South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018
Journal of the House of Representatives

NO. 37

  JOURNAL

  of the

  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  of the

  STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

REGULAR SESSION BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017

________

  WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2018

(STATEWIDE SESSION)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The House assembled at 12:01 a.m.

Deliberations were opened with prayer by the SPEAKER, as follows:

Our thought for today is from Genesis 5:1: "In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God."

Let us pray. Almighty God, You have made us in Your own image. Enable us to remember whose we are and who You are. Keep these Representatives and staff steadfast and faithful to You, that they may be able to do the good work of the people of South Carolina. Bless those who lead us in our Nation and State: our President, Governor, Speaker, staff, and those who advise them. Protect our first responders and those who defend us at home and abroad. Heal the wounds, those seen and those hidden, of our men and women who suffer and sacrifice for our freedom. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen.

Pursuant to Rule 6.3, the House of Representatives was led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America by the SPEAKER.

After corrections to the Journal of the proceedings of yesterday, the SPEAKER ordered it confirmed.

MOTION ADOPTED

Rep. MURPHY moved that when the House adjourns, it adjourn in memory of Petty Officer Tyler Barkley, which was agreed to.

SILENT PRAYER

The House stood in silent prayer for the family of Dr. Walter D. "Doug" Smith, founding President of Francis Marion University.

HOUSE RESOLUTION

The following was introduced:

H. 5111 (Word version) -- Reps. Govan, King, Mack, Clyburn, Hosey and Pendarvis: A HOUSE RESOLUTION TO HONOR THE RICH TRADITION OF OMEGA PSI PHI FRATERNITY, INCORPORATED, AND TO WELCOME ITS MEMBERS TO ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR THE 3RD DISTRICT COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD MARCH 16 THROUGH 18, 2018.

The Resolution was adopted.

HOUSE RESOLUTION

The following was introduced:

H. 5112 (Word version) -- Rep. Sandifer: A HOUSE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES UPON THE PASSING OF THOMAS RHETT EVATT OF SENECA AND TO EXTEND THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.

The Resolution was adopted.

HOUSE RESOLUTION

The following was introduced:

H. 5113 (Word version) -- Rep. King: A HOUSE RESOLUTION TO HONOR AND CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF MARY CASSANDRA WILSON ON THE OCCASION OF HER SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY AND TO WISH HER MANY YEARS OF CONTINUED HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.

The Resolution was adopted.

ROLL CALL

The roll call of the House of Representatives was taken resulting as follows:

Alexander              Allison                Anderson
Anthony                Arrington              Atkinson
Bales                  Ballentine             Bannister
Bennett                Bernstein              Blackwell
Bowers                 Bradley                Brawley
Brown                  Bryant                 Burns
Caskey                 Chumley                Clary
Clemmons               Clyburn                Cobb-Hunter
Cogswell               Cole                   Collins
Crawford               Crosby                 Daning
Davis                  Delleney               Dillard
Douglas                Duckworth              Elliott
Erickson               Felder                 Finlay
Forrest                Forrester              Fry
Funderburk             Gagnon                 Gilliard
Govan                  Hamilton               Hardee
Hayes                  Henderson              Henderson-Myers
Henegan                Herbkersman            Hewitt
Hill                   Hiott                  Hixon
Hosey                  Howard                 Huggins
Jefferson              Johnson                Jordan
King                   Kirby                  Knight
Loftis                 Long                   Lowe
Lucas                  Mace                   Mack
Magnuson               Martin                 McCoy
McCravy                McEachern              McGinnis
McKnight               D. C. Moss             V. S. Moss
Murphy                 B. Newton              W. Newton
Norrell                Ott                    Parks
Pendarvis              Pitts                  Pope
Putnam                 Ridgeway               M. Rivers
S. Rivers              Robinson-Simpson       Rutherford
Sandifer               Simrill                G. M. Smith
G. R. Smith            J. E. Smith            Sottile
Spires                 Stavrinakis            Tallon
Taylor                 Thayer                 Thigpen
Toole                  Trantham               Weeks
West                   Wheeler                White
Whitmire               Williams               Willis
Young                  Yow

Total Present--119

H. 4950--SENT TO THE SENATE

The following Bill was taken up:

H. (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A BILL TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS AND TO PROVIDE REVENUES TO MEET THE ORDINARY EXPENSES OF STATE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2018, TO REGULATE THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS, AND TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE OPERATION OF STATE GOVERNMENT DURING THIS FISCAL YEAR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

The yeas and nays were taken resulting as follows:

Yeas 117; Nays 2

Those who voted in the affirmative are:

Alexander              Allison                Anderson
Anthony                Arrington              Atkinson
Bales                  Ballentine             Bannister
Bennett                Bernstein              Blackwell
Bowers                 Bradley                Brawley
Brown                  Bryant                 Burns
Caskey                 Chumley                Clary
Clemmons               Clyburn                Cobb-Hunter
Cogswell               Cole                   Collins
Crawford               Crosby                 Daning
Davis                  Delleney               Dillard
Douglas                Duckworth              Elliott
Erickson               Felder                 Finlay
Forrest                Forrester              Fry
Funderburk             Gagnon                 Gilliard
Govan                  Hamilton               Hardee
Hayes                  Henderson              Henderson-Myers
Henegan                Herbkersman            Hewitt
Hiott                  Hixon                  Hosey
Howard                 Huggins                Jefferson
Johnson                Jordan                 King
Kirby                  Knight                 Loftis
Long                   Lowe                   Lucas
Mace                   Mack                   Martin
McCoy                  McCravy                McEachern
McGinnis               McKnight               D. C. Moss
V. S. Moss             Murphy                 B. Newton
W. Newton              Norrell                Ott
Parks                  Pendarvis              Pitts
Pope                   Putnam                 Ridgeway
M. Rivers              S. Rivers              Robinson-Simpson
Rutherford             Sandifer               Simrill
G. M. Smith            G. R. Smith            J. E. Smith
Sottile                Spires                 Stavrinakis
Tallon                 Taylor                 Thayer
Thigpen                Toole                  Trantham
Weeks                  West                   Wheeler
White                  Whitmire               Williams
Willis                 Young                  Yow

Total--117

Those who voted in the negative are:

Hill                   Magnuson

Total--2

The Bill was read the third time and ordered sent to the Senate.

H. 4951--SENT TO THE SENATE

The following Joint Resolution was taken up:

H. 4951 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017-2018, AND TO ALLOW UNEXPENDED FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO BE CARRIED FORWARD TO SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEARS AND EXPENDED FOR THE SAME PURPOSES.

The yeas and nays were taken resulting as follows:

Yeas 112; Nays 1

Those who voted in the affirmative are:

Alexander              Allison                Anderson
Anthony                Arrington              Atkinson
Bales                  Ballentine             Bannister
Bennett                Bernstein              Blackwell
Bowers                 Bradley                Brawley
Brown                  Bryant                 Burns
Caskey                 Chumley                Clemmons
Clyburn                Cobb-Hunter            Cogswell
Cole                   Collins                Crawford
Crosby                 Daning                 Davis
Delleney               Dillard                Douglas
Duckworth              Elliott                Erickson
Felder                 Finlay                 Forrest
Forrester              Fry                    Funderburk
Gagnon                 Gilliard               Govan
Hamilton               Hardee                 Hayes
Henderson              Henderson-Myers        Henegan
Herbkersman            Hewitt                 Hiott
Hixon                  Hosey                  Howard
Huggins                Jefferson              Johnson
Jordan                 King                   Kirby
Knight                 Loftis                 Long
Lowe                   Lucas                  Mace
Mack                   Magnuson               Martin
McEachern              McGinnis               McKnight
D. C. Moss             V. S. Moss             W. Newton
Norrell                Ott                    Parks
Pendarvis              Pitts                  Pope
Putnam                 Ridgeway               M. Rivers
S. Rivers              Robinson-Simpson       Rutherford
Sandifer               Simrill                G. R. Smith
J. E. Smith            Sottile                Spires
Stavrinakis            Tallon                 Taylor
Thayer                 Thigpen                Toole
Trantham               Weeks                  West
Wheeler                White                  Whitmire
Williams               Willis                 Young
Yow

Total--112

Those who voted in the negative are:

Hill

Total--1

The Joint Resolution was read the third time and ordered sent to the Senate.

MOTION ADOPTED

Rep. WHITE moved that when the House adjourns today, it stand adjourned to next meet in Statewide Session on Tuesday, March 20, at 12:00 noon, which was agreed to.

Rep. WHITE moved that the House do now adjourn, which was agreed to.

REPORT RECEIVED

The following was received:

REPORT OF THE COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
TRUSTEE SCREENING COMMISSION
March 15, 2018

The College and University Trustee Screening Commission found the following individuals qualified for the Trustee seats to which they applied:

Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School
One (1) at-large seat               -   Michael Moss, Duncan
(term expires June 30, 2021)

Two (2) at-large seats               -   Thomas B. Hamilton, Chester
(term expires June 30, 2022)         -   Marilyn E. Taylor, Columbia

Winthrop University
1st Congressional District - seat 1     -   Timothy B. Sease, Mt. Pleasant
(term expires June 30, 2024)

5th Congressional District - seat 5     -   Kathy H. Bigham, Rock Hill
(term expires June 30, 2024)

7th Congressional District - seat 7     -   Robby Davis Sisco, Florence
(term expires June 30, 2024)

Francis Marion University
1st Congressional District - seat 1     -   Mark S. Moore, Mount Pleasant
(term expires June 30, 2022)
Francis Marion University (continued)
5th Congressional District - seat 5     -   H. Paul Dove, Jr., Winnsboro
(term expires June 30, 2022)

6th Congressional District - seat 6     -   Floyd L. Keels, Lake City
(term expires June 30, 2022)

At-large - seat 8                   -   Robert E. Lee, Florence
(term expires June 30, 2022)

At-large - seat 10                 -   Kenneth W. Jackson, Florence
(term expires June 30, 2022)

At-large - seat 12                 -   W. Edward Gunn, Columbia
(term expires June 30, 2022)

At-large - seat 13                 -   R. Tracy Freeman, N. Augusta
(term expires June 30, 2022)

At-large - seat 14                 -   L. Franklin Elmore, Greenville
(term expires June 30, 2022)

The Citadel
Two (2) at-large seats               -   Allison Dean Love, Columbia
(term expires June 30, 2024)         -   Peter M. McCoy, Sr., Hartsville

Clemson University
Three (3) at-large seats             -   W. Philip Bradley, Johns Island
(term expires June 30, 2022)         -   Patricia H. McAbee, Greenville

-   John N. McCarter, Jr.                                 N. Myrtle Beach

-   John W. Pettigrew, Jr., Edgefield

-   Joseph D. Swann, Greenville

These individuals will be released to receive commitments on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 12:00 noon. Under S. 1055, the election will be Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 12:00 noon in the House Chamber.

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRUSTEE SCREENING
COMMISSION FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
BOARDS OF TRUSTEES SCREENINGS

Date:         January 3, 2018
Time:         11:10 a.m.
Location:       Gressette Building

1101 Pendleton Street

Columbia, South Carolina

Committee members present:

Chairman Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.

Senator Thomas Alexander

Senator John L. Scott

Vice Chairman Representative Bill Whitmire

Representative Phyllis Henderson

Representative John King

Also present:

Martha Casto, Staff

Julie Price, Staff

CHAIRMAN PEELER: I'd like to call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the College and University Trustee Screening Commission.

I pray that God continues to bless us all.

I would like to welcome the members that were able to make it.

Ms. Henderson's on the way. I think she has another meeting in the Blatt Building, but she's on the way.

Ms. Davis called and said that the roads were too dangerous and she would try to make it, and I said, "No, go ahead. We've got enough for our quorum."

And Senator Verdin is not here either. But we have Representative King, Representative Whitmire, Senator Alexander, Senator Scott.

Again, welcome everyone. We're going to have a change because of the weather. Several candidates can't make it tomorrow. So what we're going to try to do today is complete our Clemson University candidates and our Citadel candidates. I think all candidates are here that indicated they can make it, and we'll reschedule the others at another time because of the weather.

It's odd that from Columbia east and south are the ones getting the bad weather, and north and -- and west are clean so far.

I'd like to welcome everyone again. We'll start off with Clemson University under tab A, W. Phillip Bradley from Johns Island.

Mr. Bradley, if you'd come forward.

When you sit down make sure your light is burning green, but before you sit down, 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. BRADLEY: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

And if you'd get comfortable, and if you would, state your full name for the record and then give us a brief statement of why you'd like to serve on the Clemson University Board of Trustees.

MR. BRADLEY: William Phillip Bradley. Greetings from the southern sunny coast of South Carolina. I've been beating the rain and the snow all the way up.

I've lived at Clemson -- I've lived Clemson life -- I lived my life at Clemson. I'm not just a graduate. My family is Clemson. My father's education was interrupted in World War II, and he came back as a barrister. So I started grammar school at Clemson University. My uncle, my son, my daughter, they all attended Clemson, graduates.

My daughter Renee attended Clemson and moved to the College of Charleston for her degree -- different types of degree. She serves as deputy of special ed at the Department of Education in D.C.

My wife is an honorary alumni. So we're all -- you might say we're all in.

Serving on the Board of Visitors, serving on the Clemson Foundation and ten years on the Board of Business, four years on the Foundation, serving on the Public Service -- PSA Advisory Council and Charleston Lowcountry Club president all have given me a strong background and information about all aspects of the university, education, research, faculty, and both our missions in education and our mission in PSA.

I know and understand I will be representing the legislators of South Carolina as a member of the Board of Trustees and that I will be the person that they can come to and inquire about questions about Clemson University, and I will respond.

I plan to be a full-time board member, not only for the legislature but to the students, faculty, staff and administration. There's a large presence of Clemson in the Charleston lowcountry, the wind turbine facilities, the Zucker Graduate Center, the registration lab, the architect school, and the cigar factory, the coastal vegetate -- vegetable labs, and the MUSC Medical University Research, Dr. Yaw.

I think having a board member in the lowcountry is essential. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.   Anybody -- any questions?

SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning.

MR. BRADLEY: Morning.

SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. Bradley. Let me just ask you just a few questions.

The ideal ratio 70/30, is that in-state, out-of-state or --

MR. BRADLEY: In-state --

SENATOR SCOTT: -- what is that?

MR. BRADLEY: -- out-of-state, yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: What are -- what are your ratios or what do you -- what are you thinking that you can do from the Clemson board to improve diversity on there -- diversity of the student, faculty? If you're going to get world class individuals as well as facilities and programs, you're going to have to have a very diverse group of individuals who are able to teach those courses as well as to research up in the higher cause.

So tell me, what do you think you can do to make Clemson a lot more diverse? Because right now I think in terms of colleges and universities, it's probably the least of -- of all the schools and universities.

MR. BRADLEY: Senator Scott, I'm a strong advocate of the diversity. I served on that -- and we discussed it several times in the Board of Visitors. I was at Clemson, there and present on Tillman Hall when Harvey Gantt came to Clemson. I supported him there. The whole Charleston students supported Harvey Gantt there.

I support Call Me MISTER program. Not only, you know, a cheerleader, but also financially I've helped them. I think diversity is a major push right now for the administration of Clemson. We've talked about it. Chief of staff Max Allen does -- is doing a good job there. We've got a new diversity officer at the university. We got him out of the midwest. He was -- he seems to be doing -- moving.

But as -- generally as a member of the board, I would really push that. I think it's important. I think we should reflect the -- the diversity in the state. We should reflect it in our public universities.

SENATOR SCOTT: In your 70/30 -- I also was at Clemson. We get a lot of out-of-state students I guess in order to -- like of most of these colleges trying to subsidize it -- subsidize their budget. How would the number from 70/30 make sure the good in-state students that we're losing going to other states remain here?

MR. BRADLEY: As going back -- about the out-of-state students?

SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.

MR. BRADLEY: You know, they pay a lot more, and at the time here a few years ago there was a little difference in the amount of money that -- that Clemson had to spend and that's how they raised the money a little bit, but the target 70/30 is normal for most schools.

It's monitored. I know that the admittance people really keep numbers on that and -- and try to make sure we're in line.

If you include some of the Bridge programs and some of the other programs we have now, there would be a little bit of a difference in that ratio, but right now we're just talking about people who are fully enrolled at Clemson.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: No other questions?

Senator Alexander has a question.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: A couple questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your willingness to serve. And I think I heard you in your comments say that you'd be a full-time board member. Help me, what -- what does that mean?

MR. BRADLEY: Well, up until this year I have been employed. I have a business. That's being sold. So I also have a home near Clemson. So I'll spend a lot more time on campus, and I think that -- basically that's what I'll be doing.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So -- so one of the questions I ask of folks that have served on boards across -- across the spectrum is their attendance and their involvement. So under that scenario, you would envision the ability to be engaged and attend 80 percent, 90 percent, 95 percent, a hundred percent of the board meetings?

MR. BRADLEY: Board meetings? I plan to be at all of them, sir. There are a lot of other functions that go on at campus. I may miss some of those, but the board meetings, I think that's important.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. In order --

MR. BRADLEY: Ten years -- ten years in the Board of Visitors I missed one meeting.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.

One more final question, if I could, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Yes, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: When you say here that tuition -- the amount to assign tuition is reasonable from that standpoint, do you -- could you help me understand -- I mean, I heard that you were there as a student I know in the '70s. When I was there, I -- I classified that as being reasonable.

So is -- is the reasonable word there in relation to other schools or relation to the value? What -- what does -- how do you come up with a reasonable --

MR. BRADLEY: It's the relationship the school -- the caliber of Clemson. I think a person shopping for a school, they look at the quality of the school and what it cost to go there. I think we're a good bargain.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Mr. Bradley, and thank you for your willingness to serve at an outstanding institution, I might add.

Biggest weakness, you said lack of classroom, research and office space. Could you be more specific? Are you talking about specific -- particular departments that are --

MR. BRADLEY: Overall campus. We've -- we're lag -- we've lagged behind until recently in building -- in replacing buildings and also providing housing, and housing is another source of income, and so we're in that program right now and Douthit Hill -- Douthit Hills are providing more housing, but the building like Sirrine Hall is outdated.

High tech -- you know, you don't have that many -- classrooms are not -- not modern, and so that's being changed to some degree -- some degree a good bit.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Is Clemson looking to increase their enrollment as a means of bringing in more money or do they want to stay where they are?

MR. BRADLEY: Growth is going to be a slow movement at Clemson I think. I think we will increase our enrollment to some degree, but it will be a slow movement. It does bring in revenue. Excuse me.

I don't think -- we have to be careful about increasing the size of classrooms. So -- providing more facilities and more professors would help you grow.

I'm sorry.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's all right.

The -- and you mentioned the -- the former Clemson house and all that. That -- that's all housing. You can just nod. You don't have to speak.

MR. BRADLEY: (Nods head.)

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's correct.

All right. That's it for me.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Do you want to take a sip of water? Are you okay? Sometimes you swallow wrong.

Any other questions?

I have a quick one.

Mr. Bradley, I don't know if you remember last year there was quite a bit of controversy about a professor and his post on social media calling a political party if you supported the President scum, advocated violence if need be. Are you familiar with that --

MR. BRADLEY: No.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- situation?

MR. BRADLEY: Not in detail, no, sir.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Are -- are you familiar enough to even comment on it? Do you -- do you have an opinion? Where I'm getting at is if you were lucky enough and fortunate enough to be a trustee of Clemson University, how would you have handled it as a trustee, or do you have enough knowledge about it?

MR. BRADLEY: Any problem like that I think should be decided by a consensus of the trustees as a board, and you discuss it and get the details just like you would in a -- any kind of investigation. I think it would be -- to make an opinion about it without knowing about the background, I wouldn't be able to comment on that particular instance.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Well, as a supporter of Clemson, I'm concerned about that situation, and I understand free speech and what it entails, but for a professor to make those kinds of actions and those kinds of comments concerns me.

MR. BRADLEY: Was that the case where the guy was on the corner on Bowman Field?

CHAIRMAN PEELER: It's -- it's on Facebook and social media, Twitter and so forth.

MR. BRADLEY: And they moved him -- moved him to another party? He protested being moved?

CHAIRMAN PEELER: No.

MR. BRADLEY: Okay.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Must be something different.

MR. BRADLEY: I think there's a place that should be set aside for people that want to be free speech, but I don't think they have the option of where they want to be and work.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Motion to qualify.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: The motion is that Mr. Bradley is qualified.

Any other comments?

Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Next we have Patricia H. "Patti" McAbee.

Good morning.

MS. McABEE: Morning.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

MS. McABEE: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

If you would for the record, give us your full name after you take a drink of water.

MS. McABEE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Give us a brief statement of why you'd like to continue to serve on the Clemson Board of Trustees.

MS. McABEE: Thank you. The weather is changing.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: It is. It's dry in here too.

MS. McABEE: My name is Patricia H. "Patti" McAbee.

For 24 years I've had the privilege and the honor of serving as a member of the Clemson University Board of Trustees elected by you and others in the South Carolina General Assembly. In 1993 I sought this position based on my aspiration to serve the state through higher education, especially at Clemson.

I continue to want to make a difference in the lives of young people through the opportunities that a quality education in South Carolina can afford them. I have the energy and the desire to participate and contribute on a governance level in making decisions that can help Clemson University and our state prosper.

During my service, I have participated in specific strategic and measurable leadership decisions that have made monumental positive differences for the students, faculty, staff, and overall reputations of Clemson and for the state of South Carolina.

I have participated in decisions to divest resources in areas that were no longer productive and to reallocate resources when large numbers of faculty retired or were TERI'd.

I have participated in hiring great presidents who have led administrative and academic teams that have raised the academic reputation of Clemson to number 23 among all public universities in the country which substantially increases the value of the Clemson diploma.

I have made significant personal financial contributions and participated in the Steering Committee for The Will to Lead Capital campaign, raised over one billion dollars for scholarships and endowments.

For these and many more reasons like these, I would consider it the greatest honor of my life to be reappointed by members of the General Assembly to serve another term on the Clemson University Board of Trustees.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Yes, sir, Representative King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your service, Ms. McAbee.

In your 20 plus years as a board member, what have you done to improve diversity through your own doing, not as a board, but as a member of the board by introducing ideas of fostering diversity with the student body, faculty and staff?

MS. McABEE: Thank you for that question. I -- I counted one of my greatest opportunities to interact with students and particularly minority students, women, students of color, students from different ethnic backgrounds who are choosing to attend Clemson. On a regular basis I seek those students out to speak with them one-on-one and encourage them because they are a significant minority at Clemson. So just personally I speak to students randomly when I -- when I have meals in the student dining halls or particularly at meetings when certain students -- minority students are invited to participate in our meetings.

On a more formal level, though, I have supported the Emerging Scholars program. Emerging Scholars reaches into high schools in South Carolina and middle schools to encourage and -- encourage minority students to think about college and to assist them in understanding what college is about. So from a financial standpoint in supporting that -- that program and a policy standpoint in providing direction to the administration to implement that program and support it financially, I believe that has given me the opportunity to support diversity.

I also support the president's initiative on diversity. I was strongly supportive of that initiative as well as going along with my fellow board members to make sure that that program was adopted. I am attentive to the quarterly reports that the board receives from that diversity initiative through the Executive Committee so that we can hold the administration accountable to implementing the tenants of that presidential initiative.

And I'm happy to say that that seems to be something that's working at Clemson because our minority enrollment has increased from about eight percent in 2012 to about 12.2 percent now which is the highest it's ever been, or close to the highest, and we can -- want to see that percentage increase. We get those quarterly reports and continue to monitor that holding the president accountable.

Just, you know, I'll say -- you all know this, but Clemson is located in a rural, remote part of the state and has always been seen as, you know, remote from the more easily accessible schools in the state. So we have seen that as a -- a deterrent to students from the lowcountry or students from the far northeastern part of the state to attend, but we are making every effort possible to encourage them to attend.

(Representative Henderson now present.)

REPRESENTATIVE KING: And my last question. Students -- students and faculty expression, I'm aware of the situation where a student recently chose not to -- who was part of the senate, I want to say, chose not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. As a board member, can you give me how -- or what do you feel about people being able to express and have their rights in reference to standing or not standing?

MS. McABEE: Well, I believe it's our Constitutional right to express our particular viewpoints, and I certainly uphold that Constitutional right.

In the specific instance that -- of a student choosing not to stand for the allegiance to the flag, I simply say that was his right to choose to do that. I -- I support the Constitutional amendment for public speech --

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

MS. McABEE: -- free speech.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions?

Senator.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I've got several. I want to follow up on that last to clarify, though.

Was there not other circumstances beyond that that was involved in that that pre -- predated that event happening? Are you -- are you familiar with the facts and the information of that circumstance that was just referred to?

MS. McABEE: Many of the facts, yes, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. So it goes beyond that one situation?

MS. McABEE: Well, as I understand it, Senator Alexander, there were some other circumstances with that student.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And I just want to leave it at that. It's not isolated -- it's my understanding it was not isolated --

MS. McABEE: There was some other circumstances --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: For the record anybody reading this con -- I just want to make sure --

MS. McABEE: Thank you.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- that we had that in there.

You say that the -- you visit the campus at least four to five times per month. So -- and -- and so from -- from -- but it doesn't speak specifically to your participation in board meetings, subcommittee meetings. What is your attendance ratio from -- from that stand -- how would you define that?

MS. McABEE: My attendance ratio is -- to board meetings and committee meetings is approximately 98 percent with two percent being due to illness.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

MS. McABEE: My -- my attendance record for all vote-related meetings is excellent, and my attendance at events to support the administration of students, the faculty and the university as a whole is also excellent.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: You mentioned here -- to the -- the interest is at an all-time high at Clemson in -- in ways to address the demand to maintain the strong majority of in-state students. So what do you attribute the -- the interest at an all-time high as being for Clemson University?

MS. McABEE: You know, when President Barker first became president about -- what was it now? -- 15, 17 years ago, he put forth a vision for the university to achieve a top ranking in the country. And while we always said that being a top 20 university was not the sole reason for going after that ranking, we -- we went after that ranking with every intention to increase quality in faculty, increase quality in the courses of study, increase quality in laboratories and research.

In every area of our university, students, administration, we look to increase quality, and as we increased quality based on metrics and accountability, we also increased desirability. We increased the -- the overall ranking that students from all over the country can see. They want to attend a high quality university, and that ranking allows us to show the world that we are a quality institution.

So, number one, I think academic quality is a reason that we attract so many students. I also think that our performance in athletics brings public recognition to Clemson, and when they start looking into Clemson and they see that we -- we went on the sports build as well as in the classroom, it's a win-win situation. So Clemson's getting the word out there that we're a quality institution and that's a good way to attract students.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Representative Henderson has arrived.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning. I want to go back and talk a little bit about diversity at Clemson. You've been on the board for 24 years, and I remember when you ran 24 years ago. I was one of your strongest supporters going on the board.

Tell me what took that board so long because from the chambers I've talked about Clemson for years and its lack of diversity on the campus with the faculty or students. Being on that board, tell me what took so long until a couple years ago. When I started back in the Senate talking about diversity, Clemson then began to try to address some of those issues that were out there.

I grant you you do quite well in the athletic department in getting some of the best athletes from across the country. I'm more concerned on the academic side that we are able to track our own South Carolina students and to be able to go to the school and there's an opportunity, a selection process for the students to get in.

Do you want to elaborate on that a little bit?

MS. McABEE: I share your frustration in that it has taken so long. I can only say that we've tried and we've tried and we've tried again, and we hope that we're getting to a solution that allows us to be more attractive to minority students and to enroll them, and not only students, but faculty and staff as well and -- and administrators.

I know now that we have just dug our heels in, and we've said that this president's initiative will be followed. We will hold the administration accountable. We will get daily reports and we will scour those reports so that we can see that the initiatives either are working and we're continuing them or they're not working and we're changing them to make them better.

We just -- we just keep trying.

SENATOR SCOTT: Give me your -- give me your outlook for the Department of Higher Education in terms of Higher Education continuing to have oversight for schools like Clemson, USC and all the other institutions that are out there to ensure that we're doing things right and that some of these issues that we have there is also somebody else to help us address those issues, where you would -- Department of Higher Education continue to have an oversight on colleges, universities especially Clemson.

MS. McABEE: So the Commission on Higher Education?

SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, ma'am.

MS. McABEE: Well, I certainly think they have a role to play. They've been -- they've been very helpful to research for higher education, and they have a role to play. I --

SENATOR SCOTT: What -- what is that role? I mean, you -- you're 24 years at the college. What is that role it should be playing? I'm pretty sure you've had multiple visits from Higher Education, multiple reports in 24 years. What is that role it should be playing?

MS. McABEE: Well, the role that the -- that the Commission on Higher Education should play is to assist higher education, to assist the colleges and the universities in avoiding duplication in course of study, to -- to look for resources, to be an advocate on behalf of the colleges and universities to the General Assembly and the various committees, when in need as -- as determined in higher education to be an advocate and a team player with the various colleges and universities.

So to be an advocate, to be a source of research for higher education and to support higher education. I think they're a partner.

SENATOR SCOTT: One other question. And I'm looking at what just about everybody typed on the report for tuition at Clemson University. Rooming, board, fees, at the end of the day how much does it really cost for both in-state and out-of-state students to go to Clemson?

MS. McABEE: I'll have to -- I have to look at my notes for the exact amounts.

For the -- for the tuition amount currently in-state is $14,318, but the cost -- the cost for a student to actually go, especially in-state students is about 30 percent of that roughly.

SENATOR SCOTT: Roughly 28,662. Out-of-state students is 48,554. So it's not an inexpensive school I've heard previously mentioned to go to Clemson. It's an expensive school to go to Clemson. It's probably one of the highest tuition for public schools in South -- South Carolina. Tuition is 13,418, so it's a little trans -- transition error.

So in putting the numbers out there for affordability -- because I want you to think about that as you continue to vote for increases, all the needs and concerns that the school has, and so we're going to end up subsidizing those -- those fees for the purpose of construction and others because each time we do that the students -- South Carolina students and African American -- the majority of students won't be able to afford to go to in-state schools.

Thank you so much.

MS. McABEE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Representative Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Following up on Senator Scott's statement about cost of tuition, I notice you say the tuition is very reasonable, but then you say that the biggest weakness is the cost of tuition. Would you like to clarify that, please.

MS. McABEE: Well, I think the -- the biggest weakness being accessibility and affordability. Clemson's tuition is -- is moderated or -- I guess I won't try to classify it, but is moderated by the level of scholarships that are given. You know, the state of South Carolina and Clemson have -- and other public schools in the state have a relationship with lottery scholarships for the most promising students, students who score highest or at least higher in their class and their class ranking or GPA so that what they actually pay and what the tuition number is has a differential there.

But I think it's always a struggle for us. I mean, I think -- I think our success is our biggest weakness. So our success in the fact that there were 26,000 applications last year for 3700 spots says that our accessibility and our affordability might be something we can look at.

I mean, I don't think tuition is a weakness. Certainly we could, you know, I guess debate that, but affordability, the ability for students to come to Clemson is something we're always trying to hone and make better. We're trying to provide the highest level of higher education at the best affordability or the best price. That's a struggle.

That's -- that's what I'm talking about as far as affordability. I mean, we -- we won't be the lowest priced school because of the size and our research base and what we offer, but Clemson's affordability along with the scholarships and the state scholarships and the quality presents a big challenge for Clemson.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Going back to your statement on the student leader from Clemson that stood to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I am stating that correctly, am I not?

MS. McABEE: The student refused to stand.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And he was a student leader -- elected leader?

MS. McABEE: Yes.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And you stated that the First Amendment guaranteed him that right, correct?

MS. McABEE: Yes.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: What is your personal opinion?

MS. McABEE: My personal opinion is that I support the First Amendment. And I believe he had the right to do that. I don't like it that he did it.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I'm going to just say this for the record. I'm a veteran and I'm an American Legion member, and every time I go to a meeting and I see Purple Heart veterans and I see Agent Orange veterans and I think of one of my classmates who died in Vietnam fighting for the rights of this country, it really disturbs me that young people don't seem to appreciate what they've got.

And I'm all for people protesting, but I think there's a proper time and a proper place, and this is just my own personal opinion. I don't think that was the right place to do it, and I'm offended as a veteran. I'll be honest with you.

MS. McABEE: I'm sorry. I agree with you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Ms. Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I apologize for being late because I was at the final meeting of our House Opioid Study Committee, and we just adopted our report. So -- and that's the nature of my questions. So y'all just get used to the fact that I'm going to ask every single trustee that walks in here about what their university is doing to support students that are in addiction recovery because it is -- it is now the number one cause of death of people over the age of 50.

I know we're talking about college students, but students that are struggling with addiction recovery need to be able to have the resources available to them. And sadly enough the universities in our state are almost doing almost nothing, almost nothing. The College of Charleston has probably the only program that's fairly decent.

But as far as I know, Clemson actually is not doing anything at all of meeting to support students, so I want to ask you what -- what they are doing and what your commitment is to making sure that there are resources available for students that are dealing with this.

MS. McABEE: Well, thank you very much. This is a -- this is an extraordinarily personal problem, and in my mind -- not that I have personal experience with it in my family, but just that I see the devastation that it brings to individuals and to families in -- in our state.

About a year ago Clemson adopted a task force on looking into the addiction and especially opioid addiction issues, drug -- alcohol abuse. In October at our October meeting I asked for an update on that and made a statement specifically to the administration that a task force is good but not enough and that I was looking to a full report on -- on the update from that task force at our January -- at our spring meeting which will be -- winter meeting which will be in February.

We have got to do something at Clemson, and I expect that we will be implementing stronger access to programs through Redfern which is our health center. We -- the administration was asked to look at the College of Charleston program because I know about that program and to look at that specifically in bringing it on the campus to work with the area mental health and addiction groups in the Anderson, kind of Pickens, Greenville area, to ask them to help us in accessing local programs, and to -- we already have on line -- on campus hot lines and the standard programs that we see, but to beef those up to make sure that the -- that no call is left unanswered.

So we're in the process right now, Representative Henderson, to really beef that program up and to bring better proven programs to campus.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So I would say that if you actually want to look at the gold standard, Kennesaw State in Georgia. People that were in that program came to our task force meeting last month and working with some folks -- some family members from USC unfortunately that have lost children at the university to help get that program funded and in place here at -- at USC.

But who -- who is -- is that task force that you were talking about, was that just trustees or were there students, medical professionals involved in that or --

MS. McABEE: It was through the student affairs organization, the department -- the division of student affairs.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So it's a staff committee?

MS. McABEE: Basically a staff committee. I believe there are student leaders on that committee.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: And they're supposed to have a report at some point?

MS. McABEE: Yes. At the winter meeting. February.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Do you have any staff that are -- I don't -- I know the answer to this at Carolina. So I don't know at Clemson.

Do you have staff that are act -- like their job is to run a program to support students that are in addiction recovery?

MS. McABEE: I don't believe we have stuff.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So you have no program right now?

MS. McABEE: No formal program. That's what concerns me.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, can --

MS. McABEE: If I -- if I get corrected information, I will let you know.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, I would challenge you -- I'm happy to put you in touch with those folks. I -- I really -- our major institutions need to be completely committed to this in a way that's not just through the health center throwing some stuff there.

And I think also that you need to be talking about alcohol and, you know, dormitories for -- for students that are struggling with addiction recovery and -- and promoting, you know, events on campus that are substance free because unfortunately it's going to get to the point where when parents are looking for a school, they're going to want to find a place where they -- if they have a child that's dealing with this -- because I -- I know that there are two children from Greenville that are Clemson students that died from substance abuse just in the last six months, and I know that it's -- it's unfortunately going to continue until we're able to get the cause of it and help people that need the help they need.

So I would challenge you all from all the schools here to look at those programs as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

The question I asked earlier about the professor on the social media activity calling certain political party members racist, racist scum, calling for violence, do you remember that last year's --

MS. McABEE: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- activities?

Would you like to speak to that on what happened, didn't happen, what you think should happen?

MS. McABEE: Well, what I know of what happened is that that professor posted on Facebook a statement -- a statement related to what you said, and the university investigated that statement and also made investigation into his classroom activities and his on-campus activities, any activities that he might have been involved in as a faculty member representing Clemson University, whether it was in the classroom or not.

And through interviews with students and other faculty members, we found that he made no statements like that in the classroom or in meetings on campus or in any other situations where he was acting as a faculty member. Had he made any statements like that relative to his service as a faculty member in the classroom or anywhere else, it would have been cause for firing immediately.

Because he said those statements in a public social atmosphere, we were limited as to the -- the action we could take to dismiss him from his job, but if it had been me and my company, I would have fired him immediately because I'm a private individual and a private company, but because it's a -- we -- the state -- a state university operates a bit differently.

And I don't guess -- I'm not able to go into any legal definition of that because I'm not a lawyer, but -- but I was extremely disturbed by that. I was extremely disturbed by anybody that is associated with Clemson University who would talk about other people that way, display those opinions of other people or threaten other people because of their beliefs, and it -- and I can assure you -- or I feel for one if those statements are made as a -- representing himself as a faculty member or representing those views in the classroom, that immediate action will be taken.

Our hands are simply tied because of the venue he chose.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: So your opinion as a trustee, you think the case is closed?

MS. McABEE: That particular case I -- as far as I know, yes, it is, but I don't like it.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Okay. Make any other statements?

MS. McABEE: No, sir.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Okay. What's the will of the committee?

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Motion to accept.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Motion to qualify.

Is there a second?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Say aye.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.

MS. McABEE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Mr. McCarter is on -- on his way. He had a -- his mother is in the hospital, and she isn't well. But he is there at the hospital now and on the way.

So we'll go next with John W. Pettigrew.

Would you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

MR. PETTIGREW: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: For the record state your full name and the reason you'd like to serve on the Clemson Board of Trustees.

MR. PETTIGREW: My name is John W. Pettigrew, Jr. I'm from Edgefield, South Carolina. Thank you for your time today and thank you for the opportunity to be here to be screened for one of the at-large positions on the Clemson University Board of Trustees.

I'm here today because I love Clemson. I care about Clemson. I love South Carolina, and I care about the people of South Carolina. My ties to Clemson are deep and go way back. That doesn't make me the best candidate to be on the board, but I think it does show my commitment and my lifelong love and desire to be a part of the Clemson community.

Over a hundred years ago my grandfather on mother's side entered Clemson University and he graduated in 1918. My father graduated in 1949. I finished in 1982, and my wife finished in 1987.

And my years there from '78 to '82 were a great impact on my life. I met a lot of new friends that I continue to stay in contact with. I learned a lot, and the impact on -- on my life has been really immeasurable at the time I was at Clemson, and now I've reached a point in my life and my career where I'd like to give back to Clemson to ensure that the institution remains strong and is there for all South Carolinians in the future.

I have studied the will of Thomas Green Clemson, understand his commitment to establishing good high seminary running for the average South Carolinian, and as a member of the board, I would take seriously that trust and that responsibility to serve the people of South Carolina.

I have the time and the desire to carefully study the issues and to dig in and -- and to ask the questions and to keep pushing and push hard. A lot of times when you bring us something on a board, it's kind of overlooked because there's so many other things that maybe take up the time or the administration, but on -- on the important issues -- I've served on a lot of boards over my life, and I know it's important to push and to push hard.

There are many great things going at Clemson. However, I am concerned about the increasing tuition and fees that are making it increasingly difficult for South Carolina students to attend Clemson. And I think that's something that we really need to be aware of when we're examining the spending of Clemson and -- and looking at our priorities, that we remember the students that would like to come to Clemson and the impact it has on their and their family's budgets.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent you and the people of South Carolina and the Clemson board. I'm committed to doing the best job that I can to serve the students and the people of South Carolina. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Questions?

Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. -- Mr. Pettigrew, for your willingness to serve. I see you have a strong background in financial management and also you're a practicing attorney?

MR. PETTIGREW: No, sir, I'm not. I went to law school and practiced law a couple years, but I decided to go into business, and so, no, sir, I don't practice law.

SENATOR SCOTT: The experience that you -- and the knowledge that you have, knowing the lawyers we do have in South Carolina -- no disrespect to them -- what do you plan to bring to the Clemson family and all these things that you've heard us talk about this morning needing for -- for South -- South Carolinian students to go, cost of tuition, diversity, just a long laundry list of things just that for long periods of time really just have been overlooked and now are beginning to be -- to address some of those issues, because I guess because of the changing of the times. What do you plan to do? And tell me little bit about your plans --

MR. PETTIGREW: Sure.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- now that you've had some time to think about it.

MR. PETTIGREW: Absolutely. I appreciate the question.

While I would represent a fresh face on the board, I'm not currently on the Clemson board. One thing that on -- on the tuition that I think we really need to look at is providing full scholarships to the outstanding South Carolina students. I'm concerned about the South Carolina students. I'm not concerned about New York and New Jersey, but I'm -- I'm concerned about students in -- in Allendale and Williamsburg and Edgefield and Columbia and Rock Hill and around the state of South Carolina.

And one thing that Clemson has been doing and some of the other universities have is -- is providing tuition abatements for out-of-state students in an attempt to attract more out-of-state students. It seems there's been a great emphasis on bringing in more out-of-state students. The number of out-of-state students has increased at Clemson.

Four years ago Clemson gave 20 million dollars in abatements which were either total reduction with a differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition or a partial reduction in that difference in in-state and out-of-state tuition. Those published figures you see aren't what a lot of those out-of-state students are paying.

Four years ago they gave 20 million dollars in abatements. This past year in 16-17 that number was up to 29 million. So apparently there has been a policy that has led to about a 40 percent increase in the abatements that is given to the out-of-state students, and that concerns me. We ought to be worried about trying to help the students in South Carolina attend Clemson.

And I know some of the top students in -- in our high schools, particularly the minority students, Senator Scott, have opportunities to go to other schools, whether it be North Carolina or Duke or Virginia or Georgia Tech or wherever, and if they're looking at, well, they're getting a -- maybe a full scholarship to go to one of those schools but at Clemson they're only getting a partial scholarship where it's still going to cost three, $5,000 out of pocket, then I'm afraid we're losing out on some of these top South Carolina students.

And I met with Mr. Lee Gill who is the head of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at Clemson. It's a new position. He's been there about two years, and -- and he's concerned about this. And plus we need to reach out into the high schools and -- and tell the students what we can do at Clemson, what's available at Clemson and -- and do a better job of recruiting too to try to get more of the top South Carolina students to stay in state because when they stay in state to go to college, there's a much greater chance that they are going to contribute to our economy after graduation.

If they came from South Carolina, go to school in South Carolina, there's a much greater chance -- there is a study done by the Department of Education and Workforce that showed there's about a four times greater chance that a student from South Carolina finishing a South Carolina research institution would stay in South Carolina than an out-of-state student.

So I -- I am very concerned about that trend of more out-of-state students and also the increasing tuition for our in-state students.

SENATOR SCOTT: I can appreciate your answer, appreciate you doing your research. There's a new report out that shows we're still number 50 in education. And it's not just for K through 12 either; higher education, the cost of tuition, that in-state students -- and what they charge for tuition. Healthcare, 32. The only thing we did pretty well in was economic development, and that's because that's where we invested our money.

Our cause, economic -- economic development USC, medical research, but we've got to begin to develop -- to invest this money with the students that we're going to get these other percentages at -- at Clemson.

I appreciate you doing your homework. Thank you so much.

MR. PETTIGREW: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Representative King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I really don't have a question for you. I want to say thank you. You are the first person that has come since I've been on this committee that have actually talked about South Carolinians and making sure that South Carolinians have an opportunity to be educated in South Carolina schools. Thank you.
MR. PETTIGREW: Clemson is a public university. The legislature I believe gives about 80 million dollars in the most recent budget to the education part of Clemson and another 40 million to the public service part. So there's a -- there's a unique mission of Clemson to serve the people of South Carolina, and that would always be in the forefront of any decision that came before the board if I were on the board.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And good to see you this morning, and thank you for your willingness to serve.

And -- and let me start with that last comment first. I had already recognized on here the memberships and professional organizations. I wanted you to speak to the Clemson Extension Advisory Committee because that is a specific aspect -- are -- are you a current member of that advisory panel or is that --

MR. PETTIGREW: That -- that is the local Clemson Extension Advisory Committee, and I'm currently a member of that. We just meet once or twice a year, and they ask us to -- to help determine what programming is needed locally in Edgefield County, what can Clemson do more in -- in the extension service and the public service. So that's -- that's what that is.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, certainly that also -- I mean, that recognizes -- this is to your point earlier about it being a land grant university and the mission that it has from that standpoint, and certainly -- I would assume that in the role there who is your extension office and who makes aware to students in rural communities like Edgefield or Oconee the value of an education from Clemson University and how do you see that we can build upon that of getting these -- the students from the rural South Carolina. I mean, we've got extension offices in every county in the state that I'm aware of.

MR. PETTIGREW: Yeah. The extension does play a major role in Clemson's service to the state. It's a land grant university, as you know. And there -- there's -- there's programming -- like in -- in Edgefield County we have a forestry association. I'm a member of that. And we give a scholarship each year to students -- a partial scholarship, you know, 500 or a thousand dollars to help a student to go that wants to major in forestry. There's -- Cattlmen's Association is sponsored by Clemson.

So Clemson does a lot in the local communities, and -- and I think the rural communities in particular in certain areas of South Carolina are falling behind and -- and there's more that Clemson can do and hopefully we can do more to encourage the students from these rural areas to come to Clemson, to have the opportunity to go to Clemson, to be able to afford to go to Clemson so that then they can come back and provide the leadership for the next generation that is needed in these rural communities.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. In your work that you currently do, your involvement as a member of the board and committee members, can you give me an idea of your availability to attend meetings that would be required as a board member.

MR. PETTIGREW: I would plan to be there a hundred percent, or unless I'm in the hospital or deathly ill or a family member, I would be there 100 percent. I -- boards that I serve on currently I take very seriously and my attendance records is right at or near a hundred percent on -- on all public boards that I've been a member of.

And if I'm elected to this, there's a couple of those local or county boards that I will resign from to make sure that I have plenty of time to devote to Clemson and to dig into these issues and to really be an involved board member.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Pettigrew, I'm going to echo what my colleague Representative King said and Senator Scott. It is refreshing to finally have somebody come up here and say we're not serving South Carolinians enough, especially at Clemson University.

I -- I know I'm not a Clemson grad, but I've been a supporter all my life. I am -- it was the land grant university started back in 1889. Tell me if that's correct.

MR. PETTIGREW: That's correct.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And it was established for South Carolinians, and to me this rush to be a top 20 university it's been at the expense of, you know, people from South Carolina. I feel like we need to serve them first. Then if we can get out-of-state students, fine.

But I just wonder what the percentages are of -- I think you mentioned it -- in-state students staying in the state versus out-of-state students leaving and going somewhere else. I'm sure most of the out-of-staters don't stay in South Carolina. So that's a concern of mine.

And just -- I feel like we need to protect our own first and -- if we're going to build this state, and so have you got any other comments on that?

MR. PETTIGREW: Yes, sir. You mentioned the -- the percentage of staying in state, and -- and this study that was recently published by the Department of Employment and Workforce -- I think I earlier said Education and Workforce. I apologize for that -- was they looked at graduates from 2009 to 2010 coming from the various colleges and universities in South Carolina and looked at where they were employed one year later and five years later. So that's why they went back to 2009-2010.

And according to that study -- and they said the study is not perfect because it -- it missed some self-employed people or government employees, but I think the ratio or the percentage that is -- that are still in South Carolina that are not -- are probably very accurate.

After one year -- and this for Clemson. After one year, the -- of the in-state students 71.8 percent were in South Carolina. Out-of-state students after one year, 27.3 percent. Now you go at a -- five years. The in-state students from Clemson, 55.3 percent were still in South Carolina. The out-of-state students, 14.4 percent.

So that leaves the question why are we educating people in New York and New Jersey and they're going back there when we need educated folks in South Carolina? And so I think that needs to be something we -- we concentrate on and we work on at Clemson.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And you mentioned abatements. Obviously there's not a big disparity between the out-of-state and in-state tuition.

MR. PETTIGREW: That is -- that is correct because 29 million worth of abatements last year.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And I appreciate your candor today. It's very refreshing.

MR. PETTIGREW: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Pettigrew, you heard my concerns earlier about the professor. Do you have an opinion on that about the professor on the social media calling certain political parties scum and advocating violence?

MR. PETTIGREW: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Are you familiar with that?

MR. PETTIGREW: I -- I am familiar with that. Read about that.

Unfortunately it's bad publicity for Clemson University, and in my opinion that professor was out of line and he shouldn't have said it.

And if Clemson doesn't have a policy to be able to remove someone from the faculty -- and as I understand it, this was an un-tenured position -- then they need to change the policy because that -- that type of comments is -- is unbecoming of the university and it does a disservice to the university.

So I thought it was totally out of line and I'm disappointed to hear he's still on the faculty.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Pettigrew, thank you for your service. I don't know -- pardon me -- if you were in the room when I was asking Ms. McAbee about the programs that you may or may not -- probably may not, from what I understand, have in addiction recovery space, but what -- your knowledge is of what the programs are and what the university is planning to do to address the issue.

MR. PETTIGREW: I know you mentioned the opioid crisis, and it's certainly real and it's affecting families, and it's something that we all need to be aware of and be knowledgeable of and to do all that we can to prevent it from affecting more of the people of South Carolina.

And as far as specifically Clemson, Representative Henderson, I'm sorry, I do not know what is being done there. I -- I'll just have to trust Ms. McAbee in saying that to her knowledge we don't have any particular counselors at Clemson, but that is something that I think we as a board would need to address and -- and look into and -- and hopefully can provide that in the future.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So do you guys have any statistics on what portion of your student body is -- deals with this issue? I mean, I -- I will tell you on a national level one in five high school students -- seniors have -- have -- have taken nonprescription drugs. You know, they have abused them.

And you know that -- and that's just opioids -- that substance abuse is -- is a problem on campuses, and -- pardon me -- if you ever -- if you keep track of any of those statistics or y'all just basically kind of like know it's there and don't want to do anything to solve the problem?

MR. PETTIGREW: I'm not currently on the Clemson board, and so --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Oh, okay. I didn't know that. I'm sorry.

MR. PETTIGREW: -- I'm not aware of those numbers as they pertain to Clemson.

Again, I realize it's a very big society problem, a problem with the age group of the students that are at Clemson, but as far as what Clemson is doing, I'm sorry, I'm just not -- not knowledgeable in that because I haven't been on the board.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I'm sorry, I thought you were a returning trustee.

MR. PETTIGREW: No, ma'am.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, if you get appointed to the board, I'd like to challenge you as well as the rest of the other trustees to take this seriously and -- and put some programs in place there --

MR. PETTIGREW: I'd like to talk to you further about it. You seem very knowledgeable on this, and having been on that task force on the House side, I'm sure you could give us a lot of good insight, and I'd -- I'd certainly appreciate that opportunity.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Happy to do it.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions, comments?

What's the desire of the committee?

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Favor.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: All in favor please raise your right hand.

It's unanimous.

Thank you.

MR. PETTIGREW: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you for your time. Have a safe trip back.

Mr. McCarter is here. Nicky McCarter. Under tab C.

Before I swear you in, how is your mother, Nicky?

MR. PETTIGREW: Not good. ICU, code -- coded at 4:00 this morning, so --

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Prayers are with you and the family.

I've told you before, his mother is a charter member of the Harvey Peeler Fan Club, so --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Wise individual.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Very wise.

Thank you, Nicky.

If you -- 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 PEELER: For the record if you would, give us your full name and the reason you'd like to continue to serve on the Clemson Board of Trustees.

MR. McCARTER: John -- John Nichols McCarter, Jr.

And I'd like to continue to serve on the board. My whole life I grew up, as you know, in a rural area, and my focus has always been on, you know, graduating and educating South Carolinians, especially folks from, you know, smaller towns, and I feel like that we've done a good job of that in the last ten years and I'd like to continue, you know, moving forward with that.

We have some, you know, work to do, but I think we've improved. We've got -- we get a lot of top tens and a lot of top 20s and a lot of different aspects of the university, of academics. Our diversity is up four percent over the last two or three years. So we've got a lot of work to do, so I'd like to continue to try to see that finished.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Questions, comments?

Representative King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Just for the record I had conversations with Mr. McCarter in dealing with diversity on the campus, and I just want to thank you for your efforts and willing to make sure that Clemson reflects South Carolinian -- South Carolina. Thank you.

MR. McCARTER: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My prayers are with you and your family in this time.

You mentioned your -- your love of Clemson and your involvement for the last ten years.

MR. McCARTER: Well, nine, almost ten.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Almost ten. Getting there.

As far as your -- you're -- you're a Clemson graduate and you enrolled in what -- what year did you enroll?

MR. McCARTER: I enrolled with you, but, you know, I liked it a little longer than you, so I kind of -- I enjoyed it a little longer than you. As my father used to tell me, I was on tour over there.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, did that -- has that helped you -- being there for that length of time as a student, has that helped you transition into being a better board member to have an understanding of maybe what the students are dealing with?

MR. McCARTER: I -- I feel like it helped me in my whole life. As a lot of y'all know, I, you know, started -- I'm a small town guy, and, you know, I had to work, and that woman -- so if it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't be a graduate. So she -- I was the first -- well, actually I'll rephrase. My brother and I were the first college graduates, period. My brother started like behind you and I, and he finished a year ahead of me.

But, yes, I feel like that it's helped me tremendously understand what the needs of real South Carolinians are, because, you know, I'm -- I've always been a big believer in -- in and we have a lot of people in our town that just can't make a 3.0 and -- but they're 2.8. And they end up back in South Carolina, and their parents work in the mills or something, and it's tough on them.

So, you know, I want to try to keep the cost down as much as possible. And I think -- I think my record shows that in the past and dealing with adversity, and not maybe doing what I should have as early on, it helped me understand what -- really what students are.

And I'm proud to say I got two kids that -- one went through the Bridge program and finished in four years, working on her MBA now in entrepreneurship, and my son is -- finished in four years. He went through the ESP, and he's working on his master's with -- he's a grad assistant, as you know, working with the football team on offense. They didn't have a good night the other night, but, you know, they had a great year.

So -- and I've raised both of them. One of them was ten and the other was 13 when my wife passed away, as y'all know, and so I feel like Clemson has been good for both my children and good for me, and it's a very family-oriented university and it still has a small feel. It's a lot -- a lot of things that -- you know, I love the university. It's been very good to me, really has.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you certainly have been engaged as a -- as a board member with attending the meetings and committee meetings and activities and things from that standpoint.

MR. McCARTER: Made every one of them. I missed one graduation when my mother had open heart surgery six years ago in December.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Mr. Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Let me ask you just a few questions. And it's probably a subject matter you and I talked about. Tell me your feeling about the Department of Higher Education and working with the Clemson family to try to help resolve some of these issues that -- that you have, especially with diversity, cost of tuition. Clemson right now is probably number ten highest tuition for out-of-state students.

MR. McCARTER: Well, it -- it's a -- I still think that we can do a better job at Clemson. We need help from, you know, other folks, but all of us in the state, we have to continue to try to keep the cost down.

I -- I think we asked two point something percent this year. I -- I didn't personally vote for it. Not -- at some point you have to take a breath back and, you know -- but I think the university is going -- in our 2020 plan we're very conscious of that, trying to improve that. And certainly in diversity -- I've worked with you and Representative King on occasions, and we are very conscious of that and aware of that, and I think we have made some strides over the last couple of years. Got a lot more to do.

We have a -- you know, we've got to get the folks to -- to be interested in enrolling there, you know. We've had a record, as you know, enrollment. I think we'll probably have 30,000 this year from about 3500. With these athletic numbers, it could be 37-5 for those applications, and -- and we're still about 65/35, including the Bridge, in-state, out-of-state.

That number hasn't moved a lot over the last 30 years. It's pretty much been that same thing, you know. The Bridge hadn't been there 35 years, but I think it was 65/35 when Tom and I were there or 70/30. I'm not sure, but around the same central feel.

That -- that -- that number is pretty balanced in-state, out-of-state. I feel like I want to be able to graduate more South Carolinians. We have graduated more South Carolinians over the last couple years than we ever have, but that -- of course the number -- you know, not, you know, to water that down. We -- we're taking more students too. The -- the population of the university is up.

SENATOR SCOTT: The percentage is up, right.

MR. McCARTER: But I was -- did you ask me about the CHE? I don't have --

SENATOR SCOTT: Yeah, tell me when -- what your thinking about CHE --

MR. McCARTER: Well, I think the CHE has a mission to kind of monitor, you know, the curriculums and those type things of all universities.

As far as getting into buildings and all that type stuff, I -- I still think that's a -- we have a joint bond review and we have let y'all -- the legislative committees to kind of, in my opinion --

SENATOR SCOTT: What about issues on diversity, enrollment practices, those kind of issues, because that's where the students come in in the intake process.

MR. McCARTER: Well, we -- we --

SENATOR SCOTT: The CHE side.

MR. McCARTER: Mr. Pettigrew, we -- we've hired -- we had Lee Gill -- we hired a diversity -- a new diversity -- on a very broad spectrum, you know, he's -- not just the south, but he has a lot of experience in the whole nation, and he's a very, I guess you would say, worldly in that intellect.

So I feel like with him there and with the -- the board's mission, our -- our current board is certainly very conscious of diversity, and it comes up at every meeting that we want to improve that, improve that, and make it accessible and make it better for all people.

SENATOR SCOTT: What are your -- what are your concerns as it relates to some of the issues we've heard on campus, especially with African American students and the issues they've had with campus and their concerns about of course some of the building stuff we've got to deal with here, and how has the university itself dealt with those issues so the students feel a part of the university and can understand your limitations and -- and what you can and cannot do?

MR. McCARTER: I think the university through Lee Gill and Max Allen, who's the chief of staff who has done a wonderful job with the -- all the controversy over that -- and I feel like it -- it has improved.

I -- I worked with Representative King on an issue that came up a couple months ago, and it did turn out not necessarily us, but our whole board was very conscious of. And it turns out -- thank God it turned out like it did, and -- but there are issues there, but I think they're -- they're not as big as we think they are, but there are -- there's issues and they always have to be -- continue to look at, assess, make sure that everybody is being treated equal and fair.

I think, you know, our -- our inclusive plan -- our inclusive plan is stated in there. We have a mission for 2020 and --

SENATOR SCOTT: Engineers in South Carolina. -- we can't produce enough engineers. The real question is those who attend other universities being able to take the exam. What's your thinking pattern with that because it's an issue that has probably come before your board because I know Clemson has protected the engineering programs. It's been your bread and butter. So the electrical has been your bread and butter for Clemson for a long time, but we're just not producing enough engineers.

We have engineer tech programs, and still when those individuals leave the schools, they still can't take the engineering tests to become engineers. So they go out of state where they're not required to take the test and they end up doing quite well.

What's your position in terms of those other schools being able to allow the students to take the test? Because it's going to really come down to how Clemson actually feels about that since --

MR. McCARTER: What -- and what schools are you speaking of?

SENATOR SCOTT: South Carolina State has an engineering tech program now for over ten years, and -- and they go out of state. They don't have to take the test like we do in state. That test has always been for a long time to protect the Clemson program.

Now that we don't have the test, what -- what's your feeling as a board member as it relates to the test?

MR. McCARTER: Well, I believe in free enterprise. So I would think that, you know, it's -- you know, I -- I -- that hadn't been discussed, but -- but I would have -- I would have no problem with them taking --

SENATOR SCOTT: Tests.

MR. McCARTER: -- tests wherever. I mean, all the universities -- South -- South Carolina offers engineering tests. The Citadel offers engineering. South Carolina State offers engineering programs.

SENATOR SCOTT: Last question. When you and I talked about funds available for scholarships at -- for students to go to Clemson -- and I heard a previous candidate who is running who talked about scholarships. You talked about the scholarships and said it was an issue of not having the money to be able to give these in-state students to come there, but the money went to out-of-state students.

Do you care to elaborate a little bit on what's going on with that? I'm told some 20, 29 million -- million dollars went to out-of-state students to recruit them to come here and you got in-state students who are not actually getting that money.

MR. McCARTER: I think it's -- 28, 29 million was abatement. That included I think athletes and everything. I don't -- I might have to refer back to them to -- for sure, but I think we're lower, you know, in the peer group, but I -- I, you know -- I'm -- first and foremost I'm always for educating South Carolinians and giving them the core load of the money.

I think as a university and a research university you still have to reach out and have students from other aspects of the world and other parts of the country to make sure that we're a class research university, but we are, you know, competing for that all the time. So recruiting to get the brightest students and -- and, you know, educate them.

SENATOR SCOTT: Considering -- the challenge today has been some of your best and brightest have been going out of state.

MR. McCARTER: Yeah. We moved money to those kids going to Chapel Hill and different places. Just like you and I talked about --

SENATOR SCOTT: That investment, as you indicated, is going to the athletic program and to other folk we're trying to recruit from out of state. A little bit more energy and leverage need to be put on funding some of the students to try to keep them here, to keep them from going out of state, especially given the long laundry list of the issues that we actually have in South Carolina.

MR. McCARTER: Well, it is discussed -- or it was discussed in the July retreat about -- and the president does have plans to continue to try to move the needle for the South Carolinians or that money to get it more in line, so --

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

MR. McCARTER: -- we have plans for that.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions, comments?

Ms. Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. McCarter, and I'm sorry to hear about your mother, and I appreciate you being here in spite of that.

I know that when I was asking Mr. Pettigrew questions about the addiction and recovery, I saw you had maybe an answer to my question.

MR. McCARTER: I'll give you this when I leave. We have a 2020 plan for strategic alcohol and other drugs. It's a national -- it's got a national average. It's got the Clemson average. It's something that Clemson monitors. And the board gets a copy of this, and this comes through diversity, and it's -- it's inclusive -- you -- I don't know if you asked -- like, for instance, drinking, it -- it's categories and you fill -- you know, for a heavy episode drinking rate, five or more within the last two weeks, you know, the national references 35.1 and Clemson in '16 was 34.7. It's 37 down -- the goal is 31.7. And then it's got marijuana use.

It's a -- it's a regular dashboard that they grade and measure on a scale, and so I certainly will leave this with you if you'd like that.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So do you -- have you had conversations on the board about actually doing something to help solve this problem or -- I mean, I know Ms. McAbee said that there was a task force, but it was staff -- pardon me -- and, you know, they don't have a report yet. And so, I mean, at what level have the trustees had conversations about --

MR. McCARTER: We -- we --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- how many more students have to die --

MR. McCARTER: We --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- before the university will take this seriously to solve the problem?

MR. McCARTER: I wasn't here to hear Ms. McAbee speak, but we do have conversation in meetings, student affairs and different aspects of the university. We get a report on this all the time and we're always trying to combat.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: But you don't have any programs in place to actually help students dealing with addiction and recovery at all. So --

MR. McCARTER: Well, we have --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- as it's a growing problem -

MR. McCARTER: -- and we have, you know --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: You do because I asked --

MR. McCARTER: -- we do have counselors for them to go to in student affairs.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Do you have any physicians involved in medically assisting treatment? Are you referring them to treatment?

MR. McCARTER: No. Go to Redfern University, our medical thing, and then they would -- it's a process of what happens, and you --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, if you have a student that's dealing with addiction, they have to go to the health center to get help. There's not any kind of -- like at USC they have Gamecock Recovery which is -- there's really no staff, any specific programs that are actually being conducted by the university to help students that are dealing with this or --

MR. McCARTER: Well, my understanding is that they go to student affairs and we have counselors there and they move them in to whatever programs they need to be into.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, I have some great university programs I would like for you all to take a look at.

MR. McCARTER: It's monitored all the time. We know the numbers of what's going on over there on a regular basis.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Anyone else?

I have one quick question. I have asked other candidates, but I'd like to ask you this as an incumbent. A professor that had several postings on social media saying that a certain political party are racist scum, calling for violence against those people. Do you remember that incident?

MR. McCARTER: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: What -- do you have an opinion on what happened, what should have happen, what's going to happen?

MR. McCARTER: Well, it was very unfortunate. I certainly didn't agree with that professor, and it's not -- certainly not Clemson's mind set and nobody on that board agreed with that. I can -- that came up and was talked about, what -- there are some limitations on how -- I think Mr. Pettigrew said something about getting tenure. I think it goes a little deeper than tenure.

He's not tenure, but it's still -- there's a process to eliminate someone like that, and I had a conversation with Mr. Alexander about that, you know, back when it happened. So there is a process and they are -- I had a conversation with you also. And there is a process, and I feel pretty confident that that will be taken care of. I think I spoke with Mr. Whitmire about it too one time.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You did.

MR. McCARTER: If I'm not mistaken, I think I called him.

So I don't agree with it, and I don't think anybody on -- I know nobody on our board agrees with it because it was brought up, but, you know, you can't just run out and say, "You're fired." You have to go through the process, and I don't think he's going to pop out of the woodwork and say something else where -- it's -- it's just like anybody else in the business world. You know, you don't know what your employee is going to go to say, but we -- you know, if somebody says it now, we certainly can eliminate them. We might have the consequences on the legal side of it, but we can eliminate them.

So I think, you know, that's -- that's the big thing, is the legal side of it, but I don't know if that answers your question. But, no, me personally I don't care for it, and I can assure you that I -- the board members were very adamant about this professor -- not wanting this professor at Clemson, and that's a fact, you know.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Well, we have a First Amendment --

MR. McCARTER: We don't have the -- we don't -- the board doesn't go out and fire a professor. That's not our role. We -- we hire the executive -- you know, we represent y'all, the ones here, and 170 legislators and the population of South Carolina, and we have a president and executive secretary of -- at Clemson.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Is the case closed or is it still ongoing, this -- this incident?

MR. McCARTER: It's being highly monitored.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Well, I understand the free speech and the First Amendment, but also -- rank has its responsibility --

MR. McCARTER: Right.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- and a professor at Clemson University is high ranking to me --

MR. McCARTER: Yeah.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- and I think they should act accordingly and --

MR. McCARTER: I agree.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- this -- and I wanted to hear from the candidates.

MR. McCARTER: In my world -- if it happened in my world, that person would have been gone before the sun set in December, if that makes any consolation.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions or comments?

Your desire?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Move to make a motion --

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: All in favor raise your right hand.

SENATOR SCOTT: Abstain.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: So everyone raised their hand, except -- and one abstention. Senator Scott abstained.

SENATOR SCOTT: Just -- yeah, I just want to remind some of us who may also be on this disclosure form, you may want to sustain from that committee so you don't have an issue.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yeah, Mr. Chairman, if I -- I agree that I would like to ask if I could also have a sustained vote on that recommendation.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Scott, you're saying because you received a campaign contribution?

SENATOR SCOTT: Uh-huh.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: There's no abstaining for that. I don't -- I mean, each individual can have their own reason for abstaining, but I, as chairman, wouldn't see that as a reason --

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: It's not a vote for him.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: The -- the question is is he qualified.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Qualified, that's all. That's all.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: And him making a campaign contribution does not disqualify him.

SENATOR SCOTT: I understand.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Am I correct?

REPRESENTATIVE KING: I just want to be on the record that I'm -- I'm voting for his qualification. I know that my campaign has received funds as well. However, I am voting in favor of voting him out as -- as a qualified candidate.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I want to clarify that that's the motion, is that -- move that he is qualified for -- for this. That's -- that's the -- was the pending motion, that he's qualified to serve.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Still okay? Still want to abstain, Senator Scott?

SENATOR SCOTT: If it's qualification only, I'll vote in favor of it. Restate your motion.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I -- I move that we find Mr. McCarter qualified -- after hearing his testimony, he's qualified to -- to serve.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Okay. Is there a second?

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Second is heard.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to vote. All in favor raise your right hand.

All in attendance raised their hand. Thank you.

Thank you.

Next we have under tab E, Joseph D. Swann.

Ms. Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: This is a new thing that has shown up on our research, if you will, and I just -- I didn't know if -- thank you, Mr. McCarter.

How do -- I don't know how to bring it up, but, I mean, is this something that we can discuss that we needed to start including or how it came to be that --

MS. CASTO: We did. The -- the committee discussed it, and -- and any confirmation that comes before this Senate, they are required any gubernatorial appointment to disclose if they have been -- received any.

So to keep all appointments uniform, it was added just this new cycle that we're going through.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I just don't recall it.

SENATOR SCOTT: Question. Coming out of the -- the change that we did during the ethics, what did they actually say once we gave those reports in reporting individuals and how we're able to vote since we're now recording publicly? The vote always been public because of the -- because of the forum, but -- but because we are voting him out, we probably need to make sure that we are clear from ethics downstairs so that the committee itself doesn't have a problem. I -- each individual vote on the candidate, of course that's a different ball game, but reporting to the committee has been a problem because conversation came up I think year before last in some subcommittee stuff that the folk had an interest it which led the committee I think to making these changes.

So somebody needs to ask downstairs to make sure the committee -- the committee -- we are correct in this committee and so members of the committee doesn't get penalized publicly by the general public.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you, Senator. That's a very good point. That needs to be clarified, but when -- when -- it was Representative Henderson's question. When -- when asked the legislation dealing with information and other -- other judicial candidates, what --

MS. CASTO: Judicial candidates are not allowed to -- to make campaign contributions. So that one is different, but any appointment that comes before the Senate for confirmation, just like when you appoint a -- vote them out of committee, you're okay, yes.

And it's public information. I mean, it's on the Ethic Commission website.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: The other boards and commissions also?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Cosmetology, DHEC, any board in the state of South Carolina on their personal data questionnaire has to disclose campaign contributions.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Are you okay? Okay?

Mr. King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I just want to be clear in looking at Mr. McCarter's contributions, he's been very diligent and fair about donating to mostly all members of the General Assembly, as well as both parties and caucuses. So I just want to make sure that that is also noted.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Just not that candidate, but other candidates also.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Correct.

SENATOR SCOTT: We don't want to -- Mr. Chairman, we don't want to end up in the end penalizing a candidate for a mistake that we made. I just want to make sure we get it straight.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Err on the side of caution.

SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, sir.

Mr. Swann, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

MR. SWANN: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Give your full name for the record and the reason why you'd like to continue to serve on the Clemson Board of Trustees.

MR. SWANN: Thank you, sir.

My name is Joseph D. Swann.

I -- I would like to start out by thanking you all for allowing me the opportunity to represent the legislature as an elected member of the Clemson Board of Trustees and to serve Clemson and South Carolina in that way. As I think as someone else said, it's one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I very much appreciate that opportunity.

I grew up in a small town as -- as Nicky did. I grew up in Marlboro County in the little town of Quiet Oak and went to Clemson and majored in engineering. That engineering foundation allowed me to understand how to address problems in -- in industrial business and how to work with the people that -- that ran our -- our plants, the -- the machinists and the material movers and all the people that actually do the work in a -- in an industrial complex.

I was lucky enough to be reasonably successful in what I did, and there's no question that I owe Clemson a big debt for -- for that academic foundation and for the life skills that I learned and the importance of not only my business career but also my personal life. And so giving back is an opportunity to do something for Clemson and for our state, and I appreciate that -- that opportunity.

Growing up I was an Eagle Scout and I think follow those kinds of laws. In most of my life I certainly attempt to do that. And I look forward to answering your questions.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions, comments?

Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you for your service on the board some 28 years now. I think you have been with the board of Clemson the same year I came -- came to the House. And so we thank you for your service.

I want to talk a little bit about your 28-year tenure and what you've seen and what you think that Clemson can do better especially in diversity. I know you've hired a diversity officer. I know you had a chance to meet and talk with -- talk to the office. But tell me a little bit about, you know, what took so long, you're being there so long and trying to get the ball moving to -- and also to make sure we bring a lot more South Carolina students to Clemson.

MR. SWANN: Yes, sir, I'd be happy to do that.

You know, when -- when -- we've always worked on this. So you know we've talked about that in the past, and we had had difficulty in the fact that we are a rural college, and it's a bit more difficult to get students -- minority students to come to the rural section of our state than it is into an urban setting.

That being said, we also took a while to understand the scholarship opportunities that were being offered to wonderful students of color in South Carolina, and they were leaving the state to go to other opportunities in -- in other states. And so now we're -- I think we've figured a way to address that opportunity, and I can give you a couple of numbers.

SENATOR SCOTT: Would you please, sir.

MR. SWANN: Our Emerging Scholars, you know, is a -- is a terrific program. They've never had a student involved in Emerging Scholars down in the I-95 corridor that has not either graduated from high school or -- or gone on to college or to the military or to a tech school. And -- and that -- that program is being expanded.

So we -- we now are expanding it from the southern part of I-95 up into Dillon and Marlboro, and I understand we expanded it into Florence County as well. And, in fact, I just pass on through, but every trustee -- I think maybe Ms. McAbee mentioned this, but every trustee contributed to the scholarship funds to -- to be able to increase the size of the emerging scholar classes.

The -- the biggest change I believe in -- in what has occurred in the last two or three years -- and we have grown from eight percent minority population at Clemson to 12 -- I think 12.2 percent, or some number like that, and the biggest thing that has changed has to do with providing both -- both merit and need-based scholarships and trying to keep our good students in our state rather than let the people in the northeast take our great students and take them out of South Carolina.

SENATOR SCOTT: Because I don't -- when I look on that list, those schools who are doing quite well in terms of cost to go to school -- North Carolina is adjacent to us. We're on the list of the most pricey. They're on the list of the least expensive. I know they changed their overall system into a more chance system.

Tell me how we get the cost -- our cost down. And I know we -- we say we're in a rural part, but we're bringing topnotch folk across the world here. And so, I mean, the -- the world is a lot larger than the state. And so I know with some planning and some real action, we can change our record.

Tell me how we get the pricing down. Out-of-state students pay almost $20,000 more. We've been subsidizing those students with other funds to bring them in. In-state students who want to go don't get -- don't get the ride they need. They got the grades. They end up going someplace else.

MR. SWANN: Again, I'll provide some facts. But our -- our in-state students that come to Clemson pay about 36 percent of the public's price. So while we're charging a little over $7,000 per semester, all -- all Clemson freshman, 99 plus percent receive a LIFE or a Palmetto scholarship.

SENATOR SCOTT: Correct, uh-huh.

MR. SWANN: That allows them to pay -- instead of the 7 thousand -- some odd dollars, it allows them to pay 2000 -- $2,650 per semester to go to Clemson. So as long as they -- as long as they keep that scholarship, they -- they have a very competitive price for -- for attending Clemson.

SENATOR SCOTT: And I'm looking at -- the full cost of Clemson is 28,662. 13,418 was tuition. 9,144 was room. Books and other -- books 1302, and other fees is 1290. 28,662. 14,000 against a semester if you cut it -- 14-5 if you -- 14 if you cut it in half, and you only get to 5,000 one time a year. The 4750 plus 250 for books. And so I'm trying to figure out how you -- how you -- you got down to 7,000. I'm looking at -- 13,418 was your starting number. I guess you took the 5,000 off of 13.

MR. SWANN: This is -- this is university numbers --

SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.

MR. SWANN: -- reported numbers. 36 percent of $7,356 is what incoming freshman pay. That number is $2,650, and the -- and the charge for the same -- a semester for out-of-state students is $17,827. That is tuition, and -- and room and board is in addition to that. And you have some numbers there for room and board.

I'd like to -- to give you what I am a very -- very proud of is is that we are -- we are educating students at Clemson now for 15 percent below the cost of educating them in 2008. We educate students at Clemson for one-half -- a little bit under one-half of the price that the University of North Carolina charges those students.

So our goal, my goal and I think the whole -- the board of the -- the goal of the board is to make sure that more students retain their scholarship as they go from freshman to sophomore to junior and senior years.

SENATOR SCOTT: So in essence you have reduced your tuition from 13,000 to 7,000? Is that what I'm hearing you saying?

MR. SWANN: No, sir, that was one semester.

SENATOR SCOTT: Oh, one semester. Okay.

MR. SWANN: Not the whole year. Maybe that's where our numbers are off.

SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. That's -- that's the first semester when they come in?

MR. SWANN: Yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: All right. The other question I have, tell me a little bit about your thinking for higher education, Department of Higher Education oversight at Clemson with some of the other issues that you -- that the school has had in working through some of the issues that you have.

MR. SWANN: I think CHE has -- certainly has a major role to play in this state.

If I could use my own business experience. You know, when we -- when we have smaller plants, we had to -- had to have centralized people that looked at some of the details that the small plants could not afford people to -- to cover all of those -- all of that data. I think the same situation occurs in South Carolina.

I think the three research universities are so large that they have to have people who are collecting information on their -- their compliance and other types of things that once they -- the CHE looks at -- and they approve any new courses and the location of new courses. They -- they handle the scholarships and the distribution of scholarships, the Palmetto LIFE Scholarships, and that's very important.

There are areas in capital approval that -- that what they do is redundant. There's also some areas that they do that's redundant to what's being done at Clemson and the University of South Carolina and MUSC, and I don't think we ought to do things that are redundant. So I think -- I think there's a -- certainly a major role for CHE to play, but I believe they should be more aware of the kind of data that's being gathered and managed at the larger university.

SENATOR SCOTT: Who reviews that data? If you take CHE out of it and you allow the university, the big three as you call yourself --

MR. SWANN: Sure.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- to run however you want to do it, who's to review it to make sure that the data that you receive, the accuracy of the data, if you left far away from where -- where the higher education would be in the state to make sure that you -- you walk back into focus to do it, if we give y'all the latitude just to do what you want to do?

MR. SWANN: CHE should still receive every bit of data that the board that Clemson gets.

SENATOR SCOTT: So to receive the data --

MR. SWANN: And they review that data. If there's a problem with it, they would have a -- have every right to raise the question, but -- but the -- the data that they are requesting and the data that is being provided for managing financial and emissions and -- and whether or not people are -- the courses that are being offered are addressing the market needs, all -- all of that is being looked at already by the Clemson board.

SENATOR SCOTT: One other question. Engineering program -- I know you're still an engineer. What's your thought of allowing other schools to -- since we have a large percentage of engineering shortage and it's growing, going to continue to grow if your students continue to go out of state for jobs, what's -- what is your thinking pattern on how we correct that?

Because if it's simply taking the test, you either pass the test or you don't. You get additional study, go someplace else and you become a little bit more refined and you take the test.

Outside -- our cause is a little bit different. We've invested a lot of money in our cause. So you've got the opportunity to have a lot more experience with coming out. It's really to do with how well you're going to do on a test, not whether or not you pass the test. What's your thought pattern on that?

MR. SWANN: Well --

SENATOR SCOTT: There are some schools who I think can produce some -- some good -- some engineers and be able to help us close some of these gaps as we continue to grow this -- economic concerns and keep -- keep us focused on them.

MR. SWANN: I did hear you ask that question before, and I did not know of the problem until I heard the question before.

SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.

MR. SWANN: But certainly I agree. I -- I too agree with free enterprise, and I think anyone who wants to take the test -- there should be certain prerequisites for that, but I think --

SENATOR SCOTT: Explain that.

MR. SWANN: I don't know what those -- what that would be -- what that would require. I assume it would require certain basic engineering courses or -- or experiences that could offset that, like -- like the architects used to have at one time the ability to do.

SENATOR SCOTT: You do the test in parts. You could have active part and you also have the phasing project part. You either do or you don't pass it.

MR. SWANN: I -- I -- and I agree with that.

SENATOR SCOTT: And so I don't want what other part it can be. I mean, that's probably one of the few disciplines that you do have, that you add something different other than relying on diversity to take the test. Thank you so much.

MR. SWANN: May I just say also that Clemson has tried to address that because with -- in the last ten years we've increased our number of engineering students by about 70 percent, so we too are trying -- recognizing that -- that need of the state.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Anyone else?

Mr. Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And appreciate you being here today this afternoon as it is at this point.

Your years of service, your involvement with the university, how would you relate your attendance record for board and -- and committee meetings and things of that nature?

MR. SWANN: I just don't miss meetings. I -- I think I've missed one meeting in 28 years of the board and I called in from Cleveland where I was in the hospital for -- for that meeting, so --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

MR. SWANN: I think I give about one day a week in service to Clemson.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Talking about education and things, are you familiar with the Call Me MISTER program at Clemson University?

MR. SWANN: I am very familiar.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And has that not been recognized nationally as one of the premiere programs of trying to get males and minorities into the classrooms at --

MR. SWANN: It has, yes, sir. I think Emerging Scholars and Call Me MISTER and the Bridge program are three things that are having a major impact on being able to increase the number of minorities.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'll stop there. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Okay. Questions, comments?

Representative Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I will not -- in the interest of time, you know, of my interest in this addiction and recovery issue, so I would just challenge you as a continuing trustee that when this report comes, you all take it seriously and commit additional resources to actually really addressing the problem in a serious way of treatment and recovery.

But I've known Mr. Swann for a long time from the Greenville community. So if there's not any other questions, I would like to make a motion for his recommendation as qualified.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions?

Got a quick one. I wanted to go back to the professor, the social media posting. You heard my questions earlier about "racist scum, violence." What's your opinion?

MR. SWANN: I don't think the people that he referred to are -- are scum, so I -- in seriousness what he said is absolutely unacceptable, and Clemson approached that by going to our legal counsel. And Mr. -- Mr. Hood assembled about ten other university legal counsels, and the information from them was that if we did anything at that time as a public university that we would abridge his First Amendment rights and certainly would lose a lawsuit.

That would include the chairman of the board appointed a committee to start developing and -- and to present for first -- for the first review in our winter meeting a -- the -- the foundational values of the university so that we could use those in hiring and admitting students to -- students to Clemson, but in hiring faculty and staff or administrators. So I believe by -- by the middle of the summer we should have the board values that are being used that way.

But as far as -- I know you asked before if that -- if that -- that situation is completed, and I think because of his -- as Ms. McAbee mentioned, because he has not done -- he has not made any statement of this type within his classroom or in -- in the way he was teaching his students, the university has been given legal guidance that -- that we -- we would not be successful in terminations.

So that -- I think it is closed unless he does something that -- and I don't of course agree with what he did or his being able to do it. He -- he would never have worked the second day when I was the CEO of that -- that particular business.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions, comments?

What's the desire of the committee?

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So moved.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Motion is --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- proper -- proper terminology --

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: -- that the candidate is qualified?

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Right.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Is there a second?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Gestures.)

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Second.

All in favor raise your right hand.

Thank you very much. Thank you very much to continue to serve.

Members, if you promise to come back in five minutes, don't leave, we'll take a stretch break.

(A recess transpired.)

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Call the meeting back to order. Thank you everyone for being cognizant of the time.

Now, we -- I have two seats -- two candidates for the Citadel, a term to expire June 30th, 2024. First candidate Allison Dean Love.

Ms. Love, you're here. Swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

MS. LOVE: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on The Citadel board.

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. And can I just say thank you for the due diligence with which you are doing this today because you've asked a lot of really great questions in advance, and this is my fourth time to come before the Screening Committee, and you're asking a lot of very thorough questions, and I just want to say thank you for that.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: You're welcome.

MS. LOVE: But thank you also for allowing me to continue to serve on The Citadel Board of Visitors. I love The Citadel. I love its mission and its vision to educate principle leaders. I graduated from there. I was married there, and my husband and I and my family and I really appreciate what it stands for.

I've been a passionate advocate for higher education in South Carolina for many years, and I want to be able to contribute to the long-term purpose and mission and vision and higher education through continued service on The Citadel board. I firmly believe that higher education is the key to our state's success and economic growth, and I am honored and privileged to be a graduate of The Citadel Graduate College with a master's in business from 1993.

Just a few highlights of my last 20 years on The Citadel board, and I say 20 years because first I was appointed as a nonvoting advisory member to serve on the board by the Board of Visitors back in 1997. I was elected by the General Assembly first in 2000 and then reelected in 2006 and again in 2012. I'm currently the chair of The Citadel Communications and Community Relations Committee. I also serve on the Executive Committee and the Education Leadership Development Committee and Legal Committee, among other things.

I'm also a lifetime member of the Citadel Alumni Association, a member of the Citadel Brigadier Foundation, and one I think I'm very excited about is that my family and I have started a -- the Dean Love Family Leadership and Ethics Program for The Citadel Graduate College to make ethical learning and ethical teaching throughout The Citadel Graduate College.

Also very active in giving back to The Citadel Foundation. We are members of The Citadel Star of the West Society which recognizes lifetime support of $250,000 or more. I'm also a member of The Citadel Legacy Society which recognizes alumni and friends who support The Citadel with planned gifts, and I'm a member of three different clubs; the Greater Columbia Club, the Chester/Fairfield Club and the Middle Tennessee Club where -- which is my home state. So I take a lot of time in my service on The Citadel board.

I also served for 15 years on the Lowcountry Graduate Center board. I'm no longer serving on that board, but I was past vice chair and past chair of that organization, and I was honored by Governor Nikki Haley to be appointed to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education in the spring of 2015. My service on that will be coming up June 30th of this year, 2018, but I've been honored to be elected to serve as the four-year public university college representative on -- on that board as well.

But I believe that making the choice to earn an MBA from The Citadel changed my life, and I want to be able to continue to give back to The Citadel through my time, my money and my service. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?

Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: I want to pick up on that last appointment on the Department of Higher Education board.

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me a little bit about your thought pattern having served on that board as it relates to colleges and universities and oversight what you think should or should not actually happen coming from the Department of Higher Education.

MS. LOVE: Well, I hope you had a chance to read my response to that question that I supplied back in October, but I'd love to expand on that.

SENATOR SCOTT: Please.

MS. LOVE: I have been on the commission now almost three years and still consider myself relatively new, but when I first came on the commission, a lot of us were new and we looked at the role of the commission as written in the state statute. And even in the fall of the year 2015 we had a couple of different attorneys take a look at what's written in the state statute to try to determine what we were responsible for doing, what we were supposed to be doing for you. And when I was first confirmed by the Senate Education Committee, I said I wanted to see more of a spirit of collaboration and communication and cooperation among higher education and the commission and the legislature, and I still believe that today.

We presented our findings to the House of Representatives Higher Education Governance Ad Hoc Committee in the fall of '15 and the spring of '16, and I had the honor of speaking before that committee as well. I still believe that the Commission on Higher Education desperately needs clarity of vision and clarity of admission. Even though it's written in the state statute, I still believe that there's a lot of communication that could take place between this body and that body and in studying some long-term strategic priorities for our state.

The -- the piece of it that I have enjoyed the most, I will say what I wanted to see occur in my time there -- and thankfully we have just seen -- is an updated public agenda or strategic plan. The last strategic plan that we had was from the year 2009. So we took a lot of time from October of '16 to October of '17 updating that plan. Very happy to see that it -- it did just pass in October of this year.

And -- but one of the key elements of that was working with other state agencies, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, the Department of Employment and Workforce, and the state Chamber of Commerce as well, college presidents and a lot of others. But the bottom line is that this new plan is going to hopefully increase our educational attainment rate in South Carolina to 60 percent. And by that I mean the number of people who are going through the pipeline and getting a -- either a certificate, a two-year degree or four-year degree.

So I'm -- I'm really proud of the work that we did with that. But I do believe that CHE needs to continue to work with all of these entities to meet the needs of the community, and by that I mean what I said earlier, and that is reflecting back on -- I really believe that higher education is the key to success in South Carolina and to meet the needs of the economy.

So we need to be working with the business community. We need to be working with all of these groups, and in order to determine what they need and the type of student that we need to educate and the type of careers that they are looking for and what they need.

So -- but I do believe that continued clarity of admission and vision between this body and the commission would be very helpful. And the state needs some kind of strong coordinating body to oversee higher education. I do believe that, and there needs to be checks and balances. There needs to be some kind of coordination.

The -- the General Assembly has determined that you want a coordinated comprehensive system, and in order for us to be the global leader that you want us to be, we've got to make sure that we've -- and that we right now -- we, all of us who served on boards of colleges but also the Commission on Higher Education, we need your -- your support and the authority to do what is given to the body to do.

SENATOR SCOTT: The reason I've been asking so much today about diversity, not only with staff and instructors, but also the students we're only graduating about 25 percent of the students who graduate annually who are ready -- who are ready -- college ready. And so it's either in the intake system on -- at the college and university. We've got to train people so they go back in these communities or prepare them to train others.

I want to fast forward to The Citadel.

MS. LOVE: Thank you.

SENATOR SCOTT: And tell me a little bit about diversity about The Citadel, what's going on with that. I mean, you've had some challenges with cadets who were concerned about what was going on at the -- at the chapel. Tell me how the board managed to work through those issues. Also tell me a little bit about what you're doing as it relates to bringing on a lot more diverseness with the military bases.

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir. I'm very active with The Citadel minority population and the alumni. I stay in touch with them a lot and have personally even mentored a lot of the younger females as well as minorities, both male and female at The Citadel. So I'm happy to report to you that we now have the most diverse class we have ever had with the cadets that came in this fall.

We now have ten percent women, ten percent African Americans, and seven percent Hispanic. That's the highest we've ever had. And we had a diversity equity inclusion council which promotes diversity, and I believe that it's important for our cadets who are going into the military to serve in the military or to -- to be business leaders or in all walks of life to have that diversity.

So, you know, we just celebrated 20 years of women at The Citadel not very long ago, and we also just celebrated 50 years since we had our first African American. So we're very proud of the progress that we've made, but we still need to make more because we do believe that this is a priority for us. We get regular reports on this and we do keep in touch with what's going with the minority alumni.

SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me about the makeup of the board. How many other females or minorities on the board? I mean, what's going on with that?

MS. LOVE: I'm -- I'm glad you asked that question because I forgot to say something earlier. I am the only member of The Citadel board who is elected by this body who is a female and I'm the only member of the Board of Visitors who graduated from the graduate college, and so with that I can provide a voice for over 10,000 alumni who have been a part of The Citadel Graduate College and a part of that body, but -- I'm sorry, what was the rest of your question?

SENATOR SCOTT: Is there an African American on the board?

MS. LOVE: Oh, yes. Yes, sir. You -- this body just elected Stanley Myers --

SENATOR SCOTT: I understand.

MS. LOVE: -- and he was the first African American ever elected by this body to serve on The Citadel board, and he's an attorney and doing a wonderful job. Enjoy serving with him.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon.

MS. LOVE: Good afternoon.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Appreciate your service.

MS. LOVE: Thank you.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Again, from -- from my theme, please identify for me your -- your involvement as a acting member of the -- of the board.

MS. LOVE: I'm extremely involved. I hope you had a chance to read the long list of things that I'm involved in with The Citadel and have been for many, many years. I left some of that out of my opening statement for -- in the interest of time, but I've been very active with The Citadel since I first started there.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Attendance and things of that nature -- I mean, being active is one thing --

MS. LOVE: Yes.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- but is your -- your attendance, how would you define that?

MS. LOVE: I would say I'm close to a hundred percent. In 20 years of attending board meetings since August of 1997, I can probably name on one hand or very few times that I have actually missed a board meeting. Even after I had surgery in 2005, I called in to a board meeting.

And I missed a meeting one time. It was a special called meeting because I was out of the country, but another time I was out of the country, I even called in. So I -- I can -- I can very rarely remember missing any meetings over my 20 years.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And briefly I just wanted you to, if you would, comment here on the tuition. In-state is 21,000, and then ideal ratio you're -- you're saying y'all -- The Citadel is 54/46 currently and you're comfortable with that ratio, and why -- why is that when we -- when we're saying that 70/30 is not good at other public institutions?

MS. LOVE: Well, The Citadel of course has a very unique culture, and we believe that diversity is a good thing, and that also includes diversity of people coming from other countries. And we have been recognized nationally and internationally and have been ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report for seven years in a row.

So because of that type of thing, we are composed of cadets and other students that come from all over the world. So we -- but The Citadel, as I mentioned in -- in my written material, The Citadel has committed to and maintained our commitment to admit all qualified students from the state of South Carolina.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: That's what I wanted to get on the record.

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir. We have made that commitment. We have maintained that commitment, and we certainly want to admit all qualified students and cadets from the state of South Carolina.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And so that's your first priority is -- is before you go out of state is you've -- you've accepted all qualified students from within the state of South Carolina?

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Questions, comments?

I have a couple regarding your infrastructure and your physical plan of the campus. Senator Rex Rice had several constituents contact him and in turn contacted me about the conditions, specifically mold and mildew in the barracks. Can you speak to that? How are we addressing that?

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir. We -- we had a very hot summer, and we had determined that we had a little bit of a problem with mold. That has been addressed and we are doing further study on that, but they have already done some mold remediation and -- and mitigation to remove that, and so that is being addressed.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Is that unique to your campus because of the moisture and the climate around there?

MS. LOVE: I would believe that our proximity to the Ashley River and the humidity in the lowcountry would certainly have some effect on that situation. I do not know if the College of Charleston or the Medical University of South Carolina have experienced similar problems.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: But as a trustee, you feel comfort -- Board of Visitors, you feel comfortable of asking for that this past summer?

MS. LOVE: Yes, sir. Our president and the administration was very quick to let us know what was going on and that they were addressing it and taking care of it as soon as possible.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: We had some parents concerned about the health and well-being of the students.

MS. LOVE: Well -- and related to infrastructure, since you brought up that issue, I think one of my greatest concerns has been our aging buildings and what -- how we're going to continue to chip away at our maintenance issues. Of course we also have the threat -- or the risk of earthquake in the lowcountry, and that is something that concerns me greatly because I -- I didn't mention this in my opening statement, but I have been in the insurance industry for more than 20 years and have conducted communications and public relations in the insurance industry, primarily in risk management and loss prevention, and that issue concerns me as a board member and certainly it's something that all colleges in the lowcountry and throughout the state of South Carolina face as well.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Your question?

SENATOR SCOTT: Qualify.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Qualify.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Motion to qualify. Second.

Discussion? All in favor raise your right hand.

Thank you for your willingness to serve on the board of visitors at The Citadel.

MS. LOVE: Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: We've got Peter M. McCoy, Sr.

MR. McCOY: I know you saved the best for last.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Would you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

MR. McCOY: I do.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: For the record if you would give us your full name and a brief statement on why you'd like the opportunity to serve on The Citadel Board of Visitors.

MR. McCOY: Thank you. And -- and thank you for the opportunity to come before this -- this committee. And thank you all for your service. People don't realize what you all do for the state and what you sacrifice, and thank you for that.

I'm Peter M. McCoy, Sr., and so I was honored and privileged to be elected through the legislature to serve on the board. And just finishing up, this will be my -- just finishing up my first term, and it's a privilege and honor and I want to continue to do so.

I've worked for a company out of South Carolina called Sonoco Products in Hartsville, and I travelled a good bit. I moved nine times with them, and I finally got back to the -- my -- my home state of South Carolina and wanted to put some time in with the -- The Citadel and continue to provide, you know, the type of education that we have and -- and educating principle leaders and put them out in the workforce in South Carolina if we can. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: How did you end up in Bay Shore, New York?

MR. McCOY: I tell everybody I was fortunate enough to be born in the south. It just happened to be the south shore of Long Island. My -- my father --

SENATOR SCOTT: Military?

MR. McCOY: Military. Had been in the Navy and he was a physician and moved to Charleston, and I was fortunate enough to be raised there.

SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me about your experience with The Citadel with some of the issues that your counterpart has ex -- has done an excellent job in expressing, especially on the female side of the all other things that's going -- the diversity side of what the school is actually doing, and she's been there a lot longer than you.

MR. McCOY: She has and --

SENATOR SCOTT: So tell me -- tell me what you -- what you see that you will bring to the table to strengthen and to improve some of what I've already heard today.

MR. McCOY: You know, if you -- if you look at where we've been and -- and where we are today, we can say we've made improvements. And -- and, you know, we have a diversity council on campus now. We didn't have that, and -- and when I was there as a cadet, we didn't have anything like that. And -- and so we have made strides.

And as Allison pointed out, she reaches out in the community, and I do the same. I like to spend time -- of course my grandchildren are down in Charleston, so I get down there as often as I can. When I go on campus, I talk to parents of cadets or prospective cadets. And as General Grimsley used to say, you know, "We've got a bunk waiting for you, and you don't have to worry about competing with what you wear. We're going to provide you a uniform. You're going to look the same as everybody else."

We have -- we -- you know, I do put down that as a weakness for us, if you notice in the statement that I wrote, but it is an area that we can always improve. And anything we can do at the school can always improve.

SENATOR SCOTT: That's the only questions I've got for you.

MR. McCOY: Thank you.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good to see you today.

MR. McCOY: Thank you.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: You mentioned grandchildren. They're in Charleston.

MR. McCOY: Yes, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I was just looking over your -- your form -- your form here. It says -- and you have a spouse. Don't have children listed here, so I assume you've got some children if you've got grandchildren.

MR. McCOY: I have two sons, Peter McCoy, Jr., and George Coleman McCoy. And -- and my mother is still an active member in the community in South Carolina. She's 101 years old. She's the oldest member of the Brigadier Club at The Citadel too. Never misses a home football game.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Outstanding.

And talking about attendance and things in your time of service, what -- how would you define your -- your involvement or percentage of attendance?

MR. McCOY: I've been -- I've been to every meeting. One I attended via conference call and another one -- you know, our meetings are -- are scheduled meetings, all day Friday and part of a day on Saturday, and I left at noon one time to attend a funeral in Columbia.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. One other thing that I noticed, I believe, and I thought was interesting, biggest strength is the alumni and biggest weakness is the alumni and sometimes they're the biggest critics.

MR. McCOY: They are.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you experience -- you have people that criticize y'all?

MR. McCOY: Every now and then.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yeah.

MR. McCOY: And I -- and I pointed it out too. It's kind of -- as constituents, you vote on something -- a piece of legislature. Not everybody is going to be happy. You're -- you're voting to put forth more than what the majority wants, and -- and so you're not always going to have a hundred percent participation. And I mentioned in there -- and that's a phrase too our president likes to use. They're -- they're the first to circle the wagons, but sometimes the guns are pointed inwards.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. I just -- I wanted to get it in the record. Thank you. Very well said. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

SENATOR SCOTT: (Gestures.)

CHAIRMAN PEELER: Motion is to qualify. Is there a second?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Gestures.)

CHAIRMAN PEELER: All in favor raise your right hand.

Unanimous.

Thank you so much very much.

MR. McCOY: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN PEELER: That concludes our agenda. Y'all have a safe trip home.

Members -- well, staff will notify us when we can figure out another time for us to meet. And we will see you next Tuesday I believe. We're adjourned.

(The meeting was concluded at 1:41 p.m.)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRUSTEE SCREENING
COMMISSION FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
BOARDS OF TRUSTEES SCREENINGS

Date:     Monday, January 29, 2018
Time:     12:30 p.m.
Location:     Gressette Building

1101 Pendleton Street

Committee Room 209

Columbia, South Carolina

Committee members present:

Chairman Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.

Senator Thomas C. Alexander

Senator John L. Scott, Jr.

Senator Daniel B. "Danny" Verdin, III

Vice-Chairman Representative William R. Whitmire

Representative Phyllis J. Henderson

Representative John King

Representative Sylleste Davis

Also present:

Martha Casto, Staff

Julie Price, Staff

12:41 p.m.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'll call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the College and University Trustee Screening Commission. I pray that God continues to bless us all. And we have a pretty long agenda today, so we'll go ahead and get started.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next up, we'll deal with Francis Marion University, 1st Congressional District Seat 1, Mr. Mark S. Moore, Mount Pleasant.

MR. MOORE: Thank you, Senator.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: 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: Take a seat, and, if you would for the record, give us your full name.

MR. MOORE: Thank you. My name is Mark Shelton Moore.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?

MR. MOORE: I would.

First of all, I'd just like to thank the Members of the Commission for the opportunity to serve the last five years at Francis Marion. I think it's a remarkable institution of very esteemed board members that I work with and an incredible faculty, staff, leadership, administration under the direction of President Carter there at the university. It's been a privilege to work with all of them.

I think Francis Marion is a pretty special place. I think it embodies what a public university should be.

You talked about enrollments, for example. The university has got 96 percent in-state enrollment. I believe 58 percent of those come from the Pee Dee; 46 percent of those are minority; and more than a third, I think, 37 percent, are first in their family to go to college. I think the university is making a tremendous impact in the community.

There's a lot of effort to coordinate with the leadership in the community to create opportunities for those graduates so that they remain in the community and continue to build those communities up. And it's been a real privilege to work with folks in that direction, and a lot of that was going on way before I got there. Hopefully it'll continue on way after I'm gone, but I'd love to stay another five years.

I haven't missed a meeting with the board since I've been there, four years, and I'd welcome the opportunity to continue with the board.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is his paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. His paperwork is in order. He is running unopposed, and he's been on the board since 2013.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Senator.

SENATOR SCOTT: (Indicating.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ladies first.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm going to ask the same question that I asked the gentleman before you. Do you know the percentage of operating revenues that are appropriated through the state?

MR. MOORE: I would be hesitant to tell you the specific percentage. I believe it's going to be higher than South Carolina, partly because you don't have the level of out-of-state tuitions to offset, but I don't want to tell you the wrong range.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you.

MR. MOORE: I apologize for not having it today.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: No, that's okay. Thank you.

MR. MOORE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much, Mr. Moore, for serving. You have a unique school, and it's doing some unique things, you and Coastal Carolina.

Chat with me a little bit about what you guys are doing in your diversity program, because you probably would be one that would be sought out and probably be the lead for some of these other schools in that you're able to maintain so many South Carolina students that's going to your school.

MR. MOORE: Yeah, I think just by the very nature of the Pee Dee, we've got a very diverse population there.

And, again, there's a real focus on giving opportunities or allowing for opportunities for those students to develop. And, obviously, Francis Marion being the only public university in the Pee Dee -- Coastal Carolina would be, I believe, the next closest -- there is a real emphasis on getting those students into school. And there's been some work with some of the local schools in terms of creating bridge programs. I know they have actively worked with Florence-Darlington Tech as well, I think, going forward, you know, kind of reaching out into those communities and then creating bridges into the university.

And, again, I don't want to tell you the wrong thing, but I do think just by its very nature, we would maintain a significantly diverse population going forward.

SENATOR SCOTT: I do know there has been some concerns in the past with one area of subject that Francis Marion began to do speech pathology. I know that's a brand at South Carolina State College, and I'm hoping y'all can work that out so there's enough room that both colleges can work through those issues. Because I think y'all are probably the only two that's offering it in the master's program, if I'm not mistaken.

MR. MOORE: I believe so. I think, you know, one of the big issues is there's a significant demand out there for the program. I know that a lot of that is coordinated through the CHE, and CHE's coordinating body has the ability, I think, to kind of determine which programs would be appropriate for the circumstances. But, again, I do think there is enough demand out there for both programs to be sustainable long term.

SENATOR SCOTT: All I'm saying is I hope y'all can create that working relationship --

MR. MOORE: Absolutely.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- so it's easier.

Those even coming out of USC, Clemson, and other schools, there's no place to go with -- I think y'all are the only two schools that own it, that offer it in the master's program.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. MOORE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

What is your enrollment now at Francis Marion?

MR. MOORE: Again, I don't want to tell you the wrong figure. I believe it's between 4,300 and 4,500.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Somewhere in there, 45?

MR. MOORE: I believe so. It's stayed relatively stable.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And your profession is -- what did you do for your --

MR. MOORE: I'm an attorney by trade. I actually work at the law school in Charleston. I've been in administration there for about 10 years.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So has there been a value either to the law school or to Francis Marion as a result of that kind of being the academia from that standpoint with your service at Francis Marion? Is there anything you would speak to?

MR. MOORE: I think for just purposes of what I do, a lot of the same regulatory agencies apply a lot of the same issues that I might see -- as an administrator I might see, you know, coming up as a board member. Yeah, I don't know if that's the question you're asking. But, yeah, I believe that, and then having the experience as an attorney, obviously, there's a lot of legal issues that come up with different things that might happen.

My parents were also professors. My grandfather was a professor. I have an extensive network of professors on my father's side, and my mother's side was all business.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And your participation rate would be classified as what as a board member?

MR. MOORE: A hundred percent in terms of the meetings --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

MR. MOORE: -- and I go to graduations.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

MR. MOORE: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Mr. Moore.

It's really nice to see a university that puts South Carolina students first.

MR. MOORE: Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I wish we could say that about all of them, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Just one little quick question. Do you still buy your shoes at Belk's or are you -- did you go somewhere else?

MR. MOORE: Every year, I think -- Senator Peeler, the first time I was up here, asked me if I was fired by Belk because I was a loafer. I'm still telling that joke.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Hang around a bunch of them.

MR. MOORE: No, I don't buy my shoes at Belk, though.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I don't blame you. I wouldn't either.

But thank you.

MR. MOORE: Thank you. I appreciate it.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is he's qualified and seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

MR. MOORE: Thank you all very much again. It's been a real privilege.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Next, 5th Congressional District Seat 5, H. Paul Dove from Winnsboro.

MR. DOVE: 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. DOVE: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Let me tell you, Mr. Dove is one that y'all screened in November. So you may -- nothing has changed in his paperwork. He said he does have one clarification on the opioid, but Representative Henderson isn't here.

He is scheduled to be elected to an unexpired term next week, running unopposed. And so this would be his screening for a full four-year term beginning in July. But --

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: When was the last time we screened him?

MS. CASTO: In November.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: This past November?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Two months ago, two and half months ago.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think if you're qualified then, you're qualified now.

Favorable.

I heard a second.

Raise your right hand.

Thank you.

Have you got anything you'd like to say?

MR. DOVE: No, sir.

I did check with the guidance and placement counselor on campus about any kind of opioid problem, and she said in her long tenure there she only could remember two or three. So I was very pleased that that abuse problem seems to be so minimal, at least as far as it's reported to the counseling on campus.

I liked your question for the first gentleman about why did he want to serve and to Mr. Moore. You may remember that I've spent the last 33 years of my career at Francis Marion as a librarian.

And so retirement has been awfully good to me, and I've been able to engage in a lot of civic activities that I enjoy. And so I do feel like this is payback time, and it's an opportunity for me to continue to serve at an institution that's very dear to me.

So thank you so much.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, At-Large District Seat 8, Robert E. Lee, Florence.

Good afternoon, General.

MR. LEE: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I know you get that all the time.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MR. LEE: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.

MR. LEE: Robert Eugene Lee.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to serve?

MR. LEE: Very brief.

I remember when I was up here running the first time in 1998, Senator Scott was over in the House. And now, 20 years later, I look at where we are, and I ask myself every year -- or every time we are up for election, Am I still adding something to the board?

I'm a graduate. My mother is a graduate. My wife is a graduate. We all live in the Pee Dee.

It's a school that continues to serve in an underserved area. It was chartered to serve the original counties of the Pee Dee, and that's what we do, and that's who we serve. And I practice law over in Marion, and we put a lot of students in Francis Marion because that's where they -- that's just where they can go, and that's where they have to go.

And so, you know, I look at that, and I approach everything I do at the university from the standpoint of not only the institution, but the people we are there to serve because I know those people, and I'm one of them. And if it weren't for Francis Marion, I probably could have gone somewhere else, but it provided the springboard for me that I could have a successful career. And that's how I approach it.

And when we look at tuition and we look at those issues, the question I always want to know is, you know, what bar are we setting to keep somebody out? You know, because it could have affected me. And so, you know, that's why we do a lot to raise money to increase scholarships and do that kind of thing.

But our service area is the 13 counties of the Pee Dee in South Carolina. I'm not worried about the folks in North Carolina, Ohio, or anywhere else. That's not who we were chartered to take care of and to educate. So with that, that's what we've done, that's what we'll continue to do, and I like being a part of that, and it's my institution.

But I have a vested interest in it for myself and for my family.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

Does he have his paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Representative King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Attorney Lee, can you please explain -- because I don't know you. Can you explain this suspended law license?

MR. LEE: Sure.

In 2007, I was under insurance with the firm, and I billed to go to depositions that I attended by telephone to cover other costs. I had a secretary who raised it as an issue, and I self-reported myself to the bar. I left and subsequently repaid any of the funds that were due, repaid the law firm for any investigation it had to do. I made sure everybody was whole.

I then was suspended and immediately reinstated within a week after I became eligible by the Supreme Court, and I continued and have not had any other issues.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You mentioned that you were invested in the university -- or vested in the university.

Have you contributed financially to the university?

MR. LEE: Sure, I have.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right.

What's the scope of that contribution?

MR. LEE: I think we partially funded a -- Taylor Scott was a philosophy professor, and I donated to set up a chair for that. So I'd say I think it's right at 10 grand.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Good. Thank you.

MR. LEE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Lee, tell me a little bit about the diversity program. You were there, I guess, when it first began, and the influx of Pee Dee students really started coming in, especially minority students.

Tell me a little bit about how the institution handled that and voiced that, growing the population with more faculty, as well as the students who had begun to come in.

MR. LEE: Senator, I wish I could tell you that there was some great plan and we have some great emphasis on doing it.

SENATOR SCOTT: Sure.

MR. LEE: But the Pee Dee, it has a high and predominantly African American community, and that's who we serve.

So, you know, we have worked with the schools, and we were to bring the children in. We don't look at it in terms of are we bringing in the African Americans or the white students. We simply bring in those children from the Pee Dee who need to be educated, and it just so happens that ends up being about close to half of our students, students that are African American.

And that's just --

SENATOR SCOTT: I would never undersell Fred Carter. He's a remarkable individual when it comes to higher education. He was down there at the governor's office. So it's so unique when he comes down.

MR. LEE: Senator, what I've learned in now almost 20 years of working with Dr. Carter is he's great at making you think he works for you. And at the end of the day, pretty much everybody realizes they work for him.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Interesting observation.

Your participation rate, please, sir, as a board member over your current term.

MR. LEE: Probably 95 percent with 5 percent being excused because I had to either appear in court or some major event. Otherwise, I'm there at everything.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?

SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you.

MR. LEE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, At-Large District Seat 10, 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.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would, give us your full name.

MR. JACKSON: Kenneth Wayne Jackson.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement?

MR. JACKSON: I would.

I would like to say it's been an honor and a privilege to have served on the Francis Marion Board for the past 20 years. I came on the same time with Mr. Lee, and it wasn't -- at that time it wasn't the greatest period in Francis Marion's history.

I got on board because I wanted to see some changes made, and I was a part of helping get that done, and we've made a lot of great improvements since then. You've heard some of the other speakers talk about some of the things we've got going on, and I'm very proud of what we've accomplished.

I think your campus reflects what the Pee Dee looks like and what we want to see a college campus look like. And, you know, many educated students from South Carolina, and they stay in South Carolina.

So I'd like to continue to serve. I think there's more we can do, and I'd like to ask for your support.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

There are a couple of questions, and I think you answered one, that you've been on the board for 20 years. You were elected in '97; is that about right? '96? '97?

MR. JACKSON: '96, I think, yeah.

MS. CASTO: You will notice in his packet he gave a separate sheet of paper with his campaign contributions that's stapled to his sheet.

You also said in one of your questions about abatements that there should be limits and a policy approved by the board for abatements. Does Francis Marion have a policy? Has the board adopted a policy on abatements?

MR. JACKSON: I can't answer that question.

MS. CASTO: Okay.

MR. JACKSON: I'm not sure. I'm sorry. I'll find out.

MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

SENATOR SCOTT: One quick question.

I notice that you and Mr. Lee a minute ago, you guys came on pretty young to that board, and I'm concerned about at what point in time when you get in the 70s -- not taking anything away from the librarian, but what part of the board -- do you think there's a comfort level of it when new and young people come on, because, I mean, you've got so many bright young lawyers and other professionals who actually want to serve, and you've got plenty of time.

MR. JACKSON: Yes.

SENATOR SCOTT: You're not 60 years old yet.

But at some point in time -- and I think -- and your thinking might be different than mine, but I think it would allow some new ideas and acknowledge some growth and not people to hold on to the same thing for the institution to grow. What's your take on that?

MR. JACKSON: Well, I won't make any --

SENATOR SCOTT: This is your take.

MR. JACKSON: In general, I do think it's good to have young and new blood. We're kind of riding this out with Dr. Carter. And I think that -- you know, what I'd like to see is, you know, whenever he retires, which I hope is not going to be anytime soon -- but, you know, just because of change, it's not going to be forever.

I feel like it's important to have experienced people on the board when you transition into a new president. And then, you know, I can see myself moving on to something else at that point. I agree with you, and I don't want to be a 75-year-old board member.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?

SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. Raise your right hand.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: At-Large District Seat 12, W. Edward Gunn.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MR. GUNN: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give your full name and a brief statement if you'd like.

MR. GUNN: Yes, sir. William Edward Gunn, Seat 12.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a --

MR. GUNN: Yes, sir. Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity.

I did not graduate from Francis Marion; however, I grew up in Florence as a youngster. I went to McClenaghan High School. I spent a lot of my formative years in this area, saw this college -- this university grow from being in the basement of the Florence Public Library to what it is today.

We have right around close to 4,000 students. It's been a terrific journey for the folks there, for the people in the community, that region, and I can just say that in the last 20 years, I've seen Florence and Francis Marion really take off and do even better things than they were even before.

I'm just proud to be associated with it. I'm proud to be working with my colleague, Dr. Fred Carter, and the things that he's managed to accomplish there.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is his paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. There are a couple of questions, though.

In one of your questions, you talked about abatements, and you said that non-residents should not be given in-state tuition unless they're bringing a special skill. Do you have a definition or the board have a definition of what a special skill is?

MR. GUNN: I would have to give you -- my definition of that is a particular -- if you have a very talented individual, extremely bright, a high-end SAT type of score that you want to bring into an area and that individual is willing to attend Francis Marion, then we can probably help that individual come in and do what we could to help them.

MS. CASTO: And the question about the role of the Commission on Higher Education, you said that the current CHE needs additional regulatory authority. What kind of regulatory authority?

MR. GUNN: I know in that case and in the legislative world -- I'm probably stepping into a minefield -- if you're going to have a CHE, it needs to have some authority. If it's going to be rubber-stamped or it's going to be yes-ma'amed, then we probably need to look at another type of governance. However, having said that, I would say the current system of governance with the state's colleges and universities works quite well with the CHE in an advocacy role.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis, have you got a question?

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm going to keep asking my question until I get an answer. I'm hoping with your background you will know what percentage in operating revenues are an appropriation from the state.

MR. GUNN: Yes, ma'am.

The total revenue for the Appropriation Act was about 67 million, of which 15 million was appropriated by the General Assembly.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. Thank you.

MR. GUNN: Yes, ma'am.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: It's good to see you today.

MR. GUNN: Good to see you, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service.

Two or three questions. Let me start off with where you just finished up with the CHE. Do you see them as an advocate today for higher education?

MR. GUNN: I think they assumed that role. Whether they've actually been charged with that role or not is beyond me at times because I think they're trying to learn how to be in favor of making sure that the state's public higher education system is a unified organization and everybody is playing by the same rules. But sometimes I think they may venture off track a little bit and go in areas that they have not been granted that authority.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So if you've got an agency that's outside their scope of what the law allows, do you think that's --

MR. GUNN: I think that they need to be reined in if they have not been given that charge or given admonition.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Your decades of service in the public sector of the different variety of jobs, what has that allowed you to do as far as your board service, briefly?

MR. GUNN: Senator, I've been with the state government -- or joined the state government in 1987. I've been privileged to serve in a number of different roles, a lot of them financial, management, administration. I've worked with a lot of mighty fine people. Dr. Carter, again, and I were colleagues of the Campbell Administration.

And I think I serve on the finest committee for Francis Marion currently. And I think my knowledge of the state budget and the progression process, or legislative process, is a plus when we -- well, I'm trying to talk to people that may not be quite as familiar with it.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And what would your participation rate -- how would you classify that, please?

MR. GUNN: I've been on the board for eight years, and I have not missed a board meeting, and I've only missed one graduation.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Gunn --

MR. GUNN: Yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- good seeing you again.

MR. GUNN: Yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me a little bit about diversity and what you've seen and understanding the politics of it, as well as the actual diversity effect.

MR. GUNN: You know, Senator, what makes me feel good is when I go to graduation and I see all these families from toddlers up to great-grandmothers going into the auditorium/gymnasium to watch their child graduate. Many, many, most of them are first-time college students going in.

And I reflect back, as other speakers have told you, about the composition, the diverse composition of folks in the Pee Dee area where most of our students come from: 46 percent white, 46 percent black, 8 percent other. I think it's -- we're doing a lot of things with the students that make a difference.

SENATOR SCOTT: Is anything different that you think --

MR. GUNN: I'd like to see a larger minority participation on the board of trustees. We increased that somewhat in the last few years, but I'd like to see minority --

SENATOR SCOTT: What do you think has been the problem, like running at these institutions or just interest or just what?

MR. GUNN: I don't know if it's a lack of interest or they don't want to go through the process of running or not, but I would like to see greater participation.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?

SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. Raise your right hand.

MR. GUNN: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you very much for your willingness to serve.

MS. CASTO: The other ones have not come in yet. We're a little ahead of schedule.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Executive session.

(Executive session transpired from 1:29 p.m. to 2:23 p.m.)

(Senator Verdin and Representative Henderson join the screenings.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next up, Francis Marion University, At-Large District Seat 13, Mr. R. Tracy Freeman from North Augusta.

Mr. Freeman, for the record, if you would, state your full name.

MR. FREEMAN: Robert Tracy Freeman.

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. FREEMAN: Yes, I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on the board?

MR. FREEMAN: I would like to continue to serve on Francis Marion University's Board because I would like to continue my -- I would like to continue my efforts in steering the university to be a class -- A-1 class university here in the state of South Carolina educating our young, youth.

I've been on this board approximately -- well, going on eight years, and I'm a big ambassador of the university; not only because I'm an alumni of the university, class of 1992, but strive to connect to the university with the general public and also students for a better college education to gain a real good career goal in the future.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Members have any questions?

SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Verdin.

SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You don't know of any FMU out-of-state students receiving comparable in-state rates or tuition, by any chance? I'm just looking at your answers.

You wouldn't agree with it if that were the case, but you don't know of that being the case, though?

MR. FREEMAN: No, sir.

SENATOR VERDIN: And I don't either.

MR. FREEMAN: Yeah, no, sir.

SENATOR VERDIN: Okay. Thank you.

MR. FREEMAN: Yeah, as you notice my -- in one of the comments areas --

SENATOR VERDIN: Yes. Oh, yes. I'll read that.

MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir, because it's a state-funded school, and it believes we need to be first.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander has a question.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you for being here today.

Here I am. Right here.

MR. FREEMAN: Oh, okay.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Explain to me or give me your involvement with the university as a board member. How would you define your attendance at meetings and activities and things from that standpoint?

MR. FREEMAN: Well, I explain myself as an exemplary board member because -- well, hopefully none of the other people are here, but I actually attend more board meetings than some people on various activities that a lot of other board members that are closer than I am, which is 153 miles away, they don't even attend.

I am at least -- at Francis Marion University at least once a month. If not -- like next month is homecoming. We would have the African American Coalition be there. That's the 18th and -- excuse me. That's the 22nd. Then I'll be back the following week, March 1st, for a board meeting.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you try to do any recruitment of students from the area that you represent that you live in?

MR. FREEMAN: That is correct. Two things that I can talk to you about all night long: one of them is I'm a residential homebuilder, and the second one is about Francis Marion University. And I have traveled across the state. Richard Heflin recruited me in that, sent me to the university.

And also, what I'll do is work through the admissions office. I have actually paid for several recruiting affairs there locally, which, unfortunately, I've only had seven or eight members each time that attend. But if we just gain that one member, you know, I'm satisfied. So yes, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Davis.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I notice that you say that the biggest weakness is the retention of the freshman class. Explain what you mean by that. Why do you think that Francis Marion is seeing the freshman class leave?

MR. FREEMAN: I wish I could put a direct answer to that. I'll tell you right now, Francis Marion is not an easy university to go through.

I remember when I was a freshman there in 1987. Our retention rate was real, real low, and the reason why is because I think a lot of people take it as a joke, you know, this little rinky-dink Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, in the swamps. But when they get there -- they find out this is like next door.

I can't mention any names, but they found out it was a lot harder than they thought it was. And we had had also some other students that went to other universities amongst the state that were local Florence citizens, and they would come back during the summertime and try to take a little quick course, and then all of a sudden say, they go, Ooh. It's a lot harder than we thought it was.

And so I think that's one of the major reasons that retention rate has gotten a little bit better. But here again, because they found out from day one, it's not what they thought it was. It's a lot harder.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: What is your plan for making that better?

MR. FREEMAN: Well, the university -- one thing, I am actually on the subcommittee of the -- academics subcommittee. And one of the things that we have implemented in the past year, they have actually got some coaches now that the students actually go in and -- and not only do they have an advisor, but they go even further and to track students. Instead of just letting them fall downhill like they at one time did, not caring about the student, now they're actually taking the students -- because it's a different atmosphere now versus 25 years ago.

And you all know that, especially if you have students -- or kids, rather, where the parents -- I mean, you know, the parents send them to school, okay, expecting them to do updates. Parents do a lot of things for their students now.

So what it is, these coaches, they actually are taking the students and instead of letting them go down to a 1.0 GPA -- which you can actually stay there a year and a half before you actually get kicked out -- they're trying to get that cut off way before that year and a half time span comes. And then some people just can't cut it. They just can't cut it.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: All right. Thank you.

MR. FREEMAN: Yes, ma'am.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Mr. Freeman --

MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- you said that you wanted to give staff some additional information.

And so --

MR. FREEMAN: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- with that, we're going to carry over the vote for you.

MR. FREEMAN: Okay.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And, if you would, this page is for staff, and answer those questions for us.

MR. FREEMAN: Okay.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So we'll carry it over.

All in favor, raise your right hand to carry it over.

Thank you.

MR. FREEMAN: Okay, sir. I will just forward that directly over to Ms. Julie Price.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir. Okay.

MR. FREEMAN: Thank you.

MS. CASTO: Thank you.

(Discussion off the record.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now, Members, we have a couple of items we need to discuss.

One is Francis Marion. We had carried this one over.

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Francis Marion, the at-large, Seat 13, Tracy Freeman had some outstanding liens. And you all had requested that he get those cleared up. He was screened out, qualified pending the documentation. We have received the documentation. He has cleared up all of his liens.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Those questions have been satisfied.

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So previous motion.

MS. CASTO: He will be qualified.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next up on Francis Marion University, At-Large District, Seat 14, L. Franklin Elmore from Greenville.

Mr. Elmore, if you would give us your full name for the record.

MR. ELMORE: Louie Franklin Elmore.

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. ELMORE: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve?

MR. ELMORE: Yes, sir, I would.

I think I epitomize the role that Francis

Marion plays in higher education in this state. I grew up in Florence. My parents probably -- in fact, I know they couldn't have afforded to have sent me to Carolina or to Clemson. And at that time I graduated in '69, and it was the University of South Carolina at Florence. Governor McNair and a number of others, Pete Hyman -- who some of you may have heard of -- from Florence founded Francis Marion University.

And so I was able to go there and spend all four years. And then I went to South Carolina Law School and went to Florence and practiced, and then I opened a practice group for a large national law firm. Then about 15 years ago, I opened my own practice.

The role and mission of Francis Marion is to provide an educational opportunity to the northeastern section of our state. Most of our students are first-time college attendees in their families, including me. A significant number of our students hold down full-time jobs and attend classes in the evening.

When I was there it was a commuter campus. I was in the second graduating class, which if you do the math, it tells you how old I am. But over the years, I think, the role of Francis Marion and its mission statement have become well-defined, and I think we've lived true to our mission statement. I would venture to say that our in-state enrollment is the highest of any university in the state, 95 percent --

and you may have heard this from some of my fellow trustees who appeared before you earlier today -- and I think that's really significant.

So I think that demonstrates that we're serving our mission. Forty-eight percent of our students are minorities; 36 percent are first generation; 48 percent are from the Pee Dee, which is where we're located; and 84 percent of your alumni live and work in South Carolina. They don't leave. Very few of them do.

And so I really -- I am really proud of what Francis Marion is doing. I'm very proud of President Carter. I'm going to hate to see him leave in a few years, but I've had the pleasure of serving on the board since President Carter was elected.

Our enrollment is down a little bit, about 1 percent, as is most colleges and universities in the state, but our new programs and CHE has been a great and enthusiastic supporter of what we've been trying to do. But when you look at our health science programs -- nurse educator, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, this month we begin our doctoral in nursing, and master's of speech pathology is going to begin this fall -- we're serving a critical need in the Pee Dee. We're producing jobs. We're producing students who will have jobs and good-paying jobs.

We also recently introduced an industrial engineering program. Every one of our students who graduated had a job waiting on them, and they were good jobs in the 55- to $60,000 range -- which my youngest daughter just got a master's from the University of Central Florida, and I sure wish she was earning that kind of money right now, but she's not.

Our tuition is third lowest among the state's colleges and universities. We're recognized every year by U.S. News and World Report as the best places to work. We've received awards of excellence from the National Center of Education for nursing and also in education. We're not a big sports college or university, as most of you know, but we've had a few national championship teams, four to be exact: one in women's basketball, one in golf, and two in tennis.

So I would like to continue serving. It makes me smile every time I return home. It's a great opportunity for me to see my mother. And the most rewarding part is at commencement when you see these students coming in and you see their parents who -- that may have been the only time in their life they've ever set foot on a college campus, to see their child walk across the stage and receive a bachelor's degree. It's just really, really rewarding.

I've had the pleasure of serving as vice chairman, secretary, and as chairman of most of our committees. We're appreciative of what the state is able to do, but, as you know, our appropriation from the state is less than 20 percent of our operating budget. A lot of students, about 86 percent, receive some kind of financial assistance. So I think we're serving a great need.

We have a great president. We have a great board of trustees who are all working together to fulfill the mission that Francis Marion was created.

I'll be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Elmore, do you have any outstanding tax liens that aren't satisfied?

MR. ELMORE: Not that I know of.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Elmore. I'm really happy to hear about your relationship with Francis Marion dated back to when you were a student there. Tell me a little bit about Francis Marion and its growth given the balance that it has of minority students, the majority of the students, as you work through some of the issues of diversity, especially with staff and administration, because you've got a very diverse population --

MR. ELMORE: We do.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- of staffing, teachers, and administrators in trying to meet those needs of those young people, especially the 37 percent of those who are first-time students.

And I think that that's what creates that gap, the first-time students, first time away from home trying to make the adjustment and the ability for them to drop out after their first semester. Tell me a little bit about what y'all have been doing to fix some of that on that campus.

MR. ELMORE: Well, we have great mentoring programs. One program is called Freshman 101, and it's about learning how to be a college student. It's about learning how to handle when a professor calls on you and you don't know the answer and you're not prepared. We're small enough -- and this is one of the great things that still exist at Francis Marion.

When I was there, we only had like 300-some-odd students. We have 3,500 -- or 3,800 roughly now.

But our professors -- and it's amazing to me as a trustee to watch, but our professors take an interest in each of their students. And if they're not performing well, they don't call them out, but they pull them aside and say, "What's going on? What can I do to help you? Because I want to see you succeed."

I think your dropout rate is among the lowest, if not the lowest, in the state. We could always do a better job in terms of diversity. Quite frankly, there are just not enough qualified professors who are minorities to hire, and those who are go to places that pay a lot more money for professors than Francis Marion does. I think our faculty and our staff and the administrative staff are a pretty good reflection of the makeup of the Pee Dee.

I want to say the last six or seven years, more frequently than not, the president of the Student Government Association is a minority. Last year's student was a minority. So I think we're making great strides.

We don't have some of the bigger issues that some of our larger sister institutions do. Florence is not what you would call an urban center. The university is not in the middle of downtown, although we're contributing to the growth of downtown Florence with the PAC center and with our new allied health building. And also, we'll be expanding our speech pathology program downtown as well.

But it is a challenge. We do recognize it, but I think we're better off than most. I think we're better off than most.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Briefly define for me your participation as a board member, please, sir. How would you describe the percentage of meetings and activities that you are involved in with the university?

MR. ELMORE: I think I've only missed commencement exercises since President Carter has been there.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Board meetings?

MR. ELMORE: I think I've missed two they scheduled. They were both during the summer when we were on vacation --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

MR. ELMORE: -- which is generally when we're waiting to see how the budget checks out. And we generally have -- but I attend by phone when I'm not there in person, and I took you to mean in person.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir. Thank you.

MR. ELMORE: I don't think I've ever missed a meeting that I did not at least participate by phone.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Elmore, for your continued service. I actually really -- I've been on this committee for several years. I learned a lot today about Francis Marion, and I appreciate your commitment to the students from South Carolina and the fact that you have such an impressive rate of alumni actually staying in South Carolina and working.

I wanted to ask about your having been on the campus, you know, what have you seen with respect to drug abuse and alcohol abuse? I'm working in the opioid prevention area, and I know that it's been a big problem everywhere.

Do you all have programs in place for students that are dealing with substance abuse disorder, whether it be drugs or alcohol, or have you all seen a change in that over the years with this opioid epidemic? Has it touched your campus at all?

MR. ELMORE: You know, I'm sure it's touched our campus in more ways than one. I mean, if you have someone who is addicted in your family, even though it's not you, it touches you. If you're a student and it's a parent or it's a sibling, it affects you.

The only two instances -- I'm only aware of two instances since I've been on the board in which there was, I'm going to call it, a disturbance or whatever, and both were off campus involving alcohol. But we took corrective action with those individuals. We do have -- as part of this Freshman 101 program, we do have outreach programs and including, most recently, I think it's Title IX that we have an officer, Dr. Charlene Wages, who is senior administrative staff, who issues our compliance on things like sexual harassment and training and all of that, students as well.

I think there was one other disturbance in which there were two males in a dorm who were caught, and I think they may have had a small amount of some sort of drug, but they were expelled.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So do you have treatment available like for students that are dealing with this issue, that there is resources available for them on campus?

MR. ELMORE: We have referral resources and intervention resources, yes.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, the only other thing I was going to mention is one of the things -- one of the bills that we were working on is a program to require licensed substance abuse counselors. I'm hoping that will pass. So I'm passing that along to you and all of our MUSC friends back there that -- to take a look at the possibility of developing a program in that once we pass this bill, which I hope that we will, so...

But thank you for your service. We appreciate it, Mr. Elmore.

MR. ELMORE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

What's the desire of the Committee?

SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is a favorable report.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you.

MR. ELMORE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRUSTEE SCREENING
COMMISSION FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
BOARDS OF TRUSTEES SCREENINGS

Date:       Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Time:       9:00 a.m.
Location:     Gressette Building

1101 Pendleton Street

Committee Room 207

Columbia, South Carolina

Committee members present:

Chairman Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.

Senator Thomas C. Alexander

Senator John L. Scott, Jr.

Senator Daniel B. "Danny" Verdin, Iii

Vice-Chairman Representative William R. Whitmire

Representative Phyllis J. Henderson

Representative John King

Representative Sylleste Davis

Also Present:

Martha Casto, Staff

Julie Price, Staff

8:53 a.m.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'd like to call the meeting to order.

This is the meeting of the College and University Trustees Screening Commission. I'd like to welcome everyone. I pray that God continues to bless us all.

Members, you've got the agenda before you.

First, we have Francis Marion University, 6th Congressional District, Seat 1, Mr. Floyd Keels from Lexington.

Mr. Keels, if you will -- I think this microphone is the only one working, so...   For the record, Mr. Keels, would you give us your full name.

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir. Good morning to you.

My name is Floyd Keels. Floyd L. Keels.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

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. KEELS: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on the board?

MR. KEELS: Just I have an interest in the betterment of quality education.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You've been on the board since 2013, I think.

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir, 2013.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Staff, is Mr. Keels' paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. His paperwork is in order, and everything is in good standing.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You retired from the Co-op?

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How long did you work with the Co-op?

MR. KEELS: Actually, I had about 18 years with the Co-op. I had more than 40 years in the industry. And of course a part of that time was with an investor on the old Carolina Power & Light Company.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You're going to stick around for the reception tonight?

MR. KEELS: I don't think I will.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Any questions or comments from Members of the Committee?

Representative King.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, thank you for your service, Mr. Keels, on the college and university board.

Can you tell me a little bit about the diversity that you will all have there at the school and what all are you doing as one of the board members that is African American to make sure to ensure that there's a presence of diversity on campus?

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir. Thank you,

Representative King.

The diversity at Francis Marion University is something we're very proud of. It's about 50/50, I think. Forty-six percent African American along with other races.

And also, Francis Marion has a longstanding history of educating people from the Pee Dee region. So it's important to me to be a part of the university so that others can see the value that Francis Marion is bringing and also seeing the leadership from standing members of the community.

REPRESENTATIVE KING: And could you also tell me what is your giving in reference to the college? I know that this is a -- first of all, the position is a volunteer position, but, also, what do you give back to the college in reference to keeping the stability of the college funding and different things like that?

MR. KEELS: Mainly ambassador, I think. What I work hard at is trying to tell the story so that others with a need to know will have an interest in hearing and to -- and also, the visibility, just being visible in the community, visible at the college, serving on other organizations that support the college like the foundations, the nursing advisory group that I used to serve on. I'm no longer with them, but I have served on the foundation board, so...

I have served on the foundation board and now I'm serving on the development board, which has all the interest of bringing in the funds that are necessary for infrastructure and other things that are necessary to ensure affordable, sustainable education.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for your willingness to continue to serve.

Your attendance at meetings, board meetings, since becoming a board member, how would you classify that?

MR. KEELS: I would classify -- well, my personal attendance, I appear at all meetings.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you're a hundred percent on board meetings?

MR. KEELS: A hundred percent, with one exception. They have one meeting in August, and August is only family reunion time.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Other than that, it's a hundred percent?

MR. KEELS: Other than that, a hundred percent.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.

MR. KEELS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for your service, Mr. Keels, not only on the Francis Marion Board, but for your service in the military. I see you and I were about the same time when we got that invitation from Uncle Sam that we couldn't turn down, so...

Golden Gate University, is that in California? I've never heard of that one. I wondered where that was.

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir. It is actually a university out of California.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay.

MR. KEELS: And, of course, you know, they have extension campuses.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right.

Okay. All right. Well, that's all I've got.

MR. KEELS: Yes, sir. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything else?

What's the desire of the Committee.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Qualified.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion? No?

We'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

MR. KEELS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir. I appreciate your willingness to serve.

MR. KEELS: Thank you, sir. Thank you for what you do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Have a safe trip.

MR. KEELS: Thank you.

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRUSTEE SCREENING COMMISSION FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
BOARDS OF TRUSTEES SCREENINGS

Date:           Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Time:           9:00 a.m.
Location:         207 Gressette Building

1101 Pendleton Street

Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Committee Members Present:

Chairman Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.

Representative Sylleste H. Davis

Representative Richard C. King

Representative Phyllis J. Henderson

Representative William R. Whitmire

Senator Thomas C. Alexander

Senator John L. Scott

Senator Daniel B. Verdin, III

Also present:

Martha Casto, Staff

Julie Price, Staff

9:06 a.m.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'd like to call the meeting to order. This is a meeting of the College and University Trustees Screening Commission. I'd like to welcome everyone. We pray that God continues to bless us all.

You see the agenda before us. Winthrop University, 1st Congressional District, Seat 1, Timothy Sease from Mount Pleasant.

Mr. Sease, would you come forward. What we normally do is get you to say your full name for the record, and then I'll swear you in.

MR. SEASE: Yes, sir. Tim Sease, Timothy B. Sease.

CHAIRMAN 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?

MR. SEASE: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you'd like to take a seat and make sure your green light's burning and give us a brief statement on why you'd like to serve on the Winthrop University Board.

MR. SEASE: Absolutely. But first, good morning, everyone. It's a pleasure to be here on behalf of our colleagues here behind me from Winthrop.

I graduated from Winthrop in 1987. Prior to that, my grandmother attended Winthrop, and my son, one of our twin sons, attended Winthrop. So it runs in our family. We have always been a huge advocate of Winthrop and what Winthrop stands for. I've had an opportunity over those 30 years since that graduation date in '87 to be involved, including on the board, on the alumni board, Senator, as well as on the board of trustees and also involved in the Winthrop Eagle Club.

So it's just a passion of ours. We care about Winthrop deeply, and we certainly appreciate the opportunity we have to serve the students in this state and other states, and it would be a privilege to continue to work on the board.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. All of his paperwork is in order. He is running unopposed, and he is an incumbent since 2009, so it's been almost ten years, nine years.

MR. SEASE: Right.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments from the members?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raising hand.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good morning. I appreciate you being here.

So describe briefly for me your involvement with the University as a board member as far as your participation level, please.

MR. SEASE: Yes, sir. Well, currently I'm on the Finance Committee of the board, on the Executive Committee of the board, as well as I chair the Student Activities and the Athletic Committee for the board. I try to attend the graduations when possible. I try to attend many of the meetings. Certainly, whenever they're down in the Lowcountry where I'm from, down in the Charleston area, I'll attend the meetings. Unfortunately, I'm not able to make every single board meeting but certainly try to attempt to make every --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Is that 80 percent or 50 percent or --

MR. SEASE: I think it's north of 50.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

MR. SEASE: Yes, sir. I'm not sure if I'd say it was 80, but if I can't make it in person, we've been able to dial in and call in and participate by phone, which is not the same as being there, certainly, but we try to balance it, and it's very important to be there. So yeah, I understand the question, and I certainly would say we make it a top priority to be in attendance.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

(Representative Henderson enters.)

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Good morning.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning.

Any other questions?

What is the desire of the Committee?

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.

SENATOR VERDIN: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. It's seconded. Any further discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

MR. SEASE: Thank you, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve on the board.

MR. SEASE: Absolutely. Thank you, Senator.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, 5th Congressional District, Seat 5, Kathy Bigham from Rock Hill.

MS. BIGHAM: Good morning.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning. For the record, we all know you, but for the record, what's your name?

MS. BIGHAM: For the record, I'm Kathy Hudson Bigham from Rock Hill.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And the Senator from Spartanburg Scott Talley's mother-in-law.

MS. BIGHAM: Did you need to bring this up? Yes, sir. I'm very proud to be Scott Talley's mother-in-law.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Let me swear you in.

MS. BIGHAM: Yes. Thank you.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I guess it was better the way it was.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MS. BIGHAM: I do. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement of why you love Winthrop University?

MS. BIGHAM: Well, thank you.

I have served on the board for a number of years and in leadership as committee chairs, vice chair and chair. And a lot has changed, Senator, since I came before you all six years ago with the University, and I'm very proud of the way we've handled some real challenges, stayed strong, and have continued to, hopefully, represent you all as board members the way you would like.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?

Mr. Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Good to see you again.

MS. BIGHAM: Good to see you, sir.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: My daughter Brianne worked at the restaurant for many years.

MS. BIGHAM: Yes. We like to claim her as one of our own. Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And I might say that I only have good things to say about Winthrop. My mother graduated there. Brianne graduated and then got her master's. My son got his master's. Just an outstanding school. My wife, Kathy, was an elementary principal at three different schools, and she always said, when she was going to interview prospective teachers, if she saw Winthrop, they went right to the top because --

MS. BIGHAM: We are very proud of that program.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And, of course, Ms. Smalley is my best friend's wife.

MS. BIGHAM: And a dear friend of mine.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Right. Right.

So anyway, thank you for what you do at an outstanding school.

MS. BIGHAM: Thank you. I appreciate that very much.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good morning.

MS. BIGHAM: Good morning, Senator.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good to see you. Appreciate the efforts that you make.

Just a couple of things I thought were -- one is -- let me start off with your participation level, just for the record.

MS. BIGHAM: Okay. Thank you.

I have served as committee chairs for most of our committees, Student Life, Finance. And I served as chair for three years, '08, during a very difficult financial time when, for the first time ever, we furloughed, as you all know, and then was asked at that time to serve as vice chair again as we regrouped with leadership, which I did for two years. And then, again, I was asked to serve as chair for three years, three additional years. So I've served in most of the classes. I'm an alum. I live in Rock Hill, and I'm very blessed with that, because some of these trustees drive from all over the state, three and four hours, and I live about eight minutes from the school, so I'm able to attend a good bit of the activities there.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Great. And just briefly, I thought it was interesting. You say the ideal ratio is 75/25, but today it's 90/10. Is that right?

MS. BIGHAM: Yes.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Ninety percent in state and ten percent out of state.

MS. BIGHAM: Yes. And we are looking to increase our out-of-state student level, but we are proud of the fact that we do -- we're very proud that we graduate and educate many of our in-state students.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I would see it as positive at 90/10, personally.

MS. BIGHAM: Well, that is positive, but when we compete with schools that get so much more money for their out-of-state students and we get the same formula of budgeting that they get, we don't get more money because we're 90 percent versus the schools that are 60 percent. So I guess that's why some of us feel like if we -- we would never want to go below 75 percent.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions?

MS. CASTO: I need clarify something.

MS. BIGHAM: Oh. I'm sorry.

MS. CASTO: Ms. Bigham -- I'm sorry -- on your Personal Data Questionnaire, Question Number 28, you had said that you serve on the Council of Governments -- the COG Board and the Rock Hill Sports Commission.

MS. BIGHAM: Yes.

MS. CASTO: Do you still serve on those?

MS. BIGHAM: I have rotated off the Council of Governments Board. I am on the Sports Commission, which is appointed -- it's not an official capacity group. It's an arm of our Parks and Rec. It's city-appointed by our mayor.

MS. CASTO: Okay. Great. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Any other --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I move to find her qualified.

SENATOR VERDIN: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander moves. Seconded by Senator Verdin. Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

MS. BIGHAM: Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Next, 7th Congressional District, Seat 7, Robby Davis Sisco from Florence.

Good morning, sir.

MR. SISCO: Good morning.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would, give us your full name.

MR. SISCO: Robby Davis Sisco.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MR. SISCO: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

MR. SISCO: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?

MR. SISCO: First I'd like to say it's my first time in a process like this, and I'm delighted to be here, and I appreciate your time, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to serve Winthrop University and give back to the community just as each of you have chosen to give back to our State.

So thank you for your service as well. I understand what it takes to be a public servant because my career has put me in contact with public servants, actually, around the world.

Perhaps it would be good if I introduce myself and tell you a little bit of my background. I suspect that might be a question; you'd like to know more about me.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

MR. SISCO: So I'd start by saying that I grew up in Florence. I attended Florence School District Number One, elementary school, junior high school, high school. Then I went to Francis Marion University and then to Winthrop for my master's degree.

When I graduated from Winthrop, I left South Carolina and pursued my career. I've had over 35 years using my Winthrop degree in human resources. Of those 35 years, about 20 were for DuPont and about 17 were for Cabot Corporation. In my last 15 years of service with Cabot, I served as the senior vice president for human resources for our company.

Cabot is a chemical -- specialty chemicals manufacturing corporation based in Boston, and we have about 3,000 employees and about $3 billion in revenue, a Fortune 1000 company.

The reason I'd like to serve is as simple as giving back to the community. Throughout my career, I've stayed in touch and in contact with the University through a variety of programs and, of course, my hometown in Florence, and now that I've entered a different phase of my life and my career, being retired as an active employee, I'd like to be able to find a way to give back from some of the experiences I've had through my education and through my career.

And I'll stop right there.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, how about the paperwork? Is it in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, his paperwork is all in order. It looks good.

SENATOR VERDIN: (Raises hand.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.

SENATOR VERDIN: Well, I am curious -- thank you, Mr. Chairman. It relates more to your folks than it does you.

MR. SISCO: Yes, sir.

SENATOR VERDIN: You got to Florence quickly after your birth in Circleville, Ohio.

MR. SISCO: I did. My father worked for DuPont, and DuPont built a plant in Florence in '59 and '60, and my father transferred there as one of the first employees, as a first-line supervisor in a manufacturing plant. So the chemical industry is sort of in my family's tradition, and I was very fortunate to grow up in Florence. It's a great town.

SENATOR VERDIN: Yeah. That's a really precise description rather than saying you've got chemicals in your blood.

MR. SISCO: Well, I probably have those too, but it's not the wrong kind of chemicals.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

We appreciate your willingness to serve.

MR. SISCO: Thank you for having me.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: And obviously, now being retired, I would assume that there's nothing that would impede you from being able to be active and attend --

MR. SISCO: No, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- meetings on a regular basis --

MR. SISCO: No, sir.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- and other activities from that standpoint.

MR. SISCO: That's my expectation of myself, and I know the board has the same expectation of me, and I'm sure you do too.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir, absolutely. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Move favorable.

SENATOR VERDIN: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Seconded. Further discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

MR. SISCO: Thank you so much.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I sure appreciate your willingness to serve.

MR. SISCO: Thank you very much for having me.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next we'll move to Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, At Large, one seat, Michael Moss.

Are we running ahead of time?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

MS. CASTO: Let me see if they're out here.

(A recess transpired.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. We'll crank back up and come back to order.

Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, At Large, one seat, Mr. Michael Moss from Duncan.

Mr. Moss, if you'd like to come forward.

What we normally do is ask you to give your full name for the record, and then I'll swear you in.

MR. MOSS: Michael Dale Moss.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MR. MOSS: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. If you'd like to take a seat, and make sure your button's burning green to turn on the speaker.

MR. MOSS: All right.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to tell the Committee why you'd like to serve on the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School Board?

MR. MOSS: Yes.

My name is Mike Moss, as stated before. I have always, in my life, with my wife -- who is 37 years as a retired schoolteacher. I was also director of admissions at Spartanburg Methodist College. And I have two sons. They have continued their education, and both are in education as of now, plus my two daughters-in-law. One is an elementary school teacher, and one is at Clemson University.

I believe in continuing education. I believe in the education of young people, which makes them better citizens and students that can go out into the world and be very successful. And I have a personal -- many students seek scholarships. I've worked on those committees. And I just like what Wil Lou School has to offer, and I'd like to be a part of that.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Staff, is Mr. Moss's paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, his paperwork is all in order. He is going into an unexpired term, so his term will expire in 2021. The other two will go to 2022. But he is a new candidate, and he is from Greer, or was born in Greer and lives in Duncan.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Very good.

Any questions?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raising hand.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning. Thank you for your willingness to serve and for your experience that you bring to the school.

And just for the record, is there anything that would preclude you from being engaged and attending the meetings and being involved from that standpoint?

MR. MOSS: No, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

MR. MOSS: If I am committed, I am committed. I'm fully committed to this.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Great. We're just very sensitive. We want folks that are truly willing to serve rather than... So thank you for that.

MR. MOSS: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you for being here with us this morning.

I was interested in what you did with the American Cancer Society.

MR. MOSS: I was the area executive director for the American Cancer Society. I was with the American Cancer Society and actually retired there after 16 years. My job was to -- we were based on fundraising and also carrying out the mission of the American Cancer Society. And that was also dealing with patients, patient services. Just about everything you can imagine under that blanket, we did it.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Do you have other fundraising experience besides the experience you had with the American Cancer Society?

MR. MOSS: Yes. I had fundraising experience also at Spartanburg Methodist College. Being the small college that we are, we wear many hats, and so I work with the Development Office in fundraising for the college, and also, like I said, my fundraising with the American Cancer Society, and also my years with the City of Spartanburg Parks and Rec. A lot of times we had to go out and get sponsors for teams and different activities that we were doing. So my fundraising spans about 40 years.

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Good. Thank you. That's always a good skill to have.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Welcome, Mr. Moss.

MR. MOSS: Yes, sir.

SENATOR SCOTT: It appears from the echo from the back of some of the answers to cheer you on that you all come as a team to work at Wil Lou Gray. We can really appreciate that, especially when you've got a couple, both an educator as well as people, of course, who have worked with the community, to have that kind of support. So I heard in the back she wanted to make sure you get it all right and get it on the record.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Anyone else?

What's the desire --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable report.

SENATOR SCOTT: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Seconded. Further discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Thank you, sir.

MR. MOSS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You'll be an asset to the board.

MR. MOSS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I don't think Mr. Hamilton's here yet. If we don't mind, we'll move to Marilyn Taylor.

Ms. Taylor, good morning. Come over, please.

MS. CASTO: Ms. Taylor's PDQ and information is behind Tab F.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Where do you want me to?

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Right there is good enough for right now.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Right there is fine? Okay.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: My name is Marilyn Edwards-Taylor.

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?

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: I do.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. If you would, take a seat. If you would, just give us a brief statement about why you would like to serve on the Wil Lou Gray Board.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, I have served since 2006, and I was always very drawn to Wil Lou Gray for various reasons. Our goals are very similar. They run parallel. Wil Lou Gray's mission is to help at-risk kids, and I've always stood for those who are forgotten or for those who others have given up hope on. And that's the reason why I have such a passion with Wil Lou Gray, because it really does give others a second chance. And that's why I want to continue to be a part of the mission and definitely the journey.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is Ms. Taylor's paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?

SENATOR SCOTT: (Raising hand.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Welcome again, Ms. Taylor.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Thank you.

SENATOR SCOTT: I'm pretty sure the Deltas are very proud of you-

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely.

SENATOR SCOTT: -- and the work that you're doing there.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely.

SENATOR SCOTT: We really appreciate the time and energy and effort that you've put in at Wil Lou Gray. I'm really impressed with the healthcare experience you have, and I hope you'll encourage some of these young folk to go into the healthcare field as well.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely.

SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I noticed you were born in Gaffney.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Yes, absolutely.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I knew I liked you the minute you...

(Laughter.)

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: So that will give me a couple of points?

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All the points you need.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: (Raising hand.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Ms. Taylor, for your willingness to serve.

Wil Lou Gray testified before my subcommittee a couple of weeks ago, and I'm just amazed at the success that your school has had. I wish each one of the different schools that we listen to could say the same thing.

I think they were saying that it increased by almost ten percent, the number of students in the past year who've gotten their GED. And I know as a former schoolteacher, these kids would have dropped out. They would have been in gangs. They would have been on the welfare system, no job, no nothing without your intervention. So I just want to say thank you for the people of South Carolina for such an outstanding school here in our state.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: And I appreciate you saying that because actually, last year was a record-breaking year for those who achieved their GEDs. I think those enrolled were about 400. Those who actually completed the program were close to 300. I think it was like 290, but those who actually got their GED were 201. That was the best ever in the history of Wil Lou Gray.

So that really means a lot. That means that we are doing what we are supposed to do.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You certainly are. So thank you very much.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good morning.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Good morning.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service.

I just wondered if you would, for the record, share with us your participation level in your board meetings and activities there at the school as a board member for your last term.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Well, I actually attend all the meetings. I try to, anyway. Last year was a little bit challenging, primarily because I missed two meetings. And of course, our meetings are held each quarter. And one of the reasons why I missed a meeting is my sister passed in August.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'm sorry.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: So I missed that meeting. And, of course, I was traveling at the end of the year for work. But typically, I am very involved with all the meetings.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, as you seek reelection to the board, you see nothing within your schedule that would preclude you from being as active as needed to be a --

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Absolutely not.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.

SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Seconded. Any further discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you very much. You all are doing a great job.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

MS. EDWARDS-TAYLOR: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is Mr. Hamilton here yet?

MS. CASTO: No, sir.

MS. PRICE: He'll be here soon.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. We'll stand at ease.

(A recess transpired.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll crank back up.

MR. HAMILTON: Do you want me here?

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir.

MR. HAMILTON: Okay.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thomas Hamilton from Chester.

MR. HAMILTON: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would, Mr. Hamilton, for the record, just give us your full name.

MR. HAMILTON: All right. Thomas B. Hamilton, Jr., from Chester, South Carolina.

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. HAMILTON: I do, yes. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Have you got your breath okay? Are you all right?

MR. HAMILTON: Well, I do. I had to find a parking place, and then sprinting over here at a snail's pace was tough.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I understand.

Would you like to make a brief statement for the Committee on why you would like to continue to serve on the Wil Lou Gray Board?

MR. HAMILTON: Golly. Yeah. I have my -- it's just so impressive. You know, I didn't know what I was doing before, but I've learned so much from the faculty. Pat is just a guiding force, just everybody. But anyway, in the past, I've been involved in so many different things, and I've got a lot of different avenues to, hopefully, be a resource for. Starting off, I guess the big one is, people go through cancer, and I'm a survivor, and I'm really happy about being a survivor, but also for awareness and all the other things that go through.

And then I've had quite an array of, I guess, background through industrial chemical sales. And so -- with the same company. And I'm very successful in doing that.

Then city council, and then Chester County Council also, and then the Association of Counties Board of Directors, and then -- plus, I believe one of the things, too, that I bring is all the certifications that come with this over the years. This is important because you get your, I guess, Lean Six Sigma. You've heard of that. Lean Six Sigma, not Six Sigma. And that's what BMW uses, is Lean Six Sigma.

And then you've got all those qualifications, the continuing education units, that type of thing, import/export, Green Belt, environmental things. So we've learned a lot about that in the environment and how to do things correctly with that.

Now, you look at these kids over there, young men and young ladies, and you go -- one of the -- I'll give you an example, and hopefully, I won't go off on a tangent, but one of the police officers I brought in to tour the campus -- and I hope all of you've been there. Has everybody been there yet?

REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I have not been there.

MR. HAMILTON: You're invited. And what we'll do, we'll schedule it with Pat and come down, tour the campus, have lunch, and we'll introduce you to the board.

But I think you're going to be so impressed because this more of a dormitory. It is not incarceration. Okay? Let me make that distinction real quick.

And these kids that come there, even one of the police officers that I brought in from Chester County said, Gah. I wish I'd had access to something like this.

Because a lot of these people come from -- kids come from backgrounds that are not -- leave a lot to be desired. What Pat likes to say is they're off the corner, out of the 'hood, and out of an environment, a home environment, that's not beneficial to them prospering.

And the reason I brought up police officers there is, what do we do for the school? How can I -- I'm on the board, and go through -- recognize all the things. I went to The Citadel, so I like the environment because it's so culturally structured, gives the kids a structure to develop.

And anyway, I was -- there was some legislation I guess about six or seven years ago, and our sheriff, Alex Underwood, has started a new program in Chester called STORM, S-T-O-R-M. You may have seen it on A&E. I don't know. Sometimes it's good.

But what he did -- I give him the credit for it, by golly -- was, identify at-risk kids in the community. The officers are out in the field all the time, county and city, so I've done this both places and through the state and through the county council, the county supervisor. But these kids need help. They need help. They don't know that this is available.

So what we do -- I said, Well, Alex, how do we mesh two things together, bring something together to see how they can work?

And so we talked about it, and he said, You know -- we did too -- why don't we identify -- you've got your officers out in the field. Let's identify some. We got one. And he's not down the wrong path yet, but he is swinging that way.

So we did. We bring them in. And STORM is like Scared Straight. They take them in. They incarcerate them overnight. They're with the prisoners. They don't want to be with them, but they're there. And they spend the night. It's kind of -- it shakes their attention.

So at that time, when we got it started, a lot of mammas said, I ain't got any way to get them down to Columbia. I can't do this. It's always, I can't.

So I talked to Carlisle Roddey, our supervisor at that time. I said, Carlisle, I need a favor. How can we get -- I told him the idea that I just explained -- how do we get the kids to Wil Lou Gray?

Oh. We'll just use the Chester Connector, which is a service that we -- for a lot of people in our community, to take people around to different places, doctors, whatever. And we'll just pick them up from there, take them down, and get them started on their time. So we have to time everything now.

But anyway, these kids worked out great. You've got kids with trauma. And, you know, the last meeting was really, really beneficial because we had a lady named Diane, and she talked about the kids. And she's a counselor.

We've got a number of counselors over there. These kids have suffered from a lot of trauma in their environment, home environment, neighborhood environment, street environment.

And I'll give you one example, not from that point of view, but there was a kid out here in Blythewood, football player, really, really gifted young man, quite a physical specimen. You could tell he was a football player.

Anyway, he was -- got traumatized. He was going to a football game that night in Blythewood. You probably heard about this in the paper a number of years ago. And his parents were in an accident with a train. Both of them were killed. So then he just went, you know, there.

So this, going to Wil Lou Gray, was a stabilizing force in his life to get his act together, refortified and restructured, and on into the world of his education and also success.

So that's just one example, but there are a lot of examples out there of that. And once you've been exposed to that -- and people come in, and like I said, if you haven't come, I want you to come.

But the sheriff -- we do this with the sheriff's office. They send down somebody just about every meeting, and it helps their force stay structured. It helps us identify at-risk kids. And then the city is doing that too. So we'll see all that. And I just -- you know, it's something that you in your communities -- and I want you to come visit us.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You all do a great job. You really do.

MR. HAMILTON: Well, you're kind, but do come visit. Now, you can take that back because all of us, having been in politics, you're in sales 24/7 with your community. Okay? This is something, a real, strong selling point as you're asked, What are you doing? This was one thing I experienced. And now, all of a sudden, you can put that out to this committee.

And incidentally, STORM is available to anybody in the state. So anyway, I'm sorry I went off on a tangent.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is Mr. Hamilton's paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, his paperwork is all in order.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or follow-up?

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: No. He said about everything.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I would like --

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I don't want to interrupt you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No. No. You're good.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: For the record, briefly, what has been your participation with the board for your eight years as an incumbent?

MR. HAMILTON: Okay. I'm buildings and grounds chairman, and Charlie Abbott is our -- golly. He makes -- I'm the chairman, but let me tell you, this guy's good. And what we do, every time when I come in --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I understand, but have you been able to make -- I don't want to interrupt, but we've got other meetings to go to. Do you attend the meetings? What is your percentage of board meetings that --

MR. HAMILTON: Yeah, and I go to a lot of -- outside of that, I go to a lot of the environmental -- all the other things out there together.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you are active as a member of the board.

MR. HAMILTON: Yeah. Yeah.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

MR. HAMILTON: And I do go to all these things, find out, come back, and bring this back to Charlie, tour the campus every meeting to see what changes are there, what could be changing, and all that other, Do we need to have solar? Do we need to have wind? All kinds of things that are -- could be available. We need more funding, obviously, to do a lot of these things, and I hope that's where we can --

SENATOR ALEXANDER: I appreciate your interest and your great support. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

I do have a quick question. I see the TV ads sometimes. What's the success of your advertising? Have you tracked it? Can you tell?

MR. HAMILTON: I've got Pat here. I think it's good. We've seen the participation and people wanting to get in, and we screen.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you go into the school systems? Do they know -- the various school systems?

MR. HAMILTON: Here's one thing too.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm sorry.

MR. HAMILTON: Let me mention that. I'm glad you brought that up. One of the things too, you go to the schools, and I think there's a little competition there for money.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have estimates?

MR. HAMILTON: That -- Pat can correct me on that. And a lot of times, you say there are referrals that schools could give you for kids to come down that need help that are maybe having trouble and everything else. But if they do, I think the school loses the money.

And so, anyway, that may or may not be an issue, but you all are in a position to overlook the big picture. But we are there for --

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. Thank you.

Any other questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Move favorable.

SENATOR VERDIN: Second.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Second.   Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you so much for your willingness to serve.

MR. HAMILTON: Oh. Certainly. That's it?

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's it.

MR. HAMILTON: Okay. I didn't know. Thank you very much. I appreciate your service so much and what you do. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That completes our agenda. Thank you.

(The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:25 a.m.)

Received as information.

ADJOURNMENT

At 12:30 a.m. the House, in accordance with the motion of Rep. MURPHY, adjourned in memory of Petty Officer Tyler Barkley, to meet at 12:00 noon Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

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This web page was last updated on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 3:36 P.M.