are going to simply ask to give a thousand dollars each. Whatever it takes to get the 50,000, that's what we plan to do.

Because we want to give it for scholarships. It will be stipulated for scholarships. This is a school and basically it's a black school, as we know, as far as the attendance goes. Even though legally it's open to everybody. But so many students at this time just don't have the means. They have the will, they have the desire, but just don't have the means. And we realize that money maintains or will help maintain the enrollment. They are intertwined.

So I was going to get back to your question, I would simply be pushing from the standpoint of assistance, if needed. We have a screening process set up. And if they fit into the process, scholarships, curricula, and that kind of thing.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay.
MR. REARDEN: I look for the alumni to be pushing that around. Because if it all works, we plan to push it nationally. We've already researched. We've got in excess of 2,000 alumni right here in this area, and we are working that list. This is something brand new.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I like your answer, and good to you, sir.
MR. REARDEN: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Rearden, just one question. You had put on your personal data questionnaire that you serve on the Airport Commission. Do you still serve on that commission?
MR. REARDEN: No. I appreciate the question, and the reason I'm laughing, looks like I was on there forever, as Representative Mack knows. I was on the Airport Commission for 16 years, and I served as chairman for a portion of those years. And I got to a point where I just respectfully asked my delegation to give me another appointment.

And it's interesting you mention that because going to South Carolina State is a request that several of my legislative friends had made of me years ago, and I didn't do it. I just went to the airport, and I was working there and enjoying it. I stayed there. And I had the privilege of seeing the current airport, the Columbia Metropolitan, from the ground up. Turn the shovels of dirt. I have a number of shovels in my house now where I turn dirt for different reasons.

But we tore the old airport out from under this one. So I saw everything going up with that.

And in answer to your question, I was there for 16 years and I just asked to be relieved.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Good. Thank you.

The rest of his paperwork is all in order.
SENATOR PEELER: Sounds good.

What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: And seconded.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Oppose, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you for your willingness to serve, and I hope you continue for a long, long time.
MR. REARDEN: Thank you all.

University of South Carolina

1st Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

Charles H. Williams
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, the University of South Carolina, Charles H. Williams, Orangeburg, 1st Judicial Circuit.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WILLIAMS: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. WILLIAMS: I do.

My name is Charles Williams. I'm a lawyer. I've been practicing in Orangeburg for 38 years. My father was the late Senator Marshall Williams from Orangeburg.

I, along with my father and all four of my children, graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School. I think my father and I were the only two undergraduates down there. I served 22 years on the board of South Carolina State. I resigned from that position about seven years ago.

And when the opportunity came to run for the university board, I ran for it, and this would be my fourth year. I love the university. I'm impressed with the administration. We have wonderful board members, very congenial and, I think, very conservative, and looks after the taxpayers' dollars, as well as all the money that the university had.

I don't know what y'all know. Our budget is targeted at $1.2 and a half billion. I didn't know that when I ran. It kind of shocked me that we had that much.

And we are very large. I think we've got 41,000 students in our system, 31,000 on the main campus. We issue over 40 percent of all degrees in the state of South Carolina. So I feel like the University of South Carolina is "the" university for the state of South Carolina because they serve so many people from South Carolina.

And, you know, other than being a Gamecock, I just love being on the board with people and the administration.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You say the University of South Carolina was "the" University of South Carolina?
MR. WILLIAMS: I knew you would question that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I just wanted to give you the opportunity to correct that.
MR. WILLIAMS: I had a brother that went to Clemson. I knew you went there and Marshall Ramsey. He loved Clemson. And I do love Clemson. I just don't love it as much as I like the University of South Carolina.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No, I understand. I understand.

Questions or comments from members of the Committee?

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you for your service, Mr. Williams.

I wanted to ask you a question that is actually noted on your addendum about, The university needs to make financial decisions that can keep tuition from increasing.

So I would like to hear your ideas on that. I think that's an issue that everybody's talking about.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, you know, certainly. And I'm going to try and give you the shortest answer I can, because we're certainly in between a rock and a hard place. I think since 2008, State appropriations to universities have gone down 43 percent. You know, inflation is going up. The Legislature passes bills that require us to spend money, but most of the time they don't give us the money to pay for what they just enacted.

And so we're kind of in between a rock and a hard place. Last year we did 3 point, I think, 13, said the increase was the lowest we'd gotten in ten years. We have -- actually, the cost of what it costs to educate a student since 2008 is down $1,000. If you adjusted the inflation, you'd cut it by $2,400.

So we're spending less on educating our students. We're getting, normally, I think, twenty -- I'm not sure. It might have been 23 percent in 2008 was incorporated into our budget. Now it's 9.7 percent.
So, you know, where do we get the money from? And, at the same time, we cut and cut and cut and maybe -- I think we aren't this year, but sooner or later, there ain't going to be nowhere to cut.

And so this is not facing the university. This is facing, you know, all of them. I'm not here fussing, because I know what happened in 2008. I had some real estate investments, and I got a good lesson.

So, you know, it's just a terrible problem for the Legislature. It's a terrible problem for the administration. But I would say that I think we've done an excellent job. We're rated as one of the top 15 schools in the country for efficiency.

You know, as far as what we get -- again, I'm not fussing, but one of -- what was it, SEC? It was Mississippi. The University of Mississippi gets less per student.

You know, one thing -- I'm not picking on Clemson -- y'all get $1,500 more per student at Clemson than we do at Carolina. But, you know, I think we're doing a great job. We don't want tuition to go up, but, you know, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that if the facts come out that we've got to have money, then I can say, I will not ever vote to increase tuition. It's going to be, how we are, what's going on, how much we've cut.

And we're going to keep on trying to cut, but you don't want to cut until it gets to a point that it hurts, you know, the kids that go to the school.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. McCoy.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Williams, thank you for being here today, and it's a pleasure to have you here in front of our Screening Committee. And you certainly hold an outstanding reputation as an attorney in Orangeburg, a well-respected lawyer. And I think South Carolina is mighty lucky to have you on its board, and I appreciate your service.

Just like Ms. Henderson asked you, and Representative Mack and I talked about this a good bit too, just the affordability of education. I've got a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old, and then I've got another one coming in April. So I am going to have three under three.

And so I'm going to have three kids in college at one time. So I'll start with my 529s, but I'm still worried about being able to afford to send my little ones to school.

Can you give me some insight; do you see tuition raising, or do you see that coming up in the future?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. Let me first say, we want your three kids at the University of South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: I want them there too.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right. Our tuition for in-state, I believe, is about $10,800. It's about 28-, 29,000 for out-of-state. All right?

Out of that 10,800, the average student pays about $4,800, because with LIFE scholarships and the lottery money and so forth, the average student who goes to University of South Carolina pays $4,800 a year for tuition. So it's not as bad -- even though you see that 10,800, our administration, statistics show, that the average is only spending $4,800. So it's still affordable.

I had three kids who went to Wofford. So I can tell you what it costs to send them to places like that. Our tuition is 23 percent lower than Clemson. And, again, I'm not hitting on Clemson, but --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You're not?
MR. WILLIAMS -- Citadel, and Winthrop, all their tuition is higher than the University of South Carolina.

You know, one of the things I want is to make Carolina affordable, and I'm not -- I'm not going to say I'm not interested in out-of-state students, but my heart is, I want the people in South Carolina to have an opportunity to come to the University of South Carolina. I try to get administrations to draw a line and tell me what is the minimum -- I mean, what does it take to be able to do the work to go to the University of South Carolina? Because I want somebody to score the SAT and has a GPA that can do work at the University of South Carolina, not get in the University of South Carolina.

And fortunately, you know, y'all have been good and y'all let us borrow money. We've expanded. God, you see how big we are, 41,000 and 31,000 up here. We don't have any more classrooms left. I mean, we don't.

So it's not a question that we can take any more. You know, I talked to them about, let's take in less out-of-state people, and, you know, we're getting 30,000 of them from here and -- from in state. So we can't afford to lose that $20,000. Right now, I think we're running, system wide, 73 percent in-state and Carolina's 65 percent.

And so, you know, these are terribly tough decisions, because I've got people I know, kin of mine out of North Carolina, who want to come to South Carolina. I can't get them in, because they didn't score high enough. You've got to score a lot higher if you're coming from out of state than you do in state.

So, you know, all of this is a big concern, but, you know, I think that our tuition will be, with the scholarships, Pell Grants -- 99 percent of the freshmen class had some kind of grant or something. I don't know why my kids never got any of that, but somebody is smarter than I am.
And so I think it's a good deal, and that's why we've got overwhelming applications coming for South Carolina. You know, we are a deal for the money, and we're going to keep it that way. We're never going to be outrageous to where the average working person can't send their kid to the university.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: Yes. Are y'all seeing an increase GPA-wise and SAT-wise?
MR. WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It used to be, they told me, if you've got a kid that's got 1,000 SAT and 3.2, he gets to come to Carolina's main campus. Last year, I think it was 1,040 and a 3-something. And I don't know what it is for this class.

So it's pretty tough. I think the average SAT at Carolina is twelve hundred and eighty something. And so it's getting harder and harder.

But, now, we do a good job. We've got the satellites. If you go to any one of our satellite campuses, if you make a 2.5, you're guaranteed the next year to come to Columbia, to the main campus.

We also have like a bridge program over at the technical school, that you live on campus in South Carolina, but you've got to make the grades and you can come over full time.

So we're doing everything we can, because, you know, all the parents want their kids to go to Columbia. And, you know, all the kids want to go over there and watch the Gamecocks play football or baseball and basketball. But, you know, they're not happy, but that gives a way to get into our main campus here at Columbia.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOY: Sure. Thank you, Mr. Williams.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander has a question.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Several.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Several. Okay. Yes, sir.
Now you have the floor.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Senator.

And I had the pleasure of serving with your dad, and I certainly appreciate your service at State, as well as USC. And maybe you mentioned it, you said that the university made cuts percentage wise.

Did you refer to --
MR. WILLIAMS: Yeah.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What was that percentage?
MR. WILLIAMS: We're spending $1,000 or less on educating students than we did in 2008.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How many students do y'all have?
MR. WILLIAMS: I would say 20,000, 21,000, somewhere in that neighborhood.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How many did you have in 2008?
MR. WILLIAMS: No, we've got 31. Well, we've got 41 in the system. Then we've got 31 on the Columbia campus.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What was that back in 2008; do you know what that is?
MR. WILLIAMS: I wasn't on the board at that time, but I'm going to guess it was probably 22-, 23-, 24,000, in that range.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you've had an opportunity to increase your enrollment.
MR. WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. And that's why we -- we're kind of on the top of the borrowing list. We can't come up here and borrow any more money. We paid some off to build new dorms and...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, I guess when you talk about the university only getting 9 percent, now, of their funding from the General Assembly, if you increase your tuition on a number of students, wouldn't that be a disproportionate amount than had it stayed flat across the board if it had been in the higher percent?
MR. WILLIAMS: Probably so. And then let me say this. These are the things that the administration does.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. WILLIAMS: I mean, I didn't calculate them.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We're hearing from them too.
MR. WILLIAMS: And they're better to answer how they come up with it, you know, but this is what they told us.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It's not necessarily comparing apples to apples, so to say --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: No. Actually, you mentioned there was the different campuses.
Does USC Upstate come into y'all's jurisdiction?
MR. WILLIAMS: It does.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And so what role did y'all play in -- didn't they not have a situation up there with a book or something that was an issue up there at that campus?
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm not sure. I know that there was a -- I got a letter from the administration dealing with a book, and, basically, the board doesn't have anything to do with selection of books. I mean --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Should it?
MR. WILLIAMS: It would be impossible. I think we have thousands of books.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, I assume this was a complication.
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If y'all could bear with us. We need to go vote.
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm in --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you'll just hold your questions and just take a break. We'll vote, and we'll be right back.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Excuse the inconvenience.
Senator Alexander, did you --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: No, not at this point. I'll get back on that on the next --
MR. WILLIAMS: I can't be asked a question now, because I've got -- a cheat sheet I have here.

My son Charlie, right there, was hospitalized in Georgia, and I got an emergency call in the board meeting Friday, and I had to leave the board meeting. And William just came up and told me -- he said, As soon as you left, that's what we talked about, because I had never heard that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, if that's the case, then they'll still have you come, being you weren't there during that part of the -- I guess my point is, at some point, what role does the board play in -- is there any oversight of these other campuses?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, all I can tell you is what William told me.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, that's fine.

But it's good to see you.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. All of his paperwork was in order.
SENATOR McGILL: Impeccable reputation. Great family that we all know.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The family with a pedigree of public service.
SENATOR MCGILL: Move favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable, and a second.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank y'all so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your service.
MR. WILLIAMS: A pleasure being before you.

3rd Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

C. Dorn Smith, III
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Dr. C. Dorn Smith, III.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. SMITH: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
DR. SMITH: I would.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
DR. SMITH: I'm Dorn Smith, III, and I'd like to thank the chairman of the Committee for allowing me to be here and appear before you today for the privilege of serving on the board of University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.

Growing up in one of the more rural judicial circuits in my area, my passion and my reason for running for the board was to make certain that the children of our area have the opportunity that the other kids in the more metropolitan areas of the state do that don't necessarily have the resources in our high schools that would be able to score traditionally as well on their SAT scores and things of that nature. And what we have worked for passionately is to make certain, at the University of South Carolina that we do indeed serve the people of our state to educate our children, not only through our main campus, but through our outreach program and help these children understand and grow into the adults that they need to be, whether it be law school, med school, pharmacy school, or just an undergraduate agree. That is my passion for the university of our state, and I look forward to having the privilege to answer any questions that y'all have for me now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you for your service, Dr. Smith. I'm familiar with the medical practice, and, of course, legal practices and other things too. It's a big commitment and I appreciate it.

And I forgot to ask the previous person, but I wanted to ask you, the Martha Childress, she was a constituent of mine and her family are friends of mine, and when she was shot this fall, that was just on the tail end of a string of incidents that have happened near the campus. My daughter's a sophomore here, and her first year here, one of her high school classmates was mugged under the Pickens Street Bridge, and it was really, you know, just like, welcome to the real world. You know, you're in college now.

So anyway, my point is, this is something that I am very concerned about, not only because I have a child here, but I live here and, you know, go to restaurants and things too.
What discussions have you had? I mean, what is your role? What are you all doing to address this issue of --
DR. SMITH: First of all, foremost, the safety of your children, and every child on this campus, the board takes -- is a very precious thing that -- that's -- not only are we here to educate them, but, hopefully, be able to protect them. Now, we can't, unfortunately, protect everybody, no more than you can protect your own children. But in that vein, if you look at what has happened, even though we have flare-ups like the incident in Five Points, as you're certainly aware of, the number of violent incidents and things on campus have actually fallen by over 40 percent over the last couple of years.

We have essentially added -- I want to say it's 20 percent. That number may not be exactly right, but it's a 20 to 25 percent increase in the number of officers we have on campus. Our surveillance continues to go up, and we are very, very proactive in trying to have undercover people on campus trying to protect our students and trying to make this a more safe environment.

One of the things that Charles Williams was alluding to is one of the things we've heard about. It's how spread out our campus is. And that's the downside of being a large, urban campus, if you will. But it's easier to control -- and I don't mean control and lured over or be a -- you know, a puppet state from that standpoint, but it's certainly easier if you've got everyone in a more confined area.

And the violence in Five Points is just a tragedy, and we have worked very diligently with the City of Columbia and with the Richland County Sheriff's Department in order to try to cut down on that and try to resolve those issues.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, thank you. I would just encourage you to continue to push on local law enforcement to really get a hold on it, because I know that's outside of your purview, but I think that's what it's going to take, is really demanding from the university and the parents and others for something to happen.
DR. SMITH: No problem. I concur with you 100 percent.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good afternoon.
DR. SMITH: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service.
And what is your attendance, being your involvement, as far as being a member of the board? How would you characterize that?
DR. SMITH: I would characterize my attendance above 90 percent. The only times that I have missed a meeting is, unfortunately, when I've been called out for an emergency operation, or one time, in particular, I was on the way to Columbia for the meeting and had to turn around and go back. There was another time I was out of town but attended by telephone.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Are you aware of the book situation?
DR. SMITH: Yes, sir, we are. It was certainly brought into light, you know, last week with what was going on in the paper and everything, and it did come to light, yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How did y'all interact with USC Upstate?
DR. SMITH: We interact with USC Upstate as they are one of the satellite campuses, and the chancellor at USC Upstate, Mr. Moore, is under the supervision of our administration. Now, of course, our administration is under the directorship of the board of trustees.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, who does the buck stop with?
DR. SMITH: The buck stops -- well, at the end of the day, Senator, the buck stops with the board.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Were y'all aware of the book that -- was it required reading or suggested reading?
DR. SMITH: My understanding was, it was suggested reading, Senator, but I don't want to be misquoted on that. I can't swear to it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Does it reflect the values and the policy of the board?
DR. SMITH: No, sir. The board is not responsible for the curriculum of the books that are picked, if you will. That is handled by the provost of the university and the faculty.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you condone the book?
DR. SMITH: No, sir. I do not condone the book.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do y'all stand by the quote from Tammy Whaley, who's the spokesperson for USC Upstate?
DR. SMITH: What quote was that, Senator?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'll read it in, for the record.

But it is, quote, Statement from USC Upstate regarding proposed funding cuts due to Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio.
The fact that South Carolina legislators want to withhold $17,142 in funding from USC Upstate because they disagree with the selection -- selected text for a first-year reading program is very disheartening. From the University perspective, this action is punishing the very students the legislators claim to be protecting in the first place. USC Upstate has realized an almost 50% reduction in State appropriations since the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Any additional funding cut places further burden on our 5,500 students and makes it even more difficult to remain accessible and affordable to the South Carolina citizens we serve.

Regardless of the Legislatures final decision, USC Upstate is committed to remaining accessible and affordable to the people of South Carolina. To target funding for a particular program because it doesn't align with certain beliefs and judging it in terms of specific content instead of the discussions the content promotes is perhaps a bit shortsighted. Indeed, controversial issues -- and this is what I'd like to really know how you feel about it.

Indeed controversial issues are essential in creating levels of discussion and student engagement that cannot be generated otherwise. We see such engagement as essential to the educational process.
DR. SMITH: I do not agree with all of that statement, Senator. I mean, basically, I think that it is up to the Legislature to determine how they want to fund, because all of the colleges are at stake. And I think it is your prerogative as a senator to determine whether we're worthy of funding or not worthy of funding.

I do think in any institution, that it's important to have free speech and be able to have open and honest discussions. But from -- you know, I think our board is a very conservative board and that, by the same token, we don't try to condemn people for other views either, if you will, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'll stop at that point, Mr. Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.
Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: I want to start off first by thanking the University of South Carolina for being fiscally responsible. So often we overlook that point, but there's a lot of discussion that you have been fiscally responsible, and we're thankful that Trey and Shirley both have been great resources to help us when we get into trying to figure out what to do for students in working on different opportunities here in South Carolina. But the University of South Carolina is taking a lead, and it has improved the quality of life for citizens in this state.

You, yourself, just a few things that I've learned about you. Of course, you have an excellence in academia. You have a work ethic second to none. You have changed the quality of life.

He has jumped on as rural hospital chairman, trying to make a difference for the rural hospitals to be successful financially, and that's commendable. And he's a very active member at the university.

And, Mr. Chairman, at the appropriate time, I'd like to move for a favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator, we need to go vote.
SENATOR MCGILL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Smith, if you'll just kind of hold on to the statement.
Dr. SMITH: Yes, sir.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
(Representative McCoy exits the meeting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill, if you could hold that motion, and let's see if we can follow up.

Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
SENATOR MCGILL: Dr. Smith, one is on your credit report. There's a lien that's been on there since 2005. It's a $3,400 lien, and you may want to check your credit report.
DR. SMITH: I will. I'm completely unaware of that. Thank you so much.

It might be my bank.
MS. CASTO: Might be.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

We'll move favorable, and the second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, Doctor.
DR. SMITH: Thank you so much.

And I invite Representative Whitmire to come eat some Williamsburg and Clarendon County barbecue.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm up for it. We'll see.

5th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018
(2 Candidates)

William C. Hubbard
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. William C. Hubbard.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HUBBARD: Well, I want to thank this General Assembly and the representatives here today, all members of the General Assembly, for giving me the privilege of the past couple of decades to be a member of the board of trustees at the university. It is my passion. It is the thing that I do that gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction, because I believe that education is the key to the future of our state.

I've tried as best I can to be the best board member I possibly can. I've chaired the board. I've been also elected by my fellow trustees to chair every major committee on the board over the course of my tenure.

I worked very hard 20 years ago to help the university develop a strategic plan. We haven't had one before. And what you see in the progress of the university today is largely a result of having a strategic plan and executing upon that plan.

I echoed many of the things that have been said by my colleagues on the board about our efforts to try to be fiscally responsible and accountable to the people of South Carolina. I am proud of the fact that we've been able to lower the cost of a full-time equivalent student by $2,300 a year, FTE. Senator, part of it was, increasing the size of the student body. But we are admitting more South Carolinians than we ever had at the University of South Carolina, including on the Columbia campus.

It's been an honor to serve, and I appreciate this opportunity, and I hope you'll give me the opportunity to serve another four years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Questions, comments?
SENATOR McGILL: I want to ask something.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Hubbard, with -- because we know the big three -- University of South Carolina, Clemson, and MUSC -- what type of relationships have y'all had, working as far as with partnerships?
MR. HUBBARD: Well, thank you, Senator.
Early on and in my career, in fact, when I was chair of the board, I worked with trustees at MUSC and at Clemson to coordinate our research programs. That had never been done before. We had a joint meeting of the three boards of trustees in Charleston and developed an agreement of cooperation, and that's one of the proudest accomplishments I've had as a trustee at the University of South Carolina.
SENATOR McGILL: Well, this man's got an impeccable reputation. I mean, all of us know it. We appreciate your service.
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Hubbard. It seems like I've seen you around quite a bit.
MR. HUBBARD: Hope I'm not wearing out my welcome.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Oh, no. Oh, no.
I'm going to follow up with what Senator Alexander was talking about previously with Upstate.

I've got quite a number of legislators on the other side who've asked me to, you know, make some questions about this.
MR. HUBBARD: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And their main issue is, they don't want to be censors, but they also feel very strongly that a certain social agenda is being pushed on students and, subsequently, parents, who totally disagree with that particular social, you know, position. And they feel like it should be an elective, if nothing else, as opposed to -- I don't know if it's required reading of the Upstate, but it certainly was encouraged reading.
So what's your position on it?
MR. HUBBARD: Mr. Whitmire, as I understand that book, and I haven't seen the book, it's a book that also the College of Charleston has on their so-called Freshman Reading Experience. It was a book that all incoming freshmen were encouraged to read, and they would have a discussion about it.

I don't think it was part of a graded course, as I understand it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think you're right.
MR. HUBBARD: But the whole idea of the university is a search for truth. That is what you are supposed to have in the context of academic freedom. And going to a school where you learn things, that if there's only one side of a position being put forth, I think that does harm to the students. I think what the university should seek to do is make sure there's balance.

And so if there's one particular book that takes a point of view, there certainly needs to be an alternative view that the students can be exposed to, and I would encourage there to be speakers and others that are involved in it to make sure that the students can make their own decisions, based on hearing all sides of the issue.

I certainly don't believe a professor ought to be teaching with a political agenda.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That seems to be the parents that some legislators talked to, that was their concern. Okay? And you can certainly understand when their own social and religious beliefs are total opposite of this, and they're spending their money to send their child there, where they would be upset.
MR. HUBBARD: I understood their frustration.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Thank you, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. And good to see you this afternoon.
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Let me start off with your attendance and your involvement.

How would you characterize that?
MR. HUBBARD: As far as I know, my attendance is well over 90 percent, and I also make it my business, whenever I can, to attend all the committees, even if I'm not a member of a particular committee.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. I don't even know how to follow up on this situation. I heard your comments.

Does that mean that the board condones the book?
MR. HUBBARD: No, sir. I haven't seen the book. I have to confess. I have not seen the book.

Let me tell you what the board -- what we did do. When it was brought to our attention that there was this issue out there, we asked the president and the provost at a meeting last Friday, how it comes about that a book is chosen. And what we've discovered is that it's not the appropriate review, in our judgment, by many of us, that enough people are in on the decision-making process.

And so we've asked the president and the provost to look at the processes by which books are chosen. A lot of the discussion was not only about the Freshmen Reading Experience, but, also, there was another book that was in a sociology class that got a lot of attention that seemed to have some derogatory comments about President Reagan.

And so there was an overall discussion about how books were chosen. And we believe there needs to be a stronger process. Not to say that there's any effort to stifle academic freedom, but, certainly, there needs to be a process so that it's not just up to one individual without any sort of balance brought to the process to choose certain books.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Let me be clear. I don't have a problem with academy freedom and all this, but I do think it's a reflection of policy and the -- of any higher institution, and I appreciate the fact that the board is going to review this. But it concerns me of the image for the university and for the state.

But I do commend you from the standpoint too of the partnership that you've been working through research institutions as well.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Kind of as a follow-up. Of all the institutions of higher learning we have in the state, how did the book wind up at the College of Charleston and USC Upstate and not at the other universities?
MR. HUBBARD: I don't know how it was chosen at the College of Charleston, and I don't know -- I assume there's a professor at USC Upstate who has the authority to pick a book for the Freshmen Reading Experience. I simply don't know how the final decision was made. It certainly wasn't something that was brought to the board of trustees and --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: But do you think from here into the future that it will be?
MR. HUBBARD: I think what you'll see in the future is, we're going to get a report back that tells us how certain books are chosen in the year for courses and Freshmen Reading Experiences so that we'll have an idea about whether there are processes in place to make sure that we don't have outliers of books that do not promote the mission of the institution.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Did you have a speaker -- you may or not know this.

Did USC Upstate have a speaker that -- I think it was the author of the book who'd come to promote the book at USC Upstate.

Do you know that?
MR. HUBBARD: I do not know one way or the other.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I didn't know that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: They did, the College of Charleston. I don't know about USC.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: To follow up what you just said -- I don't have a sheet with me. I wish I did. But I was given a list. Evidently, there are a lot of colleges and universities in the state that have reading programs, and -- The Citadel, specifically; Clemson; USC, main campus; Francis Marion may have been in there. I'm not positive -- every one of the books, in my opinion, was appropriate for a freshman for reading that would not upset the parents. I mean, thought-provoking, but still not to the extreme College of Charleston was.

So it seems like it was an isolated two incidents, in my opinion -- I don't know -- which means there was probably more oversight at the other institutions. That's just my opinion. I don't know.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Do you want to wait?
MS. CASTO: They were ringing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh. It's that time again.

We'll take a quick break.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Were we in the middle of a question or a response?
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: He was getting ready to ask one, but I don't think --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, if I was going to ask one, I don't remember what it was. I'll pass.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hubbard. I appreciate your patience with everything going on here.

Just following up on what they were -- the questions that the Senator and Representative Whitmire were asking, I guess, for me, my particular concern, in this statement that was made by the employee is the last sentence, which basically says that the university -- because she's the spokesperson -- sees engagement as essential to the educational process.

See, that's a philosophical point of view of the university that feels like these issues must be discussed because they're part of the educational process. That's what I don't understand.
MR. HUBBARD: Well, I'm not sure I know what she means by "engagement." There ought to be a balance and full debate in any institution about what things are. It's always about a search for the truth, and it's about educating people to be leaders of the next generation.

I don't think that you can isolate different points of view from students and not have discussions about different perspectives. But I didn't -- as I heard that statement read, I didn't think it was well put.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, my other question, going on what I've asked the previous gentlemen is, you know, the issue of safety --
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- what you're going to address, working with a team, doing that kind of thing.
MR. HUBBARD: We have had retreats where, literally, half a day was spent on the safety issue. We've had briefings, some of them in executive session, so that it would not be known what tactics and techniques the security forces and the police departments were engaged in to try to make sure that our students are protected. There are issues with between the university security and the City of Columbia Police Department. And we wish we had more of a say over what goes on in Five Points. Dr. Pastides has made it abundantly clear, there's no reason that shouldn't be a pedestrian mall at night between certain hours, and, for some reason, there's been opposition to it.

We have increased the level of security cameras to give us a broader view since there are limitations on manpower, but we have, I think, as Mr. Williams said, increased the law enforcement budget. And I can promise you, there is not a single issue that's more important to the board of trustees than security and safety. We weep when we hear stories like Martha Childress' story, and, as I mentioned to you in the break, my wife and I both wrote her a letter, and I think members of the board did too, and it's very sad.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just need a little bit for you to expand upon -- and you've used it several times. Help me understand. When you say, Search for the truth.
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What are you talking about?
MR. HUBBARD: Well, that's what the inquiry is about when we receive different points of view so that people can have a broader view of the world and understand the context in which they live. I don't think you can isolate students from different points of view, but I do think that they ought to have the freedom to explore issues in a fair and balanced way in the classroom, and there should be no suppression of discussion.

If somebody takes a counterview to the president -- I mean, to the professor in the class, I think it ought to be an opportunity for open discussion.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Did you think that's been lacking in the past, before they read this book?
MR. HUBBARD: I haven't seen that book. So I don't --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I wish you would have before you came in here today for screening so we could discuss it.
MR. HUBBARD: I apologize. I didn't read the book.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Y'all discussed it, as I understand. I mean, y'all didn't have a copy at y'all's --
MR. HUBBARD: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So y'all didn't have a copy of it?
MR. HUBBARD: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I know that the College of Charleston found it offensive and had it in there before them, and I think it's -- that speaks to me as to why you didn't have the book.

But y'all didn't have a copy at the board meeting?
MR. HUBBARD: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And that's fine.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I think it's time for me to make my daily on-the-comment record with regards to the book. I do see -- and let me just say for the record, I've seen it, and I'm no fan of the book. But that, to me, is not the issue. And, to me -- and this is just my personal point of view -- I don't want us to go so overboard with regards to the book that we stop doing what you touched on, and that is, college students having the opportunity to sort of find themselves.

I don't want any board of trustees or any college to get into the, quote/unquote, book censoring business. And one of the things about college -- I think being an African-American male, one of the things that was really tough for me to read: slavery. You know, the brutality of slavery, the rapes, children being given away. That makes this book look like a piece of cake, to me.

So I just wanted to put that on the record as to why I'm not asking questions about the, quote/unquote, book. You know, I believe that it probably is not a good book, and maybe just through people at that level making the decision with regards to the reading, that that could have been eliminated, but I don't want us to go overboard, as I mentioned the other day, that we're reading Dick and Jane, you know, that we're being so simplistic with regards to what are -- because after we -- because even if they're freshmen, they're in college. It's big-boy and big-girl time now. They've got to get ready for life.

So I'd just like to say that for the record.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hubbard, just following up on this discussion. First off, there are two books. The book at the College of Charleston, to me -- I got the chance to look at both of them -- was far more, you know, offensive than, I think, the one at USC Upstate. The one at USC Upstate was a pro-social agenda that, at least my constituency in Oconee County, I would think, 90 percent -- and Senator Alexander would probably agree -- would find highly objectionable. And I think the fact is that it was, quote, encouraged, or almost required, to be reading on a freshmen level without an alternative, you know, in place.

That would have be okay with 90 percent of my constituents, you know. Don't stifle debate. Don't stifle free speech. But provide an alternative for the parents who really think this is just way out of balance in their opinion, you know. I'm kind of speaking for them more than myself.
MR. HUBBARD: Thanks.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any more questions or comments?

Staff, do you have a follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. I just want to let y'all know that in the personal data questionnaire and in his economic interest form, he reports the work that his law firm does with the legislature. There's a list of them and the instances.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Hubbard, can I ask you about the board of trustees? Do y'all have a committee that determines your head coach's salary?
MR. HUBBARD: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Like at Clemson, we have the Clemson trustees, and they have a committee.

Do y'all have a committee?
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You do?
MR. HUBBARD: It had to go through the executive committee and the full board of trustees.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The full board gets to vote on it?
MR. HUBBARD: Any contract of that magnitude, and you know how big those contracts are now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Right.
MR. HUBBARD: Which most of the funding comes from outside sources.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Right.
MR. HUBBARD: But we require that the funding come through the university, and we approve the sources of outside funding so that you don't have some outlier organization contributing to the salary, but we don't have ultimate authority over it.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I've got one last --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: On the perspective of sports, any truth to the rumor I've heard bandied about that you're going to require any athletic coach mandatory retirement at age 70, or is that --
MR. HUBBARD: I hadn't heard that, but I suspect there's probably some -- not a groundswell of support on the board for that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I was just hoping.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: If it's the appropriate time, I move favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the rest of the Committee. Thank you.

J. Preston Strom, Jr.
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, J. Preston Strom, Jr. "Pete" Strom.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. STROM: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon, sir.
MR. STROM: Good afternoon. Thank you for this opportunity to be in here. My name is Pete Strom. I'm a lifelong resident of Columbia.
I went to Columbia High. I attended University of South Carolina. I lived on campus. I graduated from law school, and I practice law in the Columbia area my entire career. I've served as a state court law clerk, assistant solicitor, and enlisted as the United States Attorney for South Carolina.

And a lot like Charles Williams, who was speaking a little bit earlier, my family has a long history of being involved in the State government. My dad was the longest serving SLED agent in the country when he passed away. He worked for nine different governors, Democrats and Republicans, and he did a phenomenal job working across party lines and doing the right thing for the state of South Carolina. That's really sort of my values and what brings me to this.

I love the university, like everybody else who's appeared earlier today. I think what I'm hearing, though, when I listened to Charles Williams, and he says, The Legislature passes legislation, and they don't give us any money. Unfunded mandate. You're giving Clemson 1,500 more than you're giving the University of South Carolina.

And what that says to me is, we've got a communication problem between the University of South Carolina and the General Assembly. And, you know, I looked earlier in the year, and, you know, Dr. Pastides did a YouTube video where he challenged the Legislature not to give more money, and he wouldn't raise the tuition.

Now, I just don't think that's the way we do business in South Carolina, and I think that the duties of a trustee is to come over here and sit down with the ladies and gentlemen on this General Assembly and talk through issues and make tough decisions together. There's been a lot of talk about the '08-'09 budget and how the university was cut 50 percent by this General Assembly.

Now, I've talked to Representative Pitts about that, and, you know, what I learned was, that year, that it was so tough for the State government, and y'all were having to cut everybody's pay, cut resources, the university was raising salaries for employees. Completely opposite. And I think that led to something.

Again, I think that's a communication issue. And, you know, I've been coming over here my entire life. I was a page over here, and if I'm not up here every three-and-a-half years, I'm up here a lot helping my friends with different issues. I'm not a lobbyist, but I enjoy helping.

And, you know, I'll address one issue and then answer any questions you have. The book.

I believe that that issue is a dual-governance issue. I think, clearly, that you have to take into consideration academic freedom, but the board is the conscience of the university and the conscience of the people and the board selected by this General Assembly. And I believe that when you have an issue like this, people ought to sit down and try to work it out as best they can and hopefully come to some reasonable understanding.

And I think the points that have been made are well-attempted. Yes, sir, Representative Mack, these people are 18 years old and they're adults, but a lot of them are still kids. And putting something like that on a mandatory reading list is problematic. I don't know that I would want my daughter to necessarily have read some of the things that -- and, again, I'm not judging this particular book, because I haven't looked at it.

And so I do think it's incumbent upon the board who work with the facility not to take away their authority, but if something is so out of bang on this that it's not appropriate, it doesn't have South Carolina values attached to it, then that discussion needs to be had.
It's ultimately, as somebody pointed out, up to the board. That's where the buck stops. It's with the board of trustees. And, you know, and I think that that's got to happen.

And I'll be happy to take any questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Strom.
MR. STROM: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you for what you just said. That's what I think we've been wanting to hear from quite a few trustee candidates, not only from USC, but a lot of other schools also.

This is a conservative state. The values of South Carolina may not be the same values of Massachusetts or California. I think that has to be taken into account, even though this is a public university. Remember, these parents are putting a lot of their life savings into sending their sons and daughters to school, and I'm just speaking for the people I've talked to who -- they're highly upset about some of the things that have come out from these two -- not the main campus, but Upstate and the College of Charleston.
MR. STROM: And, you know, I think the comments that are made by university staff into the media are -- you know, somebody's not paying attention.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's right.
MR. STROM: Or either it's to the point that the philosophy is, the Legislature is only giving us 5 to 10 percent of our funding, so we really don't care what they say.

They forgot that what's happened here is, taxpayers have built these buildings -- South Carolina, Clemson, other places -- and even though the funding is not as high as it used to be, this is still a State-supported institution.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I just wanted to make one comment. You don't have to respond.
MR. STROM: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: I guess the values, I think -- you know, when I walk out on the grounds and see a statue of "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman, I think that says more about some of our values in the state than anything else, unfortunately.

So I just wanted to make that statement.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just wanted to follow up, and I do appreciate your comments.

With your job responsibilities, is there anything that you -- or if elected, that would preclude you from being engaged in filling those responsibilities and duties as a member of the board?
MR. STROM: I am currently serving on the Judicial Screening Committee, and I would resign from that position. I own my own law firm, and I have it set up in a way that I can take ample time away from it to, you know, fulfill my duties. And I don't have any conflicts with -- none of my folks do business with the university.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Strom has an impeccable reputation that will stand him in good stead.

How long did your daddy serve the State?
MR. STROM: He was chief 38 years.
SENATOR McGILL: Thirty-eight years. It's a remarkable family, as a lot of those who have testified today.

And I can't help but think, you having been a U.S. Attorney -- you having been an attorney here in Columbia, a lot of the crime that occurred, the family in Five Points, what's your opinion about that?
MR. STROM: Thank you for that question.

One of the worst shootouts that I've ever heard from my father was him calling the -- he used to be in charge of the campus police -- calling the head of the Clemson Campus Police.

And he said, Let me explain this to you one more time. Your job is to protect the students, not to put them in jail. The citizens of South Carolina don't send their kids to college to get a criminal record.
And, in my opinion, the campus police here -- if you've got 18- to 21-year-old kids, guess what? They've got hormones. They're going to go out. Okay?

They're going to go down to Five Points. If they get caught on campus doing anything, they'll get suspended. So they're going down there. That's -- it is what it is. And the campus police need to be in Five Points, just like the old MPs.

If a child gets himself in a bad situation, they ought to be there helping them get back to campus. Their number one job should be protecting the students wherever they are, whether -- it's not protecting the property. It's protecting the children. And losing one life is way too many.

And, you know, we heard somebody say earlier, Well, you know, we have a difficult time communicating with the City and the sheriff's department. Well, that's a bridge that I think I can mend and think I'm strong enough to do that. I know the folks, and I think the press will follow me some on that. We can push to make this happen. We can push to make Five Points a safer place.

That's an issue, but more than that, making our students safer. If they're going to go down there, let's get them a ride home. Okay? Let's figure out how to take care of our children. Losing one is one too many.
SENATOR McGILL: I just want to finally say that --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: -- there's no question that both of these candidates -- saying that one race for that one seat -- are great, and they have given civically, and they both have three or four family members -- I think your wife was a family court judge --
MR. STROM: She was.
SENATOR McGILL: -- for a number of years.

How many years did she serve?
MR. STROM: She served, I think, ten years, and she's still -- she's retired, but she still has her active status. And, of course, we're all familiar with the gang issues that we're facing in Columbia. And that's a piece of what we're doing within Five Points, and that's a safety issue for the students at the University of South Carolina.

And let me comment on one other thing somebody raised earlier. They talked about whether or not the boards of different schools communicated.

Well, one of the things I've seen is, we've got this basic arms race on the SAT scores. Clemson's raising theirs. Carolina's raising theirs. And it's precluding South Carolina kids from getting in school.
And --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Strom, just hold --
MR. STROM: Yeah, okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Just hold on a minute.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I apologize, again, for the inconvenience.

Mr. Whitmire, were you --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I think it was Ms. Henderson.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson, were you next?
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: No. I'll tell you what I wrote down, though.

You were talking about -- I think that's where I started writing that down.
MR. STROM: I think where I was, someone had asked a question earlier if boards from different schools ever get together.
And what I've seen -- and I think it's critical and important. What I've seen is, there's been an escalation, almost a war, over SAT scores. Clemson raises theirs; South Carolina raises theirs. And they've gotten to a point where a lot of South Carolina kids can't get into the University of South Carolina or in Clemson.

You know, it's just -- you know, if you're from South Carolina and your daddy and granddaddy owned a hardware store, and your granddaddy was a Gamecock, and your daddy was a Gamecock, you want to come up here and get your business degree at Carolina or at Clemson, you ought to be able to come do that.

And, you know, when Charles Williamson -- it was disappointing to hear, but we all know it's a reality. He said to the administration to draw a line to take less out-of-state students, but we can't afford it. Well, that's good to say in the boardroom, but that doesn't give that kid and that family from Sumter much relief.

And that's who elected y'all, and y'all elected us. So my sense is that -- you know, I think Nicky McCarter is like the super board member of the state. I think he works all the time, and I think we can get some people together, like Nicky and the other board members around the state, and try to work on this issue for all of our children.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And a follow-up on that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Once again, I totally agree with you. These public universities should be serving our students first, where we worry about out-of-state later.

So thank you for that statement.
MR. STROM: Thank you for the opportunity to appear.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: I have two things.

You had put in your personal data questionnaire that you were a board member on the USC Columbia Technology Incubator.

Do you still serve in that --
MR. STROM: Right.
MS. CASTO: Do you still serve --
MR. STROM: I do.
MS. CASTO: -- in that capacity?
And if elected, you would resign that?
MR. STROM: I don't think that's a conflict. This is a board that Don Tomlin and others set up as a volunteer board, and they bring in small businesses that are high-tech and help them kind of move the thing along. We meet with them about once a month. I give them some free legal advice. Other people give them business advice.

So I don't think --
MS. CASTO: So it's not affiliated with the university at all?
MR. STROM: It's not affiliated with the university.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And, also, in your business interest, do any of them do business with the State? I know you had said that you do not do business with USC, but do you do business with the State?
MR. STROM: No.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. A second and a second.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Thank you, sir.
MR. STROM: Thank you.

7th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

Toney J. Lister
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Toney J. Lister from Spartanburg.
MR. LISTER: Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I'm Toney Lister, and I've been on the USC Board of Trustees --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in.
MR. LISTER: I thought you were giving me five, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Toney, let me swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. LISTER: Yes, sir, I do.
MS. CASTO: There's a bell. The bell is ringing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, man. Well --
MS. CASTO: I'm sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- let's hold you. Maybe we'll finish this thing up.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Ready for your brief statement.
MR. LISTER: Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I'm Toney Lister, and I've been on the USC Board of Trustees for Spartanburg and Cherokee County for the last 20 years. And, Senator, Upstate is in the center of the 7th Judicial Circuit, and that is my judicial circuit.

I'm a lawyer in Spartanburg, and I now practice by myself because I'm in the process of trying to retire. I practiced law for 40 years. I practiced law for the last 14 or 15 years with Keith Kelly, Larry Flynn, and my daughter, Elinor Lister.

I finished the undergraduate business school here in 1968. I finished law school in 1974. There's a little discrepancy there because I was in the Navy some three-and-a-half years as an interim between my first and second year of law school. I went back my second year, and then finished up in '74.

I ran for the House of Representatives. I served five years in Spartanburg County at one of the largest Spartanburg County districts. I resigned in 1979 from the House and ran for the Senate and was beaten in that regard.

I appreciate having served in the last 20 years on the USC Board of Trustees and look forward to being reappointed, if that's your desire.
Senator, you're right in your comments about the book. I have not read the book. I had no interest in reading the book. I didn't realize it was going to be such a source of controversy here today.

Representative Whitmire, it is a different book than what was used at the College of Charleston. I have talked to several parents whose children went through the course. It was a mandatory English course.
You're absolutely right, Representative, that the other side, for lack of a better word, was not given a chance to present, and the facility chose the book. I didn't know anything about the book until, I guess, last semester had started. The Spartanburg delegation has been very involved, as all of you know, because I'm sure from this conversation and all of your questions that you've had discussions with them.

The diversity issue now had been addressed. Some of the local ministers and some of the more well-known ministers of big churches have had a chance to visit the campus. Still the -- it's a sad situation. It should not have happened. It did happen. And it has been addressed, and it will be addressed in the future.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

And thank you for your comments and your service. And I wouldn't characterize this as a controversy. I think it's more of an awareness and a concern but more of the policy we have going forth from that standpoint. I think we all learn in a situation like this, and I commend y'all for what you have referred to in your comments.

Would you characterize for me what your attendance has been over the last 20 years?

And I congratulate you, again, for that service.
MR. LISTER: My attendance has been probably 90, 95 percent. I probably attend 70 to 75 percent of the graduations, because we have the graduations on the eight different campuses, along with the medical school and the law school. So I try to stay as active as the other trustees do on the university board.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And the reason I bring this up and getting it on the record, I've had numerous senators over the time -- because, believe it or not, in the past, we've had some members of the boards that, once they get it, they're not active in participating.

So I'd just like to have it in the record.
MR. LISTER: I understand that, and I think you have attendance records in front of you. At least at one time, that was a requirement. I'm not sure if that's still the case.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just want to get that into the record.

Thank you.
MR. LISTER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just one quick comment, not a question. I'm looking at your record in serving the Legislature. Many years on the board. I just appreciate your years of service.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.

Welcome, Mr. Lister. I'm glad to hear what you had to say.
Can you tell me the reaction of the facility and the president of Upstate?

It's my understanding, they weren't very forthcoming, according to Representative Allison and some other of the legislators who had met with the president, some ministers, local ministers, as you stated, who were involved, and some parents.

How did they view what you're -- you say it's been resolved; How so?
MR. LISTER: I think the chancellor was receptive. The chancellor is the one that encouraged the diversity. The chancellor is the one that encouraged meetings with the delegation and the local ministers. The faculty -- and I have not met with the faculty. I have not discussed this matter with any faculty member, but I don't think they were quite as receptive.

I'll go one step further in addressing the previous questions about the spokesperson for the Upstate campus. And that was the spokesperson for the Upstate campus, and not for the system as a whole.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right.
MR. LISTER: I think that those comments were very unfortunate.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It seems to me that -- now, this is my beliefs; that if a Christian beliefs type of book had been ordered to be read by the students, I can see the ACLU, I can see a lot of other organizations crying foul and coming down. This is where I have a problem. I mean, you're forcing one particular viewpoint on all the students, and, of course, a lot of them don't believe that particular social action.

So that's what Representative Whitmire and I -- we've talked about this. You know, we're very concerned about this. I hope it won't happen again.
MR. LISTER: That was the problem presented by the parents that I talked with, and those parents said it was fine to use this book and teach from this book. But, number one, some of the parents wanted an alternative book. And some of the parents wanted an alternative viewpoint, even though the book was still going to be in use. So it's certainly a lot of opinions.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And requiring it versus an elective. That's another issue. I felt that was a much more, you know, suitable alternative, if you gave -- if you just didn't force a student, say, of 18 years of age, to have to read that. Okay.

Thank you.
MR. LISTER: It was a mandatory English 101 course, as I understand it.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Times have changed.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comment?

I want to say a year or so ago there was some chatter about moving the USC Upstate's main campus to Greenville. So I don't know if that was rumor or if that was actually discussed.

How would the main board of trustees -- would y'all have to vote on that?
MR. LISTER: Senator, as long as I'm trustee, you'll never have to worry about the Upstate campus being moved to Greenville.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MR. LISTER: Mack Whittle over here may have a different opinion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MR. LISTER: We now have the University Center that's now located in Greenville, and the University Center is made up of six or eight different universities teaching in one of the old shopping malls there. Clemson plays a big part in the graduate program. South Carolina plays a big part in the undergraduate program.

There is discussion -- there has been discussions for the last three or four years, as far as expanding the undergraduate USC presence in Greenville. There's some discussion as to building a building in Greenville at one time. But, now, the only discussion that I know about, and, again, we have the Greenville trustee here, is an expansion in the present facility there.

But the Upstate campus will not move to Greenville.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow-up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

All in favor say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. LISTER: Thank you. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Time flies.
MR. LISTER: Time flies, Senator. I will not wave at you again, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm talking about his service when he was in the House of Representatives. Feels like only yesterday.

9th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

John C. von Lehe, Jr.
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm talking about his service when he was in the House of Representatives. Feels like only yesterday.

John C. Von Lehe, Jr.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. von LEHE: Good afternoon, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. von LEHE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement?
MR. von LEHE: Yes, I do have a brief statement. Thank you very much. Thank you all for this opportunity.

I know almost all of you, and I look forward to meeting those that I have not met. I've got a rather long family association with the university, going back to 1812. I could prove that, if necessary. I'd rather not. It'd probably take the rest of the afternoon.

But I've been associated personally with the university since 1961, and I guess you can take a look at me and tell that it's been quite a long time. I have graduated from the university. I graduated from the school of law. I taught at the university part time at night in the accounting school for ten years. And I'm a CPA, and I got my CPA certificate out of the University of South Carolina.

This will be, pending your approval, my fifth term on the board. I've enjoyed my 16 years there, and I appreciate your confidence in allowing me to be there for that term. It seems like it's been very short.
You mentioned Toney's got a quick 20 years. I feel like I've had a very quick 16, and I've certainly enjoyed them and hope to have another four. I do serve on the executive committee now. I'm the vice chairman of the board.

As far as the university itself is concerned, I think things are going pretty well there. You're never completely satisfied with everything, but I believe that the university is doing a good job, primarily, for the people of the state, which, of course, means for the young people in the state. The question of accessibility to education is extremely important in South Carolina, and that's been mentioned a number of times today. It can't be overstressed.

We have a place at the University of South Carolina, if you want to include satellites, which I certainly think we should, for just about everybody in this state. Some students would have to prove themselves at one of the other campuses before they can come to the university, but it's available, and many of them do.

So I do believe we do have -- we're doing a good job. It could be better, but we're doing a good job of admitting the students who want to come to the university. I would like to get a larger percentage of the higher-ranking students from South Carolina, but Clemson has got a mindset that's just the opposite, and they want to get those students. So it's a good competition as to whether -- who's going to keep the better students.

The main thing is, I hope we keep them here in the state of South Carolina and we don't lose them to out-of-state institutions. That's the whole reason when we put in the honors program. Clemson has theirs similar to that. It may be called the same thing.

But both of their efforts there is keeps these students in the state of South Carolina, and we've made some pretty good strides. I'm in Charleston. We made some pretty good strides down there in some of the, quote, better schools recently and keeping students within the state of South Carolina. And, mind you, one of those schools that in particular we were interested in, I think we've done pretty well in that high school in keeping students here.

Basically, that's -- well, and another point before I stop. Giving students an education that they can use is extremely important, and we have two technical schools at the University of South Carolina, and we have a good business school. We have good engineering programs. We have good math and science.

One of the main problems, which I could have mentioned in my report to you, in my opinion, is, we have great difficulty in getting enough students from within this state who want to take the engineering programs. When I was there, it was -- I don't have any stats to back it up. It's been so long ago. But every other person you saw was an engineering student, at least for a few months.

After, maybe, the second semester, they weren't. You know, they went over to the business school or somewhere else, but at least a heck of a lot of people started out in engineering from the state of South Carolina. And I'm just not seeing that today.

We stood up there at graduation and watching graduation classes coming through, and, look, we were lucky to get U.S. citizens in those classes, and, particularly, in the graduate school. I try to attend all the graduation exercises at the university and usually -- and have profited from that greatly over the years and that Ph.D. program. Watching those students come through there in engineering, you just see the vast majority of them are probably not -- they're certainly not South Carolinians and probably not United States citizens.

So I think we really need to make some big efforts to get people interested in technology in this state. I don't believe in forcing anybody to do anything, but I think it's very important that we continue to show students. And, look, if you graduate from engineering, you're going to make about $75,000. If you graduate in some of the arts and science programs, if you can get a job, you'll probably get about half that. That should be a nice incentive for people to take the technical courses.

That's my speech.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. von Lehe. And we haven't had a chance to meet, but you're giving the same spiel that I give. And I will say, I have a daughter that's in the chemical engineering program here at USC, and I'm from Greenville. So...

And I will say that many employers -- I would say -- especially Fluor, they like the USC engineering grads better than Clemson. And they'll tell you that, because they feel like -- it's true.

But this issue is important because the area I'm in, I have Michelin and BMW outside my back door. This new Toray company that's getting ready to be built is also right there. And BMW will tell you, they just can't get enough engineers. They just cannot. And I know my daughter's involved in a program here at USC that goes to schools and talks to kids about STEM.

But I just want to encourage you to develop more things like that, because I think as parents and mentors and teachers, we need to do a better job at helping kids understand what the job market is like, and choosing a college career is really important. It's more so than when we were younger.

Anyway, I just wanted --
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- to echo that and say thank you.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to say Mr. von Lehe is -- year number 17, and I've been up there 18 years and had the honor and privilege -- I'll hold that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Thank you.
(Interruption of screenings occurred due to voting.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sorry for the interruption. But the good news is, we've adjourned, so we shouldn't have any more interruptions. The bad news is, all the other senators get to leave and we've got to stay here.

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Mr. Chairman, thank you.

As I was mentioning, and I wanted to say for the record, that I've known Mr. von Lehe for all 17 years he's been on the board. As a matter of fact, this is my 18th year up here. This is one of the first votes that I cast on the floor for someone and have been pleased every day since.

Well, he's very committed, as you can tell from his comments, and he really loves public education in the state of South Carolina, and he's a tremendous asset for our state of South Carolina and for the University of South Carolina.

So I just wanted to say that for the record.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Very well said.
Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Von Lehe, it's good to know that you've got relatives up in the Golden Corner in Walhalla.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Getting back to what Ms. Henderson was talking about, that's my former friend, by the way, after that comment.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Is that on the record? I just want to make sure.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: The STEM program, why are we not -- do we not have enough students that are getting into those areas? Are the schools, K-12, not doing a good enough job educating? What do you think?
MR. von LEHE: There's no question that the courses are being offered. No doubt about that. There's certainly a capacity for it. It's not like a medical school where you've got such limited capacity, but we definitely, definitely have the capacity for them.

And as to why they're not interested in doing it, that's something I've talked about with an admissions person, Dennis Pruitt. He's the vice president of student affairs and admissions.

He makes an effort at this. He does, and the Governor's School. That's where a lot of them come out of, of the School of Math. And he makes an effort in that. And it's a tough problem.

Of course, it's not just in South Carolina. It's all across the country, where the United States is really losing a lot of opportunity in these areas and they're being filled by students from other countries. Now, they can make good Americans. Don't get me wrong.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right.
MR. von LEHE: But they don't all take their education and go back home. A lot of them stay here and fill a big need.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: But a lot of them do go back home. That's my concern. Usually, if you've got an in-state student, the odds of them staying in South Carolina are much greater.
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I was in education for, you know, almost 30 years before this, and it just -- I wasn't on a high school level, but I was in communication with the high school all the time. I don't know whether the work and -- I mean, the financial incentive, to me, would be enough. And, of course, I have two daughters and both of them, we tried to get them to consider something like this, and they both went liberal arts. And you're right. The money's just not there compared to, you know, the sciences.

So I commend you on being concerned about this. I hope that possibly we can get a larger percentage from South Carolina in the future.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you. I hope so.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just briefly.

It's good to see you today, of course, and I certainly appreciate your connection up in the Walhalla area.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you, Senator.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: We appreciate your years and tremendous service on the board.

Again, for the record, how would you characterize your involvement and attendance at the board meetings?
MR. von LEHE: My attendance has been very high.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Would it be in the 90 percent --
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MR. von LEHE: It'd be over 90 percent. Somewhere around 95.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And were you -- just for the record, were you at the board meeting last week when the --
MR. von LEHE: No.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: All right. Thank you.
SENATOR McGILL: Chairman, let me say quickly --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Go ahead.
SENATOR MCGILL: -- we all knew the day that he was running years ago -- time goes very quickly -- what a distinguished gentleman. That's the only way I know how to say it.

He is a distinguished person. Focused. He wanted to always reach out. He's committed to this state, and he's committed to the university.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: This gentleman covers from Walhalla to Charleston. So I have to agree. He's covered the state extremely well.
If it's the appropriate time, I'd move for a favorable --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let's see if the staff has any follow-up, and then we'll take the vote.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Von Lehe, you said you taught part-time accounting courses at the university.
MR. von LEHE: I did, after seven years of pro bono.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You don't teach there anymore?
MR. von LEHE: No. That was ten years ago.
MS. CASTO: Were you on the board when you taught them?
MR. von LEHE: I was not.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And I also want to say, like Mr. Hubbard, their law firm provided -- and he put it on his economic interest statement, he lists everything that the law firm does, lobbying the General Assembly. He doesn't lobby directly.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report and a second.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you, sir.

11th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

Thad H. Westbrook
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Thad H. Westbrook.
MR. WESTBROOK: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WESTBROOK: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. WESTBROOK: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear this afternoon before you. When I first committed before the Committee in May 2010, I told you that I was -- I decided to run for the board of trustees because I was committed to helping make the University of South Carolina successful. And I put forth this mission to educate the citizens of our state through teaching, research, and creative activity and service. I still remain very much committed to that mission of the university, and I'm very proud of the progress that the university's made in the past three plus years that I've been on the board.

I'm very proud of the fact that we're educating more South Carolinians today than we ever have before. I'm proud of the fact that we are efficient in how we educate those students. You heard the numbers earlier today about how we are spending less in educating students, but we are educating more students, and we're doing it at a very high level.

So it's been a great honor to be able to serve on the board of trustees. I thank the General Assembly for that opportunity four years ago, and I am seeking another opportunity to continue serving another four years on the board.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?

Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Just one quick question.

I was intrigued by your comment that USC needs to emphasize their writing skills.

I wonder if you can expand on that?
MR. WESTBROOK: Sure. And we actually are working on a few things there.

As an attorney and an employer, I see a deficiency in writing. Young people are not writing as well as they should coming out of high school and out of public colleges -- public and private colleges and universities. They're not being given the opportunity that I think they deserve.

One of the greatest things I learned and learned as a student -- law student and learned as a student, learning under Walter Edgar. He taught me how to write, and I greatly benefited from that. And I think it helped lead me down the career path I chose, and it helped me to be successful in my career.

Writing is essential. We have writing programs. We have writing emphasis. We have writing institutes to help students learn more about writing and how to present their thoughts in an organized manner. And with the grammar and spellchecking, little things that matter when you're talking about writing.

So it's very important to me.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: I was impressed with that insight, because that's always been a pet peeve too. I graduated with a degree from Howard University eons ago, and it's interesting in liberals art, the writing course, which was English. Freshmen English was all writing, and that used to flunk more people out than chemistry, biology, to technical courses. And that's always been a thing with me, that so many students don't know how to write.

And so I really appreciate you looking at that.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon. And, again, for the record, in your four years, what kind of attendance have you had?
MR. WESTBROOK: I've attended all the board meetings since I've been on the board, and I've attended all the committee meetings. I might have missed two or three, but I attend them all.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And do you concur with some of the comments earlier today about the situation with the book, from that standpoint?
MR. WESTBROOK: I do. I do concur with those comments. You know, academic freedom is one thing, but whenever we are mandating a reading, I think there needs to be balance. I think we need to be careful of what we choose.

I was part of the conversation on Friday that the board had with the president and the provost, and you heard some of that earlier today. I think that we need to provide that balance. We need to provide those alternatives. I think balance is really where we need to start in the first place, particularly when it's mandatory. That was a real concern I had about it.

I'd also like to just offer that the statement you read earlier, Senator, from Upstate --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. WESTBROOK: -- I was very upset and disappointed to hear that. That was the first time I've heard that. It was not the right tone, and there are some things in that message that are not appropriate and didn't represent my views.

And so I'm actually going to be having some conversations about that, because that's not the way we should be communicating.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And that's why I'm concerned. And I'll get you a copy of that, if you need me to.
MR. WESTBROOK: Actually, I've already -- while y'all were sent back on the floor, I looked it up.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I would -- the only thing that concerns me is that I can remember when he was a page in the office and I was in here in the Senate. You know, I don't always remember the first time. But the second time, I just commend you. He was an outstanding page, and I'm confident that you'll be okay if you continue your career in the same way you've handled your work. And I commend you, and it's good to see you, of course.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you, Senator. I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You trained him well.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes. It was Joe Wilson and myself.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Westbrook.

On question eight, what do you think is the biggest weakness of this college and university? You're talking about infrastructure needs, classrooms and lab space, housing.

Is there going to come a time when the university is big enough, and you don't need to grow anymore?

I think when we were talking, since 2007 or '8, we had like 23- or 24,000 students. Now you're up to 31,000. That didn't seem to be the time to be expanding when we were going through a recession, in my opinion, because you knew the money wasn't going to be there from the General Assembly.
MR. WESTBROOK: I appreciate it. That's actually an ongoing discussion within the board. We, currently in Columbia, are really at capacity when it comes to classroom space, lab space, housing.

In fact, one project that we have on the board we're finding trouble with now is a housing project that is a public-private partnership, which it's really the private funding doing that, because we've got to find other ways to do the things that we're doing.

The past year, we had our largest freshmen class ever, more than 5,000 students. A part of that was because we yielded more acceptances -- more yeses to our acceptance letters than we expected. The university's very popular right now.

And so we've got the room for those students, but we are at our limit. Now, should we do more? Part of it is, fulfilling our mission. Our mission is to educate South Carolinians, first and foremost.

When I was here four years ago, I talked about access to education and access for South Carolinians. With the help of the General Assembly, we started Palmetto College, providing online access to four-year degrees. We are very appreciative of that, because we believe that provides greater access to four-year degrees in South Carolina. And that is a program that will continue to grow.

As far as the infrastructure needs, I don't see us doing tremendous building projects just to grow for the sake of growing. If the General Assembly communicates to us that you want us educating more South Carolinians than we're segmenting educating now, we've got to have some growth.

But we are educating more South Carolinians in the system and in Columbia than we ever have before. But if the message we get is, more South Carolinians and more students, we're at a limit.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What do you think would be a good ratio of in-state and out-of-state?
MR. WESTBROOK: For a system, I think a 75/25.

For Columbia, I'm more of a two-thirds, one-thirds. And we're just actually right about 65 percent. I prefer to be closer to 67 percent.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I assume that most of the outlying campuses have a much higher ratio.
MR. WESTBROOK: They do. Much higher.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions, comments?
SENATOR McGILL: Oh, sure. I just wanted to say this. Thad's father, of course, we all knew him well. Also a great family, wonderful family. Then he comes along and decides, as a young fellow -- I see you're 39 years old, and your resume is greater than somebody who's 70, 75.

So you've been involved definitely all over the community everywhere. We're delighted. I'm personally delighted that you showed up.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you, Senator. I appreciate it.
SENATOR MCGILL: Absolutely.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Earlier today on the Senate, another senator introduced a group of young lawyers, and the balcony was full of young lawyers. We were talking about the percentage of in-state and out-of-state.

How many lawyers -- what percentage of lawyers does this state need?
MR. WESTBROOK: Well, actually, I think you might want to strengthen the number of lawyers coming in.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Now you're going up.
MR. WESTBROOK: Percentage changes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And Nelson Mullins is one of, if not, the premier law firms in the state of South Carolina. But I notice, you know, a lot of the lawyers from the Nelson Mullins Law Firm are on the board.

As a serious note, what -- how many --
MR. WESTBROOK: Well, I don't know anyone else from my firm who would be running. I will tell you that -- and we're starting to know each other. I did not know Mr. Von Lehe very well until recently. He's in the Charleston office. Like William Hubbard, before I joined the board of trustees.

We certainly do not collude, collaborate, or anything like that on issues. We each represent different parts of the state. We have different backgrounds. Certainly. There's no intentional effort.

It just happened to be we're a 500-plus law firm and 500-plus lawyers in a law firm, and we got there from different places, and we came to the university with different backgrounds. We do happen to be in the same law firm.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions or comments?

Staff, do you have a follow-up?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Westbrook, you served on the Lexington Medical Center Board. You went off of that when you went on the USC board. But you're on the foundation board now.
Who appoints the foundation board?
MR. WESTBROOK: The foundation board is a 501(c)(3). The chairman of the hospital board appoints the foundation.

And so the foundation is a 501(c)(3).

And so I did leave the hospital board because it was a health service issue.
MS. CASTO: Like Mr. von Lehe and Mr. Hubbard, he did report all the work that Nelson Mullins is doing for the Legislature.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable and a second.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Thank you so very much.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you members of the Committee.

12th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

C. Edward Floyd
Screened March 12, 2014

(From screening Thursday, February 27, 2014)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Dr. Floyd sent word that he could not do it today, and we'll reschedule him.

Is that okay with you, Senator McGill?
SENATOR McGILL: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

(From screening Wednesday, March 12, 2014)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I call the meeting to order. This is a Joint Legislative Committee to Screen Candidates for College and University Boards of Trustees. We only have one this morning, Dr. Eddie Floyd, Florence, University of South Carolina, 12th Judicial Circuit.

Dr. Floyd, let me swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. FLOYD: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement to the Committee on why you would like to continue to serve on the USC Board of Trustees?
DR. FLOYD: Well, in answer to your questions, the basic one is that I love the University of South Carolina. I think we have made a lot of progress since I have been -- I have been on the board at USC.

I was a former chairman when we started our building program. And at that time -- at that time, we could not fill a freshman class of 2,000. We started -- we started a building program at that time. We would not let the administration build any -- any buildings for administration. We started on student projects, and this year we have a class of 5,000 freshmen. And I feel very strongly that -- that the University of South Carolina is there to educate people of the state of South Carolina.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.
Staff has a few questions for you.
DR. FLOYD: Okay.
(Ms. Casto shaking her head.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. All of his paperwork was in order. He reports everything on his economic interest form, too.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

This is not your first rodeo.
DR. FLOYD: No.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments from members of the Committee?
SENATOR McGILL: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: What I would like to say is that this man is loved by every Senator that is in our region. But I will say this to you, that Dr. Floyd genuinely is a sincere, loving, sensitive person. He could be with the greatest of great and he's always down to earth helping those that need help the most.
And at the appropriate time, I would like to make the motion favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The time is appropriate.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I will second that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A second is heard.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And let me also say --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Floyd and his family, and his grandson is a page here in the State Senate, and he does a great job.

We appreciate your willingness to continue to serve the University of South Carolina.
DR. FLOYD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other comments, questions?

All right. We're ready to take it for a vote.

All in favor of a favorable report, please raise your right hand.
(Committee members raise their hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

It's unanimous.

Thank you, sir.
DR. FLOYD: Thank you very much. Call me if anybody needs anything.

13th Judicial Circuit
Term expires 2018

Mack I. Whittle, Jr.
Screened Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, Mr. Mack I. Whittle.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WHITTLE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. WHITTLE: Oh, I will. I will.

I'm a native of Columbia. I grew up in Shandon. I went to Dreher High School. I went to the university, undergraduate, but have an MBA from the university.

I've worked in the banking industry through college. I went to work for Bankers Trust of South Carolina here in Columbia. We moved to Greenville about 45 years ago with Bankers Trust of South Carolina.

I served as president of the National Alumni Association. I served on the Board of the Alumni Association. I was helpful in advocating the president of the Alumni Association, no longer being an ex officio of the board but being a full voting member of the board, not only through the university, but for all the colleges in the state.

I've been on the board 25 years. I've been vice chairman of the board. I've been chairman of the board. I currently serve as chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, a new committee that we put in place about five years ago, and have been sharing a quasi compensation committee to look at all the compensation and all the comparables of that compensation for Dr. Pastides so we can make sure we're abiding by best practices and/or have fair and comprehensive pay.
Ms. Henderson, David Seaton is chairman of Fluor, and David Seaton is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a native of Greenville, South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: He's beating us up all over the place.
MR. WHITTLE: And to the other question on USC Upstate, under Dr. Stockwell, there was a initiative to try to expand in Greenville, not to move from Greenville -- I mean, from Spartanburg. Doctor Stockwell had done a study with -- and the Greenville Technical College had determined that there were a number of students in Walhalla and Anderson and those counties that were having to drive that distance every day. And if there was a way to facilitate them a little closer, that it might entice a few more students to come.

As Mr. Lister pointed out earlier, we had looked at a facility in downtown that the city was going to hopefully donate the land for. It was going to be a pretty attractive financial deal for the university. But I think the decision was, we would expand the University Center, which is in an old mall in Greenville and at one of the more rural areas.

My background is financial. I was a banker for 40 years, worked as a banker. I started a bank. I ran a bank. At one point had over 3,500 employees.

I understand financial planning. I understand finances. I understand financial best practices. And I think one of the things I bring to the board is the ability to look at those financial best practices as they apply to the university.

I like to think the university should operate as a business. We need to think like a business. We are customers. We have revenue that comes in from various sources, and we need to look and view and honor those as we would if we were running a for-profit business.

In-state/out-of-state, I think you saw in the documents that were submitted earlier. You know, we are educating more South Carolinians today. The ratio is not as good today at 25 percent system-wide and 35 percent out-of-state for the Columbia campus as it was ten years ago.
But we're actually educating probably 50 percent more South Carolinians now than we were at that time. And as one of my predecessors pointed out, it's partly driven because the tuition is -- almost doubles, more than doubles. It's $28,000, and little over 10,000 for in-state. So there were some financial incentives there.

The question was asked earlier today, what is the right size for the university? I think we're there. I think we have infrastructure issues.

We have the same number of dorm rooms for freshmen today that we had ten years ago. We've got three times the freshmen than we had three years ago. We've got to find a way to have those students be able to stay on campus.

Part of the college experience is having a campus life and learning to live with other people, meeting and being able to network with other South Carolinians and non-South Carolinians. So I really feel that we need to stay at the size we're at now and try to build that infrastructure out. As Mr. Westbrook pointed out, we have had issues with lab space.

I will applaud the university and the board for trying to find ways to better utilize that lab space. We have labs now on Saturdays. We have labs on off hours.

We have an initiative where we bring in biology students and other students two weeks early and give them accelerated lab study early on, better utilizing the infrastructure. We think about what we've got with the numbers of classroom space, and we're only using nine months out of the year.

We have expanded the summer program to better leverage the assets that we have within the university.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator McGill.
SENATOR McGILL: I want to say, of course, we've known this gentleman for many years. And I can tell you -- I want to tell you publicly, thank you. I never really got to thank you.

We have an industry that's been closed down in our region, rural South Carolina. It was about 220 jobs, and he stepped in, and he saved that industry.

I'm telling you, the impact in a rural area, if you have 1,000 jobs, as far as Toray with those 500 jobs and all that big capital investment -- and that's a great company. The Chairman and I have been to the Toray office in Tokyo three or four times over the years and met with him up in New York.

But I --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Not this chairman. He's talking about the other chairman.
SENATOR McGILL: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes.
SENATOR MCGILL: We know those people well. But they're expanding, and they're growing too. But I'm telling you.

And, Mack, not just for your service on the university board of trustees, but you've been genuine, and we appreciate it.
MR. WHITTLE: Thank you. I appreciate that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.

Mr. Whittle, the only question I have about the biggest weakness, you were talking about deferred maintenance of all the facilities. It caught my eye. Special attention to the bevy of historic structure.

You're right. You've got a lot of very, very old, very beautiful buildings. I hope that the board will try their best. I know it costs a lot more to renovate, as opposed to probably rebuilding, but you've just got to -- that Horseshoe is just about as pretty a place that you're going to find.
MR. WHITTLE: And we're trying to strategically look at the money we have and renovate them in a systematic way so that we can restore. As y'all are with this facility here, we just have this for -- while we're here, and it really belongs to the people of South Carolina, both now and in the future and in the next 100 years. And it needs to have the same legacy then that it has now.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Way a long time ago I attended summer school down here and had a great time. I didn't do too well. Great classes, but it was fun.

And so I stayed in Honeycomb, so I can tell you, you made a good move getting rid of us.
MR. WHITTLE: Those are what you would call a "cash cow," because they were fully depreciated.

And so we had -- you know, and they were -- we were getting market rate for them on a building that had been built 40 years ago, and they were built as temporary buildings. So we kept them, you know, far beyond their useful life. So when we tore them down and built the honors dorms, obviously, a source of revenue was lost.

So there was a lot of financial engineering and ingenuity that went into that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That just never fit the campus. I don't know who designed them.
MR. WHITTLE: They were supposedly temporary and ended up being 40 years of temporary.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right. Okay.

Well, thank you for your service.
MR. WHITTLE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Briefly, your attendance.
MR. WHITTLE: I'm probably in the 95 percent. I just told somebody, I missed last Thursday's. My grandson had the first Grandpa's Day at his school, and it coincided and I retired, and I took the liberties that you have as a retired person and said --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You were right where you needed to be.
MR. WHITTLE: But that's the first full board meeting I have ever missed. I have never not attended in 25 years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir. Appreciate your service.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All things not overrated is a grandchild.

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Whittle. I know that you've served this board a long time, and as well as the Greenville community for many, many years. It's much, much appreciated.

And I just wanted to ask you about the safety issue. It's something I asked other trustees, as far as how you all are dealing with, obviously, that.
MR. WHITTLE: One of the things that bothers me, other than the historic buildings and infrastructure, is the reputational risk of the university. And when you're entered in an environment, you know, where these types of things are in the paper and are reality, then it tends to affect the reputational image of the university.

And where we had record applicants last year, it could very easily turn that around if we're not careful. So to me, it's one of the critical issues. And there are initiatives on the way. I don't think it would bother it, though, but we've actually added to the police force.

I think they've done additional training with the police force. There's more interaction between the Columbia city police and the university police. I think Mr. Hubbard pointed out, you know, there needs to be a different culture.
And I think the mayor understands it; that there's a task force underway. I like the mayor is comfortable that we've made progress. We've got a long way to go. I mean, there are serious issues here, as they are in other communities.

But it is a real concern. I mean, a reputational risk. And that's one of the things that strategic planning committee looks at and the audit committee looks at, and that is, what are the risks that we have. Other -- I mean, we've got bonded indebtedness. We've got to pay that bonded indebtedness, and some of that is -- that is a function of attendance at football games and the number of students we have in the university.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay. If no one else has questions on that information, I'd like to make a motion at the appropriate time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Just a second.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Second. Now let's follow up with any follow-up.
MS. CASTO: I just have two questions. On your personal data questionnaire, you stated that you had been fined by the Ethics Commission for late filing.
MR. WHITTLE: I was late, yes.
MS. CASTO: Do you know when that was?
MR. WHITTLE: Maybe three years ago.
MS. CASTO: Has it been only one time?
MR. WHITTLE: I think so, yes.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And, also, I think I understood there was --
MR. WHITTLE: I retired --
MS. CASTO: Right.
MR. WHITTLE: And I became my own secretary. I don't know if any of you others have experienced that.
MS. CASTO: That happens.

You were first serving on the board as the president of the alumni representative; is that correct?
MR. WHITTLE: Thirty-five years ago, the alumni association president for all the State colleges and universities served as an ad hoc member of the board, non-voting member. Okay?
MS. CASTO: Right.
MR. WHITTLE: Legislation was passed. It allowed those elected chairmen of the alumni associations to be full voting members.

So that happened while I was chairman, and I never actually got to serve on the board as a full voting member.
MS. CASTO: Okay. So your full time on the board has been elected by the --
MR. WHITTLE: That's correct.
MS. CASTO: That's what we kind of needed to clarify.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion and a second for a favorable report.

All in favor, say aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

I thank you very much.
MR. WHITTLE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That concludes today, and we'll see you in the morning at 10 o'clock.

Winthrop University

2nd Congressional District - Seat 2
Term expires 2020
(2 Candidates)

Donna Tinsley Holley
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Let me swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
MS. HOLLEY: Yes, I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement you would like to make to the committee?
MS. HOLLEY: Well, I would like to say thank you for pardoning my laryngitis. It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Winthrop board. I would love to continue to do so.

I feel like I have a certain element that I have brought and may offer to the university as a person who may not, and I know you've looked over my personal data, may not have a higher education, but have had an incredible career.

And one of the things, I graduated 46 of a class of 500 in 1971 and never knew I had an opportunity to go to college.

I was from a blue-collar family. It was just not in our purview. I don't know the right word.

But with that said, I feel like I can add that first-time students, students who have never had anyone in their homes in college, or that I have a common sense understanding of what it is to have to come up with funds for school.

And if you have anything you want me to add, I'll be glad to add. That's what I think I have to offer. Some people might say, "You don't have a college degree?" I have worked for the State of South Carolina since 1972. Most of my career was at the House of Representatives. And I just have a wealth of knowledge that I can continue.

And, also, I've mention in my personal information is that for all the years that the longest serving president of the state-supported institution when we -- when Dr. DiGiorgio left. And we are transitioning into our tenth president. And I'd like to be able to continue there to be able to -- with the institutional knowledge that I might have and/or could help.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Thank you.

Questions?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

First observation, working for the House of Representatives that many years, that is a college education. I can assure you of that.
MS. HOLLEY: It is. And I am so --
SENATOR PEELER: We might want to call you Dr. Holley.
MS. HOLLEY: I'm very fortunate to have been legislative aid. This is my sixth year, and I do the best job that I've done for all the years I've done it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You've always been a great public servant.

As far as ability of you attending the meetings, attendance at board meetings, has that been an issue for you? Does that work well?
MS. HOLLEY: It has worked well. There have been very few times, death of a family member or something like that, that I am very conscientious about attending.

In fact, next weekend we have a retreat, which will be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and we've had those all along. That's a long time, you know. But it is such an incredible way to just hunker down and just talk through some things.

So attendance has not been a problem, Senator.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. It's good to see you.
MS. HOLLEY: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow up?

I'm sorry, Mr. Whitmire.
MS. HOLLEY: Hello.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It's hard to -- I know it's hard not to call you Donna.
MS. HOLLEY: Well, I was Tinsley for a long, long time before Holley.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's right.

Thank you for your service.
MS. HOLLEY: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You've been one of my favorites for a long time.
MS. HOLLEY: Well, thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: In your answers, number 9, you said, "Winthrop's tuition is higher than other public institutions of South Carolina," and you say, "It's been painful and tedious," and so forth and so forth.

How did they get higher to start with?
MS. HOLLEY: Well, it's really kind of the middle. It's really in the middle. When I look at the list, College of Charleston is higher.

Part of our tuition is that we build into our fees things that a lot of schools charge separately, like laundry and WIFI and some of these things that the university -- some universities charge extra for.

We've also been able to at the request and the vote of the students years back been able to build some of the buildings we've built with relatively little debt. And that's because the students, at that time, of course, you know, it's like a lot of us, we commit for years when we do something. But it has worked well.

I don't know if any of you have been on campus lately, it is very, very nice. We've taken a lot of the things and made them more student friendly by taking out roads where the cars down, things like that. I think it's higher, but when you look at it, we are just above Lander, Francis Marion, and The Citadel.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It seems to me like now this committee is going to know that. But general public is just going to see that, you know, bottom line figure and say, well, Winthrop's higher --
MS. HOLLEY: I agree.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- and not realize. So maybe there's some way you can separate that where they would realize it's a better deal than they think they're getting.
MS. HOLLEY: You know, it's almost like with apples and oranges, too. I mean, there's -- some schools are obviously able to provide a lot more because they just have a larger base, so to speak. I mean, our goal -- we are purposefully increasing our enrollment, and we are also purposely broadening people's experience.

We're really, really, really highly encouraging out-of-country travel. Although a lot of students can't necessarily do that. But that is what we're trying to work hard on, to get them -- you know, you hear this word "global" all the time. We just overuse it sometimes, or it just gets to be mundane. But I really am impressed at how this university is able to serve how it serves with what we have.

And we worked really, really hard whenever the painful cuts came down in '08. But it's a cleansing -- I don't know if that's the correct word. That may not be the proper word. Won't want that in the record. But it's a good way to really double down and look at what is fluff maybe. One person may not -- I don't mean to just go on and on, but to look down at what can be combined, what can be eliminated, what can be just delayed a little while. We've had to do that. And while it was real painful going through it, and it's still difficult, I think it's a very healthy thing to do. And then you really realize what's most important.

And honestly, you may hear a lot of things what's going on at Winthrop. I don't necessarily bring them up here, but some things are going on that we really, really focus on the students and we really want the students to have what we call the Winthrop community. And that's what you can do in a school that have fewer than 6,000. I think our goal might be close to 7,000 undergraduate and graduate. But that's what we want. We want a Winthrop community, which can be attained anywhere, but this is kind of near and dear to my heart.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: We talked earlier. You came in halfway through a term; is that correct?
MS. HOLLEY: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And you informed me that it's not a strict rule, but it's an unwritten rule that you will not serve more than two. And so you will able to get in this time --
MS. HOLLEY: That's correct.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- because it was only a half term.
MS. HOLLEY: That's kind of like our internal rule. Although, I pondered on this a long time, and I thought if nothing else, I can at least help with the transition to the new president. Because this is only the tenth president at Winthrop University. That's pretty awesome. Because Dr. DiGiorgio served so long.

But I just felt like it's important because you just don't want too many changes too quick. Or maybe changes are not -- I mean, could be some good ones. But I would like to be able to do that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You weren't in here, but I'll state this again. My wife and I have the highest admiration for Winthrop University.
MS. HOLLEY: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Your statement about the students and how you care about them. My middle daughter is not a good test taker.
MS. HOLLEY: I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: She's a smart girl, but she freezes up. Winthrop took her. She's now not only got her undergraduate, she's got her master's degree. And we have nothing but the best things to say about Winthrop. So I commend you for the job you have done.
MS. HOLLEY: One of our most recent -- and I will pontificate. But one of our recent student reps on the board, after graduation he went on to -- I believe he's working up in the Maryland area and is getting his master's at Johns Hopkins. And he was in the LEED program, which is one of those programs that you -- you know, you transition in.

And we're so proud of Gambrell. And that did my heart good. I didn't know for a long time. I didn't want to make that judgment or whatever, but, I mean, he is such an impressive young man, I thought this is somebody who may not have made it had it not been for that extra program.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right. Just because you make the highest test score does not always mean you're going to be successful.
MS. HOLLEY: I was 46 out of 600 at Spring Valley High School. But I could not take a test.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I was 46 out of 60, so ...
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I wanted to concur with my colleague my feelings on Winthrop. I have a son graduated from Winthrop 12 years ago, worked a while in Boston, and he's in his last year of law school in Scotland, Edinburgh.
MS. HOLLEY: That's awesome.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Studying international law. But he loved Winthrop. My wife and I loved it, the culture and everything there and just keep doing what you're doing.
MS. HOLLEY: Thank you. Let me know when he's next time in the state, and I'm sure we'd be glad to have him come visit with us and speak to our students. I think that's pretty interesting. And I love Edinburgh.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: And for the record, he has his mother's brains.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow up?
MS. CASTO: Just one.
MS. HOLLEY: Okay.
MS. CASTO: On your economic interest, she reports her legislative aid salary, she works at the State Fair.
MS. HOLLEY: Yes. That's an experience.
MS. CASTO: And you also said that in your printed one that you were a poll watcher in Lexington County, but you didn't have it on the other one. Is that just a one-time thing?
MS. HOLLEY: Well, it was just for that general election. And I'm sure this year they'll call me back. I have a notary and with the new laws, they want to be sure they have a notary.
MS. CASTO: That's true.
MS. HOLLEY: And I thought it was just over --
MS. CASTO: That's okay.
MS. HOLLEY: I had only done it the one time, and I guess it would be almost considered a general election, you know, even year.
MS. CASTO: And then you put -- you disclosed your husband's death benefit retirement. Do you get State retirement, too, or do you just get his?
MS. HOLLEY: Yes, I get both of them.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You probably need to report your --
MS. HOLLEY: I asked them about that, and they said I didn't have to. But I'll be pleased to.
MS. CASTO: Most of the others do.
MS. HOLLEY: No problem. Yeah.
MS. CASTO: That's the only thing.
MS. HOLLEY: In fact, I've got mine on the desk to do now. So I'll be sure that I do that.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Being none, what's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

And seconded?
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.
MS. HOLLEY: Thank you very much.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Brian J. Prahl
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

How are you, sir?
MR. PRAHL: Good. How are you?
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Brian Prahl?
MR. PRAHL: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. PRAHL: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to give the committee a brief statement on why you would like to serve?
MR. PRAHL: Absolutely. I think you have the printout that I wrote up. I have noticed a couple of typos in it, so I apologize for that. But I do have a pretty strong family tie. My wife's mother -- I'm sorry, my wife's grandmother, great grandmother, multiple aunts and cousins all graduated from Winthrop. My aunt is actually the president of the university, as well.

I have also hired and worked with several Winthrop alum and have really strong tie to education, as well. My whole family is involved in education. I know Winthrop started as a teaching college, and I want to serve to be involved in higher education because I see great value in it.
SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Any questions from the members?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon. Would your employment have any issue with you having the ability to attend meetings?
MR. PRAHL: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
MR. PRAHL: I run my own business, and I can travel at my discretion.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What do you see as the role of a board member?
MR. PRAHL: Multiple, actually. We shape policy for the university. We work with the president and other staff members to keep tuition low and institute programs to further the value of the education of Winthrop students and alumni.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And does the board hire and take action regarding the president?
MR. PRAHL: I don't know about hiring. I know we would be responsible for terminating if it came to it, though.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Did you say there's a family connection now?
MR. PRAHL: Yes, sir. My aunt is the president. Jayne Marie Comstock. She's my mother's sister.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Please congratulate her for us. How would you see that working as a member of the board?
MR. PRAHL: You don't know my relationship with my aunt. I have a great respect for her professionally. I love her dearly. If it came to it, my responsibility as a board of trustees person would be -- would trump any personal relationship I have with my aunt. She understands that as well.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Prahl. I had the pleasure of meeting your aunt at the recent graduation in December.

When it comes to compensation, though, for the president, I assume you will recuse yourself from the vote or would you vote on that since it's a family member?
MR. PRAHL: I had not thought about that, honestly. I think she makes enough money. So if it came to a raise, I think she would be all right. But if I needed to recuse myself, I would have no issue with that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If for some reason, I don't anticipate it happening, but if it did and there was a movement afoot to replace the president, do you think the family connection would affect your decision in any way?
MR. PRAHL: I do not.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. That's all I have.
SENATOR PEELER: I ask staff this, is there any legal reason why he couldn't serve? How close is close?
MS. CASTO: We've never had a situation like this before. We've had some people who are professors at the school wanting to serve on the board, and they cannot do that.

We probably would need to ask an attorney general's opinion to be sure, but there is nothing in statute that prohibits it, but ...
SENATOR PEELER: I personally wouldn't see a conflict as long as he recused himself from certain votes. But just out of an abundance of caution, let's check on that.

Like I say, I personally don't see a problem.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

I know -- Senator, did you have that same question?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yeah. But I concur in your response.
SENATOR PEELER: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Can we report him out favorably before this ruling we get, or should we wait until we get a ruling and then report?
SENATOR PEELER: I don't guess it's time sensitive. I guess we could report him out favorably contingent upon research.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If the attorney general came back with a negative ruling, then he would be understanding.
MS. CASTO: We did not know this prior to him saying that or we would have checked on it. I mean, it was not in any of the information in his packet, so ...
MR. PRAHL: I apologize for that. I didn't know how to handle that situation. Should I have disclosed that up front? I figured I wouldn't try to hide it here.
MS. CASTO: Have you sought an opinion on it at all? Do you know?
MR. PRAHL: In the section that I read, it said that I can't have a close family member on the board currently. But that's all I saw, so I assumed it would be okay.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I think I would concur with the approach to take to report out favorably to that point. I think what we're saying is he's qualified to run until such time as we would find otherwise.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I agree.
SENATOR PEELER: Are you all okay with that?

Let's do it that way. Any other questions? Does that suit you all?

All in favor of that say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you.
MR. PRAHL: Thank you very much for your time.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

6th Congressional District - Seat 6
Term expires 2020

Ashlye Wilkerson
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next we have Ashlye Wilkerson.
MS. WILKERSON: Greetings, you all. I have a new addition this year.
SENATOR PEELER: You look familiar. You are about as wide you are tall now.

Let me swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. WILKERSON: I do.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement you would like to make to the committee?
MS. WILKERSON: Well, I just want to thank you all for giving your confidence last year when I went through this process for the first time. And I had the opportunity to serve my alma mater on the board of trustees this past year.

I've attended all of our activities and all of our meetings. I am thoroughly enjoying connecting back with the faculty, the students, and working with our new president alongside my other trustees to achieve new goals in our new direction for the university. It has truly been a pleasure, so thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Good. Any questions?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I have one.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Greetings again.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I love your enthusiasm.
I was looking at question number 2, "What strengths do you bring to the board?"

And you say, "I'm energetic, hard working, passionate."

I can't agree more. I mean, we've had a lot of candidates this screening, but I don't think we've had one that's got more pizzazz than you have.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I think Winthrop needed a younger person on the board, and you're bringing great passion. And I enjoyed meeting you since then.

I really don't have any questions left to ask. I think we asked them last time. I just want to say to you good luck in your future endeavors with Winthrop. And we're glad to have you on the board.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you. Thank you so much.
SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just a quick comment. It's good to see you.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: I think you've done a really good job of getting around to legislators and getting to know them and having them to know you. And we will probably pick you for the Nicky McCarter award of being around.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Continue to work hard.
MS. WILKERSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Don't curse her with that.

Listen, for the record, we think the world of Mr. McCarter or we wouldn't be teasing him.

Any other questions?

Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. I do want to say last year you all gave Ms. Wilkerson a hard time with her speeding tickets. She hasn't gotten a single one.
MS. WILKERSON: Not a single one. I am so excited about that. Even to and from Rock Hill.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman, just an observation that she made such an impression last year of how many tickets she had, I remembered that from last year to this year. So I'm glad to see you've slowed down.
MS. WILKERSON: I have slowed down. Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Only in driving.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And with your new addition, obviously you'll take even more precious time.
MS. WILKERSON: I will. And my husband is here to support me, and he will be sure of that as well. He's driving me these days.
SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have any follow-ups?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. All right. What's the favor?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second is heard.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you.
MS. WILKERSON: Thank you so much, you all. Have a great one.

At- Large - Seat 9
Term expires 2020
(2 Candidates)

Randy Imler
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Imler.
MR. IMLER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. I need to swear you in, so if you would please raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. IMLER: I do, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you have a brief statement for the committee?
MR. IMLER: Well, I appreciate the time that you all are giving to this endeavor. I think it's very important to screen trustees of our public universities in this state. And I'm happy to answer any questions you have. I have great love and relationship long term with Winthrop. I think it's an institution on the rise and would just be a privilege to serve as a trustee.
SENATOR PEELER: Good. Any questions of Mr. Imler.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon, sir.
MR. IMLER: Good afternoon.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: What do you see as a role of the board member?
MR. IMLER: I see a board member as a part of a group of people that guide the institution both tactically and strategically. Tactically from a financial perspective year to year to make sure the finances are in order of the institution to make sure it's accomplishing its mission both academically and within the life of its community. And long term to make sure that South Carolinians are being educated to the best possible extent.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And with your profession, would there be any issue with you having the ability to attend meetings?
MR. IMLER: No, sir. I work in the city of Rock Hill and Winthrop is in Rock Hill.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. IMLER: So travel would not be an issue. And I think that it would be easy for me to even call meetings or, you know, schedule meetings as per the calendar.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: With you there, I would assume that you go to events and been involved on a regular basis?
MR. IMLER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Multiple times per week?
MR. IMLER: Absolutely. I went to a basketball game two weeks ago and was on campus as early as Tuesday of this week.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: I see you're an adjunct professor of music --
MR. IMLER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: -- at the university. It states here that if there was a conflict, you would stop doing that.
MR. IMLER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Would there be a conflict, or do you see it as a possible conflict?
MR. IMLER: I don't believe so. First of all, adjunct professors, the compensation for adjunct professors, that is not my main livelihood that I would earn. And it's a way that I can give back -- my terminal degree is in music and conducting, so that's a way that I can give back and participate in the life of the university. But if the Committee or the Senate or the House believes that that is a conflict of interest to serve in this capacity, I would agree to step down from doing that. I would prefer not to, but ...
SENATOR PEELER: I understand.
Staff, is there any precedent to that, or would we need to check on that?
MS. CASTO: We will check on it to make sure. We have some that are professors at some other institutions that are on boards of some, but as far as being on the board -- and how many classes do you teach? That was one of the questions.
MR. IMLER: I teach two.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Two a semester?
MR. IMLER: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: First of all, just check into it.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: I don't think there will be a problem. You've already stated that if there is a problem, you would stop doing --
MR. IMLER: Absolutely.
SENATOR PEELER: -- being an adjunct professor. I don't think there will be.
MR. IMLER: Okay.
SENATOR PEELER: Out of an abundance of caution, let's do that.

Any other questions?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you. And welcome.
MR. IMLER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Question 3, "In what areas do you think the college or university can improve?"
Your first statement is talking about the new president identified a group of aspirant institutions with which the university may be compared. And you say, "Winthrop currently ranks near the bottom of this peer group."

Who is in that peer group?
MR. IMLER: There are ten aspirant institutions. Two of those are in South Carolina, and those are the Citadel and College of Charleston. The Citadel, due to its mission, is a little bit unique. The other colleges are outside the state of South Carolina. They're all public institutions. Some are in North Carolina, like UNCW; the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. There's Murray State in Kentucky. So they're public institutions about -- they are rated as comprehensive institutions about the same size, about the same type of delivery, of course, and degree programs that Winthrop has.

And that list is what Dr. Comstock has kind of set out for the vision of the university over the long term. So I think the university community can have an idea of the progress or lack thereof of the institution vis-a-vis those aspirant institutions over the long term.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are you saying you would favor raising the standardized test scores?
MR. IMLER: Well, what I was saying is the challenge is Winthrop has capacity to increase enrollment. But within the aspirant institution group, currently the standardized test scores at Winthrop are at the lower end of that aspirant institutional group.

So how do you increase quantity without hurting quality? And so the challenge for the university is to cast the net more widely to attract a top-tier academic student and increase the university's enrollment at the same time. And those are difficult to do, but I think that's a challenge that lies ahead.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You're saying that Winthrop's stated goal is to increase undergrad enrollment by a thousand students. Is there a time frame for that?
MR. IMLER: Dr. Comstock laid that vision out in her inaugural address to the faculty. I believe it's not to increase enrollment by a thousand in one year, I believe it's three to five years.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And that obviously is going to need more dorm space.
MR. IMLER: Right now they're not at capacity, as far as I understand as far as dorm space.

Winthrop requires that students within a 50-mile radius of the institution live on campus. It's either their freshman and sophomore -- at least their freshman year. After that they're able to find off-campus housing.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you have any idea how much space is available now not being used?
MR. IMLER: No, sir, I don't. Excuse me. What I do know is the new student center and student athletic centers that are there do have additional capacity to serve the larger student population. Those are relatively recent buildings that were built on campus. They're beautiful, and they're attractive to perspective students, as well.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: This was disturbing to me. Winthrop's four-year degree completion rate at 33 percent.
MR. IMLER: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's not very good.
MR. IMLER: And the statistics that I was able to gather were from the National Center for Education statistics. That is a federal database that gathers statistics on all four-year institutions across the nation.

The thing that I think Winthrop has an opportunity -- I look at it as a concern, but I look at it also as an opportunity, is when you compare two aspirant institutions, again, the four-year completion rate is higher for those institutions.

So, again, it's a attracting that really good academic student that has the ability to make it through the four years and increase graduation rates for the institution to make it more statewide competitive and regionally competitive across the Southeast.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's all I've got right now.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

Staff, do you have any follow up?
MS. CASTO: No, sir.

On his Economic Interest Statement, he does report that he is the executive director of the Catawba Council of Government. Reports that salary as well as his adjunct professor salary. So he's in order. All of his paperwork is in order.
SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Hearing none, what's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR MCGILL: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Favorable. Second?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.
MR. IMLER: Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ouida K. Page
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: All right.
MS. CASTO: Ms. Page from Winthrop, she is here if you would like to proceed to screen her.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MS. CASTO: Ouida Page.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you want to go out of order?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I think so.
SENATOR PEELER: Then we'll go back when Mr. Rearden gets here.

All right. Winthrop University.
MS. CASTO: Her information is behind tab Q in your notebooks.
SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Page.

Do you swear to tell truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
MS. PAGE: Yes.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you have a brief statement?
MS. PAGE: I do.

My name is Ouida. It's spelled kind of funny, so I like to say it. Ouida Page.

Thank you for allowing me to be here today. I'm excited about being screened to run for Winthrop University Board of Trustees At Large Seat Number 9.

Winthrop's motto is "Live, Learn and Lead." And I have adhered to these principles in my life. I'm an excellent candidate because of any diverse background and knowledge base.

I'm currently in a doctoral program at USC, and I have degrees from three different universities including Winthrop, which I feel gives me a broad range of educational and professional experience.

I taught at FMU for two years, and I'm very interested and enthusiastic about education.

I've been owner and president of my own private practice family counseling business for 17-plus years. I'm active in community service with various boards and groups such as DAR and YMCA.

Giving back to the community has always been a family priority, and so we created an endowed scholarship at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

I have excellent leadership skills and communicate and interact well with others.

I've been a contributing writer for She Mag, a women's magazine of the Pee Dee, for seven years.

I have good ideas for helping Winthrop move forward and continue to grow and prosper. When I'm elected to this board, I believe I can make a difference. Whatever I put my mind to accomplishing, I excel at. I believe I will be an asset.

Now I would like to answer any questions that you may have.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, ma'am.

Any questions from members of the committee?

Mr. Mack? No?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Ms. Page, for offering.   I have to make a statement first.
MS. PAGE: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: My mother is a Winthrop graduate. My daughter is a Winthrop graduate. I had two aunts that graduated. My wife now is an elementary principal in Oconee County. When she interviews candidates, I mean perspective teachers, if they've got Winthrop listed, she automatically puts them at the top because of such an outstanding educational experience they have. So it's an outstanding school.

You've got a very impressive resume. What would you -- if you had a magic wand, what would you do to improve Winthrop, if at all?
MS. PAGE: If I had a major what?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Magic wand.
MS. PAGE: Oh. Well, they've got a lot of things to already improve. I think what I would like to see happen is some doctoral programs, maybe some courses online that are doctoral degree. That would put them in line with USC and some of the other schools that are doing that kind of thing.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do they have any at all now?
MS. PAGE: No.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I did not know that.
MS. PAGE: No.

Master's. They have four or five, at least, master's programs. And they are online. They have, let's see here, just a second. They have double majors, honors programs, independent study, and distance learning.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay.
MS. PAGE: Which is pretty good.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I really don't have anything else.   Good luck.
MS. PAGE: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

With your work, what -- would you have the ability to attend meetings on a regular basis? Does your employment have any impact on your ability to serve on the board?
MS. PAGE: I make my own schedule out, so when I know there's a board meeting, I will just not work that day in my office.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. What do you see as the role -- if you're elected to serve on the board, what do you see as the role of a board member?
MS. PAGE: I think a board member should help establish the vision for the university and be in charge of the focus, new ideas, like having doctoral programs or adding things.

I believe the board, you know, they relate to the president and communicate with the president and advise him.

Is that what you're asking?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, ma'am.
MS. PAGE: Okay.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: No questions?

Staff, do you have any follow ups?
MS. CASTO: Ms. Page, you had put in your personal data questionnaire that your husband is employed by the Santee-Wateree Mental Health Commission.
MS. PAGE: He is.
MS. CASTO: If elected, on the Statement of Economic Interest you will have to fill out each year, you will need to disclose his salary because it asks what source of income from a governmental institute.
MS. PAGE: All right. Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Page, how about your health, would your health be a deterrent of you serving on the board?
MS. PAGE: No, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: I just had a note here you had low blood sugar.
MS. PAGE: I've had that my whole life. I started having that in nursing school.
SENATOR PEELER: But that doesn't affect --
MS. PAGE: I'm here today, and I have a -- if I don't get to eat as much as I want to, I just have a glucose tablet. No big deal.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. I know you were concerned about timing of the meeting today --
MS. PAGE: Right.
SENATOR PEELER: -- because of that.
MS. PAGE: I have a lot of energy, so ...
SENATOR PEELER: I see that.
SENATOR MCGILL: Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR PEELER: Senator McGill.
SENATOR MCGILL: Thank you.

Thing about it, she's got to be a good candidate because my wife graduated in 1974 from Winthrop, too.
SENATOR PEELER: Okay. That's good.

Any other questions? What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Favorable report.
SENATOR MCGILL: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: All in favor say "aye." .
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you, ma'am.
MS. PAGE: Thank you.

Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School
Two (2) At-Large seats
Term expires 2018
(3 Candidates)

Robert N. Collar
Screened Friday, February 21, 2014

SENATOR PEELER: We'll go to Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School.   Mr. Robert N. Collar.

Mr. Collar, if you would, raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. COLLAR: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: Do you have a brief statement for the committee on why you would like to serve?
MR. COLLAR: First of all, thank you for taking the time out on Friday to allow me the come in. A brief statement on why I would like to serve.
The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School is a unique educational opportunity for youth among the state of South Carolina. I had the privilege to work with Mr. Pat Smith, the director, at Wil Lou Gray as my first career stop in my educational field. So I support that school, what they do wholeheartedly, and would like to see them grow as on organization. And by any means necessary would love the opportunity to help them.
SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Questions from members of the committee? Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good afternoon.
MR. COLLAR: Good afternoon, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We appreciate you being here.

Would there be any issue or problem with your work environment or ability to attend meetings? Do you know how often they have meetings there?
MR. COLLAR: They, from my understanding, still meet quarterly. And, no, it would not be. I still own a home here. I still have mutual friends here. It would not be a work exclusion. I would travel, obviously, but I would be here every time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And what do you see the role of -- what's the responsibility and role of someone that would serve on the Wil Lou Gray board?
MR. COLLAR: Starting my career there and then moving into the public education sector in public high schools, I believe that I could help the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School as a member of their board to help them more or less with their marketing strategy of how to reach out to other high schools and possibly some feeder programs from middle schools, identifying individuals that would be good to go to Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School. I would probably see that being one of the functions as a board member at Wil Lou Gray.

Other than that, I would also say helping develop new, innovative programs to help them stay in the times of education, such as virtual charter schools and virtual programs that could possibly help them.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Are you aware of what their enrollment is now compared to what the ability of the school is?
MR. COLLAR: Even when I was there, I would say roughly six to seven years ago, their enrollment usually starts off as they have, quote/unquote, cycles of students. So they're on three months recruiting, a month off -- or on another three months and then -- so it's a three month on, one month off, three month on, one month off. The cycle of children -- and they've actually went to two cycles of male specific, the other cycle is female specific. We used to have issues concerning the male and the female populations mingling. So they went to a single-gender cycle structure.

Currently, I believe they hover around 122 to 140 -- 120, 140 kids a cycle. Now they do have a building on their property that is not being used that would house another 55 students. So that would also be something that I would also look to try to recruit more students, publicize the school a little bit more all across the state and try to open up that other building. But there's obviously funding issues concerned with that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions?

I noticed you're a member of the Beaufort County DDSN board?
MR. COLLAR: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: I think if you are successful here, that would probably be dual office holding. Would you be willing to resign from that board?
MR. COLLAR: I could. I don't see a -- we only meet once -- it's the third Tuesday of every month and it's only for an hour. So it's really not a huge commitment.
MS. CASTO: You're appointed by the Beaufort County Legislative Delegation?
MR. COLLAR: The County Council, yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: County Council. So it would be considered dual office holding, yes.
MR. COLLAR: I would resign that position if I would get this position. Yes, ma'am.
SENATOR PEELER: If need be.
MR. COLLAR: Yes, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: I was curious, do you not have State health insurance? Teacher Group Medical Insurance, what is that?
MR. COLLAR: I didn't know what to put in that regard, so if it was something -- I am a public school teacher. I'm an administrator at Bluffton High School, so I didn't know where -- I wanted to disclose everything instead of not disclosing everything. So I do receive benefits from the State of South Carolina group under my insurance plan. My retirement is separate. It's not the State retirement, so I don't receive those. It's through a 401(k). But I just want to make sure that I didn't not disclose something that would have impeded this process.
SENATOR PEELER: That's the answer? Okay.

Any other questions?

Hearing none.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move for favorable.
SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Is there a second?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
SENATOR PEELER: Second is heard.

All in favor say "aye."
(Members respond.)
SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

And the ayes have it.

Thank you very much.
MR. COLLAR: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR PEELER: That concludes our agenda, so we'll adjourn for the day. And I'll see you 10:15 Monday morning.

Marilyn Edwards-Taylor
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no; and the ayes have it.

Mr. Moore was up next, but he called in. And he has the flu today, and I recommended him to stay home. So we'll reschedule him.

Next, we'll have Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, Marilyn Edwards-Taylor.

Hello. How are you?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Good. How are you?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Raise your right hand.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Yes, I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to share with the Committee why you want to serve on it for Wil Lou Gray?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, I have -- I'm currently serving on Wil Lou Gray, and I would like to continue in that stewardship. And I say "stewardship" because it is a great way of serving the community.

And, you know, I'm not going to tell my age. You probably already know. But when I was in high school years ago, when kids would drop out of school or get expelled, they would always be directed to an alternative school.

And I'll tell you, more often than not, most of those kids lost their way. It was just very hard for them to get it together. And, as adults, you still see some of those same adults having a hard time getting it together. And that's why it's so important to me to be a part of this program, because it really does allow kids to have a second chance.

And that is what Wil Lou Gray represents, and that's really why I would like to continue to be a part of it. And I've always had an affinity towards being a part of groups and organizations that help those who are at risk, as well as those that are less fortunate.

So that is my main reason and goal.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: One question, Chairman.

You may have listed it here somewhere, and I don't see it.

How many students do you have on the campus now?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Typically, it's approximately 120 per semester that's enrolled.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: How long do they stay there for -- general?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Usually about six to nine weeks.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I have to tell you, Ms. Edwards, Wil Lou Gray sponsored lunch for -- was it yesterday?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Yes. Yesterday.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That was an impressive group of young people. So you're obviously doing something right there, because they were very mannerly and polite. So keep up the good work.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, in fact, that's funny that you say that. Several parents came up to me and was just really excited about the Wil Lou Gray program. And one parent, in particular, had two kids, two of his children graduate, and they're doing exceptionally well. And that's truly a testament to what Wil Lou Gray represents.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, a lot of young discipline in their lives.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely. Absolutely.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thanks for your service. I'm really just asking this, more so I get a better understanding.

Where do most of your students come from? Are they referred from public school throughout the state or --
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: A combination.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: All throughout the state, absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So they come and they live there at the school?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I'm sorry. I'm still learning a few things, and I didn't really know a whole lot about it.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire, will you take over?   And I'll leave you my proxy.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay.
(Chairman Senator Peeler exits the meeting.)
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Anybody else have any --

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A couple. You know, there was something earlier about the colleges doing advertising.

And I was thinking, is that because of enrollment? Which I commend you for doing that, because probably a lot of folks don't know about the school, and what a great thing it is that you're doing. It really is a great job.

But are you concerned about your enrollment, or is that a necessity of the advertising at this point?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, I mean, there always is a need to get the word out. And you will find that a lot of kids who actually come to the school, you know, a lot of them are not able to maintain that discipline early on. And even though you aspire to have a certain rate enroll each year, you know, oftentimes that enrollment drops just because -- you know, various circumstances.

So there is a need to always recruit kids on a regular basis and just get the word out.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And another observation. I think that y'all have got an outstanding director.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Uh-huh, absolutely. Absolutely.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: He just does a fantastic job.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Yes, yes. An amazing job.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: You're welcome.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Representative Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I just wanted to commend you for your mission. It's a very unique school. And since being in the General Assembly, I've had the chance to watch you year after year. And I just want to commend you for what you do.

Any general thoughts on what can make the mission better? Because you do have a unique mission.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, you know, I think about that constantly. My background -- of course, currently, I'm in sales, but I have got a strong background in training and development, and I have done that for years in the beverage industry, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. And I think that there is definitely a need. Well, let me back-step.

Being that I have been in training and development, even those of us who have been in the workforce for a number of years, there is a strong need for continuous training. And that is something that I think is going to be an asset for Wil Lou Gray -- to continue that training for these kids, because what happens -- what's going to happen once they leave? You know, how can we continue that success? Because they are very motivated while they're there, but once they leave, what happens? How can we continue that?

And I think just being able to have some continuous training and development for some of those students so they can go even further is definitely a need.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other questions from the Committee?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Just a couple of questions here.

How often does the board meet?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Once a quarter.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Once a quarter?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Uh-huh.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And in response to your questions, I think you said that you were there -- you were good.

What's your attendance? You make what kind of percentage of attendance of those quarterly meetings?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: I usually make the majority of them. I have missed a couple of them, just because of my job responsibilities. I used to be a training manager for Coca-Cola, and I handled five states.   So I was gone a lot.

So last year I think I missed about two of those sessions, but usually I'm able to attend all.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: On a regular basis, you're there most of the time?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Most of the time, yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other questions from the Committee members?

Anything?
MS. CASTO: Okay. Ms. Edwards-Duncan, how long have you been on the board?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Taylor.
MS. CASTO: Ten?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Edwards-Taylor.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Taylor.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Edwards-Taylor, I'm sorry.
MS. CASTO: How long have you been on there?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Approximately. Approximately. Yes, ten.
MS. CASTO: Ten. Okay. You failed to put your voter registration and your congressional district on your personal data questionnaire. If you will get them to us, that would be good.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MS. CASTO: In your personal data questionnaire, question number 21, you said you were paying back taxes because of a failed business.
Can you explain that a little more for the Committee?
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely. Absolutely.
I owned a small boutique for about six years, and we hired someone to handle our financial statements, and, unfortunately, some things fell through the cracks, and we have to repay some of those. They have since been corrected, and we are trying to renew.
MS. CASTO: On your economic interest statement -- in your PDQ, you said that your husband contracts with Richland County, but it's not disclosed on your economic interest statement.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, I actually -- he does pretty much work with the City. I think that's -- I actually put that incorrectly. It's for the City.
MS. CASTO: Okay. All right. Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Anything else from the Committee? Do I have a motion?
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: There's a motion for a favorable report, and I have a second, of Ms. Edwards-Taylor of Wil Lou Gray.

And everybody in favor, reply by saying aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: The ayes are unanimous.

Thank you.
MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Thank you.

Thomas Hamilton
Screened Thursday, February 20, 2014

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: We'll now hear from Mr. Thomas Hamilton, who is running for one of the two at-large seats for Wil Lou Gray.

Welcome, sir.

Will you raise your right hand?
MR. HAMILTON: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. HAMILTON: I do.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, sir.
MR. HAMILTON: My name is Tom Hamilton. I'm from Chester, South Carolina. I'm an at-large candidate for reelection to Wil Lou Gray, and I truly enjoy this experience that I did not think that I knew what I was getting into.

Carlisle Roddey, who was on the board prior to me, said, Hambone -- that's my nickname. He said to me, I want you to get on the board of Wil Lou Gray.

The reason being, Carlisle is our supervisor in Chester, and we've worked together over the years. I've been with city council and county council, and I've brought a lot of -- he said, You've got the vision, you've got the envision, you've got the persistence to make things happen. And I do.

So with that said, I ran in 2010, and thank goodness, I was elected. And since then, it's just been a rewarding experience, obviously, being with Marilyn and Pat, our director.

But the kids -- you guys mentioned you came to the luncheon, and those kids that you saw yesterday are wonderful. You saw some things that, in my opinion, the kids that have come out of, maybe, broken homes, other areas of need, and just maybe self-worth, but -- maybe running with the wrong crowd, and they've come down there, and what you saw yesterday, there are some pretty rising stars that are going to be successes in life.

One guy -- I love to talk -- this is two years ago. There was a young man from Blythewood, and he was down there. Gosh, he was built like a -- and, anyway, he was just a really, really nice young man. They were having a football game at Blythewood.

You probably read about this in the paper. His family was killed by a railroad. A train hit them with the car. He blamed himself for this and became academically -- just waivered. He came to Wil Lou Gray and graduated, but, also, we had staff on site to help give him the mental guidance that this kid needed. And I'll tell you one thing, he's an impressive young man.

And so we were proud. I guess that was the most motivational factor I had with this. And sitting in Chester, you say, What can I do in Chester to be a part and help Wil Lou Gray? There aren't a lot of things in Chester.

And, anyway, it occurred to me, two things. I've gone back to -- I've learned a lot of things about sustainability, and I'm not a tree hugger, but there's a lot of good revenue-generating opportunities that the state can take advantage of.

And I'll tell you, I know you have brokers in place that are doing that, collecting this data, to weigh it, and see what you can do. But we're taking steps at Wil Lou Gray now that we weren't four years ago. Energy efficient windows. We're looking at roofing. We're looking at solar now.

Why pay somebody to take your waste away, and when you can go generate it, and you keep that money? So, yeah, I mean, we're putting all these steps in place.

Our director is just -- as you mentioned, Senator, he's second to none. He really is. He's an asset to anybody.

And so -- and then, the other thing too. I said, What else, Tom?   What are you going to do? I came up, and I talked to Pat.

And I said, You know, I've got an idea. I want to try this.

What?

I said, But we've got a sheriff in Chester. He's got a STORM program.

It's called STORM, S-T-O-R-M -- that's the acronym for it -- where it brings in kids. And what they do is spend the night in jail; Picks them up at 6, lets them out at 6. It's kind of mild -- I guess, in the population of being exposed to not where they want to be. Okay.

I told Pat about this, and he brought it up.

And said, Well, let's take a step forward.

So I called the sheriff, Sheriff Underwood, and I said, Sheriff, we want to really see about this.

So Pat drove to Chester. We rode up there and met with the sheriff and his team, and he's got a whole team down there doing this. And I recommend -- look, you've got districts there, and we're the first to do this, and we're going to take the credit for it. Okay?

But, now, here's the deal. What I would suggest and what we did, we went and we were going to put together a program in place and coordinate it with the schools, with the County, because a lot of the kids, they say, Hey, we can't come because we don't have the transportation to get there. Then we've got, what they call, a Chester Connector.

And so we were removing these obstacles, as we've identified. Okay?

So we further enhanced that thinking, and what we wanted to do was -- with that, is, Hey, we've all heard of Scared Straight, right? That's where you bring in kind of a hardened guy that can really explain it to someone that it's not getting through to and have him spend the night in jail with the STORM program to make sure we're reaching that student.

So what we want to do -- we've got STORM. We've got students. And these are targeted. This will be individuals that we feel, how the sheriff department feels, resource officers -- about these kids going out to the churches and the whole bit. The kid's got good potential, but he needs a little direction. So we can do that avenue or get another avenue together at Wil Lou Gray.

Well, with that in mind, then we get these kids here, and they're doing the STORM, Scared Straight. They'd come down there, and the mama said, Well, we haven't got the money. We can't get them down there.

Yeah, you can. We've got the Chester Connector and all that. So...

What we'll be doing -- and, again, we'll get those kids down there. Wil Lou Gray will. We'll be certain to give them that opportunity to straighten their lives out and get away from what their environment is. They haven't had this opportunity before.

You know -- and, as a matter of fact -- well, no, listen. This is really good.

Yesterday, we talked to a young lady and a student at the school, and I did not know this. Homeschool -- they'd been homeschooled all this time.

Well, I said, Well, sounds good to me. Went to high school. I don't know. The thing I want to -- okay. Sorry to get wound up, but this is good stuff, guys.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I appreciate your passion. Mr. Hamilton, in your prior life, were you a senator, because you can really talk?
MR. HAMILTON: No, but I've been a city council chairman.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: All right. Who has some questions? Anyone?

Representative Mack.
REPRESENTATIVE MACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a quick comment.

I just appreciate your passion, along with Ms. Edwards-Taylor. And this is, again, a special school, a special mission. You know, you're not there for football games and all the pageantry. You really serve to make a difference. So I just want to commend you.
MR. HAMILTON: Well, thank you very -- and, you know, the good thing about it is, you've heard what I've had to say and what Marilyn has had to say. We're both passionate about what we do. And, you know, as you spread this out to your other Committee members and other people in the Senate, gosh, the more money you can put at Wil Lou Gray and bring this asset, the better we can grow.

If you haven't been to the campus, please come out and look at that campus. It is immaculate. Charlie Abbott does a wonderful job on coordinating all these things. As a matter of fact, he and I attended a solo, one on one, out at Shealy Manufacturing -- Electric about a month ago.

There's just so much potential here with these -- even with this sustainability thing. I urge you to, not only to look at Wil Lou Gray and support us, but look at these other things. This is in your districts too.
SENATOR MCGILL: Chairman.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR MCGILL: Very astute-minded individual. We've all known this man for years, and we are not surprised he does a great job.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just want to make another observation. I commend your program of -- the jail program. Well, I've always believed every high school -- I mean, middle school, they need to go and at least visit the jail and have that door closed behind them. And y'all have taken it a step further for our state, and I commend you for what we're doing.
MR. HAMILTON: Thank you. We want to be proactive in this and getting a kid before he gets into an issue. Let's take care of it prior to.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
MR. HAMILTON: Hey, look, take this idea, and put it in your districts. I mean, there are other people that will use this information.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And move for a favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: There's others.
MS. CASTO: There's one thing. On your personal data questionnaire, number 11, it asks what congressional district you live in. You put --
MR. HAMILTON: At large.
MS. CASTO: Yes, but you really -- and you scratched through that, and you put at large.
MR. HAMILTON: Yeah.
MS. CASTO: You live in the 5th Congressional District.
MR. HAMILTON: Oh, I know that, but I'm running at large, not out of the district.
MS. CASTO: Right; but this was to ask what congressional district.
MR. HAMILTON: Oh, okay. Well, I'll just correct it.
MS. CASTO: And, also, on his economic interest statement, he reported a $20 t-shirt. That really doesn't --
MR. HAMILTON: Uh-oh, you just get one.
MS. CASTO: So...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I don't think we saw those.
MR. HAMILTON: Y'all didn't get one?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: No. That's why you're in trouble. We didn't get them.

All right. Move for favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: A motion, then a second for favorable of Mr. Hamilton for running for an at-large seat for Wil Lou Gray.

All of those in favor, please reply by saying aye.
ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: As he leaves, though, we didn't get the t-shirts, but we did have some of those delicious cookies.
MS. CASTO: Wil Lou Gray has -- there are two at-large seats. There are three people running, two incumbents. The other man, he will be screened tomorrow. He could not be seen today.

***

Motion Adopted

Senator COURSON moved that the Senate stand adjourned.

MOTION ADOPTED

On motion of Senator FAIR, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Mrs. Judith W. Cooter of Greenville, S.C. Judy spent her life serving others and was an active part of her church and community. She was a mentor to many people during her life. Judy was a member of the Greenville County Republican Women's Club, the Hessie Morrah Garden Club, the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Judy was a loving wife, devoted mother and doting grandmother who will be dearly missed.

ADJOURNMENT

At 2:18 P.M., on motion of Senator COURSON, the Senate adjourned to meet tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. under the provisions of Rule 1 for the purpose of taking up local matters and uncontested matters which have previously received unanimous consent to be taken up.

Recorded Vote

Senators BRIGHT, SHANE MARTIN and BRYANT desired to be recorded as voting against the motion to adjourn.

***

This web page was last updated on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 4:09 P.M.