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

                                                  NO. 62

JOURNAL

OF THE

SENATE

OF THE

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

REGULAR SESSION BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2018

_________

TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 2:00 P.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator SETZLER.

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

I Kings 9:4a

"As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did...I will establish your royal throne..."

Let us pray. Gracious God how fortunate Solomon was to have a father whose life was an example of integrity and uprightness. You then called upon Solomon to emulate these qualities. This then is the legacy that You, O God, are calling our Senators to establish. This can be a difficult path to navigate, for Your word tells us that "the gate is narrow and the road is straight that leads to life and those who find it are few". May our Senators be part of "the few" and may they experience Your blessing as they pursue this road less traveled. In Your holy name we pray, Amen.

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

Call of the Senate

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

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Cash                      Climer                    Cromer
Davis                     Fanning                   Goldfinch
Gregory                   Hutto                     Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Martin
Massey                    Matthews, John            Matthews, Margie
McElveen                  McLeod                    Nicholson
Peeler                    Rice                      Sabb
Scott                     Senn                      Setzler
Shealy                    Sheheen                   Talley
Timmons                   Turner                    Verdin
Williams                  Young

A quorum being present, the Senate resumed.

ACTING PRESIDENT PRESIDES

Senator CROMER assumed the Chair.

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following appointments were transmitted by the Honorable Henry Dargan McMaster:

Statewide Appointments

Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions, with the term to commence June 30, 2018, and to expire June 30, 2022
Banking:
James B. Ham, 1398 Hickory Ridge Circle, Manning, SC 29102-4842 VICE Fleetwood S. Hassell

Referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology, with the term to commence June 1, 2018, and to expire June 1, 2022
Audiologist:
James P. Wigand, 310 Honey Tree Drive, Lexington, SC 29073-6401 VICE Kelly A. Long

Referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

Local Appointments

Reappointment, Clarendon County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Robin Locklear, 431 North Brooks Street, Manning, SC 29102-3325

Reappointment, Dillon County Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
James Rogers, P. O. Box 1016, Dillon, SC 29536-1016

Reappointment, Marion County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Cheryl Graham, 1924 South Highway 501, Marion, SC 29571-6006
Reappointment, Dillon County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Lutherine J. Williams, Post Office Box 1016, Dillon, SC 29536-1016

Doctor of the Day

Senator McLEOD introduced Dr. Patricia Whitherspoon of Columbia, S.C., Doctor of the Day.

Leave of Absence

At 2:11 P.M., Senator VERDIN requested a leave of absence beginning at 4:30 P.M.

Leave of Absence

At 3:18 P.M., Senator CORBIN requested a leave of absence for Senator GAMBRELL until 4:30 P.M.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator FANNING rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

RECALLED AND ADOPTED

H. 5271 (Word version) -- Reps. Cobb-Hunter, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Arrington, Atkinson, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bamberg, Bannister, Bennett, Bernstein, Blackwell, Bowers, Bradley, Brawley, Brown, Bryant, Burns, Caskey, Chumley, Clary, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cogswell, Cole, Collins, Crawford, Crosby, Daning, Davis, Delleney, Dillard, Douglas, Duckworth, Elliott, Erickson, Felder, Finlay, Forrest, Forrester, Fry, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gilliard, Govan, Hamilton, Hardee, Hart, 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, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Thigpen, Toole, Trantham, Weeks, West, Wheeler, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis, Young and Yow: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DECLARE APRIL 28, 2018, AS "WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY" IN SOUTH CAROLINA AS A TRIBUTE TO THE WORKING MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ILLNESSES.

Senator ALEXANDER asked unanimous consent to make a motion to take the Resolution up for immediate consideration.

There was no objection.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Resolution. The question then was the adoption of the Resolution.

The Resolution was adopted and ordered returned to the House.

Privilege of the Chamber

On motion of Senator DAVIS, on behalf of Senator SETZLER, the Privilege of the Chamber, to that area behind the rail, was extended to Sheriff Lott and the members of Live PD in appreciation and recognition of their contributions to our community and State.

Privilege of the Chamber

On motion of Senator DAVIS, on behalf of Senator M.B. MATTHEWS, the Privilege of the Chamber, to that area behind the rail, was extended to Ms. Victoria Ethridge in recognition of her outstanding achievements and dedicated service to her community.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 1185 (Word version) -- Senators M. B. Matthews and Davis: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO HONOR AND RECOGNIZE VICTORIA ETHERIDGE OF RIDGELAND, SOUTH CAROLINA FOR HER OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO HER COMMUNITY.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1186 (Word version) -- Senator Shealy: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE CAPTAIN STEVE CLARE UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT, TO COMMEND HIM FOR HIS THIRTY YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE BATESBURG-LEESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND TO WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1187 (Word version) -- Senator Fanning: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE WESTERN YORK COUNTY NAACP FOR FOUNDING THE OLDEST PARADE TO HONOR DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., IN THE PALMETTO STATE, AND TO WISH IT EVERY SUCCESS IN MAINTAINING THIS RICH SOUTH CAROLINA TRADITION.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1188 (Word version) -- Senator Fanning: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO HONOR THE EXTRA EXTRAORDINARY LADIES OF UNION BAPTIST CHURCH'S WOMEN'S MINISTRY AS THE LADIES HOLD THEIR SECOND ANNUAL BANQUET OF 100 WOMEN IN RED AND PEARLS.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1189 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Davis, Timmons, Climer and Alexander: A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE 1976 CODE, BY ADDING CHAPTER 28, THE SOUTH CAROLINA ANTI-RACKETEERING ACT, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON, THROUGH A PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITY OR PROCEEDS DERIVED THEREFROM, TO ACQUIRE OR MAINTAIN ANY INTEREST IN OR CONTROL OF ANY ENTERPRISE, REAL PROPERTY, OR PERSONAL PROPERTY OF ANY NATURE, INCLUDING MONEY, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON EMPLOYED BY OR ASSOCIATED WITH ANY ENTERPRISE TO CONDUCT OR PARTICIPATE IN SUCH ENTERPRISE THROUGH A PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITY, TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES, TO PROVIDE OTHER SPECIFICATIONS, AND TO DEFINE "RACKETEERING ACTIVITY" AND OTHER NECESSARY TERMS; TO AMEND SECTION 2-17-110 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO ADDITIONAL ACTS PROHIBITED OF LOBBYISTS AND LOBBYISTS' PRINCIPALS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, TO PROVIDE THAT A LOBBYIST MAY NOT PROVIDE ANY SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MARKETING, ADVISEMENT, FUNDRAISING, AND SCHEDULING FOR A CANDIDATE WHILE REGISTERED AS A LOBBYIST AND FOR TWO YEARS AFTER CEASING TO BE REGISTERED AS A LOBBYIST; AND TO AMEND SECTION 8-13-755 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO RESTRICTIONS ON A FORMER PUBLIC OFFICIAL, MEMBER, OR EMPLOYEE SERVING AS A LOBBYIST, TO PROVIDE THAT A CURRENT OR FORMER PUBLIC OFFICIAL OR PUBLIC MEMBER HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE OR MEMBERSHIP ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2019 MAY NOT, FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS AFTER TERMINATING HIS PUBLIC SERVICE, SERVE IN ANY CAMPAIGN POSITION FOR A CANDIDATE OR PROVIDE ANY SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MARKETING, ADVISEMENT, FUNDRAISING, AND SCHEDULING, FOR A CANDIDATE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A FORMER PUBLIC EMPLOYEE HOLDING PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 1992 MAY NOT SERVE AS A LOBBYIST OR REPRESENT CLIENTS BEFORE THE AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT THAT HE FORMERLY SERVED REGARDING A MATTER IN WHICH HE DIRECTLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY PARTICIPATED DURING HIS PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OR ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR AFTER TERMINATING HIS PUBLIC SERVICE OR EMPLOYMENT.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1190 (Word version) -- Senators Sheheen, Campsen, Verdin and Campbell: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO FOCUS THE RESOURCES OF THE DEPARTMENT'S DAMS AND RESERVOIRS SAFETY PROGRAM ON REGULATING THE STATE'S HIGH AND SIGNIFICANT HAZARD DAMS.
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Read the first time and, on motion of Senator SHEHEEN, with unanimous consent, S. 1190 was ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 1191 (Word version) -- Senators Alexander, Rankin and Hutto: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO FIX ELEVEN O'CLOCK ON THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2018, AS THE TIME TO ELECT A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FOR A TERM EXPIRING ON JUNE 30, 2022; TO ELECT A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FOR A TERM EXPIRING ON JUNE 30, 2022; TO ELECT A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FOR A TERM EXPIRING ON JUNE 30, 2022.
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On motion of Senator ALEXANDER, with unanimous consent, the Concurrent Resolution was introduced and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 1192 (Word version) -- Senators Gambrell and Nicholson: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME THE PORTION OF UNITED STATES HIGHWAY 221/SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 72 IN GREENWOOD COUNTY, FROM ITS INTERSECTION WITH UNITED STATES HIGHWAY 25 TO ITS INTERSECTION WITH SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 246, "EMMETT I. DAVIS, JR. MEMORIAL HIGHWAY" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS ALONG THIS PORTION OF HIGHWAY CONTAINING THIS DESIGNATION.
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On motion of Senator GAMBRELL, with unanimous consent, the Concurrent Resolution was introduced and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 1193 (Word version) -- Senator Verdin: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018 AS "SOUTH CAROLINA RECYCLERS' DAY" AND TO COMMEND SOUTH CAROLINA'S RECYCLERS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR STATE'S ECONOMY, THEIR EFFORTS TO PROMOTE ENERGY EFFICIENCY, AND THEIR LEADERSHIP IN PROVIDING SUSTAINABLE MATERIAL-MANAGEMENT OPTIONS.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1194 (Word version) -- Senator Setzler: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO HONOR AND COMMEND DELORES AND ROGER RUCKER FOR THEIR TIRELESS EFFORTS TO SUPPORT VETERANS AND ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS OF OUR NATION'S ARMED FORCES.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1195 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-5-2956 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ANY ENTRY IN THE DRIVING RECORD OF A PERSON THAT SHOWS HIS DRIVER'S LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT TO TESTING FOR ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OR HE WAS ISSUED A TEMPORARY DRIVER'S LICENSE OR THAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO INSTALL AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE ON A VEHICLE HE DRIVES AND WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUITTED OF DRIVING WITH AN UNLAWFUL ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION MUST BE REMOVED FROM HIS DRIVING RECORD.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Transportation.

S. 1196 (Word version) -- Senator Reese: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 46-1-170 SO AS TO CREATE THE "SOUTH CAROLINA FARMING INFRASTRUCTURE FUND" TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS AFTER CERTAIN ACTS OF GOD AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAKE CERTAIN APPROPRIATIONS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

S. 1197 (Word version) -- Senators Talley, Peeler, Reese, Martin and Corbin: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO HONOR AND RECOGNIZE LEE HANEY FOR HIS HISTORIC BODYBUILDING CAREER.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

S. 1198 (Word version) -- Senators Setzler, Alexander, Allen, Bennett, Campbell, Campsen, Cash, Climer, Corbin, Cromer, Davis, Fanning, Gambrell, Goldfinch, Gregory, Grooms, Hembree, Hutto, Jackson, Johnson, Kimpson, Leatherman, Malloy, Martin, Massey, J. Matthews, M. B. Matthews, McElveen, McLeod, Nicholson, Peeler, Rankin, Reese, Rice, Sabb, Scott, Senn, Shealy, Sheheen, Talley, Timmons, Turner, Verdin, Williams and Young: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE MIKE LEFEVER UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SOUTH CAROLINA INDEPENDENT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, TO COMMEND HIM FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVICE, AND TO WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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The Senate Resolution was adopted.

H. 4496 (Word version) -- Reps. Bannister, Burns, Toole, Long, Chumley, Magnuson and McCravy: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 6-1-180 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION (SLED) TO CREATE, PREPARE, MAINTAIN, AND CERTIFY A REPORT LISTING BY NAME EACH SOUTH CAROLINA POLITICAL SUBDIVISION IT HAS DETERMINED TO BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH SECTIONS 17-13-170 AND 23-3-1100; TO DESIGNATE THIS REPORT THE "IMMIGRATION COMPLIANCE REPORT" (ICR); TO DELINEATE SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES RELATING TO THE SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTATION NECESSARY TO PREPARE THE ICR; TO REQUIRE SLED ANNUALLY TO PROVIDE COPIES TO THE GOVERNOR, GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND STATE TREASURER, TO PROHIBIT THE STATE TREASURER FROM DISBURSING CERTAIN FUNDS TO POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CERTIFIED AS COMPLIANT IN THE ICR, TO AUTHORIZE SLED TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS RELATING TO ICR CERTIFICATIONS; TO PROVIDE SANCTIONS FOR POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUND TO HAVE SUBMITTED FALSIFIED COMPLIANCE DOCUMENTATION TO SLED; TO DEFINE "POLITICAL SUBDIVISION", AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES DELINEATED IN THIS ACT ARE IN ADDITION TO OTHER SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES PROVIDED BY LAW.

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

H. 5248 (Word version) -- Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, RELATING TO WILDERNESS THERAPEUTIC CAMPS FOR CHILDREN, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4771, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

Read the first time and referred to the General Committee.

H. 5272 (Word version) -- Rep. Parks: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 185 OF 1997, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4 OF MCCORMICK COUNTY, SO AS TO REVISE THE FILING PERIOD FOR STATEMENTS OF CANDIDACY.

Read the first time and ordered placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.

H. 5274 (Word version) -- Reps. Huggins, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Arrington, Atkinson, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bamberg, 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, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Henderson-Myers, Henegan, Herbkersman, Hewitt, Hill, Hiott, Hixon, Hosey, Howard, 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, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Thigpen, Toole, Trantham, Weeks, West, Wheeler, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis, Young and Yow: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO HONOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOUTH CAROLINA FOR ITS WORTHY STANDARDS IN COMPETITIVE SPORTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THIS TRADITION AND TO CELEBRATE THE LONG-ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF HOLDING THE STATE SUMMER GAMES AT FORT JACKSON.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator SETZLER rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Remarks to be Printed

On motion of Senator NICHOLSON, with unanimous consent, the remarks of Senator SETZLER, when reduced to writing and made available to the Desk, would be printed in the Journal.

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 1043 (Word version) -- Senators Turner and Talley: A BILL TO EXTEND THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA ABANDONED BUILDINGS REVITALIZATION ACT AS CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 67, TITLE 12 OF THE 1976 CODE UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2025.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3622 (Word version) -- Reps. Ryhal, Burns, Duckworth, Gagnon, Henegan, Herbkersman, Hill, Hixon, Johnson, V.S. Moss, Ridgeway, Spires, Taylor, Thayer, Yow, Robinson-Simpson, Magnuson, Long and Thigpen: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-51-210 SO AS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN PODIATRIC SURGERY MUST BE PERFORMED IN CERTAIN FACILITIES, TO PROVIDE A PODIATRIST WHO PERFORMS THESE PROCEDURES MUST MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA, TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGES TO THESE PODIATRISTS BY CERTAIN HEALTH FACILITIES, TO REQUIRE HEALTH FACILITIES IN THIS STATE PROVIDE THE RIGHT TO PURSUE AND PRACTICE FULL CLINICAL AND SURGICAL PRIVILEGES TO PODIATRISTS WHO MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA, TO PROVIDE AN ABILITY TO LIMIT THESE PRIVILEGES IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE THIS SECTION DOES NOT REQUIRE A HEALTH FACILITY IN THIS STATE TO OFFER A SPECIFIC HEALTH SERVICE NOT OTHERWISE OFFERED, AND TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE FACILITY DOES OFFER A HEALTH SERVICE, IT MAY NOT DISCRIMINATE AMONG CERTAIN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO PROVIDE THESE SERVICES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 40-51-20, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS, SO AS TO REVISE AND ADD CERTAIN DEFINITIONS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3895 (Word version) -- Rep. Herbkersman: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLES 9 AND 11 OF CHAPTER 9, TITLE 11, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS, SO AS TO REORGANIZE THE ARTICLES, TO ELIMINATE CERTAIN DIVISIONS, AND TO MAKE CONFORMING CHANGES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 2-7-71 AND 2-7-78, RELATING TO CERTAIN IMPACT STATEMENTS, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE STATEMENTS TO BE CERTIFIED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE; TO AMEND SECTION 2-7-73, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO HEALTH COVERAGE IMPACT STATEMENTS, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE TO CONDUCT THE ANALYSIS; TO AMEND SECTION 4-10-790, RELATING TO DISTRIBUTIONS FROM A LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAX, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE TO FURNISH DATA TO THE STATE TREASURER, AND TO REQUIRE THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE TO PROVIDE CERTAIN ASSISTANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 6-1-50, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FINANCIAL REPORTS FROM COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES, SO AS TO DELAY THE REPORTS UNTIL MARCH FIFTEENTH; TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-65, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA 911 ADVISORY COMMITTEE, SO AS TO ALLOW THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE TO APPOINT A MEMBER; TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-2-85 AND 27-2-95, RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA GEODETIC SURVEY, SO AS TO DELETE OBSOLETE REFERENCES; TO AMEND SECTION 44-6-170, RELATING TO THE DATA OVERSIGHT COUNCIL, SO AS TO DELETE OBSOLETE REFERENCES, AND TO REVISE THE COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL; TO AMEND SECTION 44-6-5, RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SO AS TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE REFERENCE; TO REDESIGNATE CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE CODE; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 1-11-360, 2-7-62, 44-6-175, AND 48-22-20 ALL RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4009 (Word version) -- Reps. Lucas, Williams, Crawford, Alexander, McCoy, Hiott, Clemmons, Bales, Bedingfield, Ott, G.R. Smith, Herbkersman, Sandifer and S. Rivers: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 69 TO TITLE 12 SO AS TO ENACT THE 'MOTORSPORTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX INVESTMENT ACT' BY EXEMPTING CERTAIN BUILDING MATERIALS FOR A COMPLEX FROM THE SALES TAX AND TO PROVIDE THE PROCESS BY WHICH A QUALIFIED COMPANY MAY CLAIM THE EXEMPTION, TO CREATE THE MOTORSPORTS TOURISM INCENTIVE FUND TO AWARD GRANTS OR LOANS TO ATTRACT AND EXPAND TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY PROJECTS RELATED TO EVENTS AT SUCH COMPLEXES, TO PROVIDE THAT A COMPLEX IS ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS FROM THE CLOSING FUND, TO ALLOW A TAX CREDIT OF TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE COSTS INCURRED BY A TAXPAYER TO INSTALL EQUIPMENT OR TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS INFORMATION TO BE TRANSMITTED THROUGH A WIRELESS LOCAL AREA NETWORK AT A COMPLEX; TO AMEND SECTION 12-20-110, RELATING TO THE APPLICABILITY OF CORPORATION LICENSE FEE PROVISIONS, SO AS TO MAKE SUCH PROVISIONS INAPPLICABLE TO A COMPLEX; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-21-2425, RELATING TO THE ADMISSION LICENSE TAX, SO AS TO INCREASE THE EXEMPTION ON A COMPLEX, TO REMOVE THE TIME PERIOD FOR THE EXEMPTION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE EXEMPTED REVENUE MUST BE USED ON MARKETING FOR EVENTS AT THE COMPLEX.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator SHEALY from the General Committee polled out H. 5242 favorable:

H. 5242 (Word version) -- Reps. Bernstein, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Arrington, Atkinson, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bamberg, Bannister, Bennett, 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, Hart, 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, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Thigpen, Toole, Trantham, Weeks, West, Wheeler, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis, Young and Yow: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DECLARE WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018, "SOUTH CAROLINA TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION DAY" AND TO HONOR THE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TEEN PREGNANCY, ITS PARTNERS WITHIN LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS, PARENTS, EDUCATORS, AND TRUSTED ADULTS.

Poll of the General Committee
Polled 14; Ayes 14; Nays 0; Not Voting 3

AYES

Shealy                    Sheheen                   Young
Young                     Johnson                   McElveen
Scott                     Hembree                   Turner
Climer                    Fanning                   Goldfinch
McLeod                    Timmons                   Gambrell
Cash

Total--14

NAYS

Total--0

NOT VOTING

Sheheen                   Allen                     Talley

Total--3

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., April 24, 2018

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it insists upon the amendments proposed by the House to:

H. 4612 (Word version) -- Reps. Sandifer and Toole: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-11-262 SO AS TO PROVIDE APPLICANTS FOR GENERAL AND MECHANICAL LICENSURE SUBJECT TO FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS MAY INSTEAD PROVIDE CERTAIN SURETY BONDS, AND TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING THE SURETY BONDS.
asks for a Committee of Conference, and has appointed Reps. Sandfer, Henderson and Anderson to the committee on the part of the House.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Received as information.

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED

Whereupon, Senators BENNETT, JOHNSON, and GAMBRELL were appointed to the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., April 24, 2018

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has returned the following Bill to the Senate with amendments:

H. 3819 (Word version) -- Reps. Bedingfield, Fry, Henderson, Huggins, Johnson, Hewitt, Crawford, Duckworth, King, Knight, Arrington, Forrester, Allison, Tallon, Hamilton, Felder, Elliott, Jordan, B. Newton, Martin, McCravy, Wheeler, Erickson, West, Lowe, Ryhal, Atwater, Willis, Jefferson, W. Newton, Thigpen, Bennett, Crosby, Long, Putnam, Cogswell and Henderson-Myers: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 44-53-363 SO AS TO ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO PRESCRIBING OPIOID ANALGESICS TO MINORS.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Received as information.

HOUSE CONCURRENCE

S. 1181 (Word version) -- Senator Cromer: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DECLARE AUGUST 13 THROUGH 19, 2018, AS "IMMUNIZATION WEEK" IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO SEEK TO INCREASE THE POPULATION'S AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF RECEIVING AGE-APPROPRIATE VACCINATIONS.

Returned with concurrence.

Received as information.

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

ORDERED ENROLLED FOR RATIFICATION

The following Resolution was read the third time and, having received three readings in both Houses, it was ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act and enrolled for Ratification:

H. 5157 (Word version) -- Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE CLEMSON UNIVERSITY - STATE CROP PEST COMMISSION, RELATING TO BENGHAL DAYFLOWER QUARANTINE; AND EMERALD ASH BORER QUARANTINE, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4807, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

READ THE THIRD TIME
SENT TO THE HOUSE

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

S. 777 (Word version) -- Senator Senn: A BILL TO AMEND SECTIONS 61-4-515 AND 61-6-2016 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO PERMITS TO PURCHASE AND SELL BEER AND WINE FOR ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION AND A BIENNIAL LICENSE TO PURCHASE ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS BY THE DRINK AT A MOTORSPORTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX, TENNIS SPECIFIC COMPLEX, OR BASEBALL COMPLEX, TO INCLUDE SOCCER COMPLEX AND TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION FOR "SOCCER COMPLEX."

S. 1171 (Word version) -- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4810, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

S. 1172 (Word version) -- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE CLEMSON UNIVERSITY - STATE CROP PEST COMMISSION, RELATING TO PLANT NURSERY REGULATIONS, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4808, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

HOUSE BILL RETURNED

The following Bill was read the third time and ordered returned to the House with amendments.

H. 4434 (Word version) -- Reps. Clary, Elliott, Cogswell, Collins, Henderson-Myers, Felder, Pope, Taylor, Ott, Thayer, Govan, Cole and King: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 33, TITLE 59 SO AS TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS, TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO PROVIDE A UNIVERSAL SCREENING TOOL FOR USE BY LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SCREEN STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SECOND GRADE FOR CHARACTERISTICS OF DYSLEXIA BEGINNING WITH THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR; TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC ABILITIES THAT THE SCREENING TOOL MUST MEASURE; TO PROVIDE THAT PARENTS AND OTHER CERTAIN PARTIES MAY REQUEST THIS DYSLEXIA SCREENING FOR A STUDENT; TO REQUIRE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CONVENE SCHOOL-BASED PROBLEM-SOLVING TEAMS TO ANALYZE SCREENING DATA AND PROGRESS MONITORING DATA TO ASSIST TEACHERS IN PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION AND EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS; TO REQUIRE DYSLEXIA-SPECIFIC INTERVENTIONS FOR STUDENTS INDICATED BY SCREENINGS TO HAVE CHARACTERISTICS OF DYSLEXIA; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE RELATED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS; TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO PROMULGATE CERTAIN RELATED REGULATIONS; AND TO CREATE A DYSLEXIA ADVISORY COUNCIL TO ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT IN MATTERS RELATING TO DYSLEXIA.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 3138 (Word version) -- Reps. Stavrinakis, McCoy and Erickson: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 61-4-550, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SPECIAL PERMITS FOR USE AT FAIRS AND SPECIAL FUNCTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE MAY ISSUE PERMITS TO SELL BEER AND WINE AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS ON MULTIPLE DAYS AT A FESTIVAL ON ONE APPLICATION, AND TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION FOR "FESTIVAL"; AND TO AMEND SECTION 61-6-2000, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO TEMPORARY PERMITS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE MAY ISSUE LICENSES TO SELL ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR BY THE DRINK AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS ON MULTIPLE DAYS AT A FESTIVAL ON ONE APPLICATION, AND TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION OF "FESTIVAL".

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator RANKIN, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 3139 (Word version) -- Reps. Stavrinakis and McCoy: A BILL TO AMEND SECTIONS 61-4-515 AND 61-6-2016, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERMITS TO PURCHASE AND SELL BEER AND WINE FOR ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION AND A BIENNIAL LICENSE TO PURCHASE ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS BY THE DRINK AT A MOTORSPORTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX OR TENNIS SPECIFIC COMPLEX, SO AS TO INCLUDE BASEBALL COMPLEX, AND TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION FOR "BASEBALL COMPLEX".

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 3177 (Word version) -- Reps. Clemmons, G.R. Smith, Bedingfield and Huggins: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 1-31-60 SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT RECOGNIZED NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN GROUPS CONTINUE TO BE RECOGNIZED AND ELIGIBLE TO EXERCISE PRIVILEGES AND OBLIGATIONS AUTHORIZED BY THAT DESIGNATION, THAT THE COMMISSION FOR MINORITY AFFAIRS CEASE TO RECOGNIZE ADDITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN GROUPS, THAT ANY REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR RECOGNITION AS A NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN GROUP ARE REPEALED, AND THAT THE COMMISSION REVISE ITS REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PRIVILEGES AND OBLIGATIONS OF NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN GROUPS THAT CONTINUE TO BE RECOGNIZED.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 3549 (Word version) -- Rep. Cobb-Hunter: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 61-6-120, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO A PERMIT ISSUED FOR ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR IN PROXIMITY TO A CHURCH, SCHOOL, OR PLAYGROUND, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DECISION-MAKING BODY OF THE LOCAL SCHOOL MUST AFFIRMATIVELY STATE THAT IT DOES NOT OBJECT TO THE ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 4672 (Word version) -- Reps. Elliott, B. Newton, Allison, Felder, Bryant, Putnam, Martin, Arrington, Thigpen, Gagnon, Thayer, Douglas, Govan, Anderson, McGinnis, Huggins, Tallon, Daning, D.C. Moss, Long, Henderson, Mace, Cogswell, West, Chumley, Gilliard, Atwater, J.E. Smith, Bernstein, Jefferson, Williams, W. Newton, Henderson-Myers, Ballentine, Bowers, Weeks and M. Rivers: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VISION SCREENING REQUIRED FOR ISSUANCE OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT VISION SCREENING IS REQUIRED UPON RENEWAL OF A LICENSE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF VISION EXAMINATION FORM MUST BE EXECUTED BY THE CERTIFYING OPHTHALMOLOGIST OR OPTOMETRIST.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 4673 (Word version) -- Reps. G.M. Smith, Brawley and Weeks: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 62-2-507, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE REVOCATION OF CERTAIN BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS BY DIVORCE, ANNULMENT, OR AN ORDER TERMINATING MARITAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, SO AS TO EXEMPT BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS UNDER EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS ADMINISTERED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC EMPLOYEE BENEFIT AUTHORITY.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 4946 (Word version) -- Reps. Erickson, Bradley, Bowers and M. Rivers: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 50-5-1005, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SHELLFISH IMPORTATION PERMITS, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT ALLOWS THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO ISSUE PERMITS TO PERSONS TO POSSESS, PRODUCE, PURCHASE, OR SELL GENETICALLY MODIFIED SHELLFISH, AND THE PROVISION THAT PROHIBITS THE PLACEMENT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED SHELLFISH IN THE WATERS OF THIS STATE WITHOUT A PERMIT.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 5038 (Word version) -- Reps. Atwater, Bradley, Howard, Thayer, Gagnon, Huggins, Hewitt, McGinnis, Hayes, Willis, Spires, Ballentine, G.M. Smith, Sandifer, Norrell, Henderson, Toole, Erickson, Cobb-Hunter, Ott, Ridgeway, McEachern, Douglas, Rutherford, Bernstein, W. Newton, Clary, Anthony, Wheeler, Anderson, Kirby, Alexander, Tallon and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 38-71-2130, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF A PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGER, SO AS TO ESTABLISH PROHIBITED ACTS FOR A PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGER.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 5153 (Word version) -- Rep. Delleney: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 42-17-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CERTAIN WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION HEARINGS CONCERNING COMPENSATION PAYABLE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THESE HEARINGS MUST BE HELD IN THE DISTRICTS IN WHICH THE INJURIES OCCURRED INSTEAD OF THE CITIES OR COUNTIES IN WHICH THE INJURIES OCCURRED, AND TO PROVIDE THESE DISTRICTS MUST BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Bill was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR

H. 5156 (Word version) -- Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, RELATING TO REGULATIONS FOR THE LICENSING OF CHILD CARE CENTERS, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 4747, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Resolution.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, the Resolution was moved to the Statewide Second Reading Calendar.

AMENDED, READ THE SECOND TIME

H. 4807 (Word version) -- Reps. Hixon, Hiott, Kirby and Yow: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7 OF ACT 41 OF 2015, RELATING TO THE ACT'S TIME EFFECTIVE CLAUSE, SO AS TO EXTEND THE PERIOD IN WHICH WILD TURKEY SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS FOR CERTAIN COUNTIES ARE SUSPENDED.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

Senator MARTIN proposed the following amendment (4807R001.SP.SRM), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 1, by striking lines 23 -24 and inserting:

/     2019, the provisions of Section 50-11-520 are suspended. On November 7, 2018 July 1, 2019, the turkey hunting seasons and bag /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator MARTIN explained the amendment.

The amendment was adopted.

The Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

Motion Under Rule 26B

Senator MALLOY asked unanimous consent to make a motion to take up further amendments pursuant to the provisions of Rule 26B.

There was no objection.

CARRIED OVER

H. 3055 (Word version) -- Reps. Robinson-Simpson, Clyburn, Gilliard, Mack, King and Henegan: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE "RESTORATIVE JUVENILE PRACTICES AND APPROACHES ACT" BY CREATING THE "JUVENILE RESTORATIVE PRACTICES STUDY COMMITTEE" TO REVIEW JUVENILE JUSTICE LAWS AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING RELATED REFORMS; AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMPOSITION, DUTIES, STAFFING, AND DISSOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE.

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

S. 759 (Word version) -- Senator Rankin: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-37-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO ALLOW AN EXEMPTION FOR THE DWELLING HOUSE AND ONE ACRE OF LAND FOR A PERSON WITH A BRAIN OR SPINAL CORD INJURY.

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

S. 773 (Word version) -- Senator Rice: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-750, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE OFFENSE OF FAILURE TO STOP A MOTOR VEHICLE WHEN SIGNALED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT VEHICLE, SO AS TO INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS PROVISION.

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

H. 4705 (Word version) -- Reps. Bannister, Elliott, Arrington, Long, Chumley, B. Newton, Martin, Henderson-Myers, G.R. Smith, Trantham, Bryant, Hamilton, Hixon, S. Rivers, Stringer, Brawley and Ballentine: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-310, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MANDATED REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT, SO AS TO ADD RELIGIOUS COUNSELORS AS MANDATED REPORTERS.

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

OBJECTION

S. 431 (Word version) -- Senators Senn, Campsen and Climer: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 16 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES INVOLVING WEAPONS, BY ADDING SECTION 16-23-540, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON TO THREATEN, SOLICIT ANOTHER TO THREATEN, OR CONSPIRE TO THREATEN TO CAUSE DAMAGE, INJURY, OR DEATH OR TO CAUSE DAMAGE TO OR DESTROY A BUILDING OR OTHER REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY BY USE OF A FIREARM ON ANY PREMISES OR PROPERTY OWNED, OPERATED, OR CONTROLLED BY A PRIVATE OR PUBLIC SCHOOL, COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, TECHNICAL COLLEGE, OR OTHER POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION OR IN ANY PUBLICLY OWNED BUILDING; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION RESULTING IN PROPERTY DAMAGE IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR; AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION BY CAUSING INJURY OR DEATH IS GUILTY OF A FELONY.

Senator MALLOY objected to the consideration of the Bill.

S. 982 (Word version) -- Senator Hutto: A BILL AMEND SECTION 56-1-286, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE SUSPENSION OF A LICENSE OR PERMIT OR DENIAL OF ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE OR PERMIT TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE WHO DRIVE MOTOR VEHICLES AND HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION, SO AS TO ALLOW A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE WHO IS SERVING A SUSPENSION OR DENIAL OF A LICENSE OR PERMIT TO ENROLL IN THE IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-385, RELATING TO THE REINSTATEMENT OF PERMANENTLY REVOKED DRIVER'S LICENSES, SO AS TO LIMIT APPLICATION TO OFFENSES OCCURRING PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 2014; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-400, RELATING TO SURRENDER OF A LICENSE AND ENDORSING SUSPENSION AND IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE ON A LICENSE, SO AS TO REORGANIZE FOR CLARITY, REMOVE THE REQUIREMENT THAT A PERSON SEEKING TO HAVE A LICENSE ISSUED MUST FIRST PROVIDE PROOF THAT ANY FINE OWED HAS BEEN PAID, AND INCLUDE REFERENCE TO THE HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTE; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-1090, RELATING TO REQUESTS FOR RESTORATION OF THE PRIVILEGE TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE, SO AS TO ALLOW A PERSON CLASSIFIED AS AN HABITUAL OFFENDER TO OBTAIN A DRIVER'S LICENSE WITH AN INTERLOCK RESTRICTION IF HE PARTICIPATES IN THE INTERLOCK IGNITION PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-1320, RELATING TO PROVISIONAL DRIVERS' LICENSES, SO AS TO ELIMINATE PROVISIONAL LICENSES FOR FIRST OFFENSE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE UNLESS THE OFFENSE WAS CREATED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND 56-1-1340, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCES OF LICENSES AND CONVICTIONS TO BE RECORDED, SO AS TO CONFORM INTERNAL STATUTORY REFERENCES; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2941, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES, SO AS TO INCLUDE REFERENCE TO THE HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTE, REMOVE EXCEPTIONS TO IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES FOR OFFENDERS WHO ARE NONRESIDENTS AND FIRST TIME OFFENDERS OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WHO DID NOT REFUSE TO SUBMIT TO CHEMICAL TESTS AND HAD AN ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OF LESS THAN FIFTEEN ONE HUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT OR MORE, REQUIRE DEVICE MANUFACTURERS PAY CERTIFICATION FEES ASSOCIATED WITH IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES, PERMIT THOSE DRIVERS WITH PERMANENTLY REVOKED LICENSES AFTER OCTOBER 2014 TO SEEK RELIEF AFTER FIVE YEARS, AND MAKE THE RECORDS OF THE IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION, PARDON AND PAROLE; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2951, RELATING TO TEMPORARY ALCOHOL LICENSES, SO AS TO REQUIRE AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE RESTRICTION ON A TEMPORARY ALCOHOL LICENSE AND TO DELETE PROVISIONS RELATING TO ROUTE-RESTRICTED LICENSES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2990, RELATING TO SUSPENSION OF A CONVICTED PERSON'S DRIVER'S LICENSE AND THE PERIOD OF SUSPENSION, SO AS TO REQUIRE AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE IF A FIRST TIME OFFENDER OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE SEEKS TO END A SUSPENSION.

Senator MALLOY objected to the consideration of the Bill.

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

MOTION ADOPTED

At 3:11 P.M., on motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Senate agreed to dispense with the balance of the Motion Period.

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

AMENDMENT PROPOSED, CARRIED OVER

H. 3867 (Word version) -- Reps. Herbkersman, Pitts, Hayes, Anthony, Cobb-Hunter, Whipper and Brown: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-37-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM PROPERTY TAX, SO AS TO EXEMPT ALL PROPERTY DEVOTED TO HOUSING LOW INCOME RESIDENTS IF THE PROPERTY IS OWNED BY AN INSTRUMENTALITY OF A NONPROFIT HOUSING CORPORATION.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill.

The question being the third reading of the Bill.

Senator CLIMER moved to carry over the Bill.

Senator MALLOY moved to table the motion to carry over.

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

Ayes 5; Nays 39

AYES

Malloy                    Matthews, Margie          Reese
Sabb                      Setzler

Total--5

NAYS

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Campbell                  Campsen                   Cash
Climer                    Corbin                    Cromer
Davis                     Fanning                   Goldfinch
Gregory                   Grooms                    Hembree
Hutto                     Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Leatherman                Martin
Massey                    Matthews, John            McElveen
McLeod                    Nicholson                 Peeler
Rankin                    Rice                      Scott
Senn                      Shealy                    Sheheen
Talley                    Timmons                   Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--39

Having failed to receive the necessary votes, the motion failed.

The question then was the motion to carry over the Bill.

Objection

Senator CLIMER asked unanimous consent to make a motion to withdraw the motion to carry over the Bill.

Senator KIMPSON objected.

Motion Failed

The question then was the motion to carry over the Bill.

The motion failed.

The Senate proceeded to the consideration of the Bill.

Senator CORBIN proposed the following amendment (DG\ 3867C004.BBM.DG18):

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by deleting SECTION 1.

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator GROOMS explained the amendment.

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

LOCAL APPOINTMENTS
Confirmations

Having received a favorable report from the Senate, the following appointments were confirmed in open session:

Reappointment, Clarendon County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Robin Locklear, 431 North Brooks Street, Manning, SC 29102-3325
Reappointment, Dillon County Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
James Rogers, P. O. Box 1016, Dillon, SC 29536-1016

Reappointment, Marion County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Cheryl Graham, 1924 South Highway 501, Marion, SC 29571-6006

Reappointment, Dillon County Part-Time Magistrate, with the term to commence April 30, 2018, and to expire April 30, 2022
Lutherine J. Williams, Post Office Box 1016, Dillon, SC 29536-1016

REPORT RECEIVED

College and University Trustee
Screening Commission

Sen. Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.                                 Rep. William R. Whitmire
Chairman                                         Vice-Chairman
Sen. Thomas C. Alexander                               Rep. Phyllis J. Henderson
Sen. John L. Scott, Jr.                                   Rep. John King
Sen. Daniel B. "Danny" Verdin, III                           Rep. Sylleste Davis

Staff:
Martha Casto
Julie Price

213 Gressette Building
P.O. Box 142
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 212-6430
Email: SMediComm@scsenate.gov

April 24, 2018

The College and University Trustee Screening Commission has screened candidates for Boards of Trustees for the colleges listed below. Pursuant to Section 2-20-400, the Commission found those listed below qualified and nominate them for election. The election will be held May 2, 2018 at 12:00 noon in the House Chamber.

College of Charleston
1st Congressional District - seat 1     -   Elizabeth Middleton Burke, term expires June 30, 2022           Mt. Pleasant                                           -   Josheph F. Thompson, Jr.,

                              Mt. Pleasant

2nd Congressional District - seat 3     -   John H. Busch, Chapin
term expires June 30, 2022

3rd Congressional District - seat 5     -   Shawn M. Holland, Anderson term expires June 30, 2022

4th Congressional District - seat 7     -   John B. Wood, Jr., Greenville term expires June 30, 2022

5th Congressional District - seat 9     -   Henry A. Futch, Jr., Rock Hill   term expires June 30, 2022         -   Frank M. Gadsden, Clover

6th Congressional District - seat 11     -   Demetria Noisette Clemons,   term expires June 30, 2022           Columbia
7th Congressional District - seat 13     -   Henrietta U. Golding,
term expires June 30, 2022             Myrtle Beach

At-large - seat 15                   -   Randolph R. Lowell,
term expires June 30, 2022             Daniel Island

At-large - seat 17                   -   Steve Swanson,
term expires June 30, 2022             Mt. Pleasant

Lander University
At-large - seat 8                   -   Robert A. Barber, Jr., Charleston
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 9                   -   Maurice Holloway, Lexington
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 10                 -   Peggy Makins, Lexington
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 11                 -   John Edwin Craig, Lancaster
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 12               -   DeWitt Boyd Stone, Jr., Clemson
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 13                 -   Raymond D. Hunt, Sr., Chapin
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 14                 -   Marcia Thrift Hydrick, Seneca
term expires June 30, 2022

At-large - seat 15                 -   Donald H. Scott, Greenwood
term expires June 30, 2022

Medical University of South Carolina
1st Congressional District - medical seat     -   Donald R. Johnson, II, term expires June 30, 2022                 Isle of Palms

2nd Congressional District - medical seat     -   James Lemon, Columbia
term expires June 30, 2022

3rd Congressional District - medical seat   -   Richard M. Christian, Jr., term expires June 30, 2022               Greenwood

4th Congressional District - lay seat     -   Thomas L. Stephenson,
term expires June 30, 2022             Greenville

5th Congressional District - lay seat     -   Terri R. Barnes, Rock Hill
term expires June 30, 2022

6th Congressional District - medical seat   -   William M. "Mel" Brown, term expires June 30, 2022               Charleston

7th Congressional District - lay seat     -   James A. Battle, Jr., Nichols
term expires June 30, 2022

South Carolina State University
1st Congressional District - seat 1     -   George A. Freeman,
term expires June 30, 2022           Mt. Pleasant                                           -   Anthony Lloyd Jenkins, Goose                                 Creek

-   David M. Rubin, Summerville

-   Monica R. Scott, Charleston

2nd Congressional District - seat 2     -   Yolanda Dortch, North Augusta
term expires June 30, 2020         -   Hamilton R. Grant, Columbia

-   Travis Johnson, Warrenville

3rd Congressional District - seat 3     -   Daniel R. Varat, Piedmont
term expires June 30, 2022

4th Congressional District - seat 4     -   Zandra L. Johnson, Greenville
term expires June 30, 2020       -   G. Hubbard Smalls, Simpsonville

5th Congressional District - seat 5     -   Donnie Shell, Rock Hill
term expires June 30, 2022

6th Congressional District - seat 6     -   Wilbur B. Shuler, Orangeburg
term expires June 30, 2020

7th Congressional District - seat 7   -   Starlee Alexander, Florenceterm expires June 30, 2022           -   Patrice Hewett Riggins,

Little River

At-large - seat 8                 -   Doward Keith Harvin, Hemingway
term expires June 30, 2020       -   Irma Smith Lowman, Columbia

At-large - seat 9                 -   Rodney C. Jenkins, Columbia
term expires June 30, 2022       -   Lawrence Joseph Land, Charleston

-   Rodell Lawrence, Orangeburg                             -   Richard D. Leonard, Orangeburg

-   Leo Richardson, Columbia

At-large - seat 10               -   Milton M. Irvin, Bluffton
term expires June 30, 2020       -   Valencia LaToya Johnson,                                 Columbia

At-large - seat 11               -   Rosemounda Peggy Butler,
term expires June 30, 2022         West Columbia

-   Ronald D. Friday, Blythewood

-   Doris R. Helms, Johns Island

At-large - seat 12               -   Dwayne Trevino Buckner,
term expires June 30, 2020         Walterboro

-   Gene Gartman, Jr., Orangeburg

-   Emory Jackson Hagan, III,

Columbia

-   Michael Jeffrey Vinzani, Mount                               Pleasant

University of South Carolina
1st Judicial Circuit               -   Charles H. Williams, Orangeburg   term expires June 30, 2022

3rd Judicial Circuit                 -   C. Dorn Smith III, Lake City
term expires June 30, 2022

5th Judicial Circuit                 -   William C. Hubbard, Columbia
term expires June 30, 2022

7th Judicial Circuit                 -   Toney J. Lister, Spartanburg
term expires June 30, 2022

9th Judicial Circuit                 -   John C. von Lehe, Jr.,
term expires June 30, 2022           Mt. Pleasant

11th Judicial Circuit               -   Thad H. Westbrook, Lexington
term expires June 30, 2022

12th Judicial Circuit               -   C. Edward Floyd, Florence
term expires June 30, 2022

13th Judicial Circuit               -   Mack I. Whittle, Jr., Greenville
term expires June 30, 2022

The Commission screened the candidates listed below, found them unfavorable and do not nominate them for the respected office.
Lander University
At-large - seat 11                 -   Jim Shore, York

South Carolina State University
7th Congressional District - seat 7     -   Lavon Herschel Allen,                                     Darlington

At-large - seat 9                   -   Herbert Gadson, Charleston

-   Alexandria Tamila James, Irmo

At-large - seat 10                 -   Enoch K. Beraho, Irmo

At-large - seat 11                 -   Michael A. Addison,

Orangeburg

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

SCREENINGS

Dates:       Monday, February 26, 2018
Location:     Gressette Building

1101 Pendleton Street

Committee Room 209

Columbia, South Carolina

Committee Members Present:

Chairman Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.

Senator Thomas Alexander

Senator John L. Scott

Senator Danny Verdin

Vice-Chairman Representative Bill Whitmire

Representative Phyllis Henderson

Representative John King

Representative Sylleste Davis

Also Present:

Martha Castro, Staff

Julie Price, Staff
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We have College of Charleston, 1st Congressional District, Seat 1.

We have two candidates for that one. First is Elizabeth Burke of Mount Pleasant. Ms. Burke, for the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. BURKE: Yes, sir. Good morning, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Middleton Burke from Mount Pleasant.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. BURKE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. BURKE: Yes, sir. I would.

As you all know from reading my pamphlet, my paperwork, I am a lawyer; and in classic lawyer fashion, I've prepared an opening statement.

But I'm going to take a page out of the gentleman who just went before me and cut it about in half. So I will make a brief statement.

This is my first time before the Screening Committee. This is my first time that I've run for a seat on the College of Charleston Board of Trustees, so I will make a statement to give you all a little bit of information about me.

I graduated from the College of Charleston in 1994 and have never strayed from my Alma Mater. I served on The Alumni Association Board of Directors for almost 10 years, including serving on the Executive Committee. I had the privilege of serving as the President of the Alumni Association in 2010 and 2011.

I've also served on the Honors College Advisory Board, The Friends of the Library Board, and volunteered in numerous other capacities at the College.

I'm committed to serving the College, and this is reflected by my volunteerism and Board service. And I believe that this experience, coupled with my professional experience, has prepared me for continuing to serve the College as a Trustee.

The College of Charleston, as many of you may know, was founded in 1770, making it the 13th oldest college in the nation. And the oldest municipal college in the country. The College's founders were also members of the General Assembly. The College was chartered by the General Assembly in 1785 and provided 10 acres, spanning from George to Calhoun Street and from Cummings to St. Phillips Street in downtown Charleston. This area is still the heart of our beautiful campus.

Most notable for our hearing today, in 1795, the Board of Trustees was also established.

The College of Charleston has a long history, and its history is deeply entwined with the State of South Carolina. The College has survived earthquakes, wars, fires and hurricanes over the last 248 years. Throughout her history, the College has survived and thrived.

In 2016 the College concluded the most successful philanthropic engagement campaign in the school's history, raising over $138 million. Our goal was 125 million.

In 2017, the College was named America's Most Beautiful Campus by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

And on Thursday evening, the men's basketball team won the Colonial Athletic Association's Regular Season Title.

I know firsthand that the College is on an upward trajectory thanks to the hard work of its staff, administrators, students, alumni and the State Legislature. I'm excited to be a part of the College's continued progress and to celebrate her 250th anniversary in 2020.

Thank you for your time and your service, and I'll be happy to answer any questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff? Is paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir.

I do have one question. In your personal data questionnaire, Question Number 20, it talks about: Have you filed taxes for the last five years? And you said that -- you answered no. And then you said you filed extensions in 2015 and 2016. Have those been filed now?
MS. BURKE: Since completing the paperwork, we have filed 2015. 2016 has not been filed. With my husband's permission, I get to blame it all on him. I told him this was going to come up today. I begged him to get this done. It's not been done.

I will tell you we paid in all of our estimates that our very conservative CPA provided us. The money is all there. The 2016 has not been filed. 2015 has been filed.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything else you may want to add or subtract from the paperwork?
MS. BURKE: Not that I can think of.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Questions. Mr. King?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The College of Charleston, in my opinion, has one of the lowest minority enrollment rates across the state. What would you do to make sure that minorities are represented on the campus, particularly African-American students?
MS. BURKE: I'm really glad you asked that question because the ratio of African-American students at the College of Charleston is not reflective of the Low country and the area that we serve. It's off by a lot.

Our African-American students comprise about 7 or 8 percent of the student population. The Tri-County area is made up of almost a third of African-Americans, 26, 27 percent.

When I was a student at the College of Charleston in 1990-1994, it was even worse. I think our minority students comprised like 1 or 2 percent of the student body. So we've made some gains on it. We've hovered around 7 or 8 percent, I think, for about the past 10 years.

I do know that -- and since President McConnell took over the College of Charleston, things have been put into place to help alleviate that.

We have a Vice President for Diversity now. I met with him. He's doing great things to not only help the admissions office, support the admissions office and attracting minority students, but also once they make it to campus, retain those students.

One program that the admissions office is working on currently is called the Top 10 Percent Program. That program automatically admits students in underserved counties in South Carolina who do well in their studies regardless of their standardized test scores, because a lot of students in the underserved counties don't do well on standardized test scores. And that's not really -- that's not the only indicator of student success in college. You have to look at the whole student.

That's what this program does. If you're in the top 10 percent of your class in one of the high schools in those counties, Williamsburg County I know is one of them. I grew up in lower Florence County. I feel an affinity for the Kingstree area, growing up in Lake City.

Hopefully, we can increase the number of children and students who come from the Pee Dee Region, which is a little bit outside the top 10 percent. It includes Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley. I can't think of all the counties.

But that is an excellent program that's been put in place to attract not just quality, talented, smart minority students from South Carolina, but good smart students from those underserved counties whether they are African-American or white. But I think it will go a long way toward helping out African-American students.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sen. Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Good afternoon. You served -- if I'm reading your responses to the questions correctly, you served on several things, including the Alumni Board and the Honors College Advisory Board; is that correct?
MS. BURKE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Being you are not an incumbent, can you give me an idea of what your participation rate was when you had those responsibilities?
MS. BURKE: I would say my participation rate was 99.9 percent. Especially during my year when I served as President-Elect and President of the Alumni Association.

I will tell the Committee in all candor, I had a child in January of 2009, so I had to take some time off then. But, you know, other than that, I was there for all of the meetings of the Alumni Association.

I still attend various receptions around campus that honor student scholars. I attend Honors Program social events to support the faculty and students there.

You know, before I became the President of the Alumni Association, I had served on the Alumni Board and on the Executive Committee for about six or seven years. And I don't think you would get to be the President of the Alumni Association if you did not have a track record of showing up and working hard.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And nothing in your work, current work -- or is there anything in your current work that would preclude you from being able to participate in Board meetings and other responsibilities and duties as a member of the Board?
MS. BURKE: Absolutely not. I have about 20 partners, and several of my partners graduated from the College of Charleston. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my partner, Michael Brickman's wife is Tippy Stern Brickman. Her father was Ted Stern, probably the greatest President the College of Charleston ever had.

So I'm here today before the Committee with full support of my partners and my family.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, Ms. Burke.
MS. BURKE: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm looking at your community involvement. Very impressed.
MS. BURKE: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You've obviously been involved since you were in college.

I notice that you said that in-state/out-of-state ratio of no specific number. This has come before our Committee on almost all of our schools. Some of our colleges and universities do a great job attracting in-state. Some of them need to work on it, in my opinion.

Can you give me just a general idea how many in-states you would prefer to see at the College of Charleston?
MS. BURKE: The current ratio of in-state and out-of-state at the College of Charleston is roughly 70 percent in-state to 30 percent out-of-state.

And I know that probably sounds like a waffle when I say there's no precise number formula for what is the right fit for any campus.

I will say I do think that the current ratio at the College of Charleston of 70 to 30 is working. That doesn't mean it might change at some point in the future. We may take in more in-state students, we may take in more out-of-state students, but for now it seems to work.

I do feel strongly that it would just not be right for an in-state university or college to take in more out-of-state students than in-state students. I think when you do that, you've lost your mission because your mission is to serve the students of South Carolina; and particularly for the College of Charleston, students of the Low country. So you want to have enough out-of-state students to improve the experience of the in-state student.

My roommate freshman year College of Charleston is from Grace Point, Michigan. We're still great friends. We could not have been more different. I showed up in pearls; she showed up in Birkenstocks. It was a wonderful experience.

I want other students from South Carolina to have that opportunity to meet people from out-of-state and learn about their background and their experiences and make connections all over the country; but, again, you don't want to over serve the out-of-state student.

You also have to keep in mind that out-of-state students pay a lot more in tuition than the in-state students, and it's a revenue stream for in-state colleges, and the College of Charleston's included in that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I would imagine the city attracts a lot of out-of-state just because of what you can do there. It's a lot different from some of our other smaller schools in the state.
MS. BURKE: Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Two of my children graduated from College of Charleston. They love the experience. I wish they'd studied a little more, but, hey, what can I do with that? And my eldest daughter still lives in Mount Pleasant. She says, "I'll never leave." So we can't get her back home.
MS. BURKE: Mount Pleasant's a great place to live. It is.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Desire of the Committee? Second? Any other discussion? Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. BURKE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next. Joseph Thompson? Mount Pleasant. Good afternoon, sir.

MR. THOMPSON: Good morning -- afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.

MR. THOMPSON: Joseph Francis Thompson, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

MR. THOMPSON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. THOMPSON: Yes, please.

I know that you've read the personal data that I submitted to each of you, and each of you should have received a letter from me back in early January stating the reasons I'm seeking another term on the Board.

During my time on the Board, I've served on six different committees, chaired three committees. I chaired Budget and Finance Committee, the Audit and Governance Committee, and the Governmental Affairs and External Affairs Committee.

I've also served on the Facilities Committee, Student Affairs Committee, and the Executive Committee.

I'm a 1974 graduate of the College of Charleston and former Vice President of the Alumni Association. I served on the Board for 20 years and I'm seeking a sixth term.

I'm a retired higher education administrator and faculty member with 21 years experience, so I have the knowledge, skills and time to continue to contribute to my alma mater.

As one of President McConnell's earliest supporters, I'd like to continue my service on the Board to help advance his agenda, which maintains academic quality, provides more access to South Carolina students, increases African-American student enrollment, finds ways to reduce spending, keeps in-state tuition as low as possible, and looks at academic programs for the future that will fill the needs of our state and region's workforce.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Are papers in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any additions or deletions to the paperwork you think we need?
MR. THOMPSON: I'm sorry, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any additions or deletions to the paperwork that you submitted that you think the Committee may need?
MR. THOMPSON: I'm sorry, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Can you think of any additions or deletions to the paperwork that you've submitted?
MR. THOMPSON: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MR. THOMPSON: Apologize for my hearing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's all right.

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Thompson, you stated that you've been on the Board for 20 years and you know it's -- if you have sat in on any of the hearings or you heard, my concern has been the number of African-American students that are in our college and university system.

Can you tell me what you have done in the last 20 years -- and not what the institution has done -- but what you have done personally to introduce people, minorities, to the College of Charleston?

And then what have you done legislatively as a Board member to help increase the number of African-Americans on campus?
MR. THOMPSON: Okay, well, during the past 20 years on the Board, I have always been a positive advocate for increasing African-American student enrollment. Partially, I was engrossed in it every day my time at the dental school. And I served on the admissions committee. And we were always seeking qualified African-American candidates.

Unfortunately, when we found students that applied, other universities would come in and undercut us on the offer. And so we always had trouble filling that quota.

And the same is kind of true at the College of Charleston. We don't have a big endowment. So when we do get qualified students, other places are undercutting us and making offers.

What I've tried to do -- four years ago, when I was running for re-election, I talked to the Senate Black Caucus and introduced myself. My friend, Senator Pinckney, followed me out of the meeting. And he said, "Promise me that you will do what you can to increase African-American students at the College of Charleston." And I gave him my word.

And as a close friend of President McConnell, I've known President McConnell over 40 years. We talk at least once a week. I told him that was my number one priority when he came in, to increase African-American student enrollment as far as I was concerned.

There are other little things we could do, too. But that was a big plus for me. That's what I wanted to do.

And he and I collaborated during the time he's been President.

And by the way, before he came, not much happened. If you go all the way back to 2000, or whatever, it was hanging around 6 percent. The other Presidents tried. For reasons I stated, were unable to drive the number of African-American students up.

President McConnell, with my help, and I would sound -- I was a sounding board for other Board Members on these initiatives -- as Mrs. Burke mentioned earlier, we have a 10 Percent Program instituted by President McConnell, which goes to six or seven Low country counties. And if the student is in the top 10 percent of their class, they do not have to take the SAT or ACT. They are automatically committed -- admitted, I'm sorry.

We ran into some problems with some faculty who were against that, bending the admission rules at all. But we got that through, and the Board was all for it.

We implemented the Crossing the Cistern Program. What that does is for sophomore students and higher, it's a public service funded scholarship that enables students to participate in public service and provides a scholarship for them.

We have implemented the One Semester Bridge Program with Trident Tech, which is students with a 2.6 GPA after one semester can transfer to the College. Or they can elect to stay at Trident Tech one or two semesters longer, it's their choice; but they live on campus and they experience all the things that the College of Charleston students do.

Call me MISTER Program, which has been implemented, as you know, and started probably around 2000 or so by Coach Jeff Davis up at Clemson and we have implemented recently at the College of Charleston with my friend, former Representative Floyd Breeland, is heading that up. And currently we have about 17 students -- and we'd like more, but we need some more funding for that. But we're working on that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Good, thank you. I just have one quick question. I know my other colleagues may have more questions.

But the racial tension there that you find on the campus -- and you're very aware of how there has been some recent activities in the last couple years where things were posted. Can you tell me as a Board Member what have you done to try to bridge those gaps between the students that do have issue with people of, you know, different ethnicities or sexual orientations or whatever?
MR. THOMPSON: We do not tolerate hate of any kind. Students are free to demonstrate if they want to, but they cannot be disruptive of classrooms. But we will not tolerate any hate speech or demonstrations of any kind.

We had a recent incident where some students were inebriated at a party, a recent Halloween party, I believe it was, and dressed up. I'm not even sure -- I believe they dressed up as prisoners or something. I don't remember exactly what they dressed up as, but it was offensive to some students.

And we have since established a student board, a governing student board, where they will look at these issues and make recommendations. So the best thing to do is have a student-driven board to try to solve these problems and figure out what we need to do to educate students.

We also -- I know Representative Whitmore's familiar with our book we had four years ago.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Very familiar.
MR. THOMPSON: We've got -- the book we have selected for incoming freshmen now is written by an African-American author, it's called "The Hate You Give." And it's a fictional book, but it's intended to make people aware of body language and things that they may do that could -- of another person may take wrong, take the wrong way.

So we're doing things like that.

We have a very good -- our Chief Diversity Officer, Professor Bernard Harris, doing a wonderful job, extremely energetic. I talked with him on several occasions. He's got some great ideas. And I think we're headed in the right direction.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon, sir.

Again, on the same role that I've spoken in the past as far as participation. you've been on the Board. Can you give us a feel for your amount of participation in your responsibilities as a member?
MR. THOMPSON: Certainly. I think I covered my responsibilities on the various committees.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. THOMPSON: Having been on the Board for 20 years has probably been well over 100 meetings, probably 120 meetings. I probably have missed less than 10.

The past four years I had to miss two meetings in April of 2016 work-related where the Dean asked me to hang around. We had some out-of-town visitors and in case they had any questions.

And in October 2017 I had to miss to attend my mother's funeral.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I understand. Thank you. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm going to watch Senator Peeler eat all this candy up here. It's not fair.

Welcome, Mr. Thompson. I want to thank you for your Air Force service to our country.
MR. THOMPSON: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I don't know if you're like me where Uncle Sam invited me to join the Army?
MR. THOMPSON: I went before I got invited.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Oh, okay. That doesn't happen much anymore, does it?
MR. THOMPSON: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I noticed you said biggest weakness, not enough emphasis on developing academic programs to help business and industry. I thought College of Charleston's main mission is liberal arts. Am I wrong on that?
MR. THOMPSON: You're right. But we are trying to develop that to work with the business and industries in our area to produce graduates that can be of service to them, the jobs that they provide. They can go right into those jobs.

We're having a little difficulty. Some faculty don't want any change at all. But President McConnell, thank goodness for him, he has a great relationship with business and industry; and he's moved us in that direction.

We need to continue in that direction and be very careful of the next President we hire and make sure that that direction will continue. If not, we might be in a little trouble.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You're exactly right. You got to move that way.

My daughter majored in psychiatry, psychology, whatever, couldn't find a job when she got out. So she had to go back and get her Master's in acupuncture, which wasn't anything she majored in.

Liberal arts is great, but it may not fit the business model we're looking for in the 21st Century.
MR. THOMPSON: Right. I think you're exactly right. We're taking heed of that. Listening to advice that we get from CHE, my former colleague Jeff Schultz heading that up. He's provided some data that we take note of. It's not quite Chicken Little as he says it is.

We have made cuts. President McConnell has cut $6 million out of the recurring budget since he's been there.

So I think CHE only presents one side of it.

And we're well aware that enrollment is going to decline because people aren't having many children. But we're taking steps to make adjustments. And we have time to do that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Going back four years ago where you had the controversy on campus, my biggest concern was that it was being required for all students.
MR. THOMPSON: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If it had been voluntary and let students choose or not choose, I would have been fine with that. I hope that's behind us from now on.
MR. THOMPSON: Hopefully, we won't have any controversial -- faculty certainly knows how the Board feels about it. But you know you got that co-governance thing. We try to do what we can.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I understand. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What else? Ms Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Thompson, thank you for being with us today and thank you for your service to the College of Charleston and to the State for the last 20 years. I do have a question, given your previous affiliation with MUSC as I believe the Dean of the Dental School.
MR. THOMPSON: Finance Dean.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Back when I graduated from the College of Charleston, which was 1983, a long time ago, a lot of my friends who were interested in getting into nursing or going to medical school attended the College of Charleston for a few years and then moved over to MUSC.

And there seemed to be a really good pipeline, I would say, and a good collaborative effort there between the College of Charleston and MUSC to keep those students in the medical field in the Charleston area. Have you seen that trend continue?

Or I guess what I'm wondering is: What are the current collaborative efforts between MUSC and the College of Charleston in that regard?
MR. THOMPSON: I can speak -- I can tell you what my counterpart in nursing said is that they regard College of Charleston students very highly and prepared when they get there.

The dental School College of Charleston was second to Clemson in the amount of admissions we did each year because they were so well prepared in the sciences.

In fact, you're talking about the three-year thing in dental school, my very good friend and former lower colleague Dr. Eddie Thomas, who just passed away last year, was one of those three-year people who did his three years in College of Charleston and merged into dental school.

And there's quite a lot of that in the nursing field, too. But a lot more people are starting to offer nursing, also.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Well, since the state has set those two universities that are so close together geographically, I just wonder how much collaboration goes on between the two schools in their efforts to join forces on different things.
MR. THOMPSON: I know that the Presidents and Provost meet individually and differently, group of provosts, I think -- is included in that, too. They meet on a regular basis, like once a month, at the very least once a quarter, and they talk about all that stuff. So that collaboration is there.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. That's good. That's good to know. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mind of the committee? Favorable? Second? Any discussion? Hearing none. Take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have the College of Charleston Board of Trustees.

First, we have the 2nd Congressional District, Seat 3, John Busch from Chapin.

Good morning.
MR. BUSCH: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name, Mr. Busch.
MR. BUSCH: My name is John Hartnett Busch.
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. BUSCH: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to give a brief statement?
MR. BUSCH: I would.

I currently serve on the legislative affairs committee, the athletic affairs committee. I chair the information technology committee. I'm a 1985 College of Charleston graduate and have been a member of the board of trustees for 12 years.

My priorities to continue to serve would be that I want to continue to be an advocate for equal access for all South Carolinians for education for in-state students. I continue to be a strong advocate for keeping -- pushing costs down and keeping enrollment up for the growth of our endowment.

The experience of attending the College of Charleston, I've drawn upon 22 years of service in the military, 12 years of experience with the board of trustees, and higher education through a previous business I owned that served a lot of university researchers.

I served in the South Carolina Air National Guards, an F-16 pilot, squadron commander, and instructor pilot. I had many all-expense paid trips to the Middle East courtesy of the United States Air Force, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq and numerous other countries.

I'd like to highlight one of my accomplishments as a trustee. Three years ago, I chaired the ad hoc committee that was a diversity review committee put together by President McConnell to review diversity at the College of Charleston and how we can improve.

A couple of things that came out of that, one of our recommendations was called the Top 10 Percent program where we would automatically accept any student in the state of South Carolina in the program who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class regardless of their ACT or SAT score. The idea being that this would increase the number of underrepresented students in rural areas.

We started by rolling it out two years ago in the Tri-County area around Charleston. We've expanded it now to seven counties. Those counties include: Clarendon, Colleton, Orangeburg, Williamsburg, along with the South Carolina Public Charter School District, Palmetto Scholars Academy.

We have had good success with that, and then we're about to evaluate that this next spring to then roll it out to the rest of the state. We're the only college in the state that has such a program, and it helps our goal of equal access for all of South Carolina's higher ed.

In that program, 170 total students have been committed for the fall of 2018, and almost a third of those applicants are students of color. And if these numbers continue, we plan to roll it out to the rest of the state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Busch, can you tell me what is the breakdown of the student body there?
MR. BUSCH: Yes.

If you'll turn to the page of stats we have -- if you would like me to focus on a particular group, I can.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: The African American students that you have.
MR. BUSCH: Students, African Americans, have increased from 6 percent to 8 percent in the past three years.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And what are you all doing to increase those numbers besides what you just told us?
MR. BUSCH: That program, along with other programs -- for example, our program that starts the summer before fall college -- is not only about accepting a higher number, it's also doing everything we can to continue or ensure their success. So when we get them on campus, we are wanting to get them off to a good start so that they can get adjusted to the College of Charleston life and --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So your 8 percent in comparison to other universities in the state's system is what?
MR. BUSCH: It's at the lower end.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And why is that?
MR. BUSCH: Well, I guess it can be for numerous reasons. One is that it hasn't been a priority.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Why hasn't it been?
MR. BUSCH: Because our previous administration hasn't made it a priority, and we have changed that now with our current administration. We have made it our priority. That's why we have that committee, like we talked about, diversity review committee to try to improve that situation. We realize it is a priority.

I continue to be an advocate among trustees at our trustee meetings, every single trustee meeting, talking about making it a priority. In our diversity review committee, one of the things that I emphasize is this is something that doesn't just reside in the office of institutional diversity. It needs to reside throughout the campus.

And so what we did, we have multiple organizations across campus come talk to us, whether it was the foundation, athletics, different academic affairs, different programs on campus. And, for example, even IT. What can you do in your particular area to help strengthen diversity at this college? Because colleges and universities are competitive, and a diverse organization is a much more competitive organization. Trying to reinforce that theme for our college hasn't been there.

It hasn't been there in recent years. It started to grow under President Stern in the late '70s -- the mid-'70s, I should say -- and then it waned for a number of years, and now it's coming back.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I would love to see for all colleges and universities in South Carolina to reflect South Carolina. I believe that the African American population in South Carolina is between 26 and 30 percent. There is no reason for you all to be at 8 percent on that campus. I'm disturbed by that.

And you've been on the board for how long?
MR. BUSCH: Twelve years.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Twelve years.

So as an advocate for the community, I would ask that you look into seeing -- figuring out ways to increase the number of African American presence.

The diversity in your staff, faculty and staff, what is it that?
MR. BUSCH: Fifteen percent.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Fifteen percent.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And other questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just wanted, for the record, your attendance at board meetings.
MR. BUSCH: It's been a hundred percent.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A hundred percent.

Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.

I want to commend you on your service to our country. When were you deployed to the Middle East? Was it more than once?
MR. BUSCH: It's been multiple times of getting in the late nights for -- during the Clinton administration with Operation Southern Watch and Operation Northern Watch, and then again Operation Enduring Freedom right after 9/11, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. So 2002, January 2002, we went back after September 11th, and then again the winter/spring of 2003.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You were flying F-16s each time?
MR. BUSCH: That's correct.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I commend you for that and admire you because I sure couldn't get in that plane. I was on the ground. I couldn't. It just takes a different kind of person.

So, obviously, you've got your priorities in order.
MR. BUSCH: Thank you. Thank you. It's a privilege.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

What's the desire of the Committee?

Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussions?

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

Thank you, sir.
MR. BUSCH: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: It's an honor to have you here.
MR. BUSCH: Thank you, Representatives. Thank you, Representative King.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have 3rd Congressional District, Seat 5, Shawn Holland from Anderson.

Good morning, sir.
MR. HOLLAND: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would for the record, give us your full name.
MR. HOLLAND: Shawn Michael Holland.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. HOLLAND: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HOLLAND: I would.

Good morning. I want to serve on this board, the College of Charleston Board, because it's a great opportunity. It's an opportunity that allows me to give back. It's an opportunity that will allow me to serve, support, and have a voice for a college that gave me a shot at a college education and a shot at playing Division I baseball.

My wife, Emily, she looked at me three years ago and said, "It's time."

I said, "It's time for what?"

She says, "It's time to give back and get involved."

And then I told her I agreed. And I said, "But I want to do it in a fashion of subjects and matters that I am passionate about."

Since those three years, I currently sit as the executive chairman at the local YMCA in Anderson, and my wife and I both serve on different committees at our local church, First Presbyterian Church in Anderson.

Within the past two years, my wife and I both have been inducted into our high school athletic hall of fame. I'm starting to get involved in my four-year-old son's, Beckett's T-ball teams and the NBL team that he's getting involved in.

And now I sit here in front of you with this opportunity. This opportunity to serve on this board is very appealing to me, and I will see it as a great honor to be a part of.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Holland, you ran two years ago --
MR. HOLLAND: No, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Is that -- no.
MR. HOLLAND: This is my first.
MS. CASTO: This is his first. I'm sorry. Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I guess you know my line of questioning.
MR. HOLLAND: Sure.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Since you're not presently on the board, can you tell me what you would do as a board member to ensure diversity on the campus at the College of Charleston.
MR. HOLLAND: Yes, sir.

First of all, I would like to sit down with the team and listen and then see what they came across, past efforts. Just by listening to the last few, I understand diversity is a growing issue at the College of Charleston. I look forward to just hearing what kind of programs and council meetings and other things that we can attract diversity for the College of Charleston.

I know, you know, as far as students and faculty, it's all about looking for the right person, for the right fit. It's a process. Just like anything, you know, it's developing feeder programs. I'm a baseball guy, so it's kind of like the minors, and it's kind of like in a farm program: you've got it building behind you to take over for the next generation.

I know on campus we have programs, workshops, student engagements, and initiatives in place on campus. So I know we're starting to take notes and be aware of it. And, you know, as I start to grow with the team, I want to kind of be a voice and see how I can help.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. With you applying and wanting to be on the board, what type of research have you done to bring yourself up to date on what the College of Charleston is doing with reference to diversity?
MR. HOLLAND: You know, with the research I've done -- I've got stats in front of me -- I know there's -- you know, we have an office of institutional diversity and programs for students from 210 students to -- it's gone up to 250. I know we have workshops that -- environmental justice, gender and equality. We have engagements, student engagements, on campus that -- you know, we'll try to reach out to folks and get them involved and understand the importance of it.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So earlier this morning we heard that there is only about 8 percent African American presence on the campus, and you know our population in South Carolina ranges between about 26 and 30 percent African American, and I'm under the belief that all the institutions should at least be around that percentage. You see that we're really far off at the College of Charleston. So I'm going into another question.

But my next question to you is -- I know that this Committee has focused on South Carolinians having a fair shake and a fair chance so then -- students at all of our colleges and universities. As a board member, what will you do to ensure that South Carolinians have first choice at being accepted into the College of Charleston?
MR. HOLLAND: It's developing the brand. You know, with me being from Anderson, I'm right next door to Clemson, and I see that tiger paw is turning more so into a logo than a brand. And I look forward to going down to Charleston and, you know, meeting with those guys and developing our brand and what can we put in front of other students in the state that attracts them.

Charleston is a beautiful place. It's in Conde Nast Traveler. There's no reason why we couldn't attract any in-state students.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Holland, if you would adjust your mike a little closer to you.
MR. HOLLAND: (Complying.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Holland, thank you for your willingness to serve.
MR. HOLLAND: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want to kind of take you, I guess, back to the years when you were at the College of Charleston. I notice question number 19 asks about minor traffic issues you have had. Tell us a little bit about the DUI back in 2000 because there's a question following this when I'm finished. And it's not to embarrass you. It's just --
MR. HOLLAND: No, no, no. And I totally understand, you know.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- to ask the question.
MR. HOLLAND: I haven't been approached with that to answer in a while. It was a mistake. When I made it, I was 19 years old. It's no question, I regret it; and it's no question, I owned up to it.

I approached my college coach the next day, advised him and talked to him about it. I winded up getting suspended for about 20 games, you know, and I had to -- I talked to the team. I talked to the coaches. I kept journals. I did weekly studies.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MR. HOLLAND: Lord knows I let my family down, my teammates, my coaches, but I do believe it was some type of blessing, and I got my second chance. The coach let me back on the team. It opened my eyes. It put me in a situation to grow up and get back on track.

I do know two years later, I was voted as the captain of the baseball team.
SENATOR SCOTT: And the reason I ask you that, back in those days, alcohol and marijuana was the big thing. It's opioids with painkillers now with kids between 18 and 25 on college campuses. It's a growing epidemic. And you having faced that as a youngster, you may be called upon to make some real tough decisions that may come across the board with kids who may have problems.

The largest stream is along the coast, Charleston coming down to Hilton Head. The largest numbers of deaths with the painkillers is in that area among those young people. What would be your thought pattern on those kinds of issues coming to the board when a child needs to be expelled or a child needs to be given a second chance, given the fact that you got a second chance?

It's just that the bad habits of that day were probably beer and alcohol. Talk a little bit about how to handle those kinds of challenges.
MR. HOLLAND: I'm a firm believer in second chances, but I do know, you know, as an incoming freshman, it's so important to find your mentors, find your advisors, find your counselors and know your surroundings and get involved quickly. I know once the issue was known with me and my DUI, you know, I had many people reach out to me. They became my mentors. They were my biggest cheerleaders.

You know, as far as, you know, the opioids and drugs, you know, I am so far away from those items, you know. I have to be caught up on it.
SENATOR SCOTT: Please do, because that's where a lot of problems are now on the college campuses.
MR. HOLLAND: But talking to current coaches or past coaches, you know, that's some of their worries. They're not worried about someone with alcoholism more so than painkillers.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.
MR. HOLLAND: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning, sir.
MR. HOLLAND: Good morning.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you for your willingness to serve. And being from the Anderson area and being a graduate, I believe you own your own business there. It's a glass company; is that correct?
MR. HOLLAND: Yes, sir. I just contribute to my father-in-law's retirement. I got involved with the family business back in October or so.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And how long has the business been in existence?
MR. HOLLAND: His daddy started it in 1949. So it's --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Oh. Business is good.

THE WITNESS: -- going through the third-generation, family business.

Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. So is there anything in your line of work that would preclude you from being an active member of the board of Charleston? I mean, it's a little bit of a drive down there. Obviously you know that from your time as a student there.

But how would you balance that?
MR. HOLLAND: It's going to take -- I've got a good staff.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Always important.
MR. HOLLAND: I enjoy having a reason to come down to Charleston. My family and I, we try to do it once a quarter. You know, it'll take communication with -- you know, I've got a great support staff at home.

I've got both sets of grandparents. I've got my wife. And, you know, work-related, you know, I have the capabilities of coming as I need.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You intend to be an active member, I think is what I'm hearing you say.
MR. HOLLAND: Absolutely, sir. Yes, sir. You know, once I commit, you know, I'm a team player. You now, if I get committed to something, I'm all in.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And talking about playing baseball there, just for your information there, in Oconee County, our county administrator, actually, Scott Moulder, played baseball with the College of Charleston.
MR. HOLLAND: He did?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Well, I didn't know if you had that connection.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Speaking of that, how old is your son?
MR. HOLLAND: Four years old.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, okay. All right.

He's a pretty good ballplayer, you think? As good as his dad?
MR. HOLLAND: My wife swam at -- she went to the University of Texas, so she's a big long-distance swimmer. So he's definitely got the genes to be whatever he wants to be.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Tiger paw brand.
MR. HOLLAND: I --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Show him that tiger paw.
MR. HOLLAND: I've got pictures on my phone with him, a lot of -- he's a Clemson football nut, so...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Great. Right.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Discussion? No?

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

Thank you, Mr. Holland.
MR. HOLLAND: Thank you, all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, 4th Congressional District, Seat 7, John Wood from Greenville.
MR. WOOD: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning.

If you would for the record, give us your full name, please, sir.
MR. WOOD: John B. Wood, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in.
MR. WOOD: 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. WOOD: Yes, sir, I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. WOOD: I want to thank the panel here today for this opportunity. I have served on the College of Charleston Board for three terms. This would be my fourth term, if you're so inclined.

It has been a great privilege and a pleasure. I attended the College of Charleston and graduated in 1983. The contacts and friendships I made there have been invaluable to me throughout my life and throughout my business career.

I'm a single dad. I have three children: one who is sophomore at Clemson, one who is a senior in high school, and one is a tenth grader in high school. So this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to this state. I'm a lifelong South Carolinian and a native of Greenville.

And I enjoy working with the constituents and the parents of children who are considering the college, and it's been a privilege and a pleasure to serve with the other board members and the staff down there.

I thank you for this opportunity.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions from the Members?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning.
MR. WOOD: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And thank you again for your willingness to continue to serve.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Two things. Obviously, consistency. Your participation in board meetings?
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir. I think I'm right at a hundred percent.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And also here it says that the biggest weakness you see is complacency among tenured faculty. They are reluctant to change. I think that's interesting.

How do we solve that problem?
MR. WOOD: Well, I think we're at an interesting position right now as we enter this presidential search. I think the next leader at the college is going to have to be one who is a visionary and who is willing to take some hard steps and make some changes. And I think we need to be very focused on what the state of South Carolina and the Low country is demanding of our colleges and universities as far as majors and business offerings for the community, to be honest with you.

I think we are very quick to add a program but very slow to take anything away, and I think that it's a very good time, basically, to take a look at every line item. And I'm a banker -- you all know that -- so I look at it more from a business perspective probably than some, but I think it's time for us to look at every major, every course offering, every line item and determine what's essential and what is -- from an entrepreneurial standpoint -- profitable.

I don't want to give up our liberal arts roots, but I also want to be wise with the state's money and our money.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Woods, for your willingness to serve.
MR. WOOD: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I'm glad to hear you talk about looking at what the school offers. But, also, let's talk a little bit about the customer base. That's the most important part in the business, to be able to attract customers. This is your -- you've served 12 years now.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: So you have had the opportunity to see some of my frustration that I shared a few minutes ago, especially here with diversity in the area of openness with staff, with professors, and you mentioned a minute ago, especially tenured professors and not be willing to make the change. That kind of behavior moves from the top down to instructors and others, frustrating them as well.

What have you seen, if anything, that has changed from the time you got there to now, and what do you suggest for the direction we need to be going in trying to fix some of those concerns?
MR. WOOD: Well, I think that the last few years under President McConnell, we have seen some very positive change. We have added some very good faculty members that are very proactive. But I think our biggest challenge within the college -- and in basically any business -- is communication. I think a lot of folks that were here before me this morning have referenced that we have wonderful programs, but I think you've got to get the word out.

And I think at our office of institutional diversity, Dr. Renard Harris has got so much energy and such a great story to tell. I think that, honestly, we need to almost do a road show. I would like to see our president -- our existing president and our new president spend more time in the South Carolina communities.

We're good, I think, at taking trips and doing fundraising and alumni events in markets all over the East Coast. I wish we would do more of them in South Carolina. I'd like to see folks in Anderson and Greenville and Spartanburg, Rock Hill and Columbia and other places.

So I think to the statement that was made earlier about branding -- obviously, I live in the shadow of Death Valley too, and I think Clemson does a wonderful job being visible. And I think it's just rolling up your sleeves and getting out and getting on the road.
SENATOR SCOTT: What's your thoughts about getting the team ready? Are your administrators ready to embrace what you're trying to do? Because you can create all the strategies and all the programs. If you can't get the team on board --
MR. WOOD: Well, I think --
SENATOR SCOTT: -- you can't win.
MR. WOOD: Yeah, I agree with that. And I think whoever steps in the next position as the full-time president is going to need a strong number two, somebody who's got his back, whether it be the chief of staff or the provost, and somebody that he can count on. And when you have to make a tough decision and will hold somebody accountable, you do it. You don't just give it lip service.

In my world, if you make a mistake or misstep, you get a second chance, but you get reprimanded or documented or whatever you call it, and hopefully you don't make the same mistake again.
SENATOR SCOTT: Twice.
MR. WOOD: And so I think accountability is something that is very important and something I'd like to see going forward.
SENATOR SCOTT: Have you seen the staff's willingness to really sit down and talk to each other? Because my experience when I was down there at the diversity meeting you had, that was not there. There were things that they wanted to talk about, but there was not a comfort level. Fear of some retaliation from the top, that's what I walked away with.
MR. WOOD: I think that I've seen that a lot of times, people are reluctant to bring up topics that are near and dear to them for whatever reason, embarrassment or uncomfortable -- being uncomfortable or whatever. But no, I think everybody wants to do the right thing. I think it's just, as you say, getting everybody to the table and probably more often and getting the consensus and following through and holding people accountable. If you say you're going to do something, do it.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, let me just challenge you, then I'll let you go. Please develop some sessions that you can get your team to begin to talk to each other, because there are some real issues among your team members, and there is some fears about being open to talk about some of these issues that actually exist.

Thank you so much.
MR. WOOD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I was looking at where you have the biggest weakness. I would say that your biggest weakness is the diversity on your campus. The diversity, for me, is very important, especially with the number of South Carolinians that are -- the diversity that we have in this state is not reflected on your campus.

What have you done as a member of the board to talk about, to legislate as a board member, diversity or to enhance diversity on the campus?
MR. WOOD: Well, I think we've --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I want to know what you have done. What have you actually done?
MR. WOOD: Well, I would say that I've supported every diversity initiative ever presented to the board. I can't think of a single one that I have not supported. I try to always respond to any question or concern very quickly and involve members of the faculty and staff whenever that comes up.

You know, as far as recruiting, I can't say I've done a great job with that, but I will say that I've encouraged and asked for more visits, more exposure in our market, and I think that's key. I think we've got to get our admissions folks in the high schools. I think that we have done a good job in some of the Low country high schools visiting, offering -- I guess the right word would be -- express applications or almost immediate answers and acceptance for qualified students in some of the underserved areas, the minority students. And we've really tried very hard to do that, and I'd like to see us take that initiative statewide, not just in the Low country.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I know that you all have the Call Me MISTER program there at the College of Charleston; am I correct?
MR. WOOD: I think that's correct, yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Can you tell me what you know about the Call Me MISTER program? Are you familiar with what you all are doing on the campus?
MR. WOOD: I'm more in tune with the Crossing the Cistern and in other things. So, no, sir, I couldn't tell you a whole lot about it.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

(Representative Davis enters the room.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Wood, for your service, from Greenville County.

I've been waiting to say something, and Senator Scott brought it up about recovery program programs. And I wanted to ask you about your collegiate recovery program and also say thank you because you're the only university in this state that is really doing anything at all to address the issue, and I know y'all started that program in 2016.
MR. WOOD: We have, and we actually had several of the students that have been through the program that just came and spoke to the board. It's an amazing story. It was scary in that it could have been one of my kids. I mean, these were kids from great families and great high schools that looked all-American, and to hear their struggles and what they had put their families and friends through were unbelievable.

It's been a very good partnership with the public and private money raised, and it's something that, obviously, needs more attention and more money, and we are behind it. It's amazing. It really is.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I know Carolina is trying to get something started. Clemson is not doing anything -- to my friends from Clemson -- on the issue. But I appreciate the fact y'all do that, and you know that it's -- I don't know if you have found this or even have asked, but I will tell you that there are parents and students that are looking for schools where if they're -- once you're in recovery, you're always in recovery. And, you know, because this is such a big problem, students want and parents want their kids to be at a place that's got an active program, that's a support for them so that they can finish college and stay in recovery, you know.

And so I commend you as y'all are continuing to support that and fund it.
MR. WOOD: And it's amazing that a student that has been through it will get another student through it, and then those students will get two more, and it does grow. Success breeds success.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: And, if I could say, speaking of Greenville -- because I know Mr. Busch is an F-16 pilot, and to come up to Lockheed and see we're getting ready to gear up the production, it's a pretty great airport. So, anyway, I put in my little plug for Greenville County.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of the Committee?

Oh. Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Wood, thank you for your long-time service to the College of Charleston.

I'm an '83 graduate from the College of Charleston, and I was a math major. And so I appreciate your financial perspective and your explanation of how you feel like it could be beneficial to sort of go through the majors and all the programs being offered and basically determine, you know, what's the cost-benefit analysis of each program. If you were to go through that process and were able to save money by going through that process, what would you take and do with that money? Would you put it on other programs or other majors, other courses that you think are more needed?
MR. WOOD: Absolutely. Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.

THE WITNESS: I think what we would do is try to just redeploy those funds and resources to other needs there.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Do you have anything specific in mind?
MR. WOOD: Well, I think, you know, being in Charleston, our hospitality, you've got supply chain management. You've got, you know, business programs, legal and education programs. I mean, look at what's going on in Greenville -- excuse me -- in Charleston. Being from Greenville, you know, we've had our run with BMW, GE, Michelin, and Lockheed and others. It's exciting to see Charleston with Volvo and Mercedes and Boeing and all of the great stuff that's happening down there.

So I think you look -- the computer -- and, of course, they call it the Silicon Harbor now with all the computer activity down there and programming and whatnot. So, I mean, yeah, there's plenty of places to find good uses for it.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Is the College of Charleston providing graduates for the jobs at Boeing and Volvo, Mercedes?
MR. WOOD: We do have an active placement on campus and everything, and we do work with those bigger companies and try to offer their employees continuing education and whatever they may need to support them in their jobs.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you.
MR. WOOD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson moves for favorable.

Is there a second?

Seconded.

Any discussion?

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

Thank you.
MR. WOOD: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, 5th Congressional District, Seat 9, Hank Butch --
MR. FUTCH: Futch.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- Rock Hill.
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's why I ask you to give your full name for the record.
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would state your full name.
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir. Henry Alexander Futch, Jr.
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. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. FUTCH: I would.

I went to the College of Charleston in 1983, graduated in '88. And I dated my wife. My wife actually played in a band called the Blue Dogs. And I actually met my wife on the College of Charleston campus and knew it as soon as I met her -- I said, "That's going to be Ms. Futch."

And sure enough, she's still with me today.

I have spent the majority of my life entertaining and serving others with my talents as a guitar player, bass player, singer, and for the past 10 years, I have also been a commercial realtor. I have earned my certified commercial investment member designation, CCIM.

I would like to say that I think that my experiences in business will certainly help me help the college. I would really like to make a difference. It's an honor.

And I'd just like to say my band this past December, we started this anniversary concert, and we brought in the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital as the benefactor for monies raised. And last December we raised $180,000 for MUSC's Children Center, specifically for pediatric oncology research. You know, we've -- the total over the last four years, we've raised in excess of 400,000. So I'm very proud of that.

So I've been putting on fundraisers for as long as I remember, and I think I may be able to help the college out with its fundraising abilities, hopefully, moving forward, and I'm very excited. Thank y'all very much for the opportunity.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Sir, let me first thank you Mr. -- Fetch?
MR. FUTCH: Futch.
SENATOR SCOTT: Futch?
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- for your willingness to serve.

I'm looking at number 19, as it relates to minor infractions, infractions with the law.

(Chairman Senator Peeler exits the room.)
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: 1988, a small amount of -- I guess that's marijuana?
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: And you have a laundry list of other issues with the Department of Revenue, some that they could find, some they could not find.

THE WITNESS: No.
SENATOR SCOTT: Do you want to elaborate on some of this stuff?

THE WITNESS: I will.
SENATOR SCOTT: Because it's blowing my mind.
MR. FUTCH: Yeah, I will. I will.

I will say that all of the -- well, I will say in 1988, it's true, after graduating from the College of Charleston, a friend of mine and I went on a road trip to California. We thought what a great idea to go down to Tijuana since we were in the area, and it was just a road trip. Coming back into the state, they searched our car and found a very small amount of marijuana.

It's something that I am very much ashamed of, something that's obviously still with me to this day. It was very much a mistake on my part, a bad judgment, and I've learned from it now, obviously, with a wife and two kids, aged 11 and 14.

And so I wasn't the best example.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, sometimes a bad experience will give you some experience to being able to deal with some of these issues that these kids are going through now on the college campus --
MR. FUTCH: Absolutely.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- with painkillers.

Do you have an idea or any thoughts about what's going on on the college campus? Because a large percentage, based on the stats, show that college campuses have a large percent of young people using painkillers, not necessarily for pain but just to get high off of.

Do you want to talk a little bit about what you know about that and what you could bring to the college in working with the program that y'all do already have at the College of Charleston to try to save some of these children?
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.

I think it starts with education, and I think it starts with education and support from the college and having programs in place like we do. The whole opioid epidemic, I think, is taking a lot of people.

Also, we're still trying to figure out -- those that know a lot more about the epidemic than me are still trying to figure out the best way to address it. But I'm committed to working with the legislators and the students and the faculty to hopefully, you know, end it, but, you know, it's a very big problem, and it's only getting worse throughout the nation. Charleston is a tough town.
SENATOR SCOTT: It is.
MR. FUTCH: It's very fast-paced, as you know. There is a lot of food and beverage right there on King Street. It's an issue. It's an issue for the school. It's an issue for the town.

And I promise you I will do whatever in my ability to help raise awareness and hopefully offer some solutions to the problem.
SENATOR SCOTT: And the issue of diversity, what's your thought on trying to get the College of Charleston numbers up? In a town like Charleston, which is very expensive to be there -- and I don't know what the recruitment program looks like in trying to get their numbers up. Do you have any ideas about what you may want to offer to those challenges that come that the college is having on that?
MR. FUTCH: Well, I do think that the college's enrollment is not indicative of the state as a whole, and I think that we're obviously behind our other universities as far as making sure everyone is represented, and not just the African Americans, but the Hispanics and, you know, any minority. I think there are certainly steps that the college can take, I think, now that it is an issue, and it looks like it's been an issue for years.
SENATOR SCOTT: It has been.
MR. FUTCH: And I just think that the college could probably do a much better job of reaching out to minorities, not only to hopefully make it -- I guess bring it up to speed with the rest of the universities, but also to bring in other international talent. And once the college gets them, how do you retain these minority and international students?

So I would work with everyone to try and better that ratio.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other questions?

Representative Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you for your willingness to serve.

I noticed in looking over your application packet that you mentioned the Riley Center. What is that? I'm unfamiliar with that.
MR. FUTCH: The Riley Center for Livable Communities, well, it's just a -- it's a program, I believe, that the school has put in place to make sure that communities are sustainable. I really don't know that much about it. It's just a program that helps, I think -- it would, hopefully, benefit any community, you know.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. FUTCH: I really don't know that much about it. I'm sorry.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. Thank you.

I was just interested. I hadn't heard of that.
MR. FUTCH: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Any other questions?
SENATOR VERDIN: Move for favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: All right. There is a motion for favorable.

Is there a second?

Seconded.

All those in favor, do so by raising your right hand.

You are now favorable, and good luck in your candidacy, Mr. Futch.
MR. FUTCH: Thank you very much.

Next Congressional District Seat 5. Frank Gadsden, Clover.

For the record, if you would give us your full name?
MR. GADSDEN: Frank McCall Gadsden.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. GADSDEN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. GADSDEN: Chairman Peeler and Members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I also appreciate the opportunity having served on the College of Charleston Board for the past 12 years.

A little bit of family history which drives a lot of my love and dedication to the College. My father was a 1950 graduate. I have five siblings. Four of us are graduates. I met my bride at the College of Charleston, followed her home to York County. I am a native of Charleston but went home with her. Both my children and one of my daughters-in-laws are graduates of the College. So it's kind of a family affair for us. We all have a passion for what the College represents.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork's in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have any additions or deletions to the paperwork that you know of?
MR. GADSDEN: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? Comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I guess you know my line of questioning. Can you tell me, being an incumbent and having been there the last 12 years, what have you done to ensure that minorities are represented on campus?

And as you have been there for 12 years, you know that the number may have grown, but it has not grown like people like for it to have grown. Can you tell me what you have done personally and what you plan to do if re-elected?
MR. GADSDEN: Sure. I've been in full support of every initiative that has ever come across the Board as far as increasing diversity for minorities.

I think a little bit different approach being 200 plus miles from campus, my wife has been an elementary educator for 30 something years. And I've immersed myself. She was an elementary teacher. I immersed myself at that level in mentoring and coaching and participating in any programs that the Clover School District would offer that could help guide underrepresented individuals to make smart choices. I believe we got to start early.

But as far as the College, there are so many things that are being done on campus. But for obvious reasons, there has to be more accomplished to increase diversity.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but we have so many programs. And both of the individuals before me have mentioned the things that are in place to try and increase the diversity.

I think the top 10 Percent Program is going to pay dividends eventually. It's a relatively new program. We've seen some success with it. And it is for the underrepresented minorities counties in the Low country. So I think we'll see some solid movement there.

Legislatively, I'm not active in the Legislative arena, I'll be honest with you. I try and stay local in everything I do. I pay attention to what you guys are doing, and I'm in support of anything that you do that will increase the opportunity for minorities.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. GADSDEN: Good afternoon.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: My line of questioning to start with is dealing with your participation. How would you define your participation as a Board member?
MR. GADSDEN: I've been very dedicated. I've never missed a Board meeting in my 12 years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you attend other activities as well as the Board meetings?
MR. GADSDEN: As often as I can, yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And how would you describe the direction of the College of Charleston over your last tenure of these four years that you are finishing since you were last re-elected?
MR. GADSDEN: Can you repeat that again?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: How would you describe the direction of the College of Charleston, the direction it's going since your last election to the Board?
MR. GADSDEN: I think we're on a rising trajectory. And I think it's the relationship that the college has had with President McConnell. McConnell has his detractors, but he has been nothing but dedicated to the advancement of all people in the State of South Carolina in the realm of higher education, specifically at the College of Charleston. I have been in total support of his initiatives.

It saddens me that he will be leaving us shortly, but I think it's incumbent upon the Board to ensure that we bring somebody similar to him and his beliefs and his dedication to the people of South Carolina.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: One other question if I could, Mr. Chairman.

I know you said in your comments that you keep things local and not involved in things. But I also notice there that you talk about the amount of -- one of the greatest challenges is the lack of -- or having to attract students is lack of scholarship funds. So is that something you all are doing throughout the state is trying, like in the Clover community and other communities, are you all trying to generate contributions toward an endowment to help with the scholarships?
MR. GADSDEN: Yes, sir. We just finished our most successful fundraising campaign. It's called the Boundless Campaign. It raised over 130 million. A lot of it goes directly to scholarships.

Scholarship money has been a challenge for the College. We've grown only recently. So we're just getting into the realm to where we have a large enough alumni group that can start giving in that nature. We made tremendous headway in the last 12 years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Gadsden, for your service to the College.

I noticed you said your biggest weakness is landlocked. Well, what you going to do?
MR. GADSDEN: We've got a plan. We have a North Campus in place. Its primary focus today is on certificate programs in assisting people that are already out in the workforce or looking for opportunities post-graduation or that did not attend an undergraduate program.

We just put our first Graduate Program in place up there -- Undergraduate Program in place. We need to grow that facility. We need to grow the enrollment. It's in North Charleston, so it's much easier for people in Berkeley, Dorchester and those areas to come down.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I guess the price of real estate precludes you from trying to get any more land on the peninsula.
MR. GADSDEN: We try to take advantage of things that become available that are reasonable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Reasonable in Charleston?
MR. GADSDEN: It's very difficult in today's environment.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's true. I think you're going about it.

How many students are at the College now?
MR. GADSDEN: Undergraduates just shy of 10,000. And total is a little over 11, I believe.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are you planning to hold the line, or are you looking to expand?
MR. GADSDEN: We have a group called Town and Gown that we have to respect. Those are the local people that are contiguous that are residents and business owners. We have to kind of tow the line on the downtown campus to not overpopulate it because it does cause problems within the community. So we're respectful of their position.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's good to hear. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Committee? All in favor? Second? Any other discussions?

Take it to a vote. All those in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you, sir. Have a safe trip back to God's country.
MR. GADSDEN: Thank you.

(Laughter)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, 6th Congressional District, Seat 11, Demetria Clemons from Columbia.

How do you do, ma'am?

Just get comfortable.
MS. CLEMONS: Yeah.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. CLEMONS: Demetria Noisette Clemons.
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?
MS. CLEMONS: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.

My father was in the hospital for seven days, so that's what -- he had the flu. I don't have the flu, but I caught something while we were there.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, goodness. I hope we don't get it. Better still hope I don't get it.
MS. CLEMONS: Good morning, Senator Peeler and Committee Members. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.

I've always admired the beauty and the mystique of the College of Charleston campus. As a student attending Bishop England High School in the early '70s, I walked along the Cistern waiting for the day to attend classes in Randolph Hall and walk across the Cistern. I graduated from the College of Charleston in 1975. It gave me a solid foundation to excel in graduate school at The Citadel, completing a master's degree in counseling, and continuing my studies at American University.

My career in public education on the secondary level is a testament to the quality of education received at the College of Charleston. I enjoy utilizing my experience in student personnel and academy affairs. I also serve on alumni affairs in the executive committee.

I want to continue serving on the board of trustees because the next four years will be monumental in the history of the college. It is my desire to be an instrumental part of the college's 250-year celebration in 2020.

I've been a student administrator and parent at the College of Charleston. I sincerely believe my experience and exposure to various avenues at the College of Charleston enables me to assess and make decisions with a perspective few people will have. I want to continue to give back to the college that has given so much to me.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, her paperwork is all in order. And I'll tell you, she brought it in on her way to Charleston to pick up her parents on the way from the hurricane. So she made a special effort to get all of her paperwork in on time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You get extra credit.

Mr. King.

(Senator Scott and Senator Verdin enter the room.)
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Clemons, thank you for your service.

And I failed to ask the others, but I'm really interested in South Carolina students attending South Carolina colleges.
MS. CLEMONS: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: How can we ensure that more South Carolina students are attending our colleges versus us bringing in out-of-state students?

And before you answer that, can you tell me also what you find as an African American person on the board as your challenge to increase the number of African Americans on the campus?
MS. CLEMONS: As an African American on the board, I find that sometimes our challenge is being able to discuss openly mistakes that we might have made. We have numerous programs. We have great programs, but the question on any program that we have should always be a question of what are the demographics, and it's a question that as an African American on the board, I should not have to ask in various meetings.

So I think that when we have a willingness to say we have a program and that program is to attract more students of color, then if we do not reach our goal, we should really talk about what is it that we did, or how can we improve that. So I think that's the first part of the question.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: First of all, give me the number of -- your ratio of out-of-state students versus in-state students. And how do we increase the number of more in-state students at the College of Charleston?
MS. CLEMONS: Our in state is 65 percent, and out of state is 35 percent. So what we need to do is -- and our admission counselors, they are doing an excellent job in going to our schools, but if you've ever worked in a school, you have to have a very close connection with the guidance counselors. And what we are doing now, we have various programs through admissions like M.O.V.E., which is on overnight program for students of color, but I found that working in Richland 1 schools, that starts in middle school.

So what we need to do is we need to make sure that we connect or have a hook with our students at the gatekeeper grade, which is sixth. So working in a middle school here in Columbia, I would tell sixth and seventh and eighth graders, "You're going to the College of Charleston. Your grades are, you know, good enough."

And so once you instill that in a middle school student, then they know when they go on to high school that I'm going to college. So what we want and need to do is to make sure that the College of Charleston is a choice for our underrepresented students.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Thank you, Ms. Clemons, for your willingness to serve.

Believe it or not, I attended --
MS. CLEMONS: W.G. Sanders.
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, I went to Sanders. I went to Sanders, C.A. Johnson. I'm Columbia based.

But I attended the diversity conference that you all started a couple of years ago, and let me share with you what I walked away with. And I really appreciate how when you answered Representative King's question a minute ago, you were very, very careful. You got almost to the point, but you did not hit the point. There is some real issues on the campus of having open discussions, especially with staff, along with administrators and people.

And what I saw during that conference, I mean, it just turned my stomach. I left. I saw during that conference the fear.

And so my real question, not only to you, but to all of the others who I'm going to talk about on this list of running back and forth, how do y'all plan to fix that so there is a level of comfort that staff -- and I'm talking about African American staff, along with administrators -- are comfortable enough to talk about the real issues?

I heard you say a minute ago that students need to be close to their counselors. Students should be able to be open enough to talk to counselors, administrators, and everybody else on that campus as it relates to issues you may have. But you've got a little problem there. There is a real problem having open communication.

I applaud y'all for bringing in some consultants to deal with that, but that still needs to be an ongoing process on that campus until y'all fix that problem. I don't know how many other African Americans are on the board with you. One? Just you?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: How many -- okay.

Well, that's another issue. A board of that size needs to have representation in terms of the general population, the populace of South Carolina.

Are you comfortable when these kinds of issues come up, being able to discuss it with your peer group on the board?
MS. CLEMONS: Oh, yeah.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. CLEMONS: Oh, yeah.

There isn't a problem on the board. I mean, I feel very comfortable. I attend -- you know, being the only one in the room --
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MS. CLEMONS: -- isn't anything new.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. CLEMONS: Because I attended Bishop England, and I attended the College of Charleston from 1972 to '75.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. CLEMONS: So to be able to come back in 2006 and serve on the board, I feel I have an advantage because it was the College of Charleston that taught me what I know, and not to fear being the only one in the room.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Have you had encounters with some of the administrators, along with staff, talking about diversity issues on the campus, or is that still just kind of quiet and kind of subtle?
MS. CLEMONS: No. It was a little bit different, you know, in the '70s because of President Stern's work with Lucille Whipper.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MS. CLEMONS: You know, it was like a mandate. When you step on the campus, no matter what feelings you may have, this is how we're going to do business.

So what is important is that we not only leave the responsibility of diversity to the office of institutional diversity, but diversity needs to be throughout the entire campus.
SENATOR SCOTT: Correct.
MS. CLEMONS: So I don't know if it's the times that we're going through that we are not talking openly or as much as we've done in the past, but it needs to be across the campus. We have the office of institutional diversity. We have multiple cultural student services. We have programs, and I think we're doing a great job, but we can do more.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Briefly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning.
MS. CLEMONS: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good to see you. Thank you for your service.

Before I ask you the question, I will also acknowledge I appreciate you mentioning the name of former Representative Lucille Whipper, who I had the pleasure of serving and working with in the House and on the Committee.

If you would, your participation, board meetings. I just like to get that out there and make sure that we've got folks that are --
MS. CLEMONS: Oh, yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes.

You're right at a hundred percent, thereabouts, on board meetings?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good.

THE WITNESS: And I enjoy going back to programs, you know, various programs, like our SCAMP. I attend numerous programs, but I particularly attend a program like SCAMP, which centers on underrepresented students in the sciences and Nia Rite of Passage. I try to make my membership presence known on campus so that students will know I am here.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Great. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Ms. Clemons, you're on the presidential search committee board?
MS. CLEMONS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Paint me a verbal picture of what you're looking for in a new president of the College of Charleston.
MS. CLEMONS: Well, we are in the beginning of the process, and we've done it a little bit different this year. What we're doing this year is we have established listening groups, and we have four listening groups: the faculty, the staff, the students, and our boards.

So before we go to a search firm and say, This is what we want or what we're looking for in a president, we're going to hold our listening sessions and have those constituent groups tell us what it is that they're looking for as far as what we should be looking for. So we just established those groups.

So talk to me in two months, and I can tell you what the faculty and the staff and the students and our boards have said as far as attributes, characteristics. We're looking for a president who can -- we were hoping our current president would take us to 2020, but now that he's not going to be here, we are looking for a leader that can take us beyond 2020 and take us to places that -- you know, imagine what would the college look like in the next 250 years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, I think you bring a special skill set to that challenge.

Any other questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?

Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

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

Thank you, and I hope you get to feeling better.
MS. CLEMONS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: 7th Congressional District, Seat 7, Henrietta U. Golding. Myrtle Beach.
MS. GOLDING: Good afternoon, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And to you.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. GOLDING: Sure. My name is Henrietta Golding.

Would you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. GOLDING: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. GOLDING: Very brief.

I have served on the Board for approximately five years, and I have been the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee as well as served on the Facilities Committee and the Budget Committee.

I believe during my five-year tenure, I have been a positive for the College of Charleston, the College of Charleston students.

I have actively attended activities as well as, of course, the Board meetings.

As some of my fellow Board members will say, I am somewhat of a fiscal conservative in that I have been consistently concerned about the cost of tuition to the students.

I have consistently been aware of the fact that each year our tuition rises. We have voted increases each year. I have opposed the increases for I do believe that there are many students in South Carolina who are entitled to education but cannot afford an education.

And probably my position on that is simply because I was in that category when I went to the College of Charleston. I had to support myself. So I know how hard it is to pay tuition. And I believe that that is the reason I felt compelled to be on the Board.

We at the College of Charleston have unique challenges. This state, as well as the United States, is very fortunate to have an institution such as the College of Charleston. I think this state and each of you realize how unique the College is in many respects.

I've heard landlocked, well, we are landlocked. But we are fortunate as to where we are landlocked. The Charleston area certainly is a positive for the College of Charleston.

But, yet, because we are landlocked and we are one of -- the 12th oldest school in the nation, we have unique challenges with respect to our facilities. We have many facilities that need upgrade, constant upgrade because of the flooding issues we have and because of the age of our facilities.

So on one hand, I am very much of an advocate of no tuition increases; on the other hand, I see the need in many ways of needing additional funds from you for our facilities.

So I continue to be -- to advocate both of those while I serve on the College and in my communications with members of the public. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir.

You all may be familiar with Ms. Golding. She is -- this is her third time in five years on the Board that she's come for a confirmation hearing. She was in the newly formed 7th Congressional District and came, -- two years in a row?
MS. GOLDING: That's correct.
MS. CASTRO: And there's been no significant change in her paperwork since then.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No changes you can think of.
MS. GOLDING: None.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? Comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I'll let Senator Scott ask the next question, but I want to ask this question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you have to?

(Laughter)
SENATOR SCOTT: I know you all missed me.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I'm interested in knowing what do you feel is -- when you think of members of college boards and universities, they are giving back to the school. And I know that you give your time and your energy. But financially what do you give back to the school? And your members on the Board, what is the giving?

As you have stated that you're interested in more coming from the state, I'm concerned about Board members who are on boards who are not giving to the institution in which they represent.

So can you tell me what the giving is on the Board? And what you have done yourself?
MS. GOLDING: Would you like to know the monetary amount that I give?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Of course.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you. I give $5,000 a year. And I have purchased a life insurance policy that funds towards the $5,000 a year. I contribute each year to the Cougar Club, usually $250. And when each department, such as the Arts Department or the History Department asks for a special fundraiser, I give at least 200, 250. So I would say on a yearly basis I probably contribute 6,000 a year.

As to the other Board members, I'm proud to say I do not believe there is any member of our Board who does not give. I do not inquire as to the monetary amounts they give.

Very simply, I've been practicing law for 40 years, so I can give a little bit more than I gave when I was practicing law 10 and 15 and 20 years.

I believe it is a personal responsibility of each Board member to give.

I personally believe that were it not for the College of Charleston and the scholarships I received after my freshman year, I would not have gone to law school. I credit the College of Charleston for my successes in the business world.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I appreciate you mentioning about the insurance policy. Unfortunately, I'm not able to give back to my institution. But I do have an insurance policy that goes to my college.

And the reason I wanted to ask that question is because where I finished school, Morehouse, which is a private institution, you're not even allowed to be on the Board if you don't give.
MS. GOLDING: I think that's a great regulation to have.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott, welcome.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you. Apologize for running late. Coming from another meeting, college meeting.

Just a couple questions. Thank you first for your willingness to serve and your commitment to higher education and the amount of time it takes, really, to be a part of the higher education industry.

I've talked with President McConnell. I know he's retiring. Tell me a little bit about the diversity policy that Charleston's trying to put together.

I know you all started trying to put the policy together a couple years ago. And so I'm really not I guess what they would call really pushy in trying to give your policy an opportunity to try to work. But tell me a little bit about what you know about that diversity policy as a member of the Board of Trustees.
MS. GOLDING: Overall our diversity, including all minorities, is 20 percent.
SENATOR SCOTT: Correct.
MS. GOLDING: With just African-Americans it is -- I believe it's 8 percent.

We are very proud of the programs that have been implemented in the last several years, since President McConnell came to the College of Charleston. He has been our driving force. He has an open door policy. He started the, as you've heard before, the 10 Percent Program, going to the different high schools, seeking the top minorities, trying to entice them to our school because we have so many programs in -- our education, would be wonderful for any college, for any person seeking a college education.

We provide also assistance programs. I know I personally was able to recruit a young lady from our Murrells Inlet area.

And we had Denny Moore -- excuse me, Denny Mitchell. She was an ombudsman. She was a wonderful, wonderful advocate. And now she has gone to the Charleston County Airport, unfortunately. Our loss, their gain. But I recruited her. And she has been a success at the college. But Denny Moore with the ombudsman program has personally monitored her and provided her guidance.

I will say this. We do have certain problems. And I don't mean it in any kind of sense. But my paralegal assistant, she's African-American and she has two daughters, both of which I heavily recruited to the College, both of which are brilliant. But both of which told me they wanted to go to the University of South Carolina. They had that in their mind. One of them, I'm happy to say, Chelsea Evans, is a senior at law school this year and she's the first Black Law Review -- head of the Law Review.

So we do have our obstacles in Charleston. I don't know yet how we're getting around them because the larger universities are attracted to a lot of people. But we're trying very hard.

We have the Bridge program, which I think is from the tech school to the College of Charleston. And that provides more of a sound educational basis. It doesn't -- you don't go right in to classes at the College of Charleston; it provides you a transition.

So we're -- and we have Call Me MISTER Program. But all of this, so much of this is due to President McConnell. And all of you know President McConnell. I was an advocate for him because I believed that when he ran for President of our school, he was needed. He was very much needed.

The persons that were against him now support him, such as the faculty. He's opened doors. We had diversity issues. We had -- I remember one day there was a sit-out against President McConnell led by certain members of our African-American community. They love him now. He's been so wonderful. And he's been, to me, the person that has spearheaded our diversity programs. And I hope we can have another person of that quality and caliber.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I'll be brief given this is your third time in five years.

(Laughter)

But just for the record, I would assume that you're up here at a time -- or since your last review before us, your participation level has been extremely high?
MS. GOLDING: Yes. I do not recall missing any Board meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Appreciate your willingness to continue to serve and being such a great advocate.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome again, Ms. Golden.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you have a timetable or does the Board have a timetable for naming a new President?
MS. GOLDING: We do not have a timetable. That was intentional. We have a search committee. And we are hoping to get our search committee -- they are establishing meetings now with faculty, members of our community. We hope to hire a search firm probably within the next 30 to 60 days.

Our goal is to have someone selected by October. But we had a faculty meeting last week in which the faculty asked to meet with the search committee. And I attended. I'm not on the search committee. And the question was: What if you don't have a qualified candidate by October?

The answer's very simple: We won't be taking second best. If it takes till January or later of next year, it will take that long.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's a wise decision.

I noticed you said on "Biggest Weakness," the students graduate with huge personal debt. That seems to be a recurring theme for all the schools, probably not just in South Carolina. But it's hard to ask a student to pay tens of thousands of dollars or borrow that in loans and then maybe get a job that only pays 30, $40,000 a year. And that just puts them behind the eight ball for decades, almost. So that's a major concern of mine, too.

But other than as you said you've held the line on increases, but reality is: You're going to have to go up sooner or later. I don't know how we address that unless the Senate wants to put in more money for colleges. I guess that's a possibility.

(Laughter)

Because we didn't.

(Laughter)

Anyway, that's a concern of mine, too.

I notice we had several attorneys running for Board, College of Charleston Board. I just want to let you know that my ancestor was an attorney who wrote the first charter way back in 1770, so I got kind of a vested interest in the school, too.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Motion and second. Any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote.

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Appreciate your patience and willingness to serve.
MS. GOLDING: Thank you, sir. Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Next, we'll hear from Randy Lowell from Daniel Island.

If you would, sir, raise your right hand to be sworn in.

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. LOWELL: I do.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome, sir, and you can make a brief statement.
MR. LOWELL: Knowing that I am the last man standing between this Committee's adjournment, I will try to make this as brief as possible.

I appreciate the opportunity --
SENATOR SCOTT: No hurry. No hurry, please.

(Chairman Senator Peeler enters the room.)
MR. LOWELL: I appreciate the opportunity to serve. I'm a College of Charleston graduate. I have been on the board for the past three years, and I look at it as a way to give back to the college and to South Carolina. And, really, the college gave me the opportunities that I've had in life, and I want to help participate and move the college forward to provide that opportunity for others.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I should have stayed out.

Staff, is his work okay?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Lowell, in the question that I asked about your campaign contributions, you gave the name but not the amount. Can you furnish the Committee, I mean, in the next -- well, this week, the amounts that you did?
MR. LOWELL: Sure.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: On the previous candidate, Mr. Futch --
MR. FUTCH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would record me as voting in favor for you.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- I may have just zoned out for a moment, but are we sure that Mr. Lowell is telling the truth?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I assumed that the --
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes, I --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The vice chairman swore him in.
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes, you did, and I think I missed about a minute of my life. Yes, I recall it specifically now. Oh, that's what it was. The chairman changed.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The vice chairman administered it to him.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Pay attention, Mr. Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, surely you asked the marijuana question earlier.
SENATOR VERDIN: I was that close. I was that close, but --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, it sounded like he was a consumer advocate.
SENATOR VERDIN: Okay. Mr. Futch --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Oh, no, no. Please.
SENATOR VERDIN: That requires an explanation.
MR. FUTCH: Okay.
SENATOR VERDIN: We've been screening -- to you, Mr. Futch, we have been screening the Medical University and USC School of Medicine candidates, and I have been inquiring of the trustees and potential trustees as to their stance and their reflection on the fact that we have a political debate that is outrunning a medical debate as it relates to medical marijuana. We have a bill pending in the General Assembly.

So I've worn this Committee out over several sessions on the matter relating to the proper use of medical marijuana. That's the reason the chairman is digging me.

But no, as it relates to your experience, I couldn't agree more with the exchange you had with the senator from Columbia. I think you're as well prepared, maybe better, than some of the rest of us for the benefit of your family and the student body at the College of Charleston.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Mr. Lowell, for allowing us to digress a little bit and giving me leave to say that -- what I just said is a perfect example of I had the right to remain silent, but I just didn't have the ability.

Any questions of Mr. Lowell?
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Lowell, we would never take away your time. That would be so unfair to you. This panel would never do that to you.

You've had three years now at the College of Charleston. You came in along with the new president. I don't know how much of what you've been able to gain in terms of knowledge and issues on the campus as we've listened to newcomers, as well as those who have had some tenure on the board.

What do you think some of the real issues are, such as diversity, open communication with staff as well as professors, recruitment, balance, cost as it relates to the cost to go to the college? Talk to me a little bit about some of your experiences that you've had.
MR. LOWELL: Sure.
SENATOR SCOTT: See, you thought you were going to get a tough question. You get a chance to just talk in general about your observations since you've been on the board.
MR. LOWELL: Well, I know your interest is in diversity, so I'll start there.
SENATOR SCOTT: That's fine.
MR. LOWELL: So I was privileged, along with some of my fellow board members, over the years to be selected for the Riley Diversity Leadership Institute.
SENATOR SCOTT: I did that too.
MR. LOWELL: So it was a great program, and one of my classmates there was actually the chancellor for USC Aiken. And as you probably know, you know, one of the -- Representative King told a story on the number of -- 26 percent African American. You know, he wants the university to reflect that. Well, USC Aiken is right there.

Their African American enrollment is about 26 percent, which is probably -- I haven't looked, but I would guess that's probably the best in the state.

So we had a sidebar, and I said, "Look, I'm on the College of Charleston Board. You're the chancellor for USC Aiken. You guys have a stellar reputation for diversity and diversity recruitment. How did you do it?"

And what she told me is exactly what Steve Swanson talked about earlier. She said, "It's all about recruitment of faculty."

You recruit minority faculty, you have good faculty, and the students will come. As the chair of the academic affairs committee, one of the things that we've tried to do over the last year and a half to two years is really emphasize targeted recruitment for our faculty positions that are open, to recruit quality and qualified minority faculty members. And I think that probably is the single best way that we're going to be able to increase diversity on campus.

It has improved a little bit over the years. John Busch, I think he noted that it had gone from 6 to 8 percent over the last four years, which is certainly moving in the right direction, but it's probably not moving fast enough.

One of the other things I saw, Mayor Benjamin's State of the City Address not too long ago when -- you know, as you probably know, one of the things he talked about was an initiative for the city to provide college scholarships to certain underrepresented areas, and I have reached out to Mayor Benjamin, who is a friend, and said, "Look, is there a way for the College of Charleston to be able to partner with you to make this a reality?"

And I think doing that, Columbia High School was what we specifically talked about. I think that's the way to increase the diversity and enrollment in the college.

Renard Harris, whose name has been tossed around by some of my fellow trustees, does a great job. I think he will be the key to one of the elements, which you mentioned, which is communication. You know, unless there is a certain degree of trust, then you're not going to be able to have open communications. I think Renard is -- in the programs that he helps oversee and implements and the energy that he brings on campus and his communication skills is going to help us bridge that on campus.
SENATOR SCOTT: How long has he been with y'all now?
MR. LOWELL: I think he's been with us a while. And the position he's in now, it's been maybe a year.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. LOWELL: So he's really ramping up. He presented at the board at our last trustee meeting, and I think everybody was unanimously impressed with his energy and ideas on how to improve diversity on the campus.

As far as your programs overall, John Wood talked a little bit about we need to refocus and take a hard look at what we're doing and what we're not. Representative Davis, you made that point as well, and we're actually in the process right now -- and we should have a conclusion in the next couple of months -- of a program cost study, which will tell us how much it costs to put on and instruct students on a per-credit-hour basis for all of our different programs.

And so we're going to take that, take a look at what the caseload is or what the teaching load is for everybody, and probably hit the reset button. And that's probably not going to be a comfortable conversation for some people, but the truth of the matter is 25 percent of the undergraduate enrollment of the College of Charleston is in two majors, and that's business administration and biology. And that's the way the enrollment is moving. It's more towards business.

We have a liberal arts core, and we certainly don't want to lose that. That general education component is a great benefit to folks who want to move over into the sciences and the business. I think it certainly enhances their degree and their prospects after they graduate. So it's trying to find that balancing act.
SENATOR SCOTT: We appreciate you being there.

What has been some of your experience with when you begin to talk to some of the staff and faculty since that's the community that you chair, correct?
MR. LOWELL: Academic affairs.
SENATOR SCOTT: Academic.
MR. LOWELL: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: So you get a chance to cross over and talk to those individuals --
MR. LOWELL: A lot of faculty.
SENATOR SCOTT: A lot of faculty.

What are you picking up from them as it relates to them being open and really talk about the issues that exist on the campus and not being afraid of the chair of the department or the chancellor or somebody else? Because they're not doing their part really coming down on them or they lose their jobs.
MR. LOWELL: So it depends on the setting, and it depends on the context of the conversation. One-on-one conversations, I feel confident that everybody has been very open and shared their opinion willingly. You know, once you open that up and have a room with the -- the more people you have in the room, the --
SENATOR SCOTT: Shrink. They won't talk.
MR. LOWELL: Yes. It decreases, I think, some people's willingness to open up in a room.

I think by and large, I have gone around and talked with all of the deans individually and met with some of the department chairs individually and met with individual faculty. All of those have been good conversations. They offer positive comments. They offer criticisms, things that they think we can do better, things they think the board needs to pay attention to.

Those kinds of dialogues are good, because in those one-on-one conversations, I can offer them the perspective of a board member, and, you know, here's a different way to look at it. So I think those communications have been very productive. But, you know, the larger the room, the harder it is to have some of those conversations.

But, again, I think that comes back to, you know, a trust element and building that trust and relationship to be able to put everybody in the room and say, All right. We're going to have an open dialogue. Here's the issue. We've got to talk. We've got to talk it through, and everybody's got to be at the table.

A couple of board meetings ago in October, we did that. We brought in all the deans. We brought in the speaker of the faculty and some other folks, and we all sat around the room and discussed, you know, what's the future of the programming at the college.

I mean, where are we? How are we going to make it look? What's that decision matrix look like? How are we going to analyze what programs we want to cut and what programs we want to add and go through that analysis.

My feedback from some of the members of the faculty were positive, but it was the first step. And, you know, the other part of that communication is you can't just have it once. You've got to keep that dialogue ongoing.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

You've got a question? Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you.

Thank you for your service in the past and your willingness to continue to serve.

I do have a question. I have a senior. Although I graduated from the College of Charleston, I have a senior, my son, at The Citadel majoring in mechanical engineering. And when we first went to the college and talked with the admissions office, they were talking about how they place 100 percent of their engineers in jobs within six months after graduation.

And so when you start talking about return on investment from a parent's perspective, you want to know that if you invest "X" amount of money in college, you're going to get "X" amount of dollars in income, you know, in the future. So I'm wondering when you're looking at which programs do you keep, which ones do you replace with something else potentially, is the college looking at or going to be looking at the availability of jobs?

In other words, with all of the industry that we have in the area, the Boeings, the Volvos, the Mercedes, and all of the tech company jobs, I'm wondering is the College of Charleston doing their analysis looking at how many students will actually have jobs upon graduation.
MR. LOWELL: Sure.

I mean, the marketplace is one of the factors that we have to look at.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. LOWELL: You know, the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the College of Charleston have a partnership that's -- the entire focus of the partnership is what is the marketplace in Charleston going to look like in ten years? I mean, how can we meet the needs of the Boeings or the Volvos or any of the other folks who are going to be around?

The reference to Silicon Harbor, you know, we actually have a great program with our computer sciences division where they actually co-locate employers in downtown Charleston in a building with our students to work on projects together. And that's part of, you know, how you present those job opportunities and, frankly, how you test the market to see what's going to be available and what those needs are going forward.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Right.
MR. LOWELL: Certainly, that's one of the factors.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Well, you know, as an elected official, one thing that we look at when we're looking at all of the variety of jobs that are coming into our area, especially the high-tech, high-paying, really good jobs, do we have the workforce? So one thing we're looking at in our area -- and I know, really, throughout the state -- is, you know, that workforce pipeline. How do you get students from here in South Carolina to the right universities or the right tech schools in order to take those jobs? Because we want to make sure that, you know, our students have jobs at the end of the day.

So, you know, from an elected official's standpoint, that's something that I'm always looking at, is how can we make sure people have jobs and good jobs. So I appreciate your efforts in that regard.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

What's the desire of the Committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable report.

Seconded.

Discussion?

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

Thank you, sir. I think your college is in good hands.
MR. LOWELL: Okay. Thank you.
On March 8, 2018
MS. CASTO: The next one is College of Charleston, Randy Lowell. Randy's is a College of Charleston At-Large Seat 15. His was -- he had submitted who he gave campaign contributions to but not the amounts. He has since come back in and submitted all of that. So you found him qualified pending submittal above the amounts.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Satisfied?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Motion favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable. Seconded. Any discussion?

Hearing none, take it to a vote. All in favor...

(All members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Members, that completes our agenda for today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We appreciate your service.

Next, At-Large Seat 17, Steve Swanson from Mount Pleasant.

(Representative King and Representative Henderson exit the room.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. SWANSON: Steven Dean Swanson.
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. SWANSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SWANSON: Certainly.

First of all, I want to thank the Committee for having us all here today.

So, first of all, I was a graduate of the College of Charleston in 1989. I was lucky enough to have gotten the full scholarship to the College of Charleston. And so as I look back on it, it was especially positive in that as I graduated, I had no student debt. I think about the students that are graduating today, and I see how much student debt they are often piling up, and it really changes their ability to, you know, buy a house, get married, things like that that the -- the Millennials are definitely in a different situation than I think graduates of my era were in.

The College of Charleston itself profoundly changed my life. I met my business partners at the College of Charleston. I started dating my wife while I was at the College of Charleston. And over the years, I hired many of my very best employees from the College of Charleston.

My company was Automated Trading Desk, and we sold Automated Trading Desk to Citigroup in 2007, which has given me the ability to work and volunteer in many different areas.

Since we sold the company, I've been on many different boards at the college. I was on the foundation board. I am on the honors advisory council. I serve on the business school board of governors. I am on the school of science and mathematics advisory council, and I have co-chaired the comprehensive campaign for the College of Charleston in which we raised $139 million.

Over the past two and a half years, I've had the honor of serving on the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees, and I, along with six other individuals, was tasked with going in and trying to change and turn the school around. And, indeed, I think we've done a very good job, with state help, certainly, of having a balanced budget every year since we've been in and increasing enrollment every year since we've been in. So I guess at the end of the day, we've also been able to get our accreditation back on track and reaccredited, which was extremely good to see as well.

I also have help set up many different scholarships of the College of Charleston. The Swanson Scholars program, we have had that for six years, and we have had over 50 students as part of that program. I've also invested into the R.I.S.E. scholar program, which is for students that are need-based scholars, and I also was instrumental in helping start the Judge Field scholar program, which was for minority students as well.

I very much look forward to the opportunity to serve as a board of trustee member of the college, and, again, I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Swanson, for your willingness to serve. We appreciate you. Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Were you an out-of-state student when you came to the College of Charleston?
MR. SWANSON: I was not. I went to Wando High School, and my folks live on the Isle of Palms and still do today.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.

You mentioned a couple of things. Your ability to work with South Carolina State College, we appreciate your willingness to do that work. I think if the state hadn't ejected $12 million a long time ago, they never would have found themselves in that kind of situation.
MR. SWANSON: Possibly, although, some of the -- we found ourselves in a situation with, you know, the accounts receivable being aged over five years, and, you know, there was a lot of, you know, just, honestly -
SENATOR SCOTT: Cash flow problems.
MR. SWANSON: -- straightforward business issues that hadn't been addressed, which, you know, again, I think we've taken those on. And I think moving forward, you know, the college will be in a better situation now.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you again.

Let's talk about diversity. How long have you been on the board?
MR. SWANSON: South Carolina --
MS. CASTO: He is running unopposed.
SENATOR SCOTT: Running unopposed.

First time?
MR. SWANSON: Yes, sir.
MS. CASTO. Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good.

Your experience with South Carolina State and having the opportunity to work around minority students, what do you bring to the College of Charleston as it deals with its dilemma of having only 8 percent minority students now? You've had the opportunity to serve on the board to really understand minority students and what HBCUs actually go through in terms of trying to keep --
MR. SWANSON: Certainly.

So the college at peak percent certainly would be -- of African American students, it needs to be much higher. You know, I would be an advocate of -- I think the biggest thing you can do is have the population of the faculty, of the staff of, you know, even the deans, you know, be more integrated. I think, you know, when an African American student is coming to the College of Charleston, they need to see, you know, faces that look more like themselves. I think that will make an environment that will make it more appealing for them be there.

So I am a big advocate of -- you know, I think we need to recruit faculty aggressively. I think when there are conferences, I think you go to the conference, and, you know, have lunches with -- you know, go after the professors that you want. And I think, you know, to me, it's not rocket science, but it takes effort. So I think, you know, I would push that we make those efforts to try to increase our faculty and staff minority percentages.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The cost of living on a monthly basis in downtown Charleston, what are those kids paying just for a room?
MR. SWANSON: I believe it's something like 7- or $8,000 to be in the dorms. You know, if you're out of the dorms, it's -- you know, if you're going to live on the peninsula, it's very expensive. So, you know, from my perspective, I'd like to see the school do more to keep the students on campus and try to make it as affordable as possible.

But Charleston definitely is difficult from, you know, just the square footage. You know, every building is increasing in value at an astronomical rate. So...
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, yes. And that situation is -- well, there's nothing you can do about it, and the microdynamic effect, just that component of it, that situation is locked in.

North Charleston, what is transpiring out there? I guess that's academic. It's more catering to a day student population or --
MR. SWANSON: The North Charleston campus, it's certainly more of a, what I would consider, continuing education. So people that are, you know, trying to complete their degrees, I think, is much more what they're focused on out there, you know, which I think is incredibly important and very positive for, you know, Charleston, especially as you look at, you know, Boeing and other entities that -- you know, having the opportunity to continue to complete degrees out there and potentially even graduate degrees out there, I think, makes a lot of sense.

I think I read something that over 50 percent of the collegiate population today is returning or, you know, isn't traditional, coming straight out of high school anymore. So, you know, this is a trend that the college and all colleges in South Carolina need to focus on.
SENATOR VERDIN: You don't have an on-campus housing component out there, do you?
MR. SWANSON: I don't believe so.
SENATOR VERDIN: And I'm confessing just a lot of unfamiliarity with all the dynamics with the College of Charleston. But I'm just equating it to everything else I know about Charleston, which is it's hard to park. It's such a dense population and footprint.

The context of the student retention and the diversity question about the recruiting, it just occurred to me, well, maybe the non-tuition component is a huge factor for families. You figure you might be able to get an academic scholarship and apply at wherever you so choose as it relates to cost of living, but I haven't considered sending a child there. But it just occurred to me, that would probably be front and center: Where are they going to live, and how are we going to pay for it?
MR. SWANSON: You know, I think most students go there and stay in student housing their freshman year and typically then, you know, leave and live somewhere, you know, either on the peninsula or West Ashley or Mount Pleasant. I think it would be far better if we were to increase the housing, and, you know, I would be an advocate of, you know, having the students there for, you know, their freshman and sophomore years potentially. But I think to make that a reality, you need to have, you know, reasonably priced housing that the students want to be in.
SENATOR VERDIN: That 7- to 8,000, that's on a 12-month basis? A 9-month basis?
MR. SWANSON: I'm not a hundred percent sure. That may be a semester. But I think it's for a full year, but I'm not a hundred percent sure.
SENATOR VERDIN: Maybe double that. You said after the first or second year, they're looking at off-campus housing. And that's -- I would think that would be one of those motivational factors for staying in campus housing for another year, the fact it would be higher to move off campus.
MR. SWANSON: I agree. You know, and, again --
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, you know, college kids.
MR. SWANSON: They typically want to have kind of freedom.
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes.
MR. SWANSON: So...
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, if they can afford it, have at it. But I appreciate the concerns of, you know, the Commission and legislature generally as to what the composition of the student body is, but, boy, those financial factors are, I'm sure, more of a driving force than we maybe have contemplated.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Senator Verdin, I had two children go to the College of Charleston, and you're exactly right. I was very expensive, and they did want to go off campus after the first year, and it wasn't any cheaper there than it was on campus. It's just they wanted that freedom. And I think that's why I'm still driving a used car now.

But it was an excellent education and a great school. One of them still lives in Mount Pleasant. Oh, she loves it down there. So I don't have anything but good things to say about the school, except it is awfully tight trying to get around there, and there's nothing you can really do about that.
MR. SWANSON: Sure.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Swanson, 27 years ago -- even if it was 27 years ago -- I can't picture you disobeying a lawful order.
MR. SWANSON: I learned a very valuable lesson as a young man. Don't disagree with what an officer is telling you, and, you know, I have since -- I should have had that expunged long ago, but it is now expunged.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A lot like the comedians.

So the police said, You have the right to remain silent.

He said, Yes, I just didn't have the ability.

And I have that problem sometimes.

What's the desire of the Committee?

Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you, sir, for your willingness to serve on the South Carolina State Board and now on the College of Charleston Board.
MR. SWANSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: First up is Lander University, at-large, Seat 8. Robert Barber from Charleston.
MR. BARBER: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give us your full name so we have it.
MR. BARBER: Robert Archibald Barber, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. BARBER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. BARBER: Very briefly. Thank you, Chairman.

Chairman, Senators and House members, I'm delighted to be here. I've had the pleasure of serving on the Lander Board now for almost eight years. And it's been a gratifying experience. And I hope to serve one more term.

Also, before I begin, I want to thank the staff folks -- your staff people for being so hospitable and accommodating to me and my being unable to come to the first meeting. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, the paperwork is in order?
MS. CASTRO: His paperwork is in order.

I was looking in your paperwork for how long you had been an incumbent. You just said eight years.
MR. BARBER: Just about eight years.
MS. CASTRO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Speaking of the paperwork, is there any additions or deletions you can think of you'd like to add something in the past that is important?
MR. BARBER: Nothing to know of other than I have the great distinction of having served with two of the Members of the Committee present in the Legislature.

(Laughter)
SENATOR ALEXANDER: That's a plus or minus?

(Laughter)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments from Members of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Systematic.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Barber?
MR. BARBER: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Can you tell me what do you all do to -- in reference to diversity on campus in reference to ensuring that you have a diverse campus?

And then second question is: Can you tell me about your South Carolina residents and their ability to attend the school, and what is the ratio of out-of-state versus South Carolinians that are there and attending the school and graduation rates?
MR. BARBER: First of all, in terms of the diversity, we make a concerted effort to provide for a diverse population in student body.

I think at present, minority enrollment is around a third, which I think is pretty consistent with the larger area we serve.

You know, we have had a heavy draw from the, say, nine counties around Greenwood. But it's pretty consistent with that.

I believe our out-of-state enrollment is around 9 percent, something in that neighborhood.

I would suspect a good number of out-of-state folks are people who are outstanding athletes that help our program be a little stronger.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So you're saying that 90 percent of your students are South Carolina residents?
MR. BARBER: I think that's correct. I think, actually, it's a hair above 90. 90, 91 percent.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sen. Alexander?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon. Good to see you.

Just for the record, as far as your participation -- and appreciate your willingness to serve, continue to serve. What has your participation rate been as far as for Board meetings and other activities?
MR. BARBER: Probably during the time I served on the Board, it's probably been 85 to 90 percent. I did have this past year just turned out I'm getting a little older and attempt to travel when I can. And I had a couple of long trips away, so that's the first time I think I ever missed more than just a meeting every couple of years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Certainly over the 85 percent range from that standpoint, thereabouts.
MR. BARBER: I think so.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thereabouts. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Mr. Barber.
MR. BARBER: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I notice where you say ways to improve Lander by attracting more highly qualified students. How would you suggest going about doing that?
MR. BARBER: Well, there are a couple things. We have a relatively new administration. And one of the focuses put in place is providing more of a broader student experience.

As you probably know, many colleges have been termed "suitcase colleges." I think some years back, an awful lot of people left Lander on the weekend because there didn't seem to be much happening.

I think one of the things is to provide a broader, rounder, more gratifying student experience on campus; and we're trying to do that.

We have, I think, a couple of extremely successful programs. We got a great nursing program. Continue to educate an awful lot of folks to become educators.

I think as we -- as we inform people and educate people about the success of our alumni, then I think that will allow us to -- will help us to attract other students.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I notice in "Weaknesses" with an exclamation mark you said, "no football team." Obviously you're a big football fan. Is there any movement toward a football team for Lander?
MR. BARBER: I haven't heard that. Quite frankly, if it were, I would probably discourage it. I think we do pretty well without one. And I'm a big football fan, all right, but it's a very significant addition to an institution.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yeah, for the smaller schools, I guess Coastal Carolina's done it and I think Winthrop talked about it. It's probably very expensive.

I just want to make a statement that my daughter went to college at Charleston and many years ago let me have a day by myself, and I went down to Bowen's Island. I want you to know you added three pounds to me.

(Laughter)

But it sure was a good three pounds.
MR. BARBER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That is it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any others? Motion of the committee? Discuss it. Take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you.
MR. BARBER: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Appreciate your willingness to continue to serve the State of South Carolina.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'd like to call the meeting to order. This is the meeting of the College and University Trustee Screening Commission.

Welcome, everyone. I pray that God continues to bless us all.

Members, you have an agenda before you. First, we have the Lander University. The first candidate, At-Large Seat 9, Expires 2022, under Tab A, Maurice Holloway from Lexington.

Mr. Holloway, how do you do, sir?
MR. HOLLOWAY: Doing good, sir. How about you?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. HOLLOWAY: My full name is Maurice Holloway.
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. HOLLOWAY: I will.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

You can take a seat, get comfortable, and be sure your light is burning green.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, it is.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to give us a brief statement?
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes, I would.

Senator Peeler, I take great pride and honor in coming before you and this committee to say that I am a past Lander student. I've been on this board since 1988. This institution has grown in a tremendous way. I've seen the growth, but it would be very remiss of me if I didn't come to you and say we appreciate what the state has done in support of Lander as we move forward.

I would also say with my graduation, I had four other siblings to graduate from Lander. So I have a vested interest in Lander and its future.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, everything is in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Halloway's information is in order. His driving record is good. His credit report is good.

SLED came back. The only time the Lander Board had been sued, and you had been named personally in a lawsuit several years ago with the Lander Board, and that's it.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments?

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

Thank you, Mr. Holloway, for your willingness to serve for a fine institution. Mr. Taylor tells me every time I see him in the hall, you know, everything that is going on good down at Lander. He does an excellent job for you folks. So I hope you will retain him for a little bit longer.

I notice -- you know, talking about being sued, I remember I used to be mayor of a small town in Oconee County. And I had just been elected, and one Saturday morning, my wife says, "The sheriff's department car is coming up."

And I'm thinking, All right. I don't think I've hit anybody lately or gotten in trouble.

And I answered the door, and they handed me a subpoena saying I was being sued by somebody, and I didn't even know what they were talking about.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I found out later.

So I can appreciate, you know, what happens when you're really not part of something, you know, but you're part of the larger group that's being sued. So I'm glad that was settled in your favor on that.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Thank you very much.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And I also notice you have quite a bit in student loans. Is that for you or for somebody in your family or -
MR. HOLLOWAY: Children.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Oh, I understand that.

So, anyway, thank you. Thank you again for your willingness to serve a fine, fine school.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

Hearing none, what's the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Everybody say aye.

ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you so much for your willingness to serve, sir.
MR. HOLLOWAY: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have Peggy Makins, At-Large Seat 10, also from Lexington.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.

And the reason I do that in addition for the record is maybe I mispronounce your name.

So if you would give us your full name, ma'am.
MS. MAKINS: Good morning. My name is Peggy Makins.

And I would like to say thank you all for --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in.
MS. MAKINS: I'm sorry?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in. Right hand.

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

My name is Peggy Makins, and I am honored to be here this morning. I thank you all for taking the time out to have us here.

It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to serve on the Lander Board of Trustees, something I never thought I would get the opportunity to do or ever thought about doing. So when I was first approached, I was a little afraid, but, you know, you have to be afraid of big footsteps to follow.

(Senator Scott enters the room.)
MS. MAKINS: So now that I'm in, I'm really in it and enjoying it and learning a lot. So it's a great honor.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: It's an honor to have you serve.

Staff, how is her paperwork?
MS. CASTO: Ms. Makins has been on the board for a year. Y'all screened her this time last -- well, in January. It's February now. So she was elected in February of last year and went on the board immediately because there was a vacancy.

And since then, none of her paperwork -- I mean, her paperwork is all in order and nothing has changed.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Questions?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Welcome to the Lander Board, and I know you're doing an outstanding job.

I notice that the tuition has been frozen for the last four years; is that correct? I mean, it's stayed the same the whole time?
MS. MAKINS: Yes. We made a decision to freeze the tuition, and we just at our last board meeting continued with that decision. We feel it's very important. Things have been higher and higher around it.

So we want to make it affordable for students to attend Lander, and I think we may be the only one who has done that.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Of the folks that have come before us, I don't know of anybody. So I congratulate you on doing that and keeping it affordable.

And do you happen to know the percentage of in-state versus out-of-state students at Lander?
MS. MAKINS: We have 91 percent in state and --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's excellent.
MS. MAKINS: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: We had a previous school trustee wannabe, so to speak, saying that the in-state students that were five years, I think it was like 55 percent stayed in state, but only 16 percent stayed in state that were out-of-state students, which means, you know, we're putting all of this money into educating a young person who doesn't stay and doesn't contribute as far as, you know, taxes and working or whatever. So I just want to applaud you and the rest of the Lander Board for making sure that the in-state people get first shot.
MS. MAKINS: Yes. After that, at least 85 percent or our alumni still lives in South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Excellent.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Ms. Makins, how are you enjoying the board?
MS. MAKINS: I love the board. It gives me an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to be a sounding alarm to anyone who will listen -- "come to Lander" -- and being informed of what actually goes into making a wonderful institution. And if their choice is not Lander, be informed to help them make choices that's going to fit their needs.
SENATOR SCOTT: Are you still with Richland One?
MS. MAKINS: Well, I retired, but I still work with Richland One.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. So you're able to get some students at Richland One to go to Lander as well?
MS. MAKINS: I try to every chance I get.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much. We really appreciate your service.
MS. MAKINS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?

What's the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for your willingness to serve.
MS. MAKINS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Now we'll go to Lander University At-Large Seat 11 under Tab A, members, John E. Craig from Lancaster.

Mr. Craig, if you would, come forward.

Have a seat, make yourself comfortable, and make sure your light's burning green on the microphone. Got it?
MR. CRAIG: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. CRAIG: I'm John Craig, John E. Craig, Jr., from Lancaster, 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. CRAIG: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you want to pour you some water?
MR. CRAIG: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement for the committee? Just take your time.
MR. CRAIG: Well, it's a pleasure to be with you this morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MR. CRAIG: And I'm really pleased to be considered for this seat. You may have seen from my resume that I grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina, and was educated in the public schools there and then went to Davidson College in North Carolina. And then I did my graduate work at Princeton and then later at the University of North Carolina.

Then I had a career, first, in Vietnam -- I was of that generation -- and then got into the foreign service, USAID, for about five years and then gravitated into the foundation business.

And my job there was I ran two foundations, really, as a chief operating officer, working particularly on healthcare as a big issue in the U.S. The last foundation I ran, the Commonwealth Fund, I can say somewhat proudly we underwrote a bunch of the research that lies behind Obamacare. It was a contentious issue, but we tried to inform the debate.

So that's what my business was. I was particularly involved in management -- that's what I am -- and in managing the endowment. I, fortunately, was able to grow the endowment in both the foundations that I ran for many years.

I see I made a mistake in my date on the Commonwealth Fund. I was there 34 years from 1981 to 2014. I don't where I got 1974 as the final year.

So that was my career, and at Commonwealth Fund, as I said, I was very much involved in management and running the endowment, but also, programmatically, I focused on getting us really a high-performance institution. That's really what I'm all about. I believe institutions should be high-performing.

And I did do a lot of work with minorities and advancing minorities there and improving the scholarship programs. We worked with the National Medical Fellowships Program to set up a large program for medical students at Harvard and other places and then worked on delivery issues, healthcare delivery issues, particularly for underserved populations.

So that's sort of my career in a nutshell. I retired three and a half years ago. I'm back on the farm in South Carolina, which I never left, mentally.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you never do. You can ask the Senator from Laurens. You never do.
MR. CRAIG: I'm very much involved in historic preservation there. That's one of my hobbies and pastimes and passions but also as a means of redevelopment. We're trying to revitalize downtown Lancaster.

I'm still on a number of boards until recently. This year I was on the Davidson College Alumni Council Board, and I served there eight years. And that one really is my current window into education. I'm not an education specialist at all, but I did serve on the Davidson College Alumni Council board and got insights from that on the issues in higher education.

I should tell you I have one Lander connection that actually is lifelong. My dad had a cousin who was a major figure in the music department here for something like 30 years, and I think she headed the department for around 15 or so. Roberta Majors was her name. She's now deceased.

So I'd heard about Lander all of my life when I visited her. We were close friends, and I visited her recently until she passed away. She always took me proudly for a tour of what was happening on the Lander campus. So that's my insights on Lander, and that's a nutshell background, probably.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. Thank you.

Martha, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: He looks like a model citizen to me.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator from Richland, Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Craig, very impressive. Very impressive resume.
MR. CRAIG: Well, thank you very much.
SENATOR SCOTT: You've spent a lot of time doing a lot of good things.

Lander, along with many other colleges, is dealing with opiate drugs with these kids. Do you want to share some ideas that you may have for something that you can bring to the college that may create a model since you spent that much time working on the Affordable Care Act -- which most folks don't know all the stuff that's part of the Affordable Care Act. They talk about it, but most of them haven't read most of the stuff that's in it.

Any thoughts to dealing with that, the opiate problem we have in those colleges, colleges and universities?
MR. CRAIG: Well, as we all know, it's a very difficult problem. And I have to say, I hold the medical profession accountable, certainly for the prescription drug side of it, to a considerable degree. So it's hard for an institution like Lander to address that. That really has to be addressed nationally and by the authorities in Medicare and Medicaid and policies in what Medicare pays for and Medicaid pays for because that influences everything else. So it really is -- there's just got to be more discipline in the industry.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, we are asking the colleges and universities to begin to take a look at addressing these issues. Most of these kids who are involved are kids between the ages of 18 and 25. So I don't know whether a lot of drugs are being passed through athletic department pharmacy. We just don't know.

We need to take a closer look at what's going on in the college setting and to identify some ways -- and we also have to identify some young people would may be on prescription drugs who we might need -- the college might need to help to get off.

So it's there, and we've got to.
MR. CRAIG: Well, I think that ultimately, because I actually am always wary of the extent to which, honestly, the federal government is actually going to take the bull by the horns because there's money involved here. A lot of people make a lot of money out of this problem.

So local institutions ultimately are going to have to, I think, on their own, develop their initiatives. So you have better answers than I do. But I think, first of all, the leadership of the university taking -- this is a real issue, and we're going to just put in programs to deal with it and support those activities.
SENATOR SCOTT: I heard you mention also a little bit about another subject matter that might warrant some clearer understanding: diversity among young people, especially, not just the students but also the faculty as well as the staff.

Tell me your feeling about that as a member of the board of trustees, the things that you will be making recommendations so there is some balance. Of course, everybody wants the best and brightest students. But by the same token, we also want to be able to educate South Carolina students since they get some form of South Carolina funding, whether it's through the lottery or whether it's other funding. Talk a little bit about that as well.
MR. CRAIG: Well, I think diversity is really an important thing for every institution, and I am impressed that Lander, as I understand it, is around 33 percent in terms of non-white students, which I think is impressive. It certainly could be higher, but I gather it's fairly representative of the area. So you've done a really remarkable job in that way.

As you know, it's a tough market competing for students, and so scholarships are really important. I think it's also, for students, from the students' side, to be sure that campus life is friendly to all groups of people and that they have support, the support that they need and the special needs that they may need. I think that's really important.

And Lander, it seems to me, is -- you know, a lot of people go to colleges where they can't necessarily succeed because it's just not a friendly environment. And it strikes me that Lander is doing pretty good on that score. It is a friendly environment. And probably more can be done than I'm aware of.

The faculty is, in some ways, difficult, as I understand it, because it's such a competitive area, and you have to pay to get the best people.
SENATOR SCOTT: Exactly.
MR. CRAIG: And I'm sure that Lander has some issues in being able to pay. And it's very competitive. I know at Davidson, it's highly competitive. Professors come and don't necessarily stay as long as they would like them to because they get drawn off to bigger and larger schools.

So I think, once again, the answer for all these questions is at the top: the administration, the president. President Cosentino, I know, is very much committed to this issue that we expect to grow our minority faculty and grow it in areas where it can really make a difference.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you, Mr. Craig, for offering your service to Lander and to the state of South Carolina.

What is your take on in-state versus out-of-state student ratio for the institution?
MR. CRAIG: When I looked at my answers to your questions last night, I noticed that I set 30 percent as a goal for out of state. I'm not sure that's right because there's probably no right answer. But I do feel that having a good representation of out-of-state students and international students is important just in terms of having a diverse -- once again, a diverse student body. And we all benefit from having people around us who come from other areas beyond just what we know about. I know I did at Davidson and even more so at Princeton.

So I think we're now around 9 percent out of state. I think it should be higher. Probably the 30 percent I named is too high because, yes, South Carolina taxpayers, one way or another, are subsidizing, probably, out-of-state students. But I think aiming more for the mid-teens is a good ratio in the short term.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Senator Scott asked you my question that I typically ask in reference to diversity, which you alluded to earlier, so I appreciate your answer.

My uncle is Dr. Rucker --
MR. CRAIG: Oh, yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- there in Lancaster.
MR. CRAIG: A prominent family. Very, very famous.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: His wife is my dad's sister.
MR. CRAIG: Oh. Wonderful.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: We're from Chester.
MR. CRAIG: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So a pleasure to meet you.
MR. CRAIG: He was -- that's a very prominent family, has done lots for Lancaster. Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just briefly. Obviously, it's my understanding from your data that you are now retired, so I would assume there's no problem with you attending the appropriate meetings and activities at the University.
MR. CRAIG: No. I'm on a good number of boards, but I've asked for the -- I already have the schedule for Lander boards over the next year, and I'll be sure to -- and we have a board retreat coming up in July also. So I will work my schedule to be sure that I can be. I take board service very seriously, and attendance is key.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to go back to the farm. The Craig Farm Historic Preservation Foundation. Are you open to the public, or what are you presenting there?
MR. CRAIG: This as a foundation I set up. My long-term plan -- we've owned this farm since 1773. We're the only family that's ever owned it, and the house is the house -- it's an old farmhouse, and we've restored it.

And we also have a bed and breakfast, which is in a house we had -- it had been in the family -- from downtown that was going to be destroyed to make way for what the world really needed -- this is 20 years ago -- another CVS drugstore. So we moved it to the farm and set it up as a business, a bed and breakfast.

So there's a little complex here of historic houses, and I want this to ultimately be a historic house museum setup. So I set this up. At the property, the farm, there's about 400 acres left, and we're gradually putting the land into this foundation and putting easements on it so it can't be developed.

So that's what we're about. We want to preserve this part of Lancaster and also encourage the rest of the community to care about these few surviving structures there are and help educate people on what was farm life like and the history of our county. So that's what it's about.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, I'm interested in all of that, and I'm more interested in Lancaster County than I used to be. I now have Neal in-laws that are scattered from Elgin to Heath Springs to Kershaw down to the lower part of Lancaster. So it's hard to get from Laurens to Lancaster.
MR. CRAIG: It is.
SENATOR VERDIN: But you're going to be coming through Laurens a lot.
MR. CRAIG: A lot. Yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, stop and visit us, and I'm going to try and get over and visit you.
MR. CRAIG: I would love that. Lancaster is an interesting town. You know, it's a backwater from -- Charlotte is our metropolitan area there. And I think the Charlotteans look down on Lancaster as a former mill town. And it's not on 77, so we lost our textile industry. Springs Industries abandoned the town.

And incidentally, just so you know, when they did, a survey was taken of former employees, and the illiteracy rate was 60 percent. Can you believe that? So there's a legacy of can't-be-done there, and that's -- frankly, I like to make things happen, so I'm intent on helping Lancaster come back to life. That's what I'm doing with my retirement.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Second?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it. Unanimous.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MR. CRAIG: Thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: DeWitt Boyd Stone, Jr., from Clemson.

If you would give you guess your full name.
MR. STONE: DeWitt Boyd Stone, Jr.
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. STONE: I will.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. STONE: Yes, sir.

I'm honored to be here today. I've served one term on the board of trustees. I'm in a three-way race this time, but I've enjoyed my first session.

I think in answering my first written question, you can kind of see my background. I'm the first family member in a hundred years to serve on the board. My grandfather was the last, about 1904. And it's a great honor, and I'd be glad to entertain your questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, how is Mr. Stone's paperwork?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Stone's paperwork is all in order, and everything is in good standing. He's been here since 10:30 this morning, so he was the early bird.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, that counts for something.

Any questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Dr. Stone. Good to have you back.
MR. STONE: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: You have had now about three, three years or so that you actually operated with the Clemson Board, and some of these questions that we have had before that comes to the board deals with diversity and recruitment of not only just students but also faculty. Tell me a little bit about where Clemson is with that.
MS. CASTO: Lander.
SENATOR SCOTT: Lander.

Oh, he's from Clemson. I'm sorry. Disregard that question. You're good with me.

Disregard that question. Strike it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, since we're on that subject, since we're going to Lander, tell me a little bit about looking at Lander's forecast for diversity, especially among faculty, and also in terms of what it's doing with students.
MR. STONE: Our faculty is about 15 percent diverse, and our administrative leadership is about the same as our staff size of the university. We just appointed our first dean, who is a black person, and our first general counsel, and that person is a black person. We need to do better.

It's been my experience, though -- and I had some experience in this. I chaired a search committee for a provost for Lander a few years ago, and I've done some of that sort of thing at Clemson. Really good candidates from a diversity perspective are really expressive people, and our salaries are not what they ought to be. And every year we lose good people, white and black and others, generally through salaries that are 10- or $20,000 higher and out of state pretty much, because the other comprehensive universities have about the same salary scale that we have. It's hard.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, I'm glad you made that point. It's very important to home grow some of your own and be able to promote them in those positions. What statistics show is that only after they reach a certain level at an institution, because of the lack of diversity with that institution -- the school is not understanding it -- they move on to someplace else if folks will pick them up.
MR. STONE: That's correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: And when you try to get them back, they cost you three times as much.

So if you continue to adopt that process, you'll find that folks who have been with your institution, if you're promoting them and getting them trained and retrained, of course -- and you understand about degrees.
MR. STONE: Right.
SENATOR SCOTT: You have three different degrees in engineering.

How important it is to get your folks trained and retrained, I'm pretty sure you would be able to keep a lot of that --
MR. STONE: Lander was one of the early adopters of diversity back in the days of Larry Jackson, and I remember one outstanding faculty member, who is now retired, Ken Mufuka, who is from Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland. A very fine history professor.

He was in this country on a visiting visa, and Larry was very determined to bring in some black faculty at that point. This was late 1973 or '4, and he actually had to go to the immigration folks and explain why he could not fill that job in South Carolina within the United States. And he certainly had a good argument for it, and it worked.

We were early into this, and Lander has been at the 30 or better percent level for years. So I think you're right. We're training some folks who are going to be willing to come back and possibly work for a little less, and they may because it's their alma mater.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Stone, I see that your great-grandfather founded Lander; is that correct?
MR. STONE: That's right.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: What was his original vision when he started Lander?
MR. STONE: He was a Methodist minister. He was the co-leader of a girls' school in Spartanburg and was actually offered the presidency of Columbia College in Columbia. And he took the position -- this was about 1870 or so, 1871 -- with the provision the college had to reopen because it had closed for the war. It did not get reopened.

And so the Methodist appointment process, it proceeded to where all of the churches had been pretty much filled, and at the last minute they sent him to Williamston, which was a small, struggling -- well, small and new. I won't say struggling, but a small, new Methodist church that was used to hiring single young men as preachers because it didn't cost much, and here he comes into town with seven kids and a wife.

And so they made a deal for the then-vacant resort hotel at the Mineral Springs Park, that they wouldn't pay them anything, but they would rent the hotel, and he could start a girls' school. So that's how it all started, Williamston Female College. It stayed there from '72 to 1904, and then outgrew its facilities.

And Greenwood had just tried to get Columbia College to move to Greenwood, and that failed. So they were hungry, and they talked Williamston College into moving to Greenwood. And then Samuel Lander came down in the spring of '04 to lay the cornerstone and then died before the fall of '04 when the college moved. So the college was renamed for him.

So he did not start Lander in Greenwood. He started a Methodist school for girls. And it was right by the railroad tracks, and he recruited, mostly through the church, young women from all across the state of South Carolina.

He would take the train to Columbia on a certain date and parents could either bring or send by rail their children to Columbia, and he would meet them here and go with them to Williamston on the train. That's the kind of personal things that we like to think we still do.

It's a long story. I'm kind of the -- because of the family connections, I have kind of become the college historian. I'm sorry to bore you.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: No, no. That's not boring at all. It's very interesting. Thank you.

That's all I have.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

What's the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is favorable.

Seconded.

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you for serving.
MR. STONE: Thank you, all. I appreciate your service to higher education. We need all the help we can get.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you.

Next, Raymond Hunt, Sr.
MR. HUNT: It's Raymond Davis Hunt, Sr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. HUNT: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HUNT: I'll make it very brief.

I've been fortunate to be on this board since 1998. I have enjoyed my time on the board. I have served in pretty much every capacity from chairman of the board to most committee chairs.

I'd like to continue to serve the university and the state. And the path that we're currently heading, I feel that we're in the right direction and we're bucking some of national trends, and I'd like to see it finish up.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, how is his paperwork?
MS. CASTO: His paperwork is all in order too. He has been an incumbent since 1998, and it's the At-Large Seat 13.

In his SLED report, you will notice in 2004 and 2006, he was a defendant in his role on the Lander board, probably like Mr. Holloway, in a federal job discrimination suit.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: How are you doing?
MR. HUNT: Good. How are you doing, sir?
SENATOR SCOTT: I won't get you mixed up with Mr. Stone and his Clemson deal. We're still with Lander.

Tell me a little bit about that lawsuit. What about that lawsuit?
MR. HUNT: From 2002 to 2004 -- those were quite some time ago -- we had a faculty member that was dismissed. And as you know, when you have a university and you have tenured faculty, it's very difficult to remove them. And we removed a tenured faculty person and in turn got sued.
SENATOR SCOTT: Did y'all win?
MR. HUNT: We did, to the best of my knowledge.

(Senator Verdin enters the room.)
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me a little bit about diversity on the campus. You've been there long enough to really --
MR. HUNT: Sure.

It's been amazing, the change in diversity that I have seen in the last almost 20 years. We have seen a -- you know, the minority percentage now is close to 33 percent. Faculty and staff, we're at 15 percent, you know, and that being 8 percent of the faculty. And I think we're headed in the right direction.
SENATOR SCOTT: You do have a goal plan?
MR. HUNT: We do have a goal, and I think we're close to it now. As Dr. Stone mentioned, it's very difficult for us to recruit and retain faculty because we are competing against research institutions, and we struggle to pay faculty what they should be paid.

I know there's been some talk here too about in state and out of state. I feel that our in-state and out-of-state percentages are very good. But now, if South Carolina or Clemson gets pushed down from their out of state to in state, that will decimate the other 30 institutions in the state because that's where our kids come from.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any questions or comment?

What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is favorable.

Seconded.

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

Thank you, sir.
MR. HUNT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your quality service on the board.

Next, Marcia Hydrick. Ms. Hydrick.

If you would for the record, give us your full name.
MS. HYDRICK: My name is Marcia Thrift Hydrick.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. HYDRICK: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. HYDRICK: Sure.

I am a Lander alumni. I graduated in 1981. And I have almost completed my first term as a board of trustee member. It's been an honor and a privilege to serve in that capacity.

Also, I appreciate your time here today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Staff, is her paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Everything is in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. You have been an incumbent since 2014, so you're just completing your first term.
MS. HYDRICK: Still green.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Questions or comments?

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

Well, Marcia, thank you for the service you have given to Lander. I might tell the Committee that we are very fortunate to have Marcia and her family and their support for many years. They have contributed, you know, not only to the communities at large, but also many churches have benefited from their just willingness to go that extra mile.

So I just want to say, for the record, thank you for what you have done and your entire family.
MS. HYDRICK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Mr. Whitmire.

Senator Alexander would echo his remarks, as he's going to be a little bit tardy today. He said he had a function up in the district, but he wanted to be sure and relay to the Committee his support for Ms. Hydrick.

Any others?

Senator Scott.

(Senator Alexander enters the room.)
SENATOR SCOTT: I just --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, here he comes.
SENATOR SCOTT: I just love it when somebody is so well loved by the community. It means they're working really, really hard in the community. So I know we're getting that same kind of support from you at Lander.

Tell me a little bit about what your thoughts are on diversity, especially as it relates to not only the students, but also faculty.
MS. HYDRICK: Well, obviously, it's hugely important. I will just reiterate what others have said. The total faculty and students is around 30-something percent diversity. And I do agree with D. Stone. We have room for improvement.

With your new president, he has turned things in a very different direction and a very positive direction, and I feel like his focus along with the board of trustees feel very inclined to want to continue to accomplish the goals that he has laid out for us.
SENATOR SCOTT: Are you seeing any growth in transferring students coming from two-year programs, since you're right there at the technical school in Greenwood, that the kids are actually now coming over to Lander?
MS. HYDRICK: From what I understand, Dr. Cosentino has developed a very positive working relationship with the tech school, Piedmont Tech, in Greenwood and has reached out to the community in all areas for support.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.
MS. HYDRICK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon. Thank you. I appreciate you being here, and I appreciate your service. And as we've talked, I mean, obviously, the university is going in the right direction.

Is there anything from a -- besides money, is there anything from a legislative standpoint -- we understand there is always the need for money, but is there any other way that we can help chart the course that y'all are on? Because y'all are -- you're making tremendous headway.
MS. HYDRICK: Well, I think to, you know, have an open ear to the board members, to our president, letting him have a voice with our needs. He's a very bright, up-and-coming gentleman that I think is going to -- has really taken Lander to the next level. But, unfortunately, you crossed out the one important thing that we do need, and that is money.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And we tend to recognize that. But I think with your unique -- if I could, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's fine.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: With your unique background in business, in that aspect, and certainly involvement in the community, you bring a very great asset to Lander, and they are very fortunate to have you as a board member.
MS. HYDRICK: I think that it is important for -- like I think you missed the conversation that one of the previous board members stated. About 84 to 85 percent of our alumni still live in South Carolina, and I think that's one of the goals on our president's list, for us to reach out to the existing alumni for their voice and their support, not just necessarily monetary support, but more business. Whatever their expertise is in the fields that they are living and working and are staying, I think that's very important.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I'll conclude with this, Mr. Chairman.

And I just appreciate the example that your family has had in giving back, and certainly our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family with the recent loss of your dad, and we just appreciate the legacy. You've learned a great education, not only at Lander and your other education, but from your family as well.
MS. HYDRICK: My family truly supports the higher education. Dad and his twin were never afforded the opportunity for a college education, and that was very important to them for us.

And so he was very proud that I have had this opportunity to serve in this capacity.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Great.

At the appropriate time, I would move to qualify.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin, do you have anything to add?
SENATOR VERDIN: No.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

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

Thank you so much.
MS. HYDRICK: Thank you for your service as well.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- before we go to the next one too, I apologize by having to be late because of meetings there in the district, but I also know that Mr. Stone was here and found qualified. I appreciate the Committee finding him qualified. He's been a tremendous asset to the university.

I just wanted to recognize had I been here, I would have voted affirmative for that qualification.
SENATOR SCOTT: He almost didn't make it.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Maybe it's better I wasn't here.
SENATOR SCOTT: I had him confused with Clemson, but we got him straight.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I don't know. You might have noticed, I was little late as well. I don't know if I was able to sneak in or not.

In case you haven't acknowledged our former colleague, Vice President Adam Taylor, I just want to -- I know he's not here for any other reason but work purposes, but that's what he does for Lander. He has poured himself into the institution since he left us here in the General Assembly, and I know our entire home community and the Lander community appreciates him.

In case you hadn't been acknowledged yet, I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: His words, not mine. He wears three hats, he says. He just paid for a beanie, I think. I hope your board members hear that.

Thank you, Senator Verdin.

Next, Donald Scott from Greenwood.
MR. SCOTT: Donald Harold Scott.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SCOTT: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SCOTT: Yes.

Thank you for your time and opportunity to be here today. I guess my blood has run gold and blue for many years. I graduated from Lander in 1975. My wife graduated in 1976. I have a daughter and a son who both graduated from Lander, and I was instrumental in having a nephew and three nieces to go there and graduate also.

I've been a big believer in Lander. I have endowed three scholarships for the university there. I have served as past president of the alumni board, and I served as past president and interim president of the foundation board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Scott's paperwork is in order.

He is a new candidate. He ran in 2013 but withdrew. You may remember Bobby Bowers has been on the board since it was a board, right, Adam?
MR. TAYLOR: (Nodding head.)
MS. CASTO: And he did not run. So Mr. Scott is running for this seat that is vacated by Bobby Bowers.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott, what is DC Scott, Incorporated? What is that?
MR. SCOTT: It's an ATM business. I graduated -- I mean, I retired from Thomson Reuters after 31 years as director of sales in the United States and Europe and Canada. And I have a friend, Mark Riddle, that also graduated from Lander and is the upcoming golf coach there. We had started a business with FedEx Ground.

I don't know if you know about the FedEx business, but all the Ground, they're all independent contractors. We sold that business, and it was about the time I was retiring, so we were looking for something to get into. So we bought a franchise, ACFN, out of California, in the ATM business.

So I've got Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, the Four Seasons, the CNN Tower, Omni Tower. It's there in the airport and so forth. And as part of that, you have to set up a, you know, corporation to buy into that. So that's my corporation -- or the ATM business.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I was just curious.
MR. SCOTT: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Scott, thank you for coming.
MR. SCOTT: I kind of like your last name.

Senator Scott: It sounds like Lander is even moving into the area of international businesses and studies. Is there something on the horizon that y'all aren't telling me included in your program? Because I have known Adam Taylor for a long time.

Is there something going on looking forward to -- that we can look for y'all to be more involved in international companies coming in? Economic development?
MR. SCOTT: Well, I'm really hoping that I can contribute to the university to grow in that area. You know, working the international market, I worked over in most of the countries in Europe and, like I said, Canada and the United States, and I think there's a lot of growth there. Lander has a fair amount of international students. I don't know the exact percentage of the students that come in, but we had several students that came over from Europe and have actually stayed in their teaching, coaching, banking and so forth there in -- several in Greenwood County.
SENATOR SCOTT: So if you're unable to recruit here, you're recruiting internationally, which is pretty smart.
MR. SCOTT: Well, you know, hiring salespeople -- what I did for most of my life -- you always look for good, qualified people. And if you always go for the most qualified, you're going to end up with a good category of people at a university or company or anything else like that.

So I hope I can contribute in all areas in helping Lander grow in those areas.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Scott.
MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Hearing none --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I have one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

You mentioned in your comments to us that new programs are attracting top-notch students. So are y'all coordinating your programs to be consistent with your background and making sure that they're providing opportunities for them to be successful --
MR. SCOTT: Well, I don't know if I can address that exactly, but working on the foundation board, you know, one of the things we realized is that we needed to be able to offer scholarships, and that's how you get the top students and so forth. We're competing with a lot of other universities right here in South Carolina and other states. So if we can grow our foundation board and be able to offer more scholarships and so forth in the United States to qualified people, we're going to attract those people.

Does that answer your question?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It does.
MR. SCOTT: Okay.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
MR. SCOTT: And I am from Oconee County.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. SCOTT: I completed Westminster High School.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think you would be an asset to the board, Mr. Scott.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Good luck.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That completes Lander.

Now that we're running ahead of time, I always like that if anybody shows up at 10:30 for a 12:30 meeting, I'll tell you to give that man a raise.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman, I think Adam has got something there.
MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to pass this out to the Committee, if I could.

There are two documents there. One of them shows a map of South Carolina. We have students from all 46 counties represented at Lander. We have 25 different states represented and multiple countries.

So it's broken down by county, and then it also shows a number of alums that we have in each county throughout the state.

So I just want to kind of show the impact of Lander that could help you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Adam, did you put this new deal together, just start taking a look at the international market and getting the kids out there? It sounds like something you would do.
MR. TAYLOR: Senator Scott, we've just got some excellent quality board members, as you see here, and whenever we have an opening, we go get the best person we can find for these positions, and I think we're headed in the right direction.

And I wanted to mention this to you as well, they voted in December that our tuition, general fees, and housing were frozen as we move forward into next fall. So Lander has heard, and we're doing by action of freezing those fees as we move forward so parents will know what they're expected to pay. I just wanted to share that as well.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Mr. Jim Shore from York, At-Large Seat 11, Lander University.
MR. SHORE: My name is James Graham Shore.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SHORE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SHORE: Yes.

I have been a real advocate of Lander and its new administration for -- I've made some contributions to the art department because I'm an artist myself. In fact, one of the contributions I made was my daughter. She is currently one of the professors over there.

And I look forward to Lander contributing evermore to the success of South Carolina as it grows and becomes more important. I think Lander has got a real potential to be one of the more outstanding academic universities in the -- not just the local region, but nationally as well.

And I thank you for the opportunity today to come before you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, how is his paperwork?
MS. CASTO: His paperwork is all in order. On your skinny you will see the results of his SLED report, his driving report, and his credit report.

Mr. Shore, you said on your personal data questionnaire you live in Congressional District 14. Do you --
MR. SHORE: Oh, wow. Yeah, I got that wrong.

I think it's actually 5.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Great. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Shore, you're a new candidate, and I was curious, how did you know about the opening? Was it through the media, or how did you know there was a vacancy?
MR. SHORE: Actually, I have had a number of conversations with Dr. Cosentino, the president of Lander. And I was so impressed with the direction that he was going and the conversations we've had, and then, you know, basically an exchange of ideas concerning guiding Lander in more of a business model. And as an artist, I'm a businessman myself, and I like that direction.

And so he actually informed me that there would be an opening, and I looked into it and subsequently applied.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Shore, I am looking over your materials and I see that on your personal data questionnaire, you mentioned a charge at forty years ago.
MR. SHORE: Yeah.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Well, explain what that is --
MR. SHORE: Well, my life --
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: -- if you don't mind.

That's a little alarming to me.
MR. SHORE: My life, like a lot of lives, you know, is one of many chapters. And early on as a -- you know, I was living the lifestyle of a young artist. I drank too much. I partied too much, and I did a lot of crazy and inappropriate things. But that charge was one of them, and, you know, it was at a time that I wasn't running for anything, so I didn't care, you know.

I had subsequently sort of an epiphany, you might say, and came to the realization that if I was going to live my life that I would have to do -- change the direction of it. And with the grace of God, I quit drinking completely. I don't even take NyQuil.

And it became my thing to work very hard to become what I think is a solid, Christian family man, and I have 6 kids and 12 grandkids who love me, and I love them too.

You know, I use my artwork, which I consider -- my abilities artistically, I consider that a gift from God. I thank Him for it every day, and that's been the basis of my life, of my family structure, and my love of artwork. And, of course, that's what my business is.

And the past is the past. I can't change it. I'm not particularly happy about all of it, but that's what it is.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So the charge was indecent exposure; is that correct?
MR. SHORE: Yeah. I was caught streaking, and back in the day that was something that was sort of entertainment. And like I said, most of the things I did like that, I was drinking too much.

And so, you know, I was fairly heavy back then, and to see, you know, a fat drunk running across an apartment naked was something that didn't sit too well with everyone.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. I'm also looking at some additional information that we have here. You know, a SLED report was done, and it looks like there were actually two different occasions. Were there two different occasions?
MR. SHORE: Yeah, I think so.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. SHORE: It was -- you know, to tell you the truth, one of them I don't even remember. It said that I was relieving myself in public.

So all of this is embarrassing, but it is what it is.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Well, yes, and I know it's embarrassing, and I hate to even be talking about this, but as I'm reading the report, the report says indecent exposure charges. And I have a concern with seeing a trustee at a university that has that kind of charge on his record, just to be honest.
MR. SHORE: I understand then. If that precludes me from taking this position, I understand, and I would be okay with that. Hopefully, you'll look at my life as lived for the past, you know, 35, 40 years since those days, because, you know, I've changed.

I've contributed fairly heavily to the community. The business that I've started, actually through my artwork, has retailed at about $100 million a year. And because of that, it's given me the wherewithal to accomplish a lot of good. And a lot of that good I look at as payback for these inappropriate, you know, parts of my life, things that I've done that weren't so good.

We support some of the children's hospitals, including the Levine Hospital up here in Charlotte. I've given over $160,000 to the Military Families Association. Our foundation does a lot of charitable things, usually anonymously.

And so, you know, we're big supporters of the military and of our local law enforcement, and we do that -- and I actually, a lot of the -- several of your colleagues, I've been, you know, honored to support them financially and otherwise, including our governor and some others.

So, yeah, my past is checkered, and that's the way it is. But I've tried to live my life as, like I said, a solid, Christian family man, and I think I've -- personally, I think I've accomplished that.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. That's all I have. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, you brought back some old memories.
MR. SHORE: I know. I know.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: She's too young to remember all this.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: There's on old country song, "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off."
MR. SHORE: I remember that song.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Was that song about you?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: All I'm saying, you should have been a little thinner back then, and you could have escaped.
MR. SHORE: Yeah, that's true.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: But that was, I remember it was very popular throughout colleges. And, shoot, if we were blamed for everything that happened 40 years ago when we were in our teens, early 20s, some of us might not being sitting up here either.

But I do want to commend you on turning your life around, and you, obviously, have become an outstanding citizen in the York area. And I think you will make an outstanding leader for Lander.
MR. SHORE: Thank you very much.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So you will get my vote in just a minute.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let's go back to the two charges. Were both of them for streaking?
MR. SHORE: I'm not sure what the one was. It was either streaking or, you know, relieving myself in public, something like that. It's always a matter of -- connected to overindulgence of alcohol.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you say you're in a business that -- you said $100 million a year?
MR. SHORE: In the last decade, retail sales of my artwork, which is represented in roughly 18,000 gift shops and galleries around the world, has generated over one-and-a-third billion dollars in retail sales.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You have turned your life around. From bankruptcy in 1985 to turning that kind of cash today, you have turned your life around.
MR. SHORE: Well, I have worked very hard at it, and I've been blessed. I license my artwork to the largest gift distributor in the world, and that's going to Chicago, and I do collaborations with Disney and Coca-Cola and Warner Bros., ones like that. So there's a matter of scale, but I've been very, very fortunate.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So then this probably comes too quick of you being a trustee. If there's a Lander student who stood up in his class and took his clothes off and came before you, what would you say?
MR. SHORE: Well, I don't know what --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Kick him out of school, or --
MR. SHORE: Not necessarily, you know.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What if an employee of Lander did that?
MR. SHORE: Well, that would be different. You know, you have to be -- take responsibilities for your actions, and there's consequences you have to stand up to. Consequences might be legal, and they might dismiss it or something like that. But, yeah, inappropriate activity always has its consequences.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

I see that Lander in 2013 honored you with an honorary doctorate.
MR. SHORE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell us a little bit about that. Let's look at the positive.
MR. SHORE: Gee, thanks.
SENATOR SCOTT: From 27 to 67 years of age, it's a long way, a long haul.
MR. SHORE: Yes.

Several years ago, I was honored to give the commencement speech at the 2013 graduating class at Lander. And it was actually one of the real highlights of my life, and it was one of the things, that I had been supporting Lander, and it was just such a delight, you know, to be able to participate in that way. And, of course, I did get an honorary doctorate degree, which makes me an honorary alumni.

I gave a speech, and it had more to do, I guess, with a college in their position as not being the end of something, but being the starting line. I have always liked combining all of the elements of academic life with the influence of business because oftentimes it's somewhat lost that the real reason for the endeavor is to -- a matter of preparation. It's preparing you for life. And that was kind of the gist that I was trying to get across then.

And I have done that with several of the lectures that I've given, both at Winthrop and at Lander in their art center and their business department.

Thank you for that question.
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.

Tell me a little bit about your thinking as we look at diversity at colleges and universities, not only students, but also faculty as well.
MR. SHORE: I think it's important for students to be exposed at a lot of different things, and that includes people from other --
MR. SHORE: Yeah, I think that diversity on the college campus is very important. I think that the primary goal, of course, is to seek excellence, academic excellence, and Lander is doing a very good job of that, I think.

And instead of doing -- the balance in Lander looks to me to be a pretty fair representation of our region as far as the -- for example, African American involvement in Lander I think is extremely important. I think it's good to get a -- have a grasp of other cultures, other religions, other, you know, communities within our community to gain a more well-rounded respect, I guess, because college plays into it and becoming more enlightened and that sort of thing.

I think you can only do that with, you know, having direct contact with -- and it helps everyone. It helps every community, interacting, I think.
SENATOR SCOTT: I am pretty sure your business has allowed you to travel abroad.
MR. SHORE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: And to be able to travel abroad to understand that South Carolina is going to continue to be the engine that's able to continue to bring companies from all across this world outside of just minorities and for students outside who come from every walk of life.

Those companies come in, and their children come and will be in a specific area to go to college or pre-K through 12th grade. For them to understand the importance Kyle Woodson spoke about many, many years ago of how important diversity is, not just necessarily in your own backyard, but having to understand diversity from all across this world.

And it's been a lot. I'm not happy about your past, but your past is your past. I'm looking forward to what your future is. I think you do have some things to offer Lander and offer the students at Lander, even if it's no more than allowing some of them of their opportunity to understand the international world and how this international world actually works. Those who are not traveling abroad, they don't have a clue what's going on out there.
MR. SHORE: Senator Scott, I think that's very important. That's a very important point. And I've traveled all over Europe. We have a house in Ireland, and we go and visit there, and then use that as sort of a jumping-off point.

And we've done things socially and we've done things businesswise with the people over there. So we've got a wide circle of friends over there. I have spent an awful lot of time in the Orient as well, and you're absolutely right.

You know, as South Carolina expands as a place that is attractive for business and it -- and, you know, of course that's happening. You know, we've got so much, you know, coming in. And I think that an understanding of that, you know, while it's delightful to hear that Lander has, you know, 85 percent or so of its graduates actually staying in the state, that also includes people that may come from other areas of the country or other areas of the world, you know, and be prepared by South Carolina for the benefit of South Carolina. And in order to do that effectively, you've got to have an understanding, a tolerance, and so forth, of these other things.

So I appreciate it very much.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

What's the desire of the Committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Opposed?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Nodding head.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: One opposed. Ms. Davis. Okay.

Thank you, sir. I appreciate your willingness to serve.
MR. SHORE: Thank you. On February 26, 2018: CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And the next one was Lander. Lander University, Jim Shore. At-large, Seat 11. I was notified by Lander administration that Mr. Shore was going to withdraw his name. We have not received any official notice on that.

But having voted on the prevailing side on Mr. Shore earlier, I'd like to move that we reconsider the vote whereby we found favorable report on Mr. Shore. So I make that motion at this time.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I second because I agree with you personally.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion and seconded that we reconsider. Any discussion of that? Hearing none, all in favor of that motion, raise your right hand.

Now, the next motion we will need is to reopen the at-large Seat 11 on Lander University.
SENATOR SCOTT: So moved.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Moved and seconded. Any discussion on that?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I thank you. The vote we took was just to reconsider. But do we need to take a vote for a non-favorable report on that particular candidate? Unfavorable report?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Unfavorable?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I make a motion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is unfavorable. Is there a second?
SENATOR SCOTT: I'll second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any discussion? Hearing none? Okay. We'll take it to a vote. All in favor of an unfavorable on Mr. Shore, raise your right hand. Thank you. Unanimous.

I have Senator Alexander's proxy. So we've got that.
MS. CASTO: Motion is to reopen Lander University's at-large Seat Number 11. Is there a second? I'll make that motion. Is there a second?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any discussion of that? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. Raise your right hand. Thank you. Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now for the Medical
University of South Carolina, Donald R. Johnson.
Go ahead and have a seat.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We probably need to go into an executive session. All in favor, raise your right hand. (Executive session transpired from 2:50 p.m. to 3:04 p.m.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. We've lifted the veil. No action. We've received a staff report on Mr. Donald Roger Johnson, II, of a Seat Number 1 on the Medical University, 1st Congressional District. Mr. Johnson, it seems like a formality, but for the record, give us your full name. DR. JOHNSON: Donald Roger Johnson.
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?
DR. JOHNSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to give a brief statement on why you would like to continue to serve on the MUSC Board?
DR. JOHNSON: Well, I would just say, as I said earlier, that I've been on the MUSC Board for a long period of time. I am currently the chairman. I've been 24 years. And I have had the opportunity to have -- so this is my fourth two-year term as the chairman, and this term ends in August of this year, and it will be my last time as chairman, hopefully. It's time to have somebody else, I think, rotate through that position. I think I'm in a unique position because not only am I one of the few physicians on the board, but I'm also local. I'm Summerville born and raised, a Charleston-educated physician, and I think I bring that local health-care perspective to it also. We have a lot of things going on at the Medical University right now, and I want to see it improve, not only through my chairmanship, but some of these issues will take us over the next probably four years for us to get completely to the end. So yes, I'm
offering to serve again.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I appreciate your willingness to do so. Questions?
Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Dr. Johnson, for appearing before us. Just a couple of questions.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: I know that MUSC has been doing some work in the field of diversity --
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- in trying to create some balance within the institution. Well, tell me a little bit about what you've done as chairman in the last eight years, because I think in the last four or five years, we've really seen some growth and some changes happen.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you for recognizing that. We certainly -- yeah. That's been one of the main thrusts, I would say, over the last, particularly, five years, yeah, diversity and inclusion. We have -- in fact, I have created on our board's agenda -- we actually have a D&I committee. So we realize these issues are important enough. We've actually even changed our bylaws in such that we actually have created such a committee. And so when we have our board meetings, this now is not something that's just discussed at an administrative level or even discussed at a board level. Some of the accomplishments that I'll tell you about that we're very proud about is 20 percent of the students enrolled at MUSC -- and I'm sure you all understand we don't have a large student body. We're not like a Clemson or USC. We have less than 3,000 students in all six of our colleges. Just over 20 percent of them are minorities. We rank, in terms of African Americans in our medical school, at the 97th percentile nationally. So we're very high with that. We require not just our administrative staff, but all of our physicians -- we have over a thousand physicians in our physician group, which was previously UMA -- now we call it MUSC Physicians -- that all go through diversity training. And we've been given numerous awards for diversity and inclusion and effort over the last couple of years. So we have made great efforts to that, and I appreciate the fact that it's recognized by you, Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: Also, MUSC has been doing something a lot different too in trying to meet some of the rural challenges in those communities, and, I guess, from Charleston back to 95 in trying to deal with some of those concerns. And I noticed when we were down visiting, some of what you're doing now with some of the satellite -- I'm trying to figure out the name of it -- maybe actually going to the schools and be able to satellite back to the hospital and --
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Telemedicine.
SENATOR SCOTT: Telemedicine. I know I can remember it because the Swedish started it a long time ago, telemedicine. What are you doing on the cutting edge of that? And then also comment on how you're coming along with the new hospital for the infants.
BY DR. JOHNSON:
Q. Well, I'll take the last one first. The new children's hospital is coming along very well. We had a topping-out ceremony for this deal just a couple of months ago. We are on schedule and, more surprisingly, we're on budget. I can't think in many years on the board that I could actually say that, but we are, because you know it is HUD financed. But it was required that we raise 125 million to help the effort. The entire project is 385 million, and we were able to successfully do that. So the new children's hospital is well on its way. It's going to be a gem. As you know, the MUSC Children's Hospital has been recognized for many years as one of the premier children's hospitals, not just in this state, but in this country. Our pediatric heart program battles Stanford year after year between who is ranked number one and who is ranked number two. And so almost all of the pediatric cardiology work in this state is done at
MUSC. And, of course, we're the only place that does children's transplant, those types of things. So we're very excited about it. Our children's hospital was -- the old one was not only completely overflowing, but it was old and needed repairs. So we will backfill that space for sure and certainly will love to have you all to come when we open that hospital. In regards to your first question --
SENATOR SCOTT: Telemedicine --
DR. JOHNSON: -- telemedicine, you know --
SENATOR SCOTT: -- I think we were leading that charge --
DR. JOHNSON: Well, you know, I would say that, actually, the General Assembly has led that charge. The General Assembly has been extraordinarily good at funding that program and funding it very early on. And so because of that, you may know, we were one of two nationwide telehealth awards given in the United States just in the last six months. One of those was MUSC, and I think that's a testimony to the early foresight that our legislatures had to fund that program. And what do we use it for? Just as you said, you know, we have -- even in Charleston County, we have schools that are usually minority schools where the health care could be better; where we could, with the help of a nurse, get a specialized physician consultation right to the school. And we certainly can do that in all of our rural health care centers also. So, you know, I remember years ago when Dr. Edwards was the president, I first came on the board. If we had to have a specialist somewhere, for instance, we had to get them on the plane and fly them up there, and that wasn't an efficient use of his time on a plane and back, and it was a hard way to do things. Telehealth takes away that issue for us. It could be used in so many different ways. In emergency rooms, emergency rooms right now are flooded, as you know, really with mental illness problems and with opioid problems. And so it's a great way to help that issue without having, perhaps, an opioid specialist right there in your emergency room, which, of course, no place has. So we have certainly enacted, I think, a great program, but I've got to tell you, it's only because of the funding and the foresight and the emphasis that you guys have had in that program.
SENATOR SCOTT: One last question. Tell me a little bit about your recruiting to bring additional African American talent, minority talent, across the country so we remain number one, especially with the children's hospital, telemedicine, and some of the stuff that we -- since we rank number 33 and 36 nationally in health-care issues that we've not been able to get our arms around a lot of the rural issues and the closing of a bunch of rural hospitals.
DR. JOHNSON: Well, so the first part of that, we want to continue to do a good dose of what we have been to get from 97 up to 99. That is our goal. We actually go out of our way, as I've said, to make sure diversity is a part of what we do, and every year we see the number, particularly in the medical school, for African American physicians increase. We're going to continue with that. And, as you know, we still have some counties in South Carolina that don't have a physician. And that's a hard nut to crack. There's lots of reasons for that. We could probably spend an hour just talking about why I think that is. But telehealth helps that a lot. And also, quite frankly, some of these advanced -- nurse practitioners and advanced physician's assistants will help that. As I'm sure you're aware, in the past, when we had a nurse practitioner, that was a master's level degree. Well, the educational process has been raised to a doctorate level now. And so at MUSC, we don't give out master's levels for nurse practitioners anymore. They're at a doctorate level. I say that to you because I do think it's more likely we're going to have that kind of health-care personnel in some of these rural places where we've had such a hard time recruiting MDs. And that and with telehealth, that's going to bridge a lot of gaps that we have right now, I think.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander has a question.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A couple of questions, and, again, thank you for your years of service and willingness to continue to serve and for being here with us today and being local. Just for the record, how would you describe your participation like in board meetings and activities there at MUSC, please, sir, percentagewise? Ninety percent? Ninety-five percent participation? Eighty percent?
DR. JOHNSON: A hundred ten.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
DR. JOHNSON: I guess the other way I was going to answer that question was daily.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.
DR. JOHNSON: Because it's just a daily -- whether it's a call or it's a meeting or it's there, and part of that is because I am local, I think. Part of it is, as you know, we have a relatively new university president. That's one of the reasons that the board asked me to serve another four-year term, was to bring along our new president. So...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And a good one.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. Thank you. He was. And as you know, kind of in the academic world, it's an unusual step from a department chairman to a university president. You know, it means that you're kind of a step above the dean, the associate provost. So it's an unusual move, but I was part of that selection committee and thought we picked the right
guy, and I think three years later, I can tell you we did.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I think we would concur with that. I was just curious with your private practice, do y'all do Medicaid, by chance? Do y'all accept Medicaid as part of your practice?
DR. JOHNSON: My private practice does not accept Medicaid.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It does not?
DR. JOHNSON: No, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you,
Mr. Chairman. I just have one question.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And it deals with sickle cell. What are you all doing for sickle cell at the school in reference to new physicians and dealing with the adults who suffer with sickle cell? And I ask that because as people age out, there are less physicians that deal with sickle cell patients and sign off if it was something that you all were doing. Because there was a study committee that we had here, you know, and it dealt with sickle cell and how it is a crisis here in South Carolina. There are no doctors to handle adult patients who are being identified as drug seekers, which will go into -- so that they're not identified as drug seekers.
DR. JOHNSON: Sure. So, again, trained as a spine surgeon, I don't want to get too far outside my area of expertise. But in regards to the Medical University, with our children's hospital, that's where most of the sickle cell training, of course, occurs. But having said that, we have in our department of medicine folks that take care of adult sickle cell patients, and we have specialists that do that. In terms of training them, I don't know that I can answer that specifically. Are we training anybody specific to do that in other parts of the state, which I think is what your question is?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, I think my question is, Is there anything or are there efforts to do something? Because, as for my community, I represent.
DR. JOHNSON: Sure.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Sickle cell is prevalent. And what I hear is that once you become an adult, there are very few doctors -- not just in South Carolina, but across the country -- that deal with adult sickle cell patients because many were not expected to live that long. Is there any effort to now -- since people's life expectancy is longer now, that you all are doing something now; and if not, would it be something that you would be open to look into in reference to a program that deals with adults that suffer with sickle cell?
DR. JOHNSON: Sure. So I don't know the specifics of what is being done at this point, but, of course, we would be glad to open up and look at their program and try to solve this issue or at least provide the care these folks need. You know, certainly, you're right. You mentioned in your previous comments there is confusion, particularly when they have a crisis. And quite often, they go to the emergency room, and you have to get out of the crisis, which often requires some pain medicine. And they get inappropriately labeled for that. Not so much an issue, obviously, when they're a child, but when they become adults, there's some stigma that can come along with that. So that certainly is an issue that even I recognize, specifically how we're addressing that or whether we're training a work force to do that. I don't know, but it's something we should look into together.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I see several hands.
Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One of the hottest political debates in the country right now that I feel is the least scientifically supported is medical marijuana -- and I don't mean that with any bias, pro or con. And that is medical marijuana, medical cannabis. Is it a legitimate area of medical scientific study for our flagship medical research institutions -- what would have to happen for -- if the answer is yes, what would have to happen assuming the Justice Department or the Food and Drug Administration took a different posture than they take today classification-wise? Or just the fact that we have this political debate here in Columbia right now, and it's very hard for us to find backstock at MUSC and USC School of Medicine, we're looking elsewhere, out of the country, certainly other states. And even in other states, I just don't have a comfort that there is a real bedrock basis of scientific study going forward, and this is a political topic that is sweeping the country right now. Where do we get medicine more involved in politics to, you know, accompany science rather than vice versa?
DR. JOHNSON: Well, you know, obviously it's a good question. I would say in response, Is there some science behind it? Is there a bedrock of science? You can't find any because it doesn't exist. Now, you're probably aware that the number-one reason for marijuana prescriptions to be given out is back pain, and back pain is something I know a little bit about. Now, I will say, there is some back conditions -- in fact, there are many back conditions that we can't totally solve, and sometimes going to see somebody like me, like a surgeon, makes your problem worse rather than better. There is certainly too much surgery being done. Half the patients that we see at my place are people who have had surgery done somewhere else who still have pain. So, you know, part of me feels about it -- and this is without any signs -- that it's almost like saying to somebody who has chronic pain, Well, go home and have a, you know, few glasses of scotch every night. You know, it makes you feel good. Is there a lot of science about whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for you if you're truly trying to escape pain? Of course, a lot of the prescriptions that are given for back pain aren't these people that are just -- you know, that have had surgeries done of back pain and whatnot. They are just people that complain to their family doctor of back pain, and they need to have something for it. At the end of the day, not to get political from my side because I shouldn't, and I am not a politician, but most of this discussion is about money, about who makes money and how much money and what the states do with the money, and that is, to me, the push here. I don't feel the push among the medical community that, Gee, we wish we had medical marijuana, or at a place like mine with 200 employees and 15 doctors, if we just had that, we could solve the back pain.
SENATOR VERDIN: And I'm not surprised, and your answer doesn't surprise me, that this debate is not generating within the medical community.
DR. JOHNSON: It's not.
SENATOR VERDIN: But I think the medical community's response, quite frankly, nationwide, is inadequate because we've got a massive -- you don't sense it, but we do. We get pretty good at looking out there and seeing what's coming in the next weather front, the next political front. And really, we're -- there is 30 states. It was 29 two weeks ago. There is 30 today that either have recreational or medical. You wouldn't ask for it in your budget based on what you perceive as the needs of the community. What we perceive is the political resolution of the matter, I think, requires to have more supporting evidence and supporting backstock. So I guess really what I'm looking for, if it was the political will of the state for us to do more and know more, is MUSC in position to respond to that request of the state?
DR. JOHNSON: Certainly, if that's what you asked us to do, you know, we could do it. As you know, we do more research than any of the research universities, almost 300 million last year. But, again, that's being generated external to us. And I will just tell you, you know, I sit on a number of spine-related associations, and we just don't have political folks, for the most part, asking our opinion. So we've been silent on this because nobody has really asked us.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, you understand my frustration when I see the fact that your peers nationwide who, I'm assuming, are pretty much in concert with your perspective have not prevented radical adjustment of policy in their various states. Everybody is reacting. I'm ready for leadership and not so much, you know, well, just acquiescence reaction or just -- well, it's a frustrating point for me because the chairman over here has got a bill in subcommittee and has --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Not his bill.
SENATOR VERDIN: Oh, not his bill, but we -- the chairman of medical affairs has a bill --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for clearing that up. SENATOR VERDIN: -- with some very insistent --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for clearing that up.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- bill sponsors. We have some tremendously insistent colleagues here in the General Assembly, House and Senate. Things are going to move one way or the other, and it's just a little frustrating. I have more confidence with you on the matter than I do in our innate ability or inherent ability, but I know how we respond. We respond to insistent constituencies, and they're coming. It's growing every month.
DR. JOHNSON: And I would think they would not be insistent if there wasn't money to be made. If you were to ask me outside of MUSC just as a spine physician, I would say there's no use for it in my armamentarium of how I am going to treat back pain, which, again, is this number-one reason it's prescribed.
SENATOR VERDIN: That's powerful testimony. I'm not discounting the fact that, you know, the university doesn't have a research program going on. I consider your testimony in the matter to be compelling. So thank you.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. Thank you.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Henderson.
(Representative King exits the screenings.)
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Dr. Johnson for your -- I'm sorry we're taking up all of the time, but you're --
DR. JOHNSON: No, it's okay.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So --
DR. JOHNSON: I had a long drive up here, so I'm glad to talk for a little while.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, you're here for more than, you know, a couple of minutes. So kind of piggybacking on what Senator Verdin said, and that is the whole issue of drug abuse and my being involved in this issue for a couple of years. One of the -- I'm going to ask you your opinion on something as a spine surgeon. So I get a lot of e-mails from these constituencies that he's talking about with my involvement in opioid abuse to say, basically, medical marijuana is the answer to opioid abuse. Like if you just had that, then people would not be on opioids, which based on what I've heard from you and others, that's not necessarily the answer. But let me ask you related to -- so one of the bills that we have is a bill for -- we'll start with Medicaid to cover alternative pain management treatments like physical therapy, chiropractory, chiropractic massage, et cetera, et cetera. In your opinion as, you know, a specialist in this area, I mean, do you think those types of things would legitimately help get people off of, you know, medications like opioids for treatment of pain?
DR. JOHNSON: Absolutely. I think 100 percent. You know, I think one of the misconceptions that certainly at least some folks have is that the opioids that are prescribed are from specialists like myself or from surgeons, for instance. I'm sure that, you know, a vast majority of opioids are prescribed by primary care physicians. And so at my shop, a typical patient that we see is somebody who has come to see us, who's been treated by their family doctor, who has been on oxycodone for six months and is already addicted and has a spinal problem that, in addition to dealing with their addiction that they have, they have a real medical problem. So we have to deal with that also. And so that is a -- anything that we can do -- you know, it's hard enough to deal with a medical problem, and, quite often, if it requires complicated surgery, they have to have pain medicine afterwards or they can't get up and walk. They can't get up and do their physical therapy. But on the front end of that if they can come to us nonaddicted -- and that's where we need to start. So another part of what you've mentioned, which is -- maybe in this population, this is going to sound a little bit odd -- what's called cognitive therapy, which is essentially just sitting with somebody who understands pain and understands therapy and understands rehab and can help give them what essentially are coping strategies in terms of how you avoid the pain and how do you lessen the pain. But not getting at this on the front end is an enormous mistake, and I think everything that you have mentioned -- and there's probably some others that we can talk about also -- I think they should be promoted.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, you know, I could ask a bunch of questions. But I do want to ask another set of questions related to what we were just talking about, and that is -- well, first of all, on the telehealth issue, y'all -- I mean, the cutting edge of what they're able to do in the terms of the treatment on substance abuse disorder is huge, and I know that we have continuation in the budget, at least on the House side, for that, and additional funding for that because it's making treatment available to people who haven't. So related to what I was talking about, and that is -- so what was MUSC doing in two areas related to medical education? One would be what you were saying, which is the majority of opiates are being prescribed by family doctors, and that is encouraging more family practice doctors to get into the medically assisted treatment field and train them to be able to do that, because, of course, a lot of MAT has to come to counseling. They don't know how to do that. Now, you as a medical school as a curriculum pursuing that and related to that, are you guys considering or looking at making changes in your curriculum as far as what you're teaching with respect to pain management and appropriate -- not only appropriate prescribing dosage, but, you know, the whole approach to being able to recognize substance abuse disorder and how to avoid it? Because there is a role for the profession to be engaged in helping -- not just prescribing, but training -- the next generation of medical professionals on how to appropriately deal with this problem.
DR. JOHNSON: So the answer to that is yes, and I would say not just the next generation but the current generation and maybe even the older generation, of which and I would include myself. As you probably know, SCMA now requires on a yearly basis that we all have to do a continuing education course in opioid abuse. So that hits not just the folks that are, you know, in school now, but the folks who have been out for a number of years. You know, the younger generations going through medical school within the last 10 years, they're more aware, more cognizant of this issue than the guys that have been out for 20 and 30 years. Particularly when you've been out for a while, it's easy to kind of just do what you've always done. That's the road of, obviously, least resistance. It's hard to kind of change. And so this might sound cruel, but I think a lot of doctors' ineptitude, inadequacy in this field, is going to phase its way out and as a generation of docs retire, age out, retire, and younger people take their place. You can't be a physician without this being one or two of the most sensitive issues in your medical life, and there are no physicians that don't deal with pain. We all deal with pain. Some more than others, in my field particularly. We have, in our clinic, three pain management physicians. They are anesthesiologists who have extra credentials in pain management. And since we inherit so many people that are already addicted, we do drug testing, and we have a confirmatory lab that we send stuff to. So that part of it in a practice like mine is truly an important part. I think where a lot of this needs to get to is where it starts, which is, again, with the primary care physicians, and that's part of the curriculum now at MUSC. As you know, we encourage a lot of our students to go into primary care, and not just them, but the DNP program, the doctor of nurse practitioner, that I was speaking about earlier, that's part of their curriculum now also.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, thank you.
DR. JOHNSON: I hope I've answered your question.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, I'm hoping everything is passed, but we can move on. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to echo some of my colleagues' comments on telehealth. I appreciate all that MUSC is doing now in the field of telehealth, and I'm excited to see how that could have an impact on rural health. I represent Berkeley County, and many parts of Berkeley County are rural. I was recently able to set up a conference call with Dr. Cristaldi and Dr. Ingram, who is the Berkeley County Schools superintendent. So we will be working to put telehealth into our school system, and I'm hoping that we will be able to use telehealth in some of the more rural areas and the clinical areas in conjunction with the nurse practitioners in order to make health care more available to our rural communities. But I want to switch gears for just a minute. You had mentioned that you felt the biggest weakness for MUSC was funding. So one question that I've been asking a number of the candidates this morning is: What percentage of MUSC's operating revenues are provided through state appropriations? Not the capital funding, but the operational funding. Do you know that percentage offhand?
DR. JOHNSON: I think I may. So when we talk about MUSC, first I have to clarify -- I think we all know this -- MUSC is really MUSC Hospitalists Authority, what we call MUHA. It's statutorily a distinct entity. When we say we sit on the MUSC Board, we actually sit on both boards. And when we have board meetings, we begin one -- usually MUSC first -- close it, and then we begin the Hospital Authority Board. Our third leg is the MUSC Physicians, which is a subsidiary, if you will. So if you look at the entire year of our budget for the entire enterprise, 3 to 4 percent of our budget comes from the state. If you look at our educational forum, which is MUSC, if you will, we have a budget of about 780 million, and we get just 70 million on a yearly basis. So we get 8 to 10 percent for our educational programs. We talked about the children's hospital earlier. In terms of an operating budget for our children's hospital, we get less than 1 percent per year.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So what do you think is the biggest weakness there in terms of funding? Would you explain or describe a little bit more in more detail where you think that funding is particularly lacking?
DR. JOHNSON: Well, it's the -- maybe I can answer that by saying I don't think that we're going to see more in funding for this state, and I'm not necessarily saying that we should. MUSC, we generate, obviously, internally by the health-care services that we provide most of our revenue. We are restricted, if you will. As you know, we just put in a certificate of need for a sophisticated 128-bed hospital in your County, in Berkeley County, and that's the kind of thing that we need to do. I can tell you having been a practicing physician in Charleston now for 28 years, people are less likely to want to go along the peninsula of Charleston. And you know this, but driving to the peninsula of Charleston would take you an hour just to drive, you know, across the Battery now, and we've got competing health-care systems that are surrounding us. And so who comes to the Medical University? Well, level-one trauma, which is usually the fellow on the motorcycle who is drunk who doesn't have health-care insurance. So we don't make much money with that. And then tertiary care, which is what we should be doing, transplants and cancer treatment and the children's hospital kinds of things. But for us to generate the revenues that we have to do to sustain our mission, which includes not only the educational portion, but it includes the research portion, we've got to be able to compete, if you will, on a level playing ground with our medical competitors. Not just in the Tri-County area, but across the state. So we've made an initiative to have offsite ambulatory facilities, and we're just now building one in North Charleston. Mayor Summey donated 20 acres to us, and we have one in Mount Pleasant and one west of the Ashley, and then we're pushing up into the north area with our new hospital, our Berkeley County Hospital. And so we need to -- and I don't say this as something that particularly we need from the legislature. We understand that we need to be self-perpetuating and self-generating, and we've been successful in doing that. But I think your question was what do y'all provide, and I think those are the numbers, pretty close.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So if I'm hearing correctly, the way you would address this funding weakness is through diversification of services.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, and to be allowed, if you will, to do some of these nontraditional things. The Medical University has never had a full-service hospital off the peninsula, I mean, since we started in 1824. We just put in the certificate of need a month ago, but I think it's crucial for us to continue to be a self-sustaining facility and not having to come to y'all because we've broken down and now, you know, services are suffering, and we're closing services. So we need to be allowed to do that. That is, as you know, with the CON process, that's not going to be an uncontroversial move. There's going to be folks talking to each one of you about why we shouldn't be allowed to do that.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Well, I support you and supported you with a letter.
DR. JOHNSON: I know you did. Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: All right. Thank you very much.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, ma'am.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Doctor, if you had an initial patient with an initial prescription for pain, do you normally write that prescription for 30 days?
DR. JOHNSON: Well, it depends. Usually if it's --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me tell you why I'm asking.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We're toying with the idea of lessening them to a five-day on a medicine prescription. How would that affect your practice?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir, I'm aware of that. And so when I first saw that, I've got to tell you that it concerned me, because if you go through a complicated spinal surgery at my place, as I said, we're often playing cleanup, so to speak. You know we're a place that you've had one or two surgeries and you come to see us, and what we have to do to try to straighten things out is rather complicated sometimes. And we know the key to you getting better after what we do is for you to be able to get up immediately, and we like patients to be up day one and start walking around. Pain is our enemy at that point, and pain will inhibit your ability to get up and walk around and thus inhibit your rehab. And so I think for a lot of things that -- certainly we do at my practice, at my house, and a lot of surgical practices, they're going to tell you five days of pain medicine is not adequate and that we need more than that, at least to get the patient up moving around enough so that they can participate in things that will help them with their pain, like physical therapy, acupuncture, those kinds of things. The other thing that I'm sure we're all aware of, if you're taking narcotic medication for a physical problem, it's almost impossible to get addicted to it. The problem is, for some people, that once that physical problem is healed -- that broken arm is now healed up, and the X-rays look good -- if the doctors continue to give them pain medicine because the patient wants it or they insist on it or sometimes the patient is deceitful and perhaps will try to get it somewhere else, that's the problem. I've seen, for instance -- we occasionally will see patients who have horrendous pain from metastasis of a cancer to their spine. It's one of the most horrific ways to pass away, and if you have metastasis to your spine, it's very, very, very painful. We have seen patients on 200 milligrams of morphine a day who have surgery and radiation, and the cancer in their spine gets eradicated, and they're able within a day to get off the morphine with no side effects, no withdrawal, nothing like that. So, again, if you're getting pain medication for a physical need and a physical reason, that's not a reason to be concerned about an addiction. Getting back to your question, if we have complicated spine surgery and you need pain medicine two weeks, three weeks, or four weeks, that doesn't put you at risk of being addicted because you're taking pain medicine to try to go through the rehab and heal from a complicated surgery that you just had. So for general aches and pains or for whatever the primary care docs give it out for, I think five days is great. But I think for complicated surgery, I think there needs to be come exceptions quite frankly. I would offer that for things like post-operative care.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The opioid subject is one of the number-one subjects of the state, and that's what we were trying to do. A person that only needed a 10-day supply, they've got 20 more days in the medicine cabinet. And that's what we're trying to get at.
DR. JOHNSON: I understand that. And I'll tell you, one of the things y'all did that really helped us a lot -- and I think this was through DHEC also -- is the registry, the pharmacy registry. That's helped us immensely, because previously we had no way of knowing whether they were doctor shopping and pharmacy shopping. And now we can look that up instantaneously. And when we have a patient come in who has been on narcotics, and particularly if we drug test them, it's just always amazing. We drug test them, and they don't have any of the narcotic that they have been prescribed, but they have something that they're getting on the street. Meaning that they take the doctor's prescription, they get it filled, and they sell that for their drug of choice. So when they drug test, they will have, you know, a methamphetamine instead of the hydrocodone that's being prescribed for them. So...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We can talk about all this another time.
DR. JOHNSON: Oh, yeah, sure. Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We're here to see if you're qualified, and you're more than qualified. So the rest of it has been political comment, I think.
SENATOR SCOTT: Just one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Speaking of that, Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Now, you notice my chairman finished his comment. Just one quick comment. And I know in this particular area, we're not that much familiar with pain management centers. And it's coming in this direction, and I would hope that we slow down this whole process in trying to make a determination because these pain management centers, they also provide your therapy and also other drugs to help reduce the kind of pain that you have in that athletes and others who have had pain for long periods of time will end up being what you're talking about with their opioids. These centers help out in tracking where most of the deaths are. They're on the coast, and I guess that's where most of the drugs come in. You know, that's my only comment. I move for favorable report unless somebody's got something.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I've got one clarification right quick.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sure.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: When you're talking about funding and stuff, would you not also agree that the state also funds you through MUSC as you provide services? I mean, you are a state match for the Medicaid funds; that is, in providing services, you're also providing resources from the state as well.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir, I would agree with that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I second his motion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Here I am extending all this. The state of South Carolina seems to be getting additional med schools. Is that from money? Is that MUSC is not serving the state, or do you have an opinion on that?
DR. JOHNSON: I do, but there'd be lots of people that don't like my opinion, to be real honest with you about it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin already held you out on that, and I'll leave this one alone.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report. Any other comment?
SENATOR SCOTT: Pending, I think, some additional information we asked for.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, BPC.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And I second it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Do you want to make it pending, or do you want to give it to him?
SENATOR SCOTT: Pending.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Pending. And you're going to get that to staff?
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. I'd be glad to.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Doctor, we sure appreciate you.
DR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir. Thank you. Thank you for talking with me. I enjoyed it.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Very informational for all of us. Do you want to move to -- carry it over to -- subject to the information?
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, raise your right hand.
On March 8, 2018:
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll go ahead and get started. 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. I pray that God continues to bless us all. Members, we have some housekeeping we need to take care of this morning. Martha, if you would tell us what we need to do.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. On the agenda, the sheet behind the agenda has several carryover things that we need action from the Commission on. The first one is Dr. Donald Johnson, who is MUSC's 1st Congressional District medical seat. You all had found him qualified pending that he submit his list of campaign contributions. And you may remember, he's one who has a contract as a professor with MUSC. You all wanted him to submit that contract. The contract expires June 30. The MUSC board is in the process of looking at giving those professor contracts to doctors around the state. The suggestion has come that you encourage the MUSC board to not have any board members have those contracts as professors.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chair.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: If I understood correctly, his was more for -- and I may be speaking of someone totally different. Was he the one who actually had, maybe, students that were like student interns in his office?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. You know, he has the spine clinic, the Southeastern Spine Clinic in Mount Pleasant, and he even told the Commission that two other doctors in his practice had these contracts too. So it's not going to limit the amount of students that come through because he has other doctors in the practice.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do we need any action?
MS. CASTO: We need to --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman. And after he explained it to us at the hearing, I didn't really see a problem or an issue on my end with him because he was just being, I guess, there as a mentor to those students as they were doing their internships. And he had informed us that there was no compensation. Am I correct?
MS. CASTO: Correct. Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So the desire of the committee is...
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Move for favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand. (All members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, raise your right hand. Okay. Next, we have James Lemon, Dr. Lemon, from Columbia, 2nd Congressional District Medical Seat.
DR. LEMON: Thank you for having me.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, can you give us your full name.
DR. LEMON: James Lemon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. LEMON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on the board?
DR. LEMON: Well, I have been honored to serve on the board. I feel like that the Medical University has served our entire state. And this is my fourth year, and I feel like I've learned more how to contribute to the process. I've heard what my constituents say, and the legislature comprises my constituency. On multiple occasions -- and I've tried to address each of these -- so often I will admit it has to do with can someone be helped to get into one of our colleges, and the answer to that is, typically, no. What we provide in that respect is to have that person counseled as to whether they're an adequate candidate, whether they should continue, and what they need to do to continue, and I think that's the best we can do. My concerns to keep me there are the fact that -- they're twofold, that I mentioned the last time. One is our tuitions are so high. The oral surgeon that finishes dental school -- my son is a senior. His tuition this year was $67,000. The tuition for medical school is $32,000. And part of the reason I'm often asked how is that possible is because you have a hospital that's there that makes money, and it has physicians there making money and operating. And then the medical students, after they finish their didactic work, move through with physicians who are their mentors and their teachers, whereas in the dental school, it requires them to see patients in an area that is cost heavy in equipment and nonproductive as much in dollars to other areas. I think I've been concise enough, but those are the things that I would like to address going forward.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions of Dr. Lemon?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I have a question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you. I do have a question. You mentioned funding as the biggest weakness, and you suggested that we needed to tap more into the private sector. What would you suggest there?
DR. LEMON: Well, we have attempted to tap into the private sector in terms of funding for -- in contributions, but I think that the private sector will need to get involved to get physicians and dentists into their rural areas. Unfortunately, I'm from Barnwell, and the industry has dried up in small towns. These industries would often supplement the incomes of a physician or a dentist or some other health representative there. And at this point in time that is not being done to the extent that it needs to be done. I think that the South Carolina Medical Alumni Association has made some attempts at placing residents in places that are in dire need of a physician or a dentist. We had programs where there was a payback of loans for a period of time, and it's now, as I understand, being investigated in ways to do that. But you have young people coming out of dental or medical school with hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of debt, $400,000 for dental school, and that's not including if their parents weren't to support them through college or they didn't have scholarships. So you then have these young people going into the corporate levels of dentistry and medicine where they are then paid to provide a service because the corporate -- they understand that there was money in dentistry. And so they set up corporations to hire young dentists that couldn't afford to start a practice because there's a debt and pay them and still derive a profit. Obviously, they wouldn't do it otherwise, and that's okay, but they began to put pressure on the young people to do procedures that may not be needed at that point in time or possibly ever, and they put them in ethical dilemmas. It's not so much so in medicine, but it is so in dentistry, and that's something that I think needs to be addressed.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. I was just wondering if maybe you had some specific ideas about collaborations with private industry or R&D opportunities for revenues or --
DR. LEMON: What I think I'd like to see happen is if there were some sort of incentives for industries to come back to small towns. And I don't know if that's the case, but I think that that's the way to get people back into those areas, is to have the economies of the small towns enriched in some fashion. And I understand that's something that's been on the minds of everybody sitting here for a long time. But I think that that's something that we're going to have to study further to get health representatives in these small areas.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Dr. Lemon, I believe you were in the room when I was discussing about the drugs and the whole medical marijuana topic.
DR. LEMON: I was listening closely.
SENATOR VERDIN: Is there a role for MUSC to play in this debate or this conversation?
DR. LEMON: I think that the role that MUSC should play is to examine the research from a medical point of view. And Dr. Johnson, who is very astute, was talking about pain, but there are some studies to show that medical marijuana has been helpful in Parkinson's and in nausea. And I have no use for it in an oral and maxillofacial surgery practice, but I do think that the pressure is on the legislature to make a decision, and the Medical University can certainly have their people who are well versed in the treatment of drug problems, such as pain management, look into this. I was not aware that the issue was coming, was impending. I thought it was a West Coast-type issue.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina might be the last, but I think the debate will rage here faster than -- sooner than we thought. But I appreciate your answer, and, quite honestly, that's what I'm looking to hear. I'm looking to hear that the folks that know more about this and have the resources can start putting some time and attention to it.
DR. LEMON: I think that we can take that back to the Medical University.
SENATOR VERDIN: I'd like to know that if I have a responsibility of continuing this process, I want to know that something is being considered and discussed at least. Yes, I'm going to be looking for feedback.
DR. LEMON: I will make certain that happens.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Dr. Lemon, Senator Verdin chairs the subcommittee dealing with this legislation, and he is steady dealing -- he has told me several times he doesn't want to know the embellishments. He wants to know the science. That's what we need from you, from MUSC, is the science.
DR. LEMON: That's what I intend to do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions? Now, tell me, were you the first dentist to serve on the board or the first dentist in a long time?
DR. LEMON: No. Dr. James Wiseman, Dr. Jimmy Wiseman, from Newberry was there. And I'm not sure that Harold Diovan was appointed, but he was also on the board there with me. And from Rock Hill, he was a dentist on the board for quite some time, Cody Fisher.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's right.
DR. LEMON: He was also a representative. And we feel we should have among the clinical specialists, a dentist on the board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
MS. CASTO: I have one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, I didn't ask you about paperwork.
MS. CASTO: Dr. Lemon, on your segment of economic interest, you disclosed that somebody in your household is a trustee on Richland School District Two; is that right?
DR. LEMON: No, my statement of economic interest is incomplete.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
DR. LEMON: When I was checking it off, I could not find a Congressional District 2. I checked that one, and I made a phone call to find a manner in which I could amend it.
MS. CASTO: Somehow on the ethics commission, it has you as a board member on Richland School District Two.
DR. LEMON: Never have been nor --
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You're not that lucky, are you?
DR. LEMON: But I understand it was a clerical mistake on my part, and I made a phone call, and that has not been cleared up.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. A second?
SENATOR VERDIN: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? All in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you, Dr. Lemon.
DR. LEMON: Thank you, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: 3rd Congressional District Medical Seat, Richard M. Chastain.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Christian.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Christian. I'm sorry. Christian. That's why I ask you to give your full name when you're coming up. Christian, if you would for the record, give us your full name.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Richard Morton Christian, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: State your name, if you would, for the record.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Richard M. Christian, Jr.
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?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement, sir.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I'm kind of like Terri. I took Stanley Baker's spot. I started in April, so I've been through three or four meetings. And then I plan on serving through '22 for right now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You have some big shoes to fill,
Dr. Baker's shoes.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I agree.
MS. CASTO: Dr. --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, how about the paperwork?
MS. CASTO: Y'all did screen Dr. Christian this time last year, in January.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I do.
MS. CASTO: And I don't think -- we didn't see any significant changes in any of your paperwork since then. You elected him last April, and he went on the board immediately. You did attend MUSC, correct?
DR. CHRISTIAN: I did.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You didn't put that in.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I'm sorry.
MS. CASTO: That's okay. And what year did you graduate?
DR. CHRISTIAN: In 1986.
MS. CASTO: '86. Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Dr. Christian, I recall our conversation last spring, and I appreciated your response back then. In a year's time or nine months' time, any evolution of thought or insight regarding your institution and how this subject can be -- what posture you should have about how you can address the matter for the benefit of those of us that are trying to grapple with it here in Columbia?
DR. CHRISTIAN: Are you talking about the marijuana?
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes, sir.
DR. CHRISTIAN: We've never talked about it. And my sister is an oncologist, and I know that it was used for nausea by an oncologist. There is good and bad things about all of it. I think you can get into abuse possibilities by doing it. I had a patient from Colorado that actually came to me. She was the mother of one of the nurse anesthetists, and she was on prescribed medical marijuana. And I can tell you, I got really antsy before seeing her knowing how to take care of her postoperatively. But she did unbelievable, and I know that she did not have any marijuana here in South Carolina. She lives back in Colorado or Arizona now, and I'm not sure... I think, as always, there's going to be limitations. I'm definitely for the patient as an advocate if we can help some of the side effects, especially those who are going through oncology treatment. They have a life expectancy limitation. I know nothing as far as pain control. I'm not aware that I've seen a study or literature that talks about it. We are under, you know, more limitations as far as narcotics, and I try to discuss with my patients alternative methods. I am not much of a narcotic giver. You know, you may have gotten an aspirin when I was growing up if you had a temperature of 103. So...
SENATOR VERDIN: Your concern as a practitioner -- Terri was talking about the whole -- for me, this is an exercise of getting outside of my typical comfort zone. And I'll repeat it again. I carry no biases here, just the weight of trying to formulate public policy, realizing that much of the pressures coming toward me are coming from those that advocate the use of this substance. I traditionally and historically never have under any circumstances, but I think you broached a topic just a moment ago that I would encourage y'all to continue to consider. Terminal illness may be a starting point.
DR. CHRISTIAN: And I think that would be a consideration.
SENATOR VERDIN: Okay.
DR. CHRISTIAN: And I think that, you know, when we hear stuff, we hear about how much the state has made off the process of selling it. I haven't heard really the benefits in the medical practice. So just like Terry, I think that all of us are a little bit ignorant on that fact. And if it's going to be a huge thing that's really going to be something that y'all are wanting to know, then we need to do our homework and give y'all some guidance on it.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you. And I could be wrong. Thirty states may have done something. That might be them, but the pendulum might go the other way because the medical accounts from your colleagues in those 30 states might start to be so overwhelmingly convincing that it is a bad move.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Right.
SENATOR VERDIN: But that's what we want to know: good move or bad.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I agree.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think now we just move to screening. Less than a year?
MS. CASTO: Uh-huh.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report. Seconded. Any other discussion? Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you, Dr. Christian.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Thank y'all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We appreciate your willingness to serve. Have a safe trip back to Greenwood.
DR. CHRISTIAN: I'm happy to. I remember y'all asked me last time about the -- when Senator Drummond used to take a left right there at -- getting into Newberry, the sun, and it is terrible, but I don't think I'll have that problem today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, the sentence for Laurens says, "The sun rises and sets in Laurens." Well, good to see you.
SENATOR VERDIN: I'll tell you this. If you're in Winnsboro headed to Greenwood or if you're in Union headed to Laurens, there's two things that can get you: the sun in your eyes and a logging truck, and both of those at the same time are pretty difficult.
DR. CHRISTIAN: All right. Thank y'all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Doctor.
DR. CHRISTIAN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good to see you, sir. Now, the 4th Congressional District Lay Seat, Thomas L. Stephenson from Greenville.
MR. STEPHENSON: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I appreciate your patience. If you would, give us your full name for the record.
MR. STEPHENSON: My name is Tom Stephenson.
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. STEPHENSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. STEPHENSON: Just briefly. I've been on this board a long time since filling out my application in -- it seems like 2001. If it wasn't 2001, it was about 2001. I somewhat believe in term limits, but like you, it sounds good in the abstract, but when you think about quitting and certain people don't want you to quit, you realize that term limits aren't what they're necessarily cracked up to be. If you followed our board, we've lost a number of very able board members in the last five years. Either they retired, died, or just left: Dr. Baker and Dr. O'Bryan died last year; Dr. Jablon; Dr. Rowland; and a couple of businessmen. So as I contemplated running one more time, I seriously thought about not doing it because I have a great deal of institutional knowledge. I'm the only lawyer on the board, and I felt it may do a disservice to the institution that I've grown to love so much to quit now. This is probably my last term. You have heard about some of the challenges that we face, primarily funding. We've got to figure a way to run our place and raise millions and millions of dollars that we need to raise to run it and not depend on the state, because the state doesn't have the money. The federal government is really no different. So that's why I choose to serve one more time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you have some paperwork you need to clear up?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Stephenson, on your personal data questionnaire that we have, question number 39 says, "List the recipient and amount of contributions made by you or on your behalf to any member of the General Assembly." And you answered "none"; is that correct?
MR. STEPHENSON: It's not correct now. I have made some since.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Will you give those to us? Send those to me.
MR. STEPHENSON: Can you get it now?
MS. CASTO: If you have them with you, yes, sir.
MR. STEPHENSON: I have it from memory.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
MR. STEPHENSON: Okay. I gave Senator Turner $1,000, and I gave your new senator from Greenville --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Timmons.
MR. STEPHENSON: -- Timmons, $1,000.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How about Scott Talley?
MS. CASTO: And we saw from the Ethics Committee --
MR. STEPHENSON: I don't think I gave Scott any money, though.
MS. CASTO: -- that you may have given Scott Talley some.
MR. STEPHENSON: Did I give Scott some money?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you'll just get with staff and --
MR. STEPHENSON: I'll amend it. I apologize for that.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
MR. STEPHENSON: You know, I think when I read that -- I think I read that a different way. That sort of sounds like our Attorney Handel of the United States, I didn't read that question. Certainly I didn't intend to mislead anybody.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No offense, you being a lawyer, but a lawyer probably wrote it.
MR. STEPHENSON: Right. Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions? Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Having listened to the question I've asked or the subject I've broached, any unique or novel ideas here?
MR. STEPHENSON: I'm not a doctor, but as a layman, I'm not sure pot is the medical panacea for much of anything. But it's sort of like alcohol, and if you think about before prohibition, we stuck our head in the sand and said, We're around all that alcohol in South Carolina. Think of the money we would have lost and the problem it would have created. As a lawyer, I think part of crime is caused by prohibition. If you make something illegal, you make it easier for the criminals to sell it and make money. Pot is coming. We've got to figure out a way to not make it be worse. And I agree with you. If it's going to be here, we need to study it. We need to know the effects, and we need to know if it really has much of a medical benefit. So I'll back your effort.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, thank you. I appreciate it, because up in our part of the world, it's probably even less acknowledged than, say, on the coast or, you know, other progressive communities. I still believe we live in one of those more conservative communities. I mean, we're slow to change in the Upstate, but even in my constituency, an insular, rural community, I believe I could conduct a scientific poll in my district, and it would probably go 50/50, which is just really astounding how fast culture moves.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yeah, because 10 years ago, it would have been 90/10.
SENATOR VERDIN: Oh, yeah.
MR. STEPHENSON: Or even worse.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do have one question, since you're an attorney. Do you believe that the threat of medical malpractice has increased over time, and do you think that that negatively impacts our ability to provide health care?
MR. STEPHENSON: I certainly do. As a lawyer in my practice, it devolved, maybe not evolved -- devolved -- into mediation. I have one every day. And a huge percent of the medical malpractice cases, many of those are meritless, but many are not. So it's really a hard line to walk. If a doctor through his negligence or a hospital harms someone, the damages are millions and millions of dollars. Our tort claims cap is currently 1.2. About half the cases that I mediate that deal with the cap, the damages are higher than the cap. But it has kept, I think, medical costs down. If you look at the number of cases we've had at MUSC, it's an incredible number, and I actually credit the law passed by this legislature some years ago putting the caps, but it also created better care.
That's a hard question. The line is when doctors negligently hurt someone, the damages are horrific. That does not mean that all the lawsuits that are filed should be filed. I actually think that the tort system as a whole needs to be fixed. You know, we've got something on the books called a Frivolous Proceedings Act. The last time I checked, nobody had ever recovered on a Frivolous Proceedings Act. Ever. And it's been on the books for 20-plus years. And medical malpractice cases are no different. I think there ought to be consequences for when someone files a meritless case. Currently there aren't really any.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I just see that as a conflict, and I believe that physicians make decisions about health care based on the potential for further -- for lawsuits or malpractice suits.
MR. STEPHENSON: No, there's no question about that. All physicians practice defensive medicine. If you look at the number -- and I'm not a doctor, but I see the certificates all the time -- MRIs prescribed in the U.S. compared to some other country is incredibly high here. And if you talk with those physicians privately, they'll say, "Well, I didn't ask for one. If something showed up, I'd be sued."
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I think, you know, my sense is that we spend a lot of money in health care doing defensive health care.
MR. STEPHENSON: I think we do.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: And so my question is, What do we reform? Do we reform the medical part of that equation, or do we reform the legal part of that equation?
MR. STEPHENSON: I don't have the answer for that, but I think it's going to correct itself because it's going to run out of money.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: All right.
MR. FREEMAN: We just don't have the money to practice medicine the way we've practiced it before. So it is going to correct itself. Now, as a lawyer, I have to say that some of the lawsuits that are filed are not meritless. Some of them are because somebody was severely harmed and the daddy is dead or someone is going to be disabled for the rest of their life because of some negligence of a doctor or the hospital. Now, I think that's the exception rather than a rule. It doesn't happen a lot, but it happens. So it's easier to say let's not have any lawsuits, but it's not that simple.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So I guess my question is, How do we fix, if we can, the negligence?
MR. STEPHENSON: How do we fix the negligence?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Right. I mean, is it a matter of additional education that's required? Is it a matter of additional physician oversight? Or is it a matter for not working 24 hours straight? I mean, what's the root cause of the negligence, and how can we --
MR. STEPHENSON: I don't think you're ever going to fix it.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. STEPHENSON: The same way you're not going to fix lawyer negligence or farmer negligence or any other negligence. But those are all answers, better education on all of that. Medicine is so complicated now, as you know. It's not going to be fixed. I don't have an answer.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. STEPHENSON: I think our state has done about the best they can do. I think you've limited malpractice recovery to about the degree you can yet be fair, except for when some recovery is needed and except for what I said. When there's truly a meritless case file, there ought to be consequences.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And that's my answer to your question, the consequences of those who are fighting and taking care of these frivolous lawsuits.
MR. STEPHENSON: Some people have suggested that. That's what it is in some countries, but not here.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think that would --
MR. STEPHENSON: That was one of the intents of the Frivolous Proceedings Act, but judges have not enforced it.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you. I appreciate that perspective.
MR. STEPHENSON: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Senator Scott.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir. Yes, Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Stephenson, you indicated your ideal ratios of 70/30.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Any kind of ideas about how we achieve that? I know in the past y'all have really begun to dig into some diversity. I know it has.
MR. STEPHENSON: You're talking about 30 percent out of state; 70 percent in state?
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.
MR. STEPHENSON: I think that's what we are.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. STEPHENSON: We very much strive to educate our students first. We know that's why we exist.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MR. STEPHENSON: But we would be remiss if we did not bring in some people from out of state, the truly exceptional student. The student whose parents grew up here but lives in Georgia. There are many, many exceptions, and they pay more money. We do a pretty good job. We don't waive tuition like some of the other colleges. We don't have that problem, I believe. So the 70/30 rule is sort of a good guideline.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want to move on to talk about young people getting into MUSC.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I know in the past I've had a situation where we had to work the young lady who is now a surgeon who is doing quite well.
MR. STEPHENSON: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: I think she's up in the Greenville area. I know that you still have some programs. Some of the kids may come not quite ready for the complete curriculum, but you've made some adjustments to get them in because they're good students. Talk a little bit about that.
MR. STEPHENSON: If you follow MUSC, our diversity programs are among the best in the country. I think our ratio -- I had it on the tip of my tongue, but it's much higher than most of our competition. And I think we go to great lengths. We could do more. The problem is when you have this isolated student that doesn't get in, that student's parents and friends think it's unfair. Maybe it is, and maybe there was a reason for it.
SENATOR SCOTT: But just know what I've done is really taken a look at the records and asked to request those.
MR. STEPHENSON: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: I get some of those sometimes, and it's not that. It's the school sometimes.
MR. STEPHENSON: If you have any --
SENATOR SCOTT: The student hadn't taken the appropriate courses. We need you to take some more courses and reapply, hadn't made enough on the entrance exam, accommodation things.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: But I am saying there are some students who are borderline students, and other programs that -- what I just mentioned, and they follow that process and end up being good students.
MR. STEPHENSON: Yes, sir. I agree with that.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? The desire is?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
MR. STEPHENSON: Thank you. Thank you all for your service too.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for yours. Have a safe trip back. On March 8, 2018:
MS. CASTO: The second one is MUSC. Thomas Stephenson is the 4th Congressional District, the lay member. He's from Greenville. He had not answered the question concerning his campaign contributions. He has come back and presented those, so we have those in order. And you found him qualified pending his submission of those.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do we need any action today?
MS. CASTO: We need to find him favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Motion favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?
Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, please raise your right hand. (All members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Found favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for yours. Have a safe trip back. Okay. 5th Congressional District Lay Seat, Terri Barnes from Rock Hill. For the record, give us your full name, please.
MS. BARNES: Terri Rudder Barnes.
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. BARNES: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. BARNES: No. I'm ready. I've served one term on the board. I've enjoyed it. I've learned a lot. I have a lot to learn. And I'll answer any questions that y'all have.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. I like that. Let's make sure the paperwork -- is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. There is one question and some of -- the addendum to the questions, "The biggest strength of the MUSC is the best in class leadership." Can you kind of expand on that. Tell me what that -- is that a category, or is that --
MS. BARNES: Well, I don't remember what I wrote down, but I will say this in class of leadership, the recruitment that's done at MUSC for leaders of MUSC, they're recruiting the best of the best in the nation,
and that's what I meant by that.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My colleagues are wearying with my subject matter, but I'm asking about the role that MUSC can or should play in regard to medical marijuana research. Facial expressions tell a lot.
MS. BARNES: I'm an extreme conservative also.
SENATOR VERDIN: You can't be more than I am, so go ahead.
MS. BARNES: I might be. I am probably con medical marijuana, but I do think that research shows that medical marijuana does release some healthy side effects of chemotherapy and cancer. So --
SENATOR VERDIN: You have given it a lot of thought. So to the degree that you are a trustee or at the head of the resources necessary to or would be a trustee influencing policy decision over the next four years, you know, what role -- okay. So earlier, when you were not here, I said we have a political dynamic that we don't have the scientific basis of knowledge to be making political decisions, but the decisions get made anyway. Thirty states have moved to one degree or another -- and I'm not talking about oils. I'm talking about actual marijuana.
MS. BARNES: I know.
SENATOR VERDIN: So we as public policy makers are looking to you as a public policy influencer, allocator of state resources, for help. I am, because my decisions are, as the chairman said earlier, I'm looking to make a sound, scientific medically peer-reviewed decision. I've got seven or eight physicians or veterinarians in my family, and to do so otherwise I would be disowned by family members. So I'm just hoping that going forward that MUSC is giving adequate time and attention to the matter.
MS. BARNES: I think they are, but I think they have a long way to go. Are you asking me if I think medical marijuana should be approved right now?
SENATOR VERDIN: No. No, because I'm not saying that for myself. I honestly don't have a bias. I want to have a reason to have a bias, whether it's pro or con, and I can't do that until I see more peer-reviewed medical science, and I'm depending on my research institution to provide that for me.
MS. BARNES: It hasn't been proven to me yet, and I think we have a long way to go at MUSC. I need to learn a lot more about it as well. So can I get back to you?
SENATOR VERDIN: Sure. Great. I appreciate it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report. Second?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand. That's it. Thank you.
MS. BARNES: Thank you. I appreciate all y'all do as well.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MS. BARNES: Thank you.
SENATOR VERDIN: Where is home, Terri? You said York County. I'm just curious. Where are you over there?
MS. BARNES: Rock Hill.
SENATOR VERDIN: You're in Rock Hill?
MS. BARNES: Uh-huh.
SENATOR VERDIN: All right. Yes, I have heard of York.
MS. BARNES: You've never heard of Rock Hill?
SENATOR VERDIN: Oh, yeah, yeah. I just thought you might be in the rural part of the county. I'm a Curious George about where people live.
MS. BARNES: Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Next, Medical University of South Carolina, 6th Congressional District, medical seat, William Brown from Charleston.

Good morning, sir.
DR. BROWN: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
DR. BROWN: William Melvin Brown III.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: I'll swear you in, sir.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
DR. BROWN: I do.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
DR. BROWN: A brief statement.

First of all, thanks for everyone's time this morning. Thanks because I know that it's hard to get everyone on the same schedule. As an ER doc, I'm inherently familiar with that problem.

Anyway, I am a native son of Charleston that recently moved back about three and a half years ago after a 20-year career in the Navy. I have spent 20 years serving the country, and I'm ready to serve my state.

And one of things is when this opportunity came my way, I got very excited about it because, as I briefly mentioned, I'm an emergency room doctor, and I think that's kind of your school of hard knocks when it comes to public health issues. I see a lot of needs, and I would love to have a chance to impact those, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to do so. That's all.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. PRICE: Yes, sir. I do want y'all to know this is the seat you had to reopen due to the death of Dr. Gordon earlier this year. So...

Dr. Brown stepped forward.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: We sure appreciate that, Dr. Brown. Appreciate your willingness to serve.

Questions?

Representative Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Dr. Brown, for offering to serve.

I wanted to just ask you since you are an ER doctor -- I have been working on a bunch of opioid legislation, and Senator Peeler too -- actually his committee meets after this. I just kind of wanted to ask you your experience in the ER, what you are seeing with this problem, what kinds of challenges, what can -- how can we help you all deal with this issue and tackle it?
DR. BROWN: That's quite an issue for us. First off, as a physician, you kind of bear the brunt of having been a part of feeding into this crisis, and now we are trying to fix it. I can take some helpful expressions from my military days, but I won't say that here.

The way it impacts me as an emergency room doctor, it is almost burning and heartbreaking. Every day I see personally two to three people that have overdosed on opioids, more so now than heroin.

And you have so many different responsibilities in the emergency departments. Not only are you taking care of people who don't have access to care, but you have your emergencies, and then through it all, you have people who show up and they may or may not be breathing. And if you have three doctors and eight nurses on a shift and someone comes in not breathing, that takes huge resources, at least three nurses trying to resuscitate this person.

So you do it. You are successful. You're high-fiving. You're happy you saved that person. But then you come back and check on them again, and the first thing they want to do is get out of that emergency department and get back to what they were doing. It is a heartbreaking problem.

And a lot of times, too, when I do come across someone who wants to do better, then I have to go about the business of trying to find them help. And if your resources -- personal resources are limited, that is a huge challenge.

So I am ready to do anything I can to impact some change here, try to make some more things available as far as people wanting to get off of those substances.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator from Laurens, Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Good morning, Dr. Brown.
DR. BROWN: Good morning.

SENATOR VERDIN: I would like to inquire of your personal posture towards the use or even application of medical cannabis and how that professional position of yours would affect the ongoing national conversation as relates to development of this matter, and you might even elaborate as to whether you think this is a medical matter or a political matter.
DR. BROWN: Well, I'm a novice when it comes to politics, so I will probably lean towards medical.

The medical aspect of it, there is some provocative research that does show that it can help actually, to the first question, alleviate some people who suffer from chronic pain issues. I also know about the treatment of certain neurologic abnormalities.

Again, the research is interesting and provocative, and if we have some bona fide, not sponsored by special interest group research to support it, why not bring this into the lexicon of how to treat certain diseases?

Now, I'm an American, grew up an American. Anytime something new comes out on the market like that, there will be a tendency to abuse or overprescribe.

I recently visited the state of Colorado for a football game a couple months ago, and I can tell you, walking down the streets of Denver and Boulder, you can see that everyone is enjoying the party about the new laws passed in Colorado. And that makes me a little concerned about what happens as that goes state to state.

I would hope that we could make this -- somehow keep this in the hands of responsible prescribers as we consider this, the passing of these laws in our state.

I think as a medical intervention it's a great idea. But that's kind of where I stop because then I feel like -- I'm getting personal. If it's used for something other than those interventions, then we are opening up the gateway for other problems.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Dr. Brown. I appreciate your responses.

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

Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I guess my question is -- deals with sickle cell. And as I think about sickle cell patients across this state -- and they are identified as drug seekers, especially our adult sickle cell patients.

Can you give me your background or your take on sickle cell, and as a board member what will you do to encourage sickle cell education for the medical community, to educate them when it comes to sickle cell and, with the opioid crisis that we are experiencing throughout our country, to ensure and make sure that sickle cell patients are not pigeonholed or identified as drug seekers when they enter the hospital?

I was on a committee which would do a registry in South Carolina to identify those persons who suffer with sickle cell, but some of those persons may not be identified.

What would you do as -- or what do you see in your profession, and then what would you do as a board member to encourage the sickle cell education of all new medical personnel?
DR. BROWN: Well, I do see that. We do see that often in the emergency department because sickle cell is considered a pediatric disease. And often these adults, once they are no longer under the guidance of, say, Medicare, as they age out or don't have access to care because of not being insured, oftentimes that falls on the shoulders of the emergency department to take care of the sickle cell adults. I think that goes hand in hand with our opioid crisis. A lot of these things can be drawn back to resources and access to care.

But, also, one of the things you are concerned about, too, is those on my side of the aisle taking care of the patients and our perceptions. Being educated in the state of South Carolina -- I went to MUSC. I think it's hard for you not to get insight into that. But then again, not every doctor here is from there.

So we could very easily incorporate that in -- right now we are already getting opioid training on a regular basis for required continuing education. We could very easily incorporate that into that piece of the training or into mental health training because I also feel like -- see a need to also be more targeted to mental health training because I think it falls in both boxes.

I have seen sickle cell patients -- I will try to wrap this up, sorry. I have seen sickle cell patients who have been in families who have resources, and I have seen that complying with treatment, complying with care, healthy living can decrease the number of sickle cell pain crises that occur.

But I also know that the other side of that is that sickle cell disease tends to happen in families that are -- do not have good resources or access to care or education and things. So there is an opportunity there to educate those patients better on how to take care of themselves to keep them out of the emergency department and so reliant.

We can also consider -- and I know everything starts with money, but we can also consider how can we take care of people with these chronic medical conditions from childhood better, what access can we help them have?

An example, I know that for mental health, we are considering in our emergency department actually establishing just a mental health ER that has kind of a good access to all the resources and counseling and things like that. Should we consider that in a regional clinic type of setting? I really just think of different ideas.

But I think what you are asking and what I support is making sure that we incorporate education. It is also -- you know, in not trying to pigeonhole or stereotype a sickle cell patient, it is also an education in diversity because 98 percent of your patients you're going to see are African-American with sickle cell disease.

I support making that a part of education and training and also being incorporated, as far as MUSC, into the rural medicine curriculum or the urban medicine curriculum. They have a lot of opportunities where we can insert that training, but it is hand and hand with our opioid crisis, and I do recognize that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I guess the reason why I asked that, I have two nieces who suffer with sickle cell. One suffers with SS, which is the worst case of sickle cell, and she is a freshman at Spelman in Atlanta. However, she was accepted to many schools across the country because she is an extremely bright young lady and did not go outside of Georgia, where her mom and her dad live, because of being afraid that because she has sickle cell that she would not be able to receive care or she would be identified as a drug seeker because, you know, as you turn 18, you age out of, you know, I guess the adolescent or young adult care.

And so I'm interested in finding out what do we do for our older members of our community that suffer with sickle cell, you know, across the state. So I would hope that you would help me as we work forward in trying to find out how we help those patients.
DR. BROWN: Just to add on to that, for example, kids that are born with heart problems, congenital heart defects, I know that MUSC continues to let them come to their clinics as adults. I don't see why we couldn't consider that as well.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I will end by saying this. I was the chairman of the sickle cell study committee here in South Carolina. And what we are finding -- and we worked with MUSC. What we are finding, that there are no -- there are limited facilities in this state that will take care of adult sickle cell patients.

So that was one of the things we found out with the study, is that we need to try to find ways to encourage that, because many of the doctors do not understand adult sickle cell.
DR. BROWN: No.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: They do not want to touch it.
DR. BROWN: It is a new science.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Yes, exactly. But thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Dr. Brown, for your willingness to serve. I think the experience that you gained through the ER is really, really going to be very important in your service to the board.

As we take a look at hospitals across South Carolina, we look at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, Providence, Orangeburg, you guys will probably end up being hit for rural hospitals. And the opportunity to see and understand all of what's going on in rural communities as you're serving out there, you are serving folk who are not just in the Charleston area but also from the small surrounding areas as well.

What is your approach to rural health care? Probably the number one instrument MUSC will have to work with is telemedicine. There are some telecenters out there working with schools and others and are able to look at young people and cover costs, you know, affordable costs of health care, especially in rural communities. What are some of your ideas on that?
DR. BROWN: Okay. First off, my experience in this is, when I was in the Navy, I would moonlight at different duty stations, and most recently, I was in Jacksonville, Florida. I moonlighted in Waycross, Georgia. Rural, okay.

Trident Medical Center is one of the main hospitals where I work now, and Trident is kind of at the nexus of the universe at I-26 when it comes to the tri-county areas around Charleston. We see patients as far as Saint George on down to Hampton, South Carolina.

First off, one of things I'm really excited about possibly getting involved with on this board is pushing primary care. Primary care is a huge challenge in our country. Not many doctors are going into primary care anymore. It is not very lucrative, and these are physicians who are often going into debt three, four hundred thousand dollars.

We need to try to see if we can get creative by getting programs about encouraging students to go into primary care again. Once that happens, then moving to get them to go to the small towns because a lot of the problems I see in small towns is really, again, access and just education about preventive medicine.

Telemedicine has been a godsend in ways for small town situations. Back to my example of Waycross. Waycross, Georgia, 65 percent of the medical staff did not live in the county. They were all coming from different places, mostly coastal Georgia. That's just the general surgery, the ER doctors, the internists, OB/GYNs.

Now you want them to have access to neurosurgery, psychiatry, things like that. How do you do that when we have a hard enough time getting the basics, and that's where telemedicine has been a great thing.

I know that MUSC is kind of blazing a trail for telemedicine, and that's something we have to make sure we stand behind going forward for the future to make sure people have access to care. It impacts stroke response. It impacts heart attacks and, again, mental health, which is really, I think, the biggest problem we are facing, in general, in our state and our country.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Senator Alexander.

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning.
DR. BROWN: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Two or three things. One, we certainly thank you for your service to our country.
DR. BROWN: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Also, it says that you visit the campus, so on that basis, I would assume there is no issue with you being able to attend board meetings and other things that would be required of serving on the board.
DR. BROWN: No, sir. I work out on the campus.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So the other thing that I see here on ways to improve MUSC, talking about grants for specialties. That kind of caught my eye. I thought that we really -- I'm concerned about primary care physicians.

So is the job of MUSC to encourage people to go into specialties rather than primary care, especially for our rural areas?
DR. BROWN: Not at all. Not at all. The job of us -- the job of a state medical university is to provide primary care providers for their state. I believe that wholly.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Anyone else?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Move for favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Discussion?

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

(Members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN PEELER: It is unanimous. Thank you, sir.
DR. BROWN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have 7th
Congressional District Lay Seat, James A. Battle, Jr. Good afternoon, sir.
MR. BATTLE: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. BATTLE: James A. Battle, Jr.
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. BATTLE: Yes, I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. BATTLE: It will be brief. Most of you know me, but I live in a very rural area, Marion County. Basically, we've had hiring and employment. Health care and education are two big things in my rural area. I was on a hospital board for 20 years before I came into the General Assembly for 16 years, and it's just something we need in the whole 7th Congressional District. I'm not a doctor or a dentist. I'm a layperson, a businessman, and it's just something we need. My family has used the Medical University. My wife had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is a very aggressive cancer. Dr. Robert Stuart, a scientist at MUSC, saved her life. I mean, it's just been unbelievable. I could go on, but I think the fact of serving -- public service in the rural areas -- and I realize it's the whole state, and I consider that, but I wanted to make sure we had representation.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Battle, tell me what year you finished The Citadel.
MR. BATTLE: '64. 1964.
MS. CASTO: And you got your MBA at USC what year?
MR. BATTLE: 1967.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
MR. BATTLE: I went to Vietnam first, fortunately for me because my folks that went to graduate school that had been to Vietnam were in the middle of it. I was there before it was really active.
MS. CASTO: And you have been an incumbent since when? How long?
MR. BATTLE: Five years.
MS. CASTO: Five years.
MR. BATTLE: So I served a one-year term. This is when the Congressional -- we had added the 7th Congressional District because originally it was the 6th Congressional District. I served one year in the 7th Congressional District, and then I am finishing a four-year term.
MS. CASTO: Thank you. That's it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I drove through Mullins just a few days ago and thought Ren Strickland was still down the street, but he retired.
MR. BATTLE: Yeah, he has retired.
SENATOR VERDIN: You're not tee totally adamantly opposed to MUSC conducting marijuana research, are you?
MR. BATTLE: I grew up in the '60s. Absolutely not.
SENATOR VERDIN: I am just trying to find different ways to ask the question.
MR. BATTLE: You know, my answers to your question would be emotional, and you're looking for science. I have no idea about the science. Of course I -- since we are tobacco farmers, everybody thinks it would be a logical progression if it were ever legalized to get into, you know, farming the marijuana. And from that perspective, I've looked at it. What they don't realize is you don't grow marijuana outdoors. I mean, you do in the state now because it's, I think, the largest cash crop in the state, but it's not a legal cash crop. But marijuana is grown indoors, so if you are trying to grow it outside, you'd lose it all overnight. Somebody would come get it. To answer your question, I don't have any scientific backing.
SENATOR VERDIN: And I'm not -- as I told Dr. Johnson, I'm not biased one way or the other.
MR. BATTLE: I'm not either.
SENATOR VERDIN: I wouldn't even be as intent as I am if Senator Peeler didn't have an active bill in front of our committee. So...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: It's not my bill. It's our committee's bill.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, you know...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I want to clear up the record.
SENATOR VERDIN: But, generally, though, I do -- just as Dr. Lemon said, I believe all of you as trustees, if you hadn't had a formalized discussion, I would be encouraged to know that there is at least informal conversation. I'd like to know that the trustees would be aware that various departments or colleges within the university -- just preparation. You know, I'd like a contingency plan or know that on the R&D side, South Carolina is not sitting on the sidelines.
MR. BATTLE: We are a research university, and we have a meeting next week, and I will mention it. I'm going to ask why we're not doing more research on medical marijuana. I'm also going to find out why we're not doing more on opioids. I will check on both of those.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?
SENATOR VERDIN: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. Seconded. Any other discussion? Hearing none, all in favor, raise your hand.
MR. BATTLE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.
MR. BATTLE: Good to see you, everybody.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good to see you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let's go ahead and get started.

We have lifted the veil and didn't have any votes inside the Executive Session, so we'll open the meeting back up to the College Universities Trustees Screening Commission.

Next, South Carolina State University, 1st Congressional District, Seat 1. First candidate, Mr. George Freeman, Mt. Pleasant.

Make yourself comfortable and make sure the green light's burning.
MR. FREEMAN: I do see a green light.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would give us your full name for the record.

George Allen 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: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement about why you'd like to serve on the South Carolina State Board of Trustees?
MR. FREEMAN: First thing is, I am a graduate of South Carolina State University. I attended South Carolina State University. I've had a strong connection to South Carolina State University. Over the years, I've kept up with the University and I've been disappointed with a lot of the things that have happened on the University and have always planned on becoming a member of the Board. But other things have kept me busy.

But in recent years, how I've heard how things have happened on the campus and it got into a dire state. I thought it was time to put myself in the race since I feel I have the qualifications to make a difference on the campus. And that's my main reason for running, is that I feel I can make a difference on the campus.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir. His paperwork is in order.

What I do want to tell you all in the summaries that I have done, I said there are five in this race. There were five. Mr. Ahearn withdrew on Friday, and I failed to go back in and change it. So there are four people running for this seat.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Freeman's paperwork is in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Freeman, is there anything you wish to add or delete from the paperwork you have submitted?
MR. FREEMAN: From -- not off the top of my head, no.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for offering yourself, Mr. Freeman. Mr. Freeman, being that you are a graduate of South Carolina State and understand the issues that South Carolina have had, what have you done as an alum or in reference to giving back to the college?

And what have you done to try to change the image of South Carolina State just as an alum?
MR. FREEMAN: As an alumni, I've always been a member of the alumni ever since I graduated. I do my best as an individual graduate of South Carolina State when I speak about the University, try to speak about it in a positive case and try to encourage other students to become students at South Carolina State.

I'm currently a member of the Charleston branch alumni. And as a member, we worked as a group, not individually, to try to recruit other students to come to South Carolina State.

The other things, as I said, I do my best to advertise the campus as much as possible.

I know it's a small thing, but I make sure I have my advertisement on my card. I make sure I purchase a South Carolina State license plate on my car and I have paraphernalia on my car. As you see, I brought my umbrella, because I make sure I advertise the campus as much as I can.

Other than that, I cannot think of anything else that I've done except I'm a member of the South Carolina State Club for I think it's been over 12 years now.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I appreciate that.

I guess my question is: What have you financially given to the college?
MR. FREEMAN: My financial donation has been through the South Carolina State Club. Every year I purchase a membership in the State Club.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: All right, thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Senator Scott?
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Freeman, thank you. Good to see you. I've known Mr. Freeman for many, many years back in the days of college. South Carolina State College finds itself in a very unusual situation, and that is deferred maintenance is probably still some 70, $80 million out in terms of what it has done also to get its cash flow back in.

And I'm glad to hear when you talk about student recruitment, that's one of the biggest issues, I think, right now. Roughly 2900 students up on that campus.

Have you visited the campus lately? Do you know what's going on on the campus? Do you understand any of the construction needs it may have? Curriculum changes? Have you been involved in that part of the process outside the Alumni Association?
MR. FREEMAN: I don't believe I've been in to the campus in the last month or so, two months, maybe. But I have kept up on things on campus.

I attended a meeting on campus at the end of the period where we were going through the situation on the campus. And in that meeting, I discovered that we still lack about $20 million of repairs that has to be done on the campus. Even though we are moving ahead and everything, we still have those infrastructure problems on the campus. And that is something that I feel like we really need to do.

My thing is: I'm looking at the fact that -- I would hope that we're already doing it with getting involved inviting more businesses to Orangeburg to try to have some way of bringing more money into the campus so that we can take care of some of these situations.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: This is not a question for Mr. Freeman, it's just a statement that I want to make to the Committee.

As we recognize the issues that have faced South Carolina State recently in our recent history, I would ask that this Committee really take into consideration the importance of where South Carolina State is now and how they are moving forward.

And as we vote today, we need to make the very hard decisions to make sure that we are forwarding names of people who are going to have the best interest of South Carolina State and the mission that the alum as well as the General Assembly has for South Carolina State as we move forward.

I just want to make sure that I made that statement, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Davis?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for your willingness to serve on South Carolina State Board. It's at a very important point now. And I think as Representative King said, it's going to be important that we get the right people together to move the University forward.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, what would you see as being the most important thing that the Board needs to focus on at this point?
MR. FREEMAN: Well, the simplest answer is finances. That's the major thing for everyone.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Anything in particular?

Maybe infrastructure is your answer, I don't know.
MR. FREEMAN: Getting right back to that, that is one of the main things because we had -- my understanding, we had to close down one of the main dorms for the young ladies, the hall.

My main thing would be to see where, as we can, get those buildings back open and up and running so that we don't have students having to go off campus like they have been. Because, unfortunately, we had a good/bad thing in the last year whereas we had students -- enrollments started to increase, but we didn't have the places to put them.

So one of the main things I would be looking at is to try to get those dorms open again so that we would have -- as we bring the students in, that they will be able to stay on the campus instead of having to search for places off campus.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other?

Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Freeman, for your willingness to serve. Glad we have a lot of candidates to choose from.

And, first of all, I want to thank you for your military service. That's always important to me.
MR. FREEMAN: Thank you.
REP. WHITMIRE: What are ways to improve South Carolina State? I think it's been mentioned by some of my colleagues for recruiting.

As I remember right, South Carolina State was losing students at an alarming rate; and that was one of their major problems, they didn't have enough money from the students coming in and enrolling, and that was causing a lot of their cash flow problems.
MR. FREEMAN: Correct.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: How would you recruit more traditional students to South Carolina State? Because I get the feeling that some of the students that used to go to South Carolina State are now going to Francis Marion, or Lander, or South Carolina, or Clemson. How do you bring these students back into the fold, so to speak?
MR. FREEMAN: Well, one of the things that I look at is that the first thing that we need to work on the most is to get -- change the image. South Carolina State has gotten a bad rep, and it needs to get that image back to during the days when I attended.

My thing is that it's not a one thing that myself personally can do. What I see is we need to have a situation where we have everybody on campus involved in -- the staff all the way to the President of the university and the Board of Trustees.

There are some things that we can do, but as I was saying earlier, one of the biggest things is getting the image of the campus up there and getting more alumni to come on board to, as individuals, like I was saying about myself, to promote the campus more.

We need -- I am down in the Charleston area. I mentioned this to some of the alumni in the chapter in the Charleston area, there's a number of us in the area; but we don't see any paraphernalia of anything that often of the South Carolina State in the area.

I feel we need to do more from the students all the way up.

On the staff, I feel that there's been situations where graduates of South Carolina have said some negative things about South Carolina State. And it's been because of the staff at South Carolina State.

My thing is that we need to improve the staff at South Carolina State so that they present an image to the students so the students can go back and talk proudly about South Carolina State.

We've had incidents where students have had incidents on the campus with staff; and when they graduate, they say negative things about the campus.

I think we need to change that atmosphere on the campus so that when students graduate, the students will be recruiters for the campus, also.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, State's got such proud tradition, it was really sad to see what was happening over the last decade or so, maybe 20 years.

I'm just -- agree with Representative King, it's good to see so many people who are willing to serve to bring it back to its level of promise that it's served. Thank you, sir.
MR. FREEMAN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Good afternoon.

Is there anything in your work that would preclude you from being able to be active Board member and participate in the activities that would be required?
MR. FREEMAN: No.

That's one of the good things about my position right now. I am still an active real estate agent; but most of my time is spent in the nonprofit, trying to raise funds for a community center in Mount Pleasant. So I don't see any way that my attending being on this Board would interfere with my time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Those in favor? Is there a second? Second. Any other discussion? Seeing none, we'll take it to a vote.

All in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Freeman.
MR. FREEMAN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now, Anthony Jenkins from Goose Creek.
MR. JENKINS: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon, sir. For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir. My full name is Anthony Lloyd Jenkins.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'll swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. JENKINS: Yes, I would.

Again, my name is Anthony Jenkins. I grew up in the Ladson area, currently reside in Goose Creek, South Carolina. We had the privilege to attend the Citadel in '86 to '90. Graduated. Had the opportunity to go on and further my baseball career and played professional baseball.

Upon that, I had the opportunity to go into business for myself, which I am currently am in. I own a financing company. Licensed in 41 states where I provide commercial and residential financing. I finance numerous projects.

I think with my experience, my energy, my desire, and my willingness to see South Carolina State succeed, I'm not a person that looks back in the past. I'm the one who looks in the present and the future.

I've had some uncles and educators who have taught at South Carolina State. My wife has her Master's from South Carolina State. My wife is a Regional Director for the Department of Social Services in Berkeley County.

So, my daughter attends an HBCU, and just seeing the things that have happened in the past at South Carolina State, but as Representative King stated, we can see that South Carolina State is going in a positive direction. I want to continue to see South Carolina State go in a positive direction.

As an African-American male, I would like to see more males succeed. And my desire to serve on this Board, to see those things happen.

Again, my experience as we all know from the Citadel teaches you discipline. My experience as disciplinary -- I'm a very disciplined guy. My management skills will definitely be an asset to this Board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Jenkins, is there any additions or deletions to the paperwork that you submitted that you can think of we need to know?
MR. JENKINS: No, sir.

I can -- I think my paperwork speaks for myself.

Again, I am a very -- guy who really believes in pushing the envelope, pushing to succeed.

Scholarship is very important to me, very important to my family.

Again, I want to see South Carolina State succeed.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Questions or comments? Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Jenkins.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: As you know, South Carolina State is very important to me and the constituency in which I represent.
Can you tell me what you have done to help South Carolina State since you heard of what has happened in South Carolina? Have you given back to the institution? Have you visited the institution? What have you done for South Carolina State?
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir, I have visited the institution. My daughter's graduating from Claflin in May of this year, so I just saw her yesterday. And I always have a chance to go through the campus.

Through my church, each year South Carolina State has a Youth Day. My church has participated in that. My family has also participated. When I say my family, my uncles -- and because I have a large amount of family members who have graduated from South Carolina State, I participated financially in South Carolina State. I supported the Charleston local chapter as a non-South Carolina State graduate, but I have supported the Chapter and also through my fraternity we participate also.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Which fraternity is that?
MR. JENKINS: Greatest one in the world: Omega Psi Phi.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I won't argue with you on that one.

(Laughter)
MR. JENKINS: I know you won't.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I have another question for you, and I'm not picking on you. It's just questions that we do ask when things do arise.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir, please.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I noticed on the pamphlet information we received -- Mr. Chairman, I'll wait to ask it a little later, if possible. I have a question I may want to ask you privately.
MR. JENKINS: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for your willingness to serve.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: I do want to ask you just a couple of questions.

First, always my concern and the look back of what we've seen the institution, and I am a graduate of the institution, a look back at what the institution has gone through and looking at candidates who have served on the Board, my question is debt service and where you are financially being able to serve on this Board.

Rather than individual track record indicate there is a pattern or history with individuals being able to make their day-to-day obligations and not end up with debt collections and those kinds of issues. Can you elaborate on that? Because what I'm looking at right now gives me a lot of concerns.
MR. JENKINS: Yes. I have been, as a businessman, I have previously been involved in some other business situations; but, again, I am a very liquid individual. At this time I intend to again donate to South Carolina State to the Board. So, yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: I'm really talking about your own personal. In looking at your SLED report and some other information before me, even looking at still some outstanding --
MR. JENKINS: No, sir, that is incorrect. That is incorrect.
SENATOR SCOTT: That's what we asked staff to look at. I'm looking at September 2015.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Jenkins, there is one outstanding lien with the Lake View Terrace Association.
MR. JENKINS: No, Ma'am. There is nothing. Ma'am, if anyone knows dealing with -- I have submitted all the information. That is incorrect. I have no -- as a licensed loan officer, I cannot even have any of those things.
MS. CASTO: Can you provide us --
MR. JENKINS: Yes.
MS. CASTO: We have -- all the other liens have been satisfied.
MR. JENKINS: Let me explain. The lady from SLED who called me, she was having trouble with the Berkeley County site and I was in a closing. And she said -- senior lady. She was having some issues. She said she would call me back. She called me back. I was in a meeting. I said, "Ma'am, I'm in a meeting, can you call me back?" She said she will. She never did. But I have any documentation to support anything.

I have been partnership in some businesses, and yes, they've had some issues. And those issues are resolved.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Jenkins, please understand, this is not about Mr. Jenkins. This is about the institution and making sure those individuals that we qualify from this Committee, those kinds of questions have to be asked.
MR. JENKINS: I expected them to be, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Until they are actually satisfied and we receive satisfactory information, it may require us to take a little different action.
MR. JENKINS: That's a fair assessment, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Just for the record, I believe that the questions that the Senator's asking, so that you understand, I know you were here earlier when we asked questions, if it shows up on any of the reporting that we get from staff, we do ask that every candidate that comes before us that may have anything that has not been satisfied, so I just wanted you to know, that was one of the questions I wanted to ask you later. Thank you.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

In consistency from the standpoint as far as the work that you do now, is there anything that would preclude you from being an active member of the Board if you became a member of the Board?
MR. JENKINS: No, sir. Nothing will preclude me.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You can dedicate the time and responsibility?
MR. JENKINS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Desire of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion that we wait to receive more information from Mr. Jenkins before we move forward with his approval.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Carry this one over?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Carry it over.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any discussion of the motion? Hearing none, we'll take to it a vote.

All in favor of carrying it over, raise your right hand. Thank you.

Mr. Jenkins, I think we have got some questions about some things that need some clearing up. I'm quite sure you can do that.
MR. JENKINS: Do you want me to provide it now, or how is that process done?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I believe in the past the staff has gotten with you and you will get the information. And it's not precluding you from being a part of the -- it's just that we have done it for other candidates. I don't want to make it seem as if myself and Senator Scott are doing anything special for South Carolina State. We want to make sure that everybody is on the same playing field.
MR. JENKINS: That's fair.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
MS. CASTRO: I'll be in touch.
MR. JENKINS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, David Rubin, Summerville.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. RUBIN: David M. Rubin.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. RUBIN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. RUBIN: Well, I'm here today because I think I have something to offer to the Board. And I'm responding to Senator Peeler and others who through The Post and Courier indicated there was a need for citizens to step forward who thought they could help the institution. So I thought, well, I'll put my hat in the ring and we'll see.

What I think I would bring to the Board, as I indicated in the paperwork, is 46 years in higher education at a pretty high level. Every not-for-profit Board needs a mix of people with different kinds of skills. And that is true of a university, as well.

And it is particularly true that a university Board needs on it people who understand this very peculiar business. And it is a business. It needs on it people who can help with admissions issues, enrollment issues, fundraising issues, construction issues, student relations issues, curriculum issues, these things will and should come before a Board.

And if a Board does not have on it people who really understand these issues and can ask the pertinent questions of the appropriate people at the right time who work for the institution, then the Board will not be able to help in the way that it needs to help.

So in my years, most recently, 18 years as a Dean at Syracuse University, I have dealt with every conceivable kind of issue that can come in front of a major university.

And I'm new to South Carolina. I've only lived here 14 months. I'm a Yankee. Not a Yankee fan. I'm a Yankee. I love it here. My wife and I love it here. We're glad we came. I'm not sure sometimes that everyone in South Carolina is happy about the flood of Northerners. But we're glad we came.

And I have the time to do this and the experience to do this. And so, Senator, that's why I'm sitting in front of you today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Your recollection, would you like to add or delete anything of the things you presented?
MR. RUBIN: No. I'm satisfied with what I presented in writing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions, comments? Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My question to you would be: Have you ever visited South Carolina State University?
MR. RUBIN: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You understand that it is considered an HBCU?
MR. RUBIN: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: My line of questioning in the past has been about diversity. What would you do to make sure that South Carolina, because of it being a historically black college and university, maintains its historic meaning, but also making sure that it is a diverse institution?
MR. RUBIN: It's a complicated question, and it's going to relate to issues of the niche that the university chooses to fill for students, both within South Carolina and outside South Carolina.

There is in the student body already, I notice a small percentage of students who are not African-American. I can imagine a Board of Trustees discussing the degree to which that percentage should go up because enrollment, as one of the revenue streams of tuition, is crucial.

I don't have a fixed opinion about that, but I think that it's going to be an important question.

It is also important because the total number of high school graduates in the United States, looking over the next 10 to 15-year period, is going down. This is a very serious problem for schools in the Northeast and the Plains states. It's less serious for South Carolina because the population here is increasing.

But it means that those schools are going to be trying to poach students from South Carolina. So this is a zero sum game. And South Carolina, overall the system in South Carolina, as well as South Carolina State, needs to decide what its niche is, how is it going to market itself to students? To what kind of students does it want to market itself?

And it needs to be able to present a narrative to students, high school students, as to why South Carolina State is the place for them.

And I think it has to go beyond the fact that it's an historically black school. It needs to relate to issues of curriculum. It needs to relate to issues of comfort level, to the kinds of people they will be in classes with, to the kinds of faculty that they will encounter.

I've run into all of this with students who are happy at institutions, who are unhappy at institutions, who decide to leave.

So that's a long answer to a question about diversity. And I'll just boil it down to say: It needs to remain an historically black school. It needs to serve that population. It needs to serve it better. I'm not sure it needs to only serve that population.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And my last question to you: There's a lot of conversation in my district in reference to certain areas of study that they have at South Carolina State and other schools targeted through CHE to try to duplicate those services. What would you do to ensure that we have the best technology and that we maintain the services that we have there at a cost that is affordable to the citizens of South Carolina to attend South Carolina State University?
MR. RUBIN: Representative, that also relates to the question of niche. What is the educational niche that South Carolina State is going to fill? You're quite right to note that duplicative programs that are offered by different units of the state system, they don't make a lot of sense.

And if you can figure out where you want to decide these campuses are going to do these things and do them well, and these campuses are going to do these things and do them well, then you can focus your resources and not spend a lot of money where you shouldn't.

One of the reasons American higher education overall is so expensive is that you have duplication of programs within the same campuses. And I've seen that at every institution that I've been at. And getting these institutions to change is very, very difficult. Everything you've heard about higher education and faculties is true. They are exceedingly conservative when it comes to themselves and getting anything to change.

But one of the discussions that the Board needs to have is this question of what is it that South Carolina State is going to offer that other branches of the state system are not going to offer or don't offer at the same level and can we afford to do it?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

Mr. Scott?
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Thank you, Dr. Rubin, for your willingness to serve. What do you really know about this institution? I mean, what I've heard, it's been so generic. More of operation as relates to faculty and instruction. The Board is about policy.

What do you really know about the institution? Its deferred maintenance, its capital needs, its cash flow. Do you know anything really about this institution?

I know you indicated -- I want to be as fair as I can with you because you indicate you've only been here about 14 months. You came last November. But what do you really, really know about this institution other than it's looking for Boards of Trustees?
MR. RUBIN: I know only what the website has made publicly available. I know what I've seen with my own eyes on the campus. I know what I have read in the archives of the Post and Courier about its recent history. I certainly know about recent Orangeburg Massacre. I've known about that since I was in college.

But my ability to get the kind of information that you seem to would want me to know at this point, I'm not -- other than individuals at the institution opening their books to me, and I don't know why they would, I don't know how I would get it.
SENATOR SCOTT: I think in fairness to you, if we were looking for an administrator, dean or even looking to open the process for someone to operate and manage the college, I think your credentials puts you right there.

But right now, in looking at the institution, looking for good policymakers, as you design on your Board certain people to chair certain portions of the college outside of curriculum, what's actually going on the campus, without already having some kind of knowledge base of going on it, it's going to take a little time to just kind of catch up.

And I was happy to hear about the things that you actually talked about, what you mentioned is, those things you offer that's different from other institutions.

But to know about just some basic stuff, student enrollment, capital needs, cash flow, deferred maintenance and those kinds of issues of policy issues that the Board would find itself in, and my question again, is: What do you know about any of those things other than the stuff you read on the website?
MR. RUBIN: I don't have any doubt about my ability to learn those things quickly. And I also assume that new Board members have some sort of onboarding process. I can't imagine putting people onto a Board of any not-for-profit institution and you drop them in cold and assume that they're going to figure it out.

So there needs to be -- and I assume there's an onboarding process. And I know how to ask questions. I have journalism in my background.
SENATOR SCOTT: I don't want to debate with you, but I'm more than sure if it's a Board that I want to serve on, I'm going to know some basic things about that institution, just basic being things about the institution.
MR. RUBIN: I know a lot of basic things.
SENATOR SCOTT: But you just told me stuff you read off the website.

Thank you, Dr. Rubin.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Dr. Rubin. I'm fascinated by the concept of building special places in higher ed. And I think one of your premises here, we shouldn't have a discounted value, but an appreciated value with potentially even a tuition increase.

I'd just ask you to elaborate on that because swimming upstream seems like a lot of us in a lot of different fields, whether it be higher ed or a lot of public sector activity, thinking outside the box, everybody else is thinking competitive student recruitment.

Retention will be based on affordability. And you're openly suggesting that tuition is -- education is undervalued based on tuition.
MR. RUBIN: Well, it could be. There is basically three revenue streams. One is tuition income. One is donations. One is state support. And as a subset of state support, if you're getting government research grants, then there's some soft money that can stick to the institution.

So the Board needs to look at all of those possible revenue streams. Tuition is one of them.

The first question I would need an answer to is: What is the true discounted tuition? That is, what are kids really paying at this point? The sticker price is low, as I indicated in my paperwork. The fact that it's low may mean that it can be raised without doing damage to enrollment.

The fact that enrollment isn't very good now and the tuition is low would seem to indicate that one is not helping the other. So it is possible that we're not testing the upper limit of what the tuition could be.

It is also the case that students tend to value more -- and I've seen this myself -- what they pay for. And that if they get something for nothing, they treat it as if it's worth nothing.

And so it is not -- it is counterintuitive, but it's not necessarily true that low tuition will attract students. And they may perceive that if the tuition is higher, they're paying more and they're also getting more.

Now, this is a science. And you need to test where you can raise the tuition and not hurt your enrollment. And I'm not sitting here today going to tell you what that price point is. But you're lucky in that the price point is already low because you have room to move up.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

I just want to briefly follow up on a couple of things, one because normally I would say how often you visit the campus. Question Number 6 you responded. With you being retired I would assume you would have the appropriate amount of time that's necessary to give if you were chosen to be a Board member?
MR. RUBIN: The only major commitment I have is a six-month old Shetland sheep dog puppy. And he's working out just fine. So I have the time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I wanted, just briefly if I could, to go back again to Question Number 6 and kind of follow up a little bit on the question that the Senator from Richland here, Senator Scott, asked about the campus and things. And obviously just from your response from Question 6, it appears, at least, that you spent some time at the university when you went there.

You're currently talking about the 2900 students currently enrolled there. You also talk about the attractive assets and the library of 50 years of age. Handsome. The Green Student Life Center is well located. The plaza outside is attractive, is welcoming. Students, quite impressive.

You also talked about the fitness facility where it was located and it was in good shape. So obviously you did a -- not a thorough but somewhat of a visitor's approach, I would assume, as if you were visiting and trying to give your insights as someone and you would see things, the assets and those things that need improvement. Would that be a fair characterization?
MR. RUBIN: Yes. I tried to look at the school as a parent would who is visiting with a child because that's where the recruitment and admissions is going to start, and asking myself: If I were a parent, what would I think will look pretty good? What didn't look pretty good? What can be done about it?

So I spent a good long time walking around, taking notes, going into buildings I'm not sure I was supposed to be in, poking around.

As I said, I have journalism in my background, and so getting back to Senator Scott, I learn quick. I promise you that, Senator Scott. I learn quick.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just wonder: Did you make any notation to anyone to share with them that the front door of Miller Hall should be replaced and things of that nature that seemed like would be very constructive, again from an outsider, someone coming to visit the campus for the first time, to see something that maybe folks that are there day-in and day-out would not, individuals day-in and day-out would not see?
MR. RUBIN: Did you ask whether I communicated that to anyone other than you on this Committee?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, sir.
MR. RUBIN: I did not. I would feel kind of embarrassed.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We'll get this to the right people.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My last question to you, Mr. Rubin, is: I'm right here. What would be -- besides your time, would there be a financial support to the college or to the university if you were a Board member?
MR. RUBIN: Two responses to that. My first question would be: I want to know if there is or is not going to be a requirement of Board members that they give. It's very common at universities and many not-for-profit organizations that there is such a requirement. So if there is at South Carolina State, of course, I would meet it.

Number 2, if there isn't, I think there should be. And so as a Board member, I would argue that that should be imposed on Board members.

And, three, whether there's a requirement or not, I would give, yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you for answering that question. And if I'm not mistaken from some of the Board members that I've spoken with, there has been a commitment from Board members to give back to the institution.
MR. RUBIN: What I mean is it should be in the bylaws that govern the operation of the Board. So that if it turns out you have Board members who aren't doing it, you have a way that you can remove them if you feel you need to do that. I've seen this on so many boards where people get on and they don't give, and it becomes very difficult to get them to give.

And I have given a considerable amount to Syracuse University, which was my most recent employer.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Rubin, talking about Syracuse and your experience with New York University, did you all have a Board of Regents, or did you have a Board of Trustees?
MR. RUBIN: Board of Trustees.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Board of Trustees. What was your interaction with the Board? Did you have any?
MR. RUBIN: I had a lot. A number of -- I had my own Board at the Newhouse School, which is public communications. Many of those Board members, such as say, one you would know, Mike Tirico, who just did the Olympics, they would graduate from our Board at the Newhouse School to the big Board, which is the Syracuse University Board. So, many of those people on the Syracuse University Board I worked with because they were on my Board.

Number two, as a Dean, we often had to make presentations to the Board on various kinds of issues.

When we were building our third building, the Board wanted to know regularly how it was coming and who the architects were and fundraising and so on. So I interacted with them a lot there.

And I was in many social settings with them, whether it was athletic events or dinners or whatever. And a lot of them are personal friends. So, yes, I understand the boards and how they work.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So with your experience, you know what it takes to be a good Board member?
MR. RUBIN: Say that again, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: With your experience, you know what it is to be a good Board member?
MR. RUBIN: I do know what it takes to be a good Board member. I have been, I think, a good Board member at WCNY Television in central New York and at Syracuse Opera. And I have taught a graduate course on Journalism in the Arts, in which I teach students what it is that boards are supposed to do and what boards are not supposed to do because boards can get into trouble when they think that they run an institution, you know, day-to-day, as opposed to overseeing an institution. And some people don't get the difference. And then you can get into a lot of trouble.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.

Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Rubin, I'm glad you cleared that up. You do understand the distinction between the two. Admin folk, faculty don't understand that.

One good question. Tell me a little bit about your fundraising capacity, the 30 million that you raised for the new building, another 50 million you raised as Dean over the 18 years. Was it grant funding? Was it corporate? Tell me a little bit about how that process worked.
MR. RUBIN: Oh, it was a combination of gifts from -- mostly gifts from major media institutions because that's where the Newhouse School's wheel house is.

It was also an increasing annual fund from alumni.

Almost none of it -- none of it is government. And the reason none of it is government is the First Amendment, which is you don't really want government involved in a private institution and one that is teaching free press issues. So we kept our fundraising to private companies and individuals.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Chair.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? What is the desire of the committee? Motion, second, any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote.

All in favor, raise your right hand. Thank you.

Thank you, sir.
MR. RUBIN: Thank you for the opportunity. I enjoyed it.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman, as Dr. Rubin is retiring, I would just ask for maybe just a nod of the head: Do you think Jim Boeheim regrets the move to the ACC? Just a nod of the head.
MR. RUBIN: Jim Boeheim was public about it at the time that he was not happy, that he was sorry the Big East had broken up. And he knew he was in for trouble like Duke and North Carolina and the others every year, and it's proven to be true. We are not very good anymore, I'm sorry to say.
SENATOR VERDIN: There's another color orange, there's another shade of orange you can wear.
MR. RUBIN: On the other hand, I want you to remember who it was that beat Clemson in football this year.

(Laughter)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Three strikes.

(Laughter)
SENATOR VERDIN: Motion to reconsider.
MR. RUBIN: My wife has been wearing her Syracuse stuff around town. She was stopped by many people who it turns out don't like Clemson. Maybe they went other places. And so they thanked her for Syracuse having beaten Clemson. I guess I'm on thin ice right now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm a frustrated comedian. I'm trying my best to not make light of it. But you started off first by saying you're a Yankee.

(Laughter)

Then you said you were a journalist.

(Laughter)

And now you say you're a Syracuse Big Orange and beat my Tigers?
SENATOR VERDIN: And he and his wife haven't been much more further north than Summerville.

(Laughter.)

You did get out more? I know you made to it Orangeburg, but you didn't get on up.
MR. RUBIN: We play Clemson at Clemson in September of this coming year. And we're going to go. I want the experience. See how it goes. And it'll probably be about 60 to nothing. But we're going to go.

Senator Peeler, I hope it's not three strikes and I'm out.

(Laughter)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm just teasing you. I truly appreciate your willingness to serve in this daunting task. Thank you.
MR. RUBIN: Thank you all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Monica Scott from Charleston.

How do you do, Ma'am? For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. SCOTT: It's Monica R. Scott.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Raise your hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. SCOTT: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?

MS SCOTT: Yes. I applied for this position. I've been in Charleston for probably 40 some years. I worked at the College of Charleston for 38 years. Fervent advocate of public higher education in the State of South Carolina.

I worked my way through the institution, setting precedents, started an Institutional Research and Strategic Planning. And for the last probably 28 years or more have been Vice President for Facilities Planning at the institution.

I've worked a lot nationally with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, on visiting committees of various colleges going through the information.

I have worked for a lot of -- well, several nonprofit boards that I'm still on, such as the Food Bank, People Against Rape, YMCA.

In my position at the college, it's talking about working with Board of Trustees, I've been the staff liaison to the Facilities Committee of the College of Charleston Board of Trustees probably for the last 20 years. So I have experience in that.

So I think the combination of my education and my experience puts me in a good position to be of benefit to South Carolina's State Board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff? Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything you'd like to add or delete to your paperwork?
MS. SCOTT: No.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments from those on the committee? Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Can you tell me a little bit about your fundraising ability?
MS. SCOTT: My fundraising ability has really been very limited in terms of my position at the College of Charleston. I would participate with the fundraising folks when we were soliciting funds for facilities, mainly.

A lot of my fundraising hasn't been necessarily private donations, but I've worked with the private sector of the City of Charleston on various -- several large, large private/public partnerships, which I think is an important revenue stream for everyone to look at in higher education.

We did one that produced a parking garage and a joint use facility, a residence hall. A second one, major city block was another private/public enterprise that we did, which is a combination of parking, residence halls, food facilities, and retail space.

So, once again, fundraising, I guess you can look at it in various ways besides just private donations and solicitation.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: When was the last time you were on South Carolina State's campus?
MS. SCOTT: Probably it's been a couple years, two years or so. My visits have been limited to professional meetings that have taken place there.

Earlier, things with my children, if they would have events held there. So probably it's been a couple years.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And my last question is: What do you think is two of the major needs for South Carolina State University?
MS. SCOTT: Oh, gosh.

The major needs are probably very similar to a lot of other institutions in terms of deferred maintenance, diversifying revenue streams, which is why I brought up the public/private partnerships that have been very important to all higher education, particularly public higher education.

I think it's getting there, but I think that the public relations issues that it has incurred over the last, whatever, 10, 15, 10 years or so is a huge roadblock that it needs to turn around.

I think it has, because if you look at the change in enrollment, it dropped, as you all were mentioning, over the last 10 years enormously, over 40 percent.

But if you look at last year versus the year before, it's down to a little over 2 percent. So I think the institution is turning that around.

But it's facing the same thing in terms of revenue streams as other colleges and public colleges and universities in this state and in this nation, which is declining enrollments.

And I think it needs to probably, in terms of maintaining its historically black role in higher education in the State of South Carolina, perhaps needs -- I think there's about 80 some percent is in-state. And maybe it needs to look at increasing that out-of-state a little bit more.

And the other thing it may now need to consider is it played such a huge important role to the African-American community from the late 1800s forward in terms of extension programs and providing a public higher education option for that population.

And I think we need to take a look at what other populations that have been underserved that are growing in this state, whether it's Hispanic, whether it's any other underserved or minority population, maybe take a look at its role.

It's done so well over the years with the African-American community in terms of creating and providing great higher education opportunities, perhaps it can continue that legacy in a similar manner with other emerging minority populations in the state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Ms. Scott, for your willingness to serve. I want to pick up where you just ended.

What about the majority population, especially within that Orangeburg Region as we move for a more diverse school?

I'm not going to ask one institution to be more diverse and staff and faculty and not look at historical black colleges, too, and those things that you think it can do to attract majority students to the institution because even when I was there in the early '70s, I mean early '70s, there were majority students or white students going to the institution.

And since this college is becoming more regional in concept, as you indicated -- you retired from College of Charleston. That's been one of its issues trying to attract as many folks as it can in the region because of costs associated with it.

Tell me what you would do as a Board member to try to attract more white students to come to the institution and so you have a good diverse group on the campus.
MS. SCOTT: I could agree with you in terms of diversity. I think all of us would -- that that is essential for a good education, whether it's socially or academically.

To attract that population, I just think it needs to focus on some of the unique programs that it has. The business degrees dealing with the agricultural orientation. I think focusing on education is enormously important in terms of being attractive to all populations, be it --
SENATOR SCOTT: What would you do different than an African-American who was running for this Board and to assist the College and the President in trying to attract white students to come to the institution?

Because they're within that region of Orangeburg, Bamberg, Allendale, a good number of students.

I know that you're competing with Claflin, Voorhees and some other schools in the region. What would you do different?

I'm glad to see you spent 38 years in higher education, so you got a pretty good handle on what's going on in our education, especially coming out of Charleston, but now trying to attract some of the students who normally, based on SATs and the College of Charleston, getting in the class ranking and things of that nature, they've got to go somewhere else, UFC is right up the road, its SAT requirements are just as high.

Give me some examples. I know it's kind of putting you on the spot a little bit.
MS. SCOTT: That's okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: Give me some thinking patterns. That's what we're going to end up with, a regional college based on cost.
MS. SCOTT: I think that's the reality that you will and you should.

To attract a more diverse population, besides looking at the other, which I've already hit on, to get to your question of attracting more majority populations, besides emphasizing the diverse or uniqueness of some of your programs, I think you need to look at financial aid, which is important. It's important to every school. Increasing financial aid opportunities that will attract a more diverse population.

Looking out-of-state. I know you specifically asked about the Orangeburg area. But the reality is that I think South Carolina State needs to look at other areas, as well, whether it's out-of-state -- and I understand there's always a fine line between staying true to serving the population of South Carolina since it is a state-supported school; but, once again, you have the opportunity to have a bigger pool of people that you can recruit. You also have the luxury of increased tuition with those out-of-state students.
SENATOR SCOTT: The mission of these institutions -- and we've hit pretty hard on these institutions -- is to educate South Carolina students.
MS. SCOTT: Correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: Not necessarily to educate in-state students -- not necessarily bringing in all of these out-of-state students. That's our mission.

But as we look here at creating more diverse boards, whether it's HBCU or what they call "The Big Three" or just a basic college that has been a majority of schools, looking at that -- and I know I didn't give you a whole lot of time to put that thought together, but if we're going to create more diverse boards, especially with HBCUs, that has got to be one of the issues up front that we talk about, especially as we deal with race and culture and comfort and growth and especially a curriculum, as well.

Thank you, Ma'am.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Come on up.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

With your background and experience, you have the time and the ability to contribute what would be needed to be an effective Board member?
MS. SCOTT: Absolutely. As I noted in my paperwork, I retired actually effective February 4th after 38 years at the college. So I certainly do have the time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Made sure I had that in the record.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion in favor? Second? Any discussion? If not, take the vote. Raise your right hand. Thank you so much.
MS. SCOTT: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next we have 2nd Congressional District, Seat 2. First one? Hamilton Grant from Columbia.

How do you do, sir?
MR. GRANT: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name?
MR. GRANT: Sure. Hamilton Richburg Grant.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Swear you in.

Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. GRANT: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. GRANT: Sure. My name is Hamilton Richburg Grant, and I am a proud graduate of South Carolina State University. I've seen firsthand what a world class education from South Carolina State can do not only for me and my family but for fellow graduates all across the country.

I believe South Carolina State is a tremendous institution that seeks to serve the students of South Carolina, and it is a tremendous part of the South Carolina culture.

And as a Board of Trustees member, I will do everything humanly possible to be the best Board member that I can and to serve in that area.

And I am very appreciative of you all's commitment and your time. And I look forward to your questions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff? Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything you need to add or delete from the paperwork?
MR. GRANT: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Question or comments? Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Grant, you understand the importance of having South Carolina State in our state. Can you tell me when was the last time you visited South Carolina State?
MR. GRANT: Sure. I was on the campus earlier this month for the 50th commemoration of the Orangeburg Massacre.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Would you tell me what would be your commitment as a member -- let me back up. If you become a member of the South Carolina State Board of Trustees, or if not, would there be a commitment from you to give back to the college? Or have you given back to the university?
MR. GRANT: Absolutely. There's a strong commitment to give back not only fiscally but morally.

Since the day I graduated, I've made it a point to frequently visit the campus and also stay in contact with students who are on the campus as far as the Student Government Association.

I've done several discussions at the campus, and I am leading an effort right now that has the support of the President, the National Alumni Association President, and the school's Foundation President to put together a fundraising effort that specifically targets students -- I mean, not students, alums under the age of 40 because I believe that there is an untapped market with alums and giving back in that age group.

And so I want to do the best that I can to help cultivate that culture of giving, of also giving to the school.

I am an Alumni Association member with Columbia. And I have given with the school's effort for Giving Tuesdays.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Can you tell me, first of all, I'm really impressed with what you have said thus far.
MR. GRANT: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: But can you tell me what would be -- will you be able to -- I'm taking one of my colleagues' questions.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: That's okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: What do you believe in reference to diversity -- as we understand, I'm a graduate of an HBCU, as well.
MR. GRANT: Sure.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: But as we live in a global society --
MR. GRANT: Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- what do you believe is or how important is diversity on most HBCU campuses? And, more specifically, South Carolina State University?
MR. GRANT: Sure. I believe diversity is extremely important. Even when I was there, the campus was diverse. There wasn't just African-American students or white students.

And I believe in diversity. It goes more than just race. You have age diversity. You have ethnic diversity. So I believe that is represented.

We can always do more. But I believe in terms of the diversity on the Board of Trustees, it's needed. Especially, in my opinion, with age diversity.

I think students and alums like to follow the lead of people who necessarily reflect them in their views, in their values. And so I believe part of that is in diversity.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
MR. GRANT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Grant?
MR. GRANT: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: You are part of that young growing group of students that we're trying to reach.
MR. GRANT: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: You've come through that group in 2011.
MR. GRANT: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what are some of your suggestions that the University needs to do in terms of getting young folk interested in South Carolina State?

I know what the rich history, the legacy. Your father went to the institution. You've gone to the institution. I've gone to the institution.

But somehow or another -- I know there's a gap with young people sharing an interest coming back to that institution, and especially not just African-American but also white students, as well, because we've had them on the campus before.

And before we leave, we will probably interview some others who are graduates of that institution.

Give me some of your thinking, your thoughts, your thought pattern of what you think we can do to get them back on the campus again.
MR. GRANT: Sure. I believe morale plays a huge part in recruiting some students. I think morale and messaging and also money. We have to be ambassadors for South Carolina State. Not only just on a Trustee role but as graduates, as shareholders of the university. People will not go to the university if you're continuously saying bad things about it.

And so I think there are some opportunities where we can take advantage of our in-state students who are high school graduates. I have some ideas in how to reach them because I think in order to get that generation, it's not going to be enough to go off of our relatives' stories of when they were on campus; I think we have to go to them and make it relative to where we are now.

So I think as the institution looks to recruit new students, I think we should go out into these high schools, go out into these various regions of South Carolina and bring that South Carolina, or as we say in Bulldog Country, that old SC Spirit into these high schools and show them hey, this is a world-class institution, this is what you can get here. And here are some of the stories and testimonies of people who have graduated from the school.
SENATOR SCOTT: Do you have the time to do that? You're a young businessman --
MR. GRANT: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT -- trying to earn a living. Do you have time do that?
MR. GRANT: Yes, sir. The service of this institution is extremely important to me. And so I personally have that time commitment, yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Ms. Henderson.
REP. HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you so much, Mr. Grant, for your willingness to serve. Especially young people better -- giving back to their community. It means a lot.

I thought you had some really good ideas in your written statements. And I wanted to ask you. I thought your idea about ROTC was actually a really good one.

Were you in the ROTC when you were there?
MR. GRANT: No, Ma'am. I was part of the Marching 101 band. I served as drum major for two years. So being in that band and interacting with the students, fraternity brothers who were in the ROTC program, I know what the ROTC program means to South Carolina State and what it does for our state.
REP. HENDERSON: Mr. King wanted me to ask you what fraternity you were in.
MR. GRANT: Omega Psi Phi.

(Laughter)

And if I may, as a part of our efforts in South Carolina State in just what our fraternity and all fraternities and sororities, what it means to South Carolina State University, next month our local chapter at the campus, which I am a member of, we will be embarking on the Chapter's 90th Year of Existence at South Carolina State. And part of our Chapter's initiative is to have a capital campaign that raises $90,000 to give to the university. And so far we've reached over $50,000.
REP. HENDERSON: That's great. I appreciate that.

Well, I think the ROTC idea is a good one. And things that, you know, I have been on this Board for about five years or so, getting to see some of these smaller colleges and universities in the state try to struggle with, you know, how do we make ourselves attractive to students?

We can't compete with Clemson and Carolina, but we can compete with Lander and Winthrop and other schools to find a niche, educational program or something that makes them attractive and different from other schools. And I think that's a really, really good idea.

And I wanted to ask you about one other thing, and that is I noticed that when you got out of school, you worked briefly at the Investment Commission?
MR. GRANT: Yes, Ma'am. I did a summer internship. And also right after my graduation from South Carolina State, I moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where I got my MBA at Alabama A&M.

But I think it's important to note while I was there, I had the opportunity to work in the Office of the President. So I understand how that relationship between the President and the Board of Trustees and your admissions office, registrar's office, all of those, all those entities and offices work to make the university the best that it can be.

There's a distinct difference between micromanaging and vision casting. And I don't believe it's the university's role to micromanage the day-to-day operations, but to set forth the goals of the institution for years to come.
REP. HENDERSON: Very good.

Mr. Chairman, I know there might be some other questions, but I'd like to make a motion at the appropriate time to recommend Mr. Grant.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis had a question.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

And thank you, Mr. Grant, for your willingness to serve. It's refreshing to see young people willing to serve their state and serve their alma mater. So thank you for what you're doing.

I did have one question for you, though.
MR. GRANT: Sure.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: If you were elected to the Board of Trustees, what is the first thing that you would do?
MR. GRANT: The first thing I would do is to reach out to our constituents to see how we can gain new partnerships.

I know we talk a lot about funding. Partnerships is huge. So if we can reach out to some new partners, get some new funds into the institution, that's one of the first things I would like to do.

As well as working on morale. I think morale is a constant effort with the university. We have to rebrand ourselves as the premier institution not only as HBCU but a premier institution in the State of South Carolina.

Those are some of the things I'm already working on, and I can't wait to work on once I get on the Board.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay, great. Thank you.
MR. GRANT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. Saved the tough question for last. What kind of instrument did you used to play?
MR. GRANT: Trombone.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Trumpet man here.
MR. GRANT: The mouthpiece was too small for me.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I've got to say I've seen 101 several times. Man, you guys are good. Most entertaining band I've ever been around.
MR. GRANT: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you for that and thank you for your willingness to serve as a young person. I know that's been echoed several times. This is what the state's been needing.
MR. GRANT: Thank you for your commitment and your service to the state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion? Second? Any other discussion? Hearing none. I'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you.
MR. GRANT: Thank you all so much.

Next, Travis Johnson from Warrenville.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. JOHNSON: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. JOHNSON: Travis Tavaris Johnson.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. JOHNSON: Travis Johnson. I'm a 2005 graduate of Claflin University. Computer science program. I am originally from Aiken, South Carolina. I currently stay in Warrenville.

I have been working in higher ed almost 10 years now, between three different universities. I have worked in state government before. And just looking to serve on a higher level as far as public service.

I think South Carolina State not only plays a wider role in the HBCU community but also plays a vital role in the higher education community. And not only in South Carolina but globally and regionally.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Paperwork is in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything you'd like to add or subtract from your paperwork?
MR. JOHNSON: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Ms. Davis?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your willingness to serve on the South Carolina State University Board. As a computer science graduate and I see that you are currently the Chief Technology Officer at Newberry College, is that correct?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, Ma'am, it is.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Have you looked at the systems in place, the computer systems in place and the applications in place and all the IT infrastructure that's in place at South Carolina State University to determine what recommendations you would make there?
MR. JOHNSON: Well, I do know -- the answer to that is no. But I do know that most state-supported schools, especially in South Carolina, are using a Banner System. They are using an Oracle-based system. I pretty much know that most South Carolina schools are using Cisco products for its switches and Cisco APs.

If I'm elected to the Board, yes, I am available to make recommendations across-the-board.

My background, I grew up -- obviously I grew up having a liking to computers and engineering; but my professional background, I have done networks. I am a trained DBA also. So as far as using my expertise for the Board, I can bring that expertise, including vendor negotiations, if possible.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Do you have any visions for growing the computer science program or the engineering programs at South Carolina State?
MR. JOHNSON: I do. I think one of the things with higher education across-the-board, particularly with our programs, is that we got to have -- I always say we always have to have flexibility with the programs; meaning, that maybe a student may want to take certain courses at night. They may want to take courses part-time. They may even want to take courses online.

Maybe that could be a path that we can do with the program also, too.

But I think to grow the program, I think we definitely have to continually to add -- like in the coding business or computer science field, I think you have to continue to add more courses that are dealing with coding.

Like I know some schools, we may be C-sharp or C++, but we got to add jQuery or we got to add some SQL, sequel structure language. We've got to continue to develop those programs.

If I'm elected to the Board, I'm more than willing to look at the curriculums and make professional recommendations to what the industry may want to see as far as in the computer science graduate or computer engineering graduate.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay, thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King? Mr. Scott? Senator Alexander?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And in your role with your work there at Newberry, would there be any issue with you being able to attend and do what's necessary as an active effective Board member?
MR. JOHNSON: No. There will be no issue at all.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable? Seconded. Any other discussion? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you for your willingness to serve, sir.
MR. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have Yolanda Dortch from North Augusta.

How do you do, Ma'am?
MS. DORTCH: How are you?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. DORTCH: Yolanda, Y-O-L-A-N-D-A, Dortch, D-O-R-T-C-H.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Swear you in.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. DORTCH: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. DORTCH: I will. I would like to start off, I'm Yolanda Dortch currently from North Augusta, South Carolina, raised in Aiken, South Carolina.

And I would like to serve on the South Carolina State Board because I'm a firm believer that every student should have the opportunity to have a quality education and to get a degree, whether it's at an HBCU or not at a HBCU.

I currently have a son that attends South Carolina State University. So this opportunity to represent South Carolina State as on the Board of Trustees is a huge deal to my heart.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Ms. Dortch, I do have one question. You currently serve on the Aiken County Voter Registration and Election Board. If elected to serve on the South Carolina State, would you resign that Board?
MS. DORTCH: The Board is -- I'm an employee of the Aiken County Voter Registration Board.
MS. CASTO: You do not serve?
MS. DORTCH: I run the elections.
MS. CASTO: Okay, thank you.
MS. DORTCH: You're welcome.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon. Thank you for being here. And so in that capacity of being a county employee, would there be any impact or your ability to be at Board meetings and attend other things that would be necessary for you to do as a Board member?
MS. DORTCH: No, sir. There would be not be any interference with my full-time position.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Would you tell me, Ms. Dortch, which specialty would you actually bring to the Board? I've heard, IT, I've heard marketing, I've heard finance. What expertise would you actually bring to the Board, and some of the changes you'd be able to make with the expertise that you do have?
MS. DORTCH: One of the expertise that I will bring to the South Carolina Board of Trustees is me having the experience of being currently a parent of two college students. Like I stated earlier, one is actually a first-year senior there at South Carolina State majoring in mechanical engineering. And me being a parent, that's on the outside looking in. I understand what South Carolina State has been through that they have gotten successfully gotten over the issues. But I would bring being able to have the outside influence as a parent.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want you to keep in mind the Board is about policy.
MS. DORTCH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Making sure student enrollment is up, financial, finances in order, audits, SACS, we maintain SACS approval; and even, from time to time, interviewing for a new President. Are any of those particular areas that you may have some expertise in?
MS. DORTCH: Yes, sir. My current role with the Aiken County Voter Registration, I have a budget that I control $500,000 per year dealing with that budget.

Also, as far as hiring the President, things of that sort, is always I have staff that I have to hire who are very familiar with policies and procedures as, like I say, with my current role with running the elections, of course there is a lot of policies and procedures and laws we have to follow with that.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My question is -- and you probably heard me ask this question previously. I'm looking for Board members who are also committed financially to the institution.
MS. DORTCH: Yes, sir.
MR. KING: Would you be a Board member that would be committed financially to the institution?

Ms. DORTCH: Yes, sir. I actually have a lot of family members and friends that are graduates and also myself that donate annually to South Carolina State University.

And I also get onto my family and my friends that are alumnis to make sure that they are donating to the university.

And also stay on to my son to whenever he does his summer internships, that every summer you are to donate back to your university because without your university, you are not who you are.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
MS. DORTCH: You're welcome.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? In favor? Second? Any discussion? None. Take it for the vote.

Thank you, Ma'am.
MS. DORTCH: Thank you all.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have 3rd Congressional District, Seat 3. Daniel Varat, Piedmont.
MR. VARAT: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon, stranger. How are you? For the record, give us your full name.
MR. VARAT: Daniel R. Varat.
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. VARAT: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. VARAT: Thank you for having me today. I'm excited to have this opportunity, and I hope that I can move forward and help this University and the state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything you would like to add or delete to the paperwork?
MR. VARAT: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions? Comments? Now's your chance. He's under oath.
SENATOR VERDIN: Temptation.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Being no discussion? Motion is? Seconded? Any other discussion? Take it to a vote. All in favor. Oh, Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I was just going to comment. In the many years that I've known Dr. Varat, sure, we've seen him here in the public policy arena, but I know where his passions lie. His passions are in higher education. He's not only been a consummate scholar himself, he's been -- and I haven't even taken the time to look through here very closely, but I know that you've been drawn both in immediate and distant past and to the academic realm adjunct scholar, professorships. I know that you've demonstrated nothing but the highest ideals and aspirations for all South Carolinians as long as I've known you. I appreciate that about the candidate.
MR. VARAT: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Who's next?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I do have one quick question for you: What is the Interagency Coordinating Council?
MR. VARAT: That is the Advisory Council that oversees Babynet.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Oh, okay.
MR. VARAT: It is about 17 people large. And it is a policy advisory but with no real teeth, so to speak, for a policymaking board.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Is that at the state level then?
MR. VARAT: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Can you tell me the last time you visited South Carolina State University?
MR. VARAT: I have not been to South Carolina State. I have tried to get down a couple times with Steve Swanson, who is a current Board member, but will be rolling off in July. I talked to President Clark two or three or four different times on the phone and in person, but I have not yet gotten to visit.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: He's gone now, so time commitment. If you have not visited the institution and have not been able to get down there, what is your time commitment to the University?
MR. VARAT: I will be able and available to be there for all meetings or any other activities.

I have, as you might imagine, discussed this with the person that employs me directly right now, and he's fully aware of the time commitment, not just for posted Board meetings or posted activities but other, perhaps ad hoc activities that may arise. He's fully supportive of my ability to be available for the institution, barring any emergency in his office.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: The thing that you will hear on this committee from Senator Scott and myself is we understand the importance of diversity. And so we've not only with the student body, we do agree, both of us, that diversity on our Boards of Trustee, we need to have diversity on our Boards of Trustees, as well.

And beyond that, how do you see yourself being able to facilitate diversity on the campus? And in what aspect would you play or what role would you play in making sure that we have a diverse campus?
MR. VARAT: I believe that one thing that I can bring to this Board is as a non-graduate, a non-resident of Orangeburg, I'm an upstate native and I still live there. Also the obvious racial diversity brings a perspective that not only can help inform the university as it makes its mission to become more diverse or part of its mission to become more diverse but also to give it a perspective that is not necessarily one that grew up within the university or within the local community.

It's important -- the university's important to the entire state. The university's important to every South Carolinian. And having some voices that aren't necessarily born and raised in either the community or the university helps reflect the importance of the university to others in the state who are not closely connected to it.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And my last question. With many universities, being an outsider, meaning nothing dealing with race, but being a non-graduate of South Carolina State -- and it goes for all institutions -- a lot of their alum, they think that an outsider may not always have or understand the inner workings of the institution. What would you do to assure the graduates of South Carolina State, the students and the faculty, that you will work with them and try to understand where they are and where they are wanting to go?
MR. VARAT: There's no question that there will be a process of familiarization that I'm going to need to undergo, and I know that.

Going back to your question of time commitment, of course, the person I work for knows that I'll need to be on campus more than just the Board meeting or the two hours of the Board meeting on a given day. It's my goal to be there in a way that is not at a structured Board meeting time or maybe even at a structured activity time but to, with the help of administration, meet some faculty, meet some students, find out more about what their perspective is so that it informs me as someone who's trying to help from a governance perspective.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And remembering the, I guess, the cultural aspect of the institution, how will you ensure that people, graduates and students and faculty and staff understand that you understand what South Carolina State was established for; and as they move forward, maintaining that?
MR. VARAT: Individuals at the university that I interact with, faculty, staff, students, just community members are going to have to hear from me as I go through the process of familiarization that I, for lack of a better term, "get it," what the university's there for, where it's been, the patch it's going through now -- and it's emerging back into a place of health and vitality -- that I can understand that continuum and that I can share a vision for a prosperous future for the university.
They're just going to have to hear it from me as I learn. And they will have to become confident that I'm learning, I'm taking it in, and that I'm making that information part of what informs me when I make decisions at a Board level.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I ask you those questions, as you know, we're keeping a record. And I'm pretty sure that members of the South Carolina State community will reflect back on this. And I want them to know that once you are elected or during the election process, that they have someone who will at least be open-minded enough to sit down and talk to those folk. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any others?

Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Dr. Varat. Good to see you as well as stepping up to the plate to serve the institution. I've known you for a long time.

Share with me some of your ideas on going on this Board. And I also know that you put some thought into this thing because you don't just automatically do something. Tell me where your thought pattern is and what you think you can accomplish going on this Board.
MR. VARAT: Thank you, Senator. As I was mentioning to Representative King a second ago, that the institution, South Carolina State University, is important to the entire state, not just the community of Orangeburg, not just to its current faculty and staff and alumni; it's important to this entire state that this university continue to move forward out of its recent --
SENATOR SCOTT: Financial --
MR. VARAT -- financial difficulties and continue to move ahead and become a strong institution, not only for the individuals of South Carolina that it's traditionally served, but to a growing population that comes from a more diverse background and feeds into the university.

The university has a place among the four-year comprehensive colleges in this state: Lander, Winthrop, whomever; and it needs to regain that footing so that it can serve alongside those other institutions, but in its own way.

Some things that I think I could tell you the things I would like to work on that I think will be important to the university: Faculty and student recruitment and retention. In many ways, at that most fundamental level, the problems for many colleges are not that different from K-12. You need to attract and retain good, competent faculty. And that leads to your ability or helps in your ability to recruit and retain quality students. Those are two things that I have firsthand experience with, and so that's one place I'd like to start.

I think it's important that the university be able to recruit and retain students who don't have to carry a debt load that's much higher than the national average.

I think it's important that they recruit and retain students who can graduate in a four-year timeframe closer to the national average than they do now.

All those things are sort of the fundamental building blocks to put the university back on the solid footing that it once enjoyed, and those are the kinds of things that I think my experience, both practical and in terms of thinking about it as a policy person, that's where I can be most helpful, at least at the start of a potential tenure.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? What's the desire of the Committee? Motion, in favor, second. Take it to a vote. Raise your right hand. Thank you.

Thank you, sir.
MR. VARAT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all.   CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, South Carolina State University, 4th Congressional District, Seat 4. First, Zandra L. Johnson from Greenville.

Ms. Johnson, if you would come forward, please. Make sure that the light is burning green so we can hear you.
MS. JOHNSON: It is.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

For the record, would you give us your full name.
MS. JOHNSON: Zandra Lynn Johnson.
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?
MS. JOHNSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. JOHNSON: I suppose.

I'm Zandra Johnson. I'm from Greenville, South Carolina. I'm a lifelong resident of Greenville County, having only not resided there during the time I attended South Carolina State and during the time I attended law school in New York, as well as working for Jim Clyburn in DC. Other than that, I am a lifelong South Carolina resident.

I am a single mother of two children and a grandchild and delighted to be here. And thank you for the opportunity to be heard before you today.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Staff, is her paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Ms. Johnson did state in her information that she still owes federal taxes from 2014, 2016.

But you are making payments with an installment plan?
MS. JOHNSON: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: Okay. And on her SLED, you will see there are several charges, but she was pardoned in 2017.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do we have any questions or comments?

Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And, Ms. Johnson, the questions I'm about to ask you are questions that we ask everyone in reference to -- that has something on there.
Can you tell me a little bit about -- on your credit report, we see that you have an outstanding $213 for Charter Communications. Do you know anything about that?
MS. JOHNSON: For Charter, that is in dispute. That is from the return of equipment at the end of a lease, the equipment for which I purchased. It was a router.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. Can you tell me, why do you want to serve on the board?
MS. JOHNSON: Well, it's a personal passion of mine, and it's basically because I believe in the mission of South Carolina State University, which is to produce students who are socially aware, highly skilled, and competent. As a result of my education at South Carolina State University, I have become a totally different person. I have trusted South Carolina State with both my education as well as that of my daughter that graduated in 2013.

And just being at South Carolina State itself was an exposure to a different type of life and a different -- I guess, a different world of opportunities that -- of which I knew nothing prior to attending South Carolina State as a first-generation college student.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Ms. Johnson, one thing that I look for when I, you know, talk to people who want to be on college boards, university boards, is your time commitment to the university. Would you have the time to commit to this position? And financially would you be able to give to the university as well?
MS. JOHNSON: Certainly. I have given to the university in the past and expect to continue doing so whether I end up with a seat on the board or not.

I also have the time to commit to the board and have actually withdrawn myself from consideration for other boards to clear up time for this board. This is actually the only board I've had to actually apply for. All of the others, I was recruited for those. So this is definitely a passion of mine.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: What do you believe in reference to diversity -- we understand that South Carolina State is an HBCU, but to give our students at South Carolina State a well-rounded education, what do you believe in diversity there on campus in reference to students as well as facility and staff?
MS. JOHNSON: I believe that any university offered in this age and time should be diverse regardless of its history and tradition. I do value its history and tradition as an HBCU, but I also understand that our world is becoming one that is much more diverse and that exposure to different cultures and different people from different walks of life, whether it's racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic, is highly important to the success of any university.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning, Ms. Johnson.
MS. JOHNSON: Good morning.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want to go back to some of 1989, and there is a series of things that transpired. What in the world was going on in 1989, Ms. Johnson?
MS. JOHNSON: Well --
SENATOR SCOTT: You were busy. I, mean, you know, we --
MS. JOHNSON: I --
SENATOR SCOTT: You got it taken care of, but --
MS. JOHNSON: I certainly understand.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- what in the world was going on?
MS. JOHNSON: Well, in the period of nineteen, I guess, eighty-nine -- 1989 is when I graduated from Hillcrest High School.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MS. JOHNSON: I lived with my grandmother until graduation. And the series of events that you're talking about occurred when I went to live with my mother in Piedmont Manor, which is a housing -- a low-income housing project in Greenville.

I have always told myself that your environment doesn't influence you, but I do believe on that occasion it had something to do with it. Obviously, I make my own decisions, and some of those decisions were bad, and I recognize that, which is why I rectified that by participating in the community service that I do and tell my story whenever given an opportunity to do so.

But there was nothing --
SENATOR SCOTT: And in '92, we picked up the same habit again.
MS. JOHNSON: Well, I can tell you about what happened in 1992. In 1992, I was at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center in Nicholtown. There was a ruckus. I do not believe that I did anything wrong, but I was in college, and I did not intend on wasting a semester away from school to fight.

And it was, if I'm not mistaken, probably something that said inciting a riot. Or at least when it was originally charged, I think --
SENATOR SCOTT: This is a shoplifting.
MS. JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. I did do that.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. JOHNSON: So really, honestly, I can't even give you an answer for that.
SENATOR SCOTT: And then in July of '94, I think --
MS. JOHNSON: That's the one at Phyllis Wheatley?
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.

Ms. Johnson, you know, when I look at a pardon, I -- there is a person who believes in second chances. I'm the second-chance guy. You've got kids that you're going to have to deal with at the school, and these kids come from first time ever going to college -- first-time member of the family going to college, and what we're trying to do is to identify some strong leaders who can lead these kids by example. The example starts really at the time you become a young adult.

And so I'm just concerned. I mean, your education and knowledge is brilliant. You've done an excellent job from the environment you came out of until where you are now.

Tell me a little bit about the complete turnaround, because I see after you finally grew up and discovered --
MS. JOHNSON: It took a while.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- that you weren't going to control this world, the world is in control of the world, you then made up your mind to move in another direction.

Tell me about the transition. What happened with this transition in your life?
MS. JOHNSON: Children.
SENATOR SCOTT: You had children of your own.
MS. JOHNSON: I had children of my own.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. JOHNSON: And I had decided that I wanted to be someone -- I don't know how to do this --
SENATOR SCOTT: Just take your time.
MS. JOHNSON: -- of whom they could be proud.

And so I worked very hard to make --
SENATOR SCOTT: Take your time.
MS. JOHNSON: -- different choices, and I was successful at doing that because I went to South Carolina State.

When my daughter graduated high school, I didn't expect that she would do exactly what I did, but she did.

I said, "Well, where are you going to go to school?"

And she said, "Well, I think I'm going to go to South Carolina State."

Now, my children know some of the things about my past but not all --
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. JOHNSON: -- which, I guess, sometimes bothers me, because in their eyes I'm like this goody two-shoes and always been a goody two-shoes, because as long as they can remember, I'm the one who got the award for highest GPA in the sophomore class, highest GPA in the junior class. I'm the one that was on the steering committee for Congressman Clyburn's transportation fellowship at South Carolina State, and I went to DC to work for Congressman Clyburn, and I went to law school on a scholarship.

So as far as they're concerned, I have always been who I am, and that's what I pride myself on. And I do believe that the challenges I faced and the bad decisions that I have made make me a better leader for the children who have these same obstacles and challenges and believe that once they have done that, their life is over and they have no other opportunities.

So I do -- I tell my story pretty much whenever I can, and I usually try not to cry. So...
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you for your explanation and concerns that maybe this committee has. I heard you say something that I wanted to just come back and ask you a question about.

You said your children are not fully aware of everything. If we move you out favorably, are you aware that this becomes public record, and your children will know as well as the general public will know? Because anything that we do as legislators can be offered up under Freedom of Information once it becomes public, and you are making your life public. So are you fine with that?
MS. JOHNSON: I am fine with that, and I had already come to that conclusion when I decided that I was going to put my name in for the board. And I actually -- the pardon I applied for in, I guess it was, the year before last, I actually wasn't going to apply for the pardon at all, which was kind of, I guess, my punishment on myself to remind me of the things that I have done. But then when South Carolina State ended up with all of the troubles that it had, I started anticipating running for the board and recognized that I couldn't do that unless I received a pardon.

So I took the steps necessary to sit here before you today, and I have absolutely no problem. I had to do the same thing when I applied to law school, and I had to do the same thing before the committee on character and fitness when I got ready to sit for the bar, which is also something that is subject to a FOIA request. So I'm absolutely fine with that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Johnson, we have a job to do. We have to look at the candidates past, present, and future. We've touched on your past.

So you're an attorney now?
MS. JOHNSON: I am.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you're a solo practitioner?
MS. JOHNSON: I am. For the last four years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You being a solo practitioner, you still have time to devote to serving on the board?
MS. JOHNSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What do you do? Just close your office when you're around South Carolina State business, or what would you do?
MS. JOHNSON: Well, actually, I don't work full-time because I devote part of my time to community service efforts. So I work literally about 25 to 30 hours a week. The reason I -- prior to this time, I worked at Smith Moore Leatherwood for ten years, and the reason I left that particular firm was because of not having the flexibility I needed to engage in the things that I was passionate about.

As a solo practitioner, I accept how many ever cases I want to accept, and I can control my practice that way, as well as my court appearances are also pretty much controlled.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you're accepted by the bar? You're a member of the state bar?
MS. JOHNSON: I am.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Did you have any problems being accepted into the bar looking at your past?
MS. JOHNSON: I did not. In fact, I went before the committee on -- everyone who has anything in their background has to go in front of the committee for character and fitness, and it's a process similar to this. And I did go before that at the South Carolina Supreme Court, and I didn't have any problems. In fact, when I had got there, I was nervous as a wreck, and all they wanted me to talk about is how I made the change. That was it.

They told me before I even opened my mouth that they were going to allow me to sit for the bar. And I have not had a problem since that time. I actually served on -- I'm an attorney to assist, so I investigate complaints that are filed against other attorneys, and I was appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court to do that, and I've been doing that for seven years so far, in addition to a commissioner of CLE for the continuing legal education program.

So with respect to the bar, I am held in high esteem, and there are no questions with respect to my reputation.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How long ago was that?
MS. JOHNSON: I have been practicing now almost 15 years. The CLE Commission, this will be my fourth year. The Attorney-to-Assist Disciplinary Counsel is either my seventh or my eighth, and I was just reappointed on the CLE Commission this year.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And your record has been clean since then?
MS. JOHNSON: It has.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What do you envision? What do you bring to the board? You know the challenges South Carolina State has had over some period of time.
MS. JOHNSON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What can you do to improve that image, increase the students there and the overall well-being of the school?
MS. JOHNSON: First, I believe that the role, or the job, of a member of a board is to be an ambassador to the university. It is to market the university, to engage the alumni, and I think that my skill set that I gained serving on various community boards that I've served on -- I've served on the Girl Scouts Board for six or seven years -- I can't remember the total number -- Greenville Tech Foundation Board for six years until I rolled off, as well as some others.

And as a member of those boards, I was always taken to, I guess, solicitations for donations to support the organizations. I've used my network, which has become somewhat expansive because I've always been in Greenville, and I've always availed myself of the network around me through my practice of law. And I believe that using those things as well as my skills as a negotiator and a communicator and my ability to seamlessly move within various socioeconomic classes would be an asset to the board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'm going to ask all candidates: If you were a board member and the state brought to you an idea of a vet school at South Carolina State, with your experience with South Carolina State, being a student and what you know about it, do you think it would be conducive to locate a vet school at South Carolina State? We don't have one in South Carolina. We desperately need one, in my opinion. I think that could be the answer, as far as I'm concerned.

Of course I have an interest in it. I think we need a vet school here. That may be the lifeline you need. Truthfully, what do you think?
MS. JOHNSON: It's funny that you ask that because I would be all in favor of that, because my daughter's whole goal has been to be a veterinarian. So when she graduated from South Carolina State with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, that was her goal. And because she couldn't afford it, and I said I'm not signing any more student loans out to South Carolina State for her, she went into the military for that purpose; however, just three weeks ago, February 24th, she was honorably discharged on a medical.

And so it's always been her dream to go to veterinarian medicine school I do recognize that there are only 22 in the entire country and that half of the veterinarians in this state attend vet school outside of the country. So I believe it would be a good move for South Carolina State to have that. Being the only one in the state, it would be something akin to the nuclear engineering program that now resides at South Carolina State and would draw a vast majority of students who would not otherwise have considered the university, such as it has done for Tuskegee University.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Any other questions or comments?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Just a statement.

First, let me commend you on such a tremendous turnaround. You don't get accepted in St. John's University in Queens, New York, with what I've seen, this today. You don't do this and turn around and become a part of what the supreme court is allowing you to do.

And I think looking at some of the issues that some of these colleges and universities will be facing with some kids who will come through with certain types of disciplinary issues they've got to deal with and the disciplinary problems they have to deal with, I think because of what you've been through and because of what you've seen and because of what life has allowed you to see, the other side that can be really good, I'm going to offer a favorable report for her.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, say aye.

ALL MEMBERS: Aye.
MS. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. JOHNSON: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, under Tab B, G. Hubbard Smalls from Simpsonville.

Good morning, sir.
MR. SMALLS: Good morning, Senator. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you would give us your full name.
MR. SMALLS: Gerald Hubbard Smalls.
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. SMALLS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SMALLS: Yes, I would.

In 1984, I walked into the gates of South Carolina State University with a desire to follow in the footsteps of my mother and father and 30 other family members who graduated from this great institution. My desire to serve on the board of this outstanding institution was a reflection of some values and traits instilled upon me during my time at South Carolina State University: stewardship, public resources, academic rigor, and an unyielding pursuit of excellence.

It is my goal over the last 25 years to accumulate skills that I could come back and help my institution: an MBA in finance, an attorney JD, LLM, and also post-doctorate work at Harvard University. To achieve these goals, I think you need to have the highest level of education and knowledge.

From there, I went on and became the chairman of Sisters of Charity Foundation, one of the largest nonprofit foundations in South Carolina. Right now I am the chair, and we have run a very successful two years accumulating over $100 million and investing over 60 million in poverty in South Carolina. These are the skills that I bring, along with being a college administrator myself, being a former finance officer in the United States Army, and also a SACS evaluator and reviewer.

So I understand the accreditation process clearly. My alma mater, survival of this alma mater, is the core of my willingness to be here and serve on this board.

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

Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you, Mr. Smalls -- or Attorney Smalls, for offering yourself.
MR. SMALLS: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Can you tell me what you believe in reference to diversity when it comes to South Carolina State. We understand the rich history --
MR. SMALLS: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- of all HBCUs across the country, but as we become more global, what do you believe in reference to diversity with students as well as with faculty and staff?
MR. SMALLS: I'm glad you brought that up.
Currently, right now, I am a professor at USC Upstate. Diversity is critical, and when I look at diversity, I just don't look at color. I look at gender. I look at skill sets of where you're from and your living.

White men, white women, that is a part of diversity to me. So an environment that has African Americans, almost 95 percent, they need to incorporate white women and white men in that environment as teachers and also students and vice versa. Those education environments that have the majority of white men and white women need to incorporate African Americans also.

So I see it. I live it every day. I've been teaching at Benedict College for almost 20 years.

So I understand the need and the desire to have diversity, especially in this global environment. I think it's critical that we train these students to go out in this environment and that they feel comfortable in all types of environments themselves.

So yes, diversity is critical, and it should be one of the key goals of all institutions of higher learning.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: That's my question.

And I want to say to Mr. Chairman and the rest of the Committee, I'm really impressed with the candidates that we have had for South Carolina State. I'm more overly impressed to say that this is a person from House District 49. His family resides in my district.

And so I'm always impressed to see people who are educated in the public school system in my area. Well done and congratulations for all that you have done.
MR. SMALLS: Thank you, Representative. I appreciate it so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Smalls.

Mr. Smalls, you said you're still at Benedict, or are you no longer at Benedict? Are you at USC Upstate?
MR. SMALLS: Sir, I transferred to USC Upstate. I transitioned this year. I was the dean of the School of Business at Benedict College.

My wife works with Fluor in Greenville. The reason for that transition was that she was going through a heart illness, and our agreement was, "If you survive that surgery, then I would try to get home."

And she survived, and I'm at home.
SENATOR SCOTT: One other question. Do you see as professor at USC Upstate the conflict of working with another state-supported school?
MR. SMALLS: I think I have discussed this with USC Upstate. They understand my loyalty to South Carolina State. We do not consider South Carolina State a competitor by no means, and I think that they feel the same way that I do, that there would be no conflict.
SENATOR SCOTT: What type of work are you doing as a professor? Are you back in the business department?
MR. SMALLS: Yes. I'm teaching business law, accounting, and also management.
SENATOR SCOTT: That's it. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Last question. About the vet school, what do you think?
MR. SMALLS: Well, you know, sir, when I developed programs at Benedict College as a dean, I looked for a couple of things. One, we're looking to develop what we call a core business, or a core anchor school or a program. And what I mean by that is something that would draw students in, and they see a student learning outcome that's successful. That's the core.

And I think if you bring in a new program -- I don't care what it is, sir -- we need to make sure these students understand that entire process and how they can be successful by going into it. So I think we need to bring in those organizations who are going to hire those veterans. I mean, excuse me, those veterinarians who are going to hire them and bring them in to help us develop a program that then relates to the needs of that field of study.

So I say to what you're saying, sir, a cursory look, I will say yes, but now I think it's the details, and the devil is in the details. Let's make sure the hiring is there, make sure the quality of the program is good, because I have started a lot of programs, and the quality did not relate to the needs. And it sounded good, but it wasn't successful.

And that's what I want to bring to South Carolina State, to make sure that that core curriculum is concrete and it connects to the needs of that end user who would be that veterinarian and organization and all that, wherever that veterinarian may go for employment. So I think you have to bring them in and talk to everybody.

Last week we just started an analytics program at USC Upstate. I was a part of that committee that developed that program. The first thing we did was we went out to BMW, we went out to Boeing, and we went out to all the corporate executives and brought them in and said, "How should our program look?"

I think we need to do the same thing with your idea, sir. Bring everyone in, and let's see how that program would look, and then make sure that we have the skill set, even teaching. I think you need to go back to the resource and the skill set to teach a program like that, and I think we have it in South Carolina, but I think you've just got to dot the i's and cross the t's when it comes to developing it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I certainly appreciate that.
MR. SMALLS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King, you're exactly right. These two candidates have set the bar pretty high. I feel better about South Carolina State.
SENATOR SCOTT: I just wish I had them in two different...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, yes.

Any other questions or comments?

What's the desire of -- motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you. Thank you, sir, for your willingness to serve.
MR. SMALLS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have 5th Congressional District, Seat 5. Donnie Shell from Rock Hill.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. SHELL: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. SHELL: Donnie Shell.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SHELL: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SHELL: I do also. First of all, I'd like to thank the General Assembly and all you for helping us. In South Carolina State University, I am on the interim Board of Trustees. Without your help in the system, we could not be where we are now.

As the interim Board member, I would like to continue my service at SCSU as Board of Trustees because the school's at a point where I now can assist in the critical needs of the university such as updating the outdated technology system, getting Truth Hall back on board, one of the largest buildings in Orangeburg, South Carolina, back on line, building a new student center and Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center which is used for multiple purposes.

And for the record, I'd like to clear up something Miss Monica Scott, she said we were down in enrollment and down 2 percent. But actually we got a little tic up, very short, very minute. It's 1.2 percent increase from where we were, from 2610 to 2641. Just for the record.

I'd like to entertain any questions that you might have for me.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you know of anything you would like to add to or take away from your paperwork?
MR. SHELL: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Welcome. Thank you for serving as the Interim and also for stepping up to the plate again to run back for the Board of Trustees.

One question. I know when we created the Interim Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees understood they were only going to be there for 36 months. The question in the back of my mind is: Why did we end up with a President that came out of the Interim group rather than going out for the actual search?
MR. SHELL: Senator Scott, we started the search, Dr. Helms started the search, and we came to the conclusion that we were going to take a year for the search. And also to get someone in there -- we've had, when we got there as Interim Board, it took us a year, year and a half just to catch up with what was going on with all the things at South Carolina State. So we thought it was best -- and the Board unanimously agreed to hire someone who had the inside information about what was going on in South Carolina State University at that time.
SENATOR SCOTT: Given the 36 months, even if you all would have appointed another interim President, the incoming new Board would have had the opportunity to begin at that level, choosing someone it wanted to work with, or at least kept the Interim for two or three years until it had a level of confidence.

Do you think to switch the President now in an awkward position with a new Board coming in and they'll come in with new ideas and new ways they want to accomplish things than having been appointed by an Interim Board by the institution?
MR. SHELL: No, I don't think so at all. This President, James Clark, he was a member of the Board of Trustees. I think he's done an outstanding job regarding setting policy and putting practices and procedures in place.

I think the results of it can be proven that we were losing money, not paying our bills. We are paying our bills. Enrollment is up. And we are on the uptick.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Shell, welcome to Columbia. I know we're from God's country up there in Rock Hill.
SENATOR SCOTT: You used to live down the corner.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Doesn't matter. He's from Rock Hill now.

I have a couple questions for you. Who hires the lobbying firm for you all? Does the Board or does the --
MR. SHELL: I think it's the President.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Were you aware that the lobbying firm you all have has internships and not one student from South Carolina State is part of that?
MR. SHELL: I was not aware of that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Are you aware that that lobbying firm that you all have hired has not one black intern?
MR. SHELL: Not aware of that, either.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: My next question: As a Board member, have you -- what have you given back to the school or institution financially?
MR. SHELL: Well, we started the -- when I first got there, I know there was a need for scholarships, so we started the Donnie Shell Scholarship Foundation. In the last two years, we raised over $150,000 for scholarships.

My goal is to raise a half million dollars and endow that scholarship so students will always have a means to go back to school.

As you know, most of our students come from a rural area, in which I am one, and had it not been for a scholarship opportunity, I could not have gone to South Carolina State University.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you for your service on the Board. But will you please check into the internship that you all have? It is something that I've been in communication with your lobbying firm about. Being that they have internships and they are lobbying for South Carolina State, they have no students from South Carolina State in their interim program.
MR. SHELL: Duly noted.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else? Desire of the Board? Motion in favor, second, any other discussions? Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you, Mr. Shell, for your willingness to continue to serve.
MR. SHELL: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, 6th Congressional District, Seat 6, Wilbur Shuler from Orangeburg.
MR. SHULER: Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon, sir.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. SHULER: My name is Wilbur Burnell Shuler. I go as Wilbur B. Shuler. And I started that since I was in third grade when I got the other Wilbur Shuler's bad grades.

(Laughter)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I hear you.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. SHULER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. SHULER: Yes. I started to work at South Carolina State, you can see that from my résumé I provided you, when I was 25 years old. My plan was to work for 30 years, because that was the retirement in South Carolina, at which time I would have been 55 years old. I would then go to a school that needed and wanted my help. And that was my plan.

Of course, I got sidetracked when another President came in and changed all of that.

My major area of expertise in this regard is fiscal and administrative affairs. I served on the SACS Study Committee for about 30 years wherein my area of concentration was fiscal and administrative affairs.

And, secondly, I had to do the governance of a university. And in one place I had to do student services, as well. And also I had to do academic affairs at an external university, external campus.

So that will show you the breadth of what I have been doing in higher education for the last 40 years of my work experience.

I have kind of a passion about higher education for students, so I need to be very careful and not take all your time by speaking with you.

I have an undergraduate degree from South Carolina State in 1968. I have a graduate degree from the Atlanta University in finance. I have a Master's degree from the University of South Carolina in student personnel services. And I have a doctorate from the University of Memphis in teaching.

The whole thing about all of this education was to make sure I could be able to speak intelligently to any section of the campus and be able to hold a real good conversation with them and to understand what is going on so that I can properly prepare for whatever comes before me.

I will stop now since I noticed that we are supposed to have 15 minutes, and I will let you all ask any questions you want to ask about any phase of higher education.

But I will note one other thing, that at the University of North Alabama, their enrollment was declining. And I presented a proposal that had to be defended all the way to the General Assembly in Alabama that caused them to increase enrollment.

I also want to note that I established a program at the University of North Alabama for retention of students. So that would give you kind of a breadth of what I'm capable of doing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff? Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTRO: Yes, sir, his paperwork is in order.

And I do want you all to know. Dr. Shuler is the one candidate that applied for the Board when it initially was opened in September.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You get extra credit for that.

(Laughter)
MR. SHULER: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anything you would like to add to or take away from your paperwork?
MR. SHULER: No.

I'll say this. I sent a copy of my résumé and two other documents, a transmittal letter and for the page I received, I don't think you may or may not have gotten that.
MS. CASTRO: It is in the notes, yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King has a question.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Do you know Laura Hall?
MR. SHULER: No, I don't.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: She's with University of Alabama.
MR. SHULER: North Alabama.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: She's a Legislator in North Alabama.

So I'm impressed that, first of all, you went to a great area to get your -- I want to say your Master's at Clark Atlanta.
MR. SHULER: It was Atlanta University, now it's Clark Atlanta.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Clark Atlanta.
MR. SHULER: Passing finance.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: AU Center.
MR. SHULER: Yeah. AU Center.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I'm a graduate of Morehouse. And you were saying that on your -- did you and the other Wilbur have different birth dates?
MR. SHULER: No. We were in the same third grade class. But that's just only one thing where I got caught up. I also got caught up with somebody who got married in the Midwest and someone who had children in the northeast. So they were calling me for all of that kind of stuff.

(Laughter)
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I just noticed we had two birthdays for you.

My question to you: Your giving, first of all, when is the last time you visited South Carolina State?
MR. SHULER: Thursday night. I'm a member of the Alumni Association. We had a meeting on the campus Thursday night.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And are you willing to give back financially to the institution?
MR. SHULER: Yes, I am.

I will say this. I came back to South Carolina State in 2001 because I know it needed my help. South Carolina State did not want me. They got rid of a whole lot of folk. I felt very bad because I knew where we were heading. We were heading downhill just as fast as we could. But no one was listening.

So it took me a while to recover and say, hey, look, everybody's complaining, no one is doing anything.

So I decided -- I went and rejoined the Alumni Association, became a life member, and started my participation with them.

And then decided to come here to try to see if I can give them the help that I know that they need.

Now, financially, I was a little bit slow in that. In fact, I'm still slow in that because I'm not sure as a Wilbur Shuler thing that things are what they need to be. If you don't want my help, then I know how to address that, too.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: All Right. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your willingness to continue to serve on the South Carolina State University Board.

Given your financial background and the familiarity with the finances of the college, do you think that it is on sound financial footing now? Are we seeing brighter days ahead financially? Or do you think there's still some issues that need to be addressed?
MR. SHULER: I'm not sure I can answer that. I'm kind of a detail person when it comes to looking at financial statements. And if I should look at a financial statement, one of the things that I did when I was with SACS -- SACS had standards -- and that was to look at the distribution of the funds that go into the various sections; for example, instruction, physical plant, institution management, and so on. And then at some time some percentages they used.

And when they changed to what they call criteria, then I don't know what it is right now because they changed every few years.

When I would evaluate a school, most of the schools that were solid had those same kind of relationships; for example, occasionally about 48 percent. But most of the time 50 plus percent went to the instructional program. The lowest percentage went to academic support, which was libraries. Physical plant had the second highest percentage. Student services had the third highest percentage. And institutional support, where the President and all the other officers were, was the smaller group.

So, strong institutions kind of maintain that relationship. I have not seen the financial reports from the university, so I can't make those kind of statements, but that would be the first thing that I would do.

Also, we need to know what departments that are putting a drain on the institution. You can't have certain faculty members getting a certain salary and only teaching two or three students. I had to challenge that one time when I was at another institution and found out the faculty member was not teaching the students to earn their own salary.

So these are the kind of evaluations that I would go through. Just two of them. There are many of them, as I serve on the SACS committee, I had to look at a lot of different items of evaluation to determine the strength and the viability of the financial conditions of the university.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay, thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any others? Favorable? Second? Any other discussion? Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you, sir.
MR. SHULER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Next, Starlee Alexander from Florence.

Good morning, ma'am.
MS. ALEXANDER: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.
MS. ALEXANDER: My name is Starlee Barbarette Davis Alexander.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: I'll swear you in.   Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. ALEXANDER: I do.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you. Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. ALEXANDER: Yes, I would, and first of all, let me thank each of you for your time this morning in having me to come before the commission. I thank you very much for your time this morning.

I'd also like to say that I am also an entrepreneur. I bring to the table 32 years of being a business owner. I have my own business. Therefore, I have made some trenches along the way in my community, and I will bring those qualities along with me to this board of trustees.

As well, I am a graduate of Florida A&M University. I am currently serving on the chamber board in Florence. I was the first black female to chair the board. I have children who have attended Florida A&M University. So I bring to you that historical perspective on HBCUs, as well as the business background, the networking, the stick-to-itiveness.

I am a committed person to any task that I take on. I do pledge that I would be able to attend meetings and do what I can to bring transparency to this board and work as a unit, a team.

So I bring to you experience from fundraising activities with United Negro College Fund, National Council of Negro Women, serving as chair of those activities to raise funds to give money to the South Carolina area schools in the way of funding for students to go to school.

So I am interested in this position, and I am ready to work, and I do thank you again for allowing me an opportunity to come before you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. PRICE: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any questions or comments?

Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Let me be the first to say, Ms. Alexander -- and I hope I'm not mistaken, but you are the first person that has come before this committee that has talked about fundraising, that has the ability to fundraise, and so I appreciate that.

Can you tell me why do you want to be on the board of trustees of South Carolina State University?
MS. ALEXANDER: As you just stated, I believe I can make a difference to that board because I bring a wealth of information, skills of networking, and I'm not opposed to asking for funding for that school. Whatever I need to do, that's what I will do.

I also think that South Carolina State University is a great school. Yes, there have been some challenges, but my motto is, moving forward, what can we do to move forward and bring a different perspective to the image of the school.

So perception has had to have been the thing that people looked at in the past, but I do think that they've moved past that. The climate is very different, enrollment is on the way up, and I would be glad to be a part of making this transition to the school being viable and visible and in a financial state that students would love to enroll, to come to Orangeburg to South Carolina State University.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And thank you, and I've asked of other board members who have been before us, your ability to give as a board member.

Would you be willing to give to South Carolina State to show that leadership, the leadership team of the institution, is giving to the university?
MS. ALEXANDER: Yes, I would, and I currently already give to that university. Being a business owner, we are approached about many things, but many of the agents with the company I work with, State Farm, we do contribute, and I contribute to South Carolina State at this time.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Good.

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning, Ms. Alexander.
MS. ALEXANDER: Good morning, Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you for being a champion for those in the Florence area. I really wish we had two District 7 slots. Both of you are perfect candidates and would represent the 7th District so well.

How much do you really know about what's going on at South Carolina State College? I know the fundraising is one aspect of it, but also in looking at changing some programs and attracting some more students and trying to -- the State has a 1900 -- a shortage of teachers in this year that's coming up, and next year, we will really have to look at, especially, going back to work with the HBCUs and start doing teacher recruitment, especially in the STEM area.

What do you think your contribution could be in that particular area?
MS. ALEXANDER: Well, this is a new area for me. I do believe that experiences go across the board. What do I think about the school? I think that they have some great programs and technology, the mathematics areas. I also know that the students come there because they love the athletic atmosphere.

But I believe that moving forward, you know, raising funds for new school buildings, gymnasiums, classrooms -- of course, the teachers we do need. So I don't have a great background in that, but that is the learning curve that I'm willing to take on.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

And just for the record, good morning.
MS. ALEXANDER: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You are -- in your capacity with your business and things, you would have the ability to accommodate your schedule to attend meetings and other responsibilities if elected to the board.
MS. ALEXANDER: Yes, of course.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Others?

Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I have to agree with Senator Scott. It's a real shame where you have two outstanding candidates, and I wish we could separate you into two different districts, but it's very pleasing to me to know that South Carolina State people are stepping up to make sure it returns to where it was at one time. So I congratulate both of you for being willing to serve.
MS. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: On that note, is there a motion?

Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Seconded.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any discussion on the motion?

And that will take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.

(Members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you very much. Unanimous.
MS. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: 7th Congressional District, Seat 7. Patrice Riggins from Little River.

Good morning, ma'am.
MS. RIGGINS: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.
MS. RIGGINS: My name is Patrice Hewitt Riggins.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. RIGGINS: I do.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. RIGGINS: My name is Patrice Hewitt Wiggins. I am a graduate alumni of South Carolina State University. I am currently an educator. My major was biology education. I got a B.S. in biology education and a minor in chemistry. I have a master's degree from Coastal Carolina University. I have been teaching for 17 years, and I'm 39 years old, and South Carolina State University is my heart. It made me the woman that I am today.

I love my university. I only want the best for South Carolina State University. Over the years, you've heard negative things in the news about it, and that really breaks my heart.

When I graduated in 2001, we were doing great things. 99 percent of my classmates were highly certified and ready to go into the classroom because we passed the practice tests. We had things in place that made the university great.

I played on the tennis team for two years there. I worked on NASA-based grant -- NASA-based grants. I worked with Gear Up, which is a grant program in which we worked in Bamberg, which is a Title I school. And it sparked for me to become an educator because I was majoring in biology and biology education.

So that is who I am, and I really love my university, and I want to see S.C. State do better and represent our state better.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. PRICE: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let me say, first and foremost, I'm so happy that you applied for this job.

In looking at your application, you are not just a regular student. You are a 3.8 student, top of the class. All the things that you were involved in, the work you've done, but most important of all, looking at the STEM program, as we begin to talk about bringing teachers, teacher recruitment back to the university, to all the HBCUs.

Back to the comment that Senator Peeler made, next door is growing, but the other HBCUs are really struggling financially and trying to get students back in. I think we moved away from recruiting teachers and getting people on the board who actually understand how important it is to be able to teach the STEMs.

When I look at -- your resume is impeccable. The kind of classes you teach -- science, biology, anatomy, chemistry, forensic, and on and on and on -- that's just excellent.

You are a high school level teacher.
MS. RIGGINS: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: High school level teacher, and that's probably where most of the recruitment of our young people will have to come if we are going to improve in the classroom.

I also saw you've got a young child, so you are also trying to -- and a husband who has joined you this morning.
MS. RIGGINS: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Also trying to prepare for the next generation.

Tell me what you want to do when you get to South Carolina State University, if you are elected by the General Assembly. What do you really want to do?
MS. RIGGINS: Okay. I want to form a partnership with the student government so I can see what -- I want to see the eyes and ears on campus, what's going on, what do we need, what you guys want. You are paying money to attend. Get out there and find out what it is that's needed on the ground and not by hearsay.

I attend several campus events during the year. I support the school in any way that I can. My niece was in the band, and she's graduating next year.
SENATOR SCOTT: So y'all are a South Carolina State family.
MS. RIGGINS: It's legacy. I'm the youngest of four, and all four attended S.C. State. Even though I was accepted to Duke, I couldn't afford it, so I said, "Let me keep it in the family and I can have the HBCU experience," which I greatly appreciate.

It's hard to explain the experience, the links and the networking that comes from that. So I will do what I can to make the university great again.
SENATOR SCOTT: Are you in a position also to donate, or have you been giving to South Carolina State?
MS. RIGGINS: I have been donating. Yes, I have.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.

Others? Anyone else?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. Good morning.
MS. RIGGINS: Good morning.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So with your other activities, if you were elected to the board, would you be able to attend meetings on a regular basis?
MS. RIGGINS: I would be able to attend. I have personal leave through my job. I'm an educator. And whatever it takes, I will be there.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Good.

Others?

Hearing none, what's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Favorable.

Second?

Any other discussion on the motion?

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

(Members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN PEELER: It is unanimous. Thank you so much for your willingness to serve.
MS. RIGGINS: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we'll go to South Carolina State University, At-Large Seat 8, Doward Keith Harvin from Lake City.

Good morning, sir.
MR. HARVIN: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, give us your full name.
MR. HARVIN: My full name is Doward Keith Carvel Harvin.
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. HARVIN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HARVIN: Just briefly, I noticed that I provided you all with a very short summary of my background and my resume, and it was primarily because if I put every job that I ever held on my resume, it would probably be about five or six pages long, and if I put everything that I'd ever been involved in in my county and in the state, it would probably be about eight to nine pages long. I want to just focus on a few things that were not placed on my resume.

I worked as the assistant general counsel for the Department of Employment and Workforce for a year after being a hearing officer for them for about 18 months.

In addition, I've served on boards such as United Negro College Fund of the Pee Dee Area, raising money for their scholarship program.

I've served on the Waccamaw Area WIA Board, handling funds regarding the WIA program and how it was allocated to certain individuals who were providing services for WIA.

And I have attempted to make myself available to just each and every organization and every young person that I can possibly come in contact with in order to help the educational process here in South Carolina.

I've also been an instructor, a professor at Williamsburg Technical College teaching state and local government as well.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is everything in order. MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I've got one.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And welcome, sir.
MR. HARVIN: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I noticed under biggest weakness, you said lack of attention to detail. Can you expand on that a little bit? What do you mean?
MR. HARVIN: And what question was that?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That would be under biggest weakness. MS. CASTO: It's in the additional questions.
MR. HARVIN: Oh. And these are -- MS. CASTO: Yes. Biggest weakness of the college.
MR. HARVIN: Oh. Of the college.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yes.
MR. HARVIN: Okay. I was a little confused because, as a lawyer, attention to detail is something that I focus on. So when you mentioned my weakness, it kind of confused me a little.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That's my weakness. I saw that as a plus. Just an editorial comment. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
MR. HARVIN: That's all right.

To put it into context, my oldest sister started attending South Carolina State University in 1990. My second oldest sister started attending college at South Carolina State University in '92. My third oldest sister started attending South Carolina State University in 1997. I met my wife, who also attended South Carolina State University from 2000 to 2004 with me.

And so that's probably about 15 years where I've entered or exited just about every dorm on that campus, moving my family or my girlfriend at that time in and out of dorms. I spent a lot of time on campus, lived there my whole life. After graduating, I spent more time on campus, participating in activities.

And the thing that I always found to be the biggest issue on South Carolina State's campus is attention to detail because the small things that deal with residential life just always have been lacking, just like something as simple as hot water in the dorm room on a particular day or something as simple as a mirror in a bathroom or toilet tissue in a bathroom. These simple things always seem to plague the school as an issue.

And so that's what I mean when I speak about attention to detail, attention to details that, when I attended University of South Carolina, I did not have to deal with.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Yeah. I would assume that this would be something that you would look to correct if it hasn't been corrected already.
MR. HARVIN: Well, I would definitely look at the policies that deal with how facilities are managed. Obviously, as a board member, I can't micromanage what's going on on the yard or the campus yard.

But definitely, it would be something that I would like answers to from individuals as to why students may not live in the same type of environment that you would live in if you went to any other university here in South Carolina.

I think it's imperative that if a student is to attend a university that's funded -- a state university that's funded in South Carolina that they have a comfortable environment that's conducive to learning. And so, yes, it would be something that I would ask questions about it if it hadn't already been dealt with.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.
MR. HARVIN: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I have two questions for you.
MR. HARVIN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Why do you want to be a member of the board of trustees there at South Carolina State?
MR. HARVIN: Well, more than anything, I believe that anything worth having is, obviously, worth taking time to make sure that it is operating at a high level. And so South Carolina State University is near and dear to my heart in that I've spent so much time going back and forth. My family has been such a part of the school for so many years.

I just want to see it be what I believe it can be as far as the University. I want the headlines to read positive things, not negative things. And I want to see something there that will be sustainable for decades to come for other people who may not have all the opportunities that other people in the state may have. I was a first-generation -- me and my sister were first-generation college students, and South Carolina State made a great difference in all of our lives. And I would see that continue.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: What is the role of a board member, and more specifically, a board member at South Carolina State University?
MR. HARVIN: A board member is responsible for, basically, being over policies and objectives, obviously, looking at the budget and making sure money spent in accordance with the laws.

My particular focus, because I am heavily involved in the criminal side of the laws that you all put into place, I want to make sure that there's accountability and transparency about how every dollar is spent that comes from the South Carolina government directly to South Carolina State University.

I think it's important that we count every cent that comes in and goes out and we make sure that those who do not do what they're supposed to do when it comes to the taxpayers' money are held responsible for that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Harvin, I want to go back to the broken mirrors and all the other things that you saw at the other institutions that you didn't see at South Carolina State College. And since, I know, you paid pretty close attention to details, what did your analysis come up why those things were not in place?

Or have you done an objective analysis? Have you done any research or talked to anybody when you made that comparison to the lifestyle at one of the other larger institutions compared to South Carolina State College? And I want to dismiss the last five or six years from South Carolina State College. It's had its problems.

Some 40 years ago, I was also a graduate of South Carolina State College. So what was the difference? What made the difference between that university and this university as far as those things which -- when I was there, they had some of the same kinds of issues.

What did you come up with?
MR. HARVIN: The main thing -- obviously, South Carolina State -- you can talk about funding issues, and that would be a long conversation. But what I saw on campus was that students sometimes would not express some of those difficulties to the persons that would be able to make the changes. And so, while it was talked about amongst each other, no one had the requisite understanding that they needed to go and talk to the people in charge to get things done.

During my time at South Carolina State University, I made it a point to make the president's office a place that I was comfortable in because I was a Presidential Scholar. So why shouldn't I be able to contact the president when there's no hot water in my dorm room?

So when that happened, I went and specifically spoke to individuals in his office. And what I always found was that matters were quickly resolved. So it seemed to be some type of disconnect between what was going on on the campus and what was actually -- what they thought was going on in the administration building.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, I came to this General Assembly in 1991. This is my 28th year here. When I came, South Carolina State had some 80-plus-million dollars in deferred maintenance. So some of the things that you're talking about are deferred maintenance costs. There are historical buildings and significant buildings on campus that have not been renovated, which also creates a problem for bringing more young students in so you can increase the capacity of the student body, bringing income in.

But you, coming on as a member of the board of trustees, tell me how you plan to resolve some of that, knowing that you've got that big gap of deferred maintenance, and you have a capital problem in terms of bringing your people in.

Because I don't want you to walk into this thing blind. It all sounds good when we've got somebody to tell, but now there's nobody to tell. You're that person that gets told that now. You're the one who has to help resolve these kinds of issues.

So I want your thinking pattern of the kind of answers that you're going to have to come up with because you don't have the money to do those kinds of things, given where South Carolina State College has just comes from in terms of just restructuring its income flow. The college is back manageable now. But the deferred maintenance is still out there.

And so tell me how you address it, and tell me how we get to it, or tell me how you help them to do both short-term planning and long-term planning to get the school where it should have been all the time. It's always had a lack of actual funding.
MR. HARVIN: Well, I think that you've asked a very complex question with a lot of different moving parts. And whenever I've seen any issues that have the complexity and the moving parts such as this particular one, the first thing is to set a vision, a long-term vision for the college. The second thing is to realize that this isn't going to -- it's not going to resolve itself overnight.

But one thing that we can do immediately is to have students, have young people, actually have a way of addressing the board and addressing individuals about the small things, like a broken mirror. I get that it costs money to fix a broken mirror, but it is something that can be fixed. Small things we can deal with without a substantial amount of funds. And so those small things make a big difference in a person's way of living, especially a 17- or 18-year-old.

And so any of those small things, and not just painting. Not just painting. Painting is great. It's aesthetically great. But actually dealing with the things that address people's standard of life. There are some things that we can do on the front end. But setting a very long-term vision for the University is something that must be done if it hasn't already been done.

And I'm not saying it hasn't been done, but if it has not been done, setting forth a vision and then setting forth a long-term plan to reach that vision, because you don't make up for tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars in a couple of years. That's impossible. And I don't think that anybody would be able to persuade the Legislature or persuade alumni to give hundreds of millions of dollars in a couple of years. That's not going to happen.

But there has to be a long-term plan that's going to deal with some of these issues. And so my focus would be, what is that long-term plan, and how do we continue to move forward in progressing the vision of the University?
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one brief question.

With your work that you do, is there anything that you'd have any limitations on your ability to be an active board member and attend meetings and other events that would be necessary?
MR. HARVIN: Mostly, I work for myself. While I do have a -- while I do to work part-time for Sumter County, that is one week a month, and usually, it's only three days out of that week. So I am very flexible as to how my schedule works. I control it, for the most part.

If there's anything that I need to be conflicted out of, the circuit court judges here in South Carolina are great about helping me with that, and they've always been great about that.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I have another question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Sorry. Senator Scott made me think of this question.

I'm a Morehouse graduated, which is an HBCU. We're not state funded. And all the members that sit around this table, we fought very hard to keep the doors open there at South Carolina State.

Coming from a historically black college, we were always told, and it was ingrained in us as students of Morehouse, about giving and giving back to the institution.

As a person who supports South Carolina State as a legislator, fights every day alongside of all of the legislators here in South Carolina to make sure that all of our schools thrive in South Carolina, what can you do as a board member that would implement something on the campus to encourage and engage the students that are there presently as well as the alum to start giving back to the institution?

It bothers me that a lot of times we get beat up as legislators about the lack of funding that we may or may not do for any of the institutions in South Carolina, but when you look at the alum, they're not giving. But we are getting blamed.

And I know it's a state school, but however, I look at Spelman. I look at Morehouse. And they are thriving. They have their financial issues as well, but they are thriving. They have nice facilities on campus. It's because they -- people give.

I'm one of those givers of my institution. What do you do all do or what have you done when you've seen those issues on the campus? What have you given back to the institution, and how do you promote that as a board member to implement something that would be -- so that the students will engage and be more giving to the institution?
MR. HARVIN: So when the school -- in the last couple years, it was advertised that they were going through financial difficulty, the first thing that I wanted to do was give back. That was the first thing. I realized my deficiency in that area, and I wanted to give back.

And then shortly thereafter, the school took some of what some of my alum believed to be some interesting steps as it relates to persons that they allowed on campus.

What I think sometimes is missed, what has been missed to me, is that the individuals who attended South Carolina State University, they attended the school for a reason. They attended because they wanted to be a part of a culture and atmosphere for a reason.

And in order to get those individuals to want to give back, they have to first trust that the administration is handling that money properly. They have to believe that the school is still operating under the same guise or a similar guise that it did when it was opened, for the same purpose that it was opened. And there has to be some positive information reflected to them to make them believe that it's worth giving back to the school and keeping the school open.

When I attended South Carolina State University, there was no conversation. I was a Presidential Scholar. I was a SCANA Scholar and a Governor's Scholar. Never was there a conversation about giving back to the school.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I attended Morehouse from '93 to '97, and from '93 to '97, that's all they talked about. There was a culture at that school that was ingrained in us to give back to the institution. And so, as Senator Scott and I and other members who sit here fight for South Carolina State, we are always questioned, What are South Carolina alum doing to help the school?

And if you all are not going to invest in the school, how can we sit here and fight for you all if you're not going to invest in the school?

And I just encourage you, if you are elected as a board member, that you all would implement something that would encourage a culture of giving back to the institution because that is something that, you know, at many of the privately-owned HBCUs, is something that is just extremely important to the life of those institutions.
MR. HARVIN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You can't depend on the State Legislature to do that all the time. If you love your alma mater, you're going to have to give back, and you're going to have to encourage that.
MR. HARVIN: Yes, sir.

And when I attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, it was a different atmosphere. They had us sign up to give back immediately upon graduating. So some of those things did not occur in 2004 and 2003. And if they're not occurring now, you can be assured it will be one of the things as a board member that I make an emphasis to talk about.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, I'll tell you, Morehouse calls at least once a month, so they're on it. So I just encourage you all to do -- to be a part of the life of South Carolina State.

Thank you.
MR. HARVIN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded. Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it. Unanimous.

Thank you so much for your willingness to serve.
MR. HARVIN: Thank you. You all have a blessed day.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You too.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we'll go to At-Large Seat 8, Tab C, Irma Smith Lowman from Columbia.
MS. LOWMAN: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning.

For the record, if you would give you guess your full name.
MS. LOWMAN: Irma Smith Lowman.
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. LOWMAN: Yes, I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. LOWMAN: Yes.

I am originally a Charlestonian and an alumna of South Carolina State University. I have three children, and I have no grandchildren. The dog died about two years ago.

So I have all the time to devote to being on this board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And, Ms. Lowman, thank you for offering. I did not realize until recently that you were interested in South Carolina State, and I do want to say to the Committee that I am very close with the Lowman family. Her husband was my ER doctor, as well as her sons and daughters, we all attended school together at the AU Center. So I know you very well. I know your involvement.

And so I'm going to ask some questions in relation to South Carolina State. I saw what you gave when your kids were in school in reference to Morehouse and Spelman and how you and your family gave back to those institutions financially, as well as you were present there physically at most functions, even though, you know, you did not have to be, when a lot of parents did not go.
Can you tell me, would you give that same vigor for South Carolina State in reference to your giving? And after you answer that, can you also answer the diversity question that I have asked of the previous candidates.
MS. LOWMAN: Of course.

I've given more to South Carolina State than I have for Morehouse and Spelman. I am always at South Carolina State. I have sent students financially, supported them at South Carolina State. Every year I give activities and events raising funds for South Carolina State.

Two years ago, or maybe three, I sent over $5,000 to the school. Earmarked for the band for uniforms. I was part of Marching 101.

Last year, over $5,000 to the young ladies at the school. I know that's not a lot of money, but every year it adds up, and I've certainly given much more than that. I'm always on the campus speaking with the students, seeing their needs, and trying to fulfill their needs.

(Senator Verdin enters the room.)
MS. LOWMAN: Diversity is critical. Area HBCUs also are critical, because the HBCUs, they offer something to African American students that they usually may not receive at other schools. Most of these children at State are first-year-generation students going to college, and they need a little more help than other children who are more blessed to have parents who have been educated. So there's a need there at the HBCU that we really, really need to help.

Diversity is very important. They need to know that the world is global. It goes beyond South Carolina. It goes beyond the United States.

I have been exposed to education working in education. I have a backlog of experience in education, over 35 years south, north, east, west, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, and working in education with these different states. I have been exposed to education internationally: Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Florence, Italy. I didn't work in those areas, but I observed education in those areas.

So I know that our children at State need diversity.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Ms. Lowman, and thank you for your commitment to South Carolina State and what you have already done for the school.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Ms. Lowman, for being here with us this morning. I appreciate your willingness to serve South Carolina State.

I saw something here that interested me. You mentioned a way to attract students being to improve special programs. For example, programs dealing with children with autism or Asperger's. Would you talk about that a little bit, because I think that's the first time I've seen that take on it, and I would like to better understand what your thoughts are there.
MS. LOWMAN: Okay. There's a TV program on television called "The Good Doctor." I don't know if you've seen it or not.

He's a perfect example of someone that has Asperger's. He's a brilliant surgeon. He's the best at the hospital, but he doesn't have communicative skills the way you and I do.

Most colleges do not offer -- there's some that do, University of Pittsburgh, Spelman has initiated a program where children that -- everyone does not fit into that educational regular ED-type person. You have some children who excel in some areas but don't in other, and that's what autism is. They excel and can do just whatever in the area that they are gifted in, but they lack communicative-type skills.

And so if we establish a program like that at State, the recruitment would -- we would get to recruit those special-needs students. These parents would have a place for them, and then the enrollment will increase. They will make very good workers. They're very proficient in the areas of where they are gifted.

But most colleges don't offer that type of program, and to bring that program at South Carolina State would be amazing. In addition to the veterinarian services, if you offered that, that would open up amazing opportunities for parents who are really looking for something like that.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I really like that idea. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning, Mr. Lowman.
MS. LOWMAN: Good morning.
SENATOR SCOTT: Your track record speaks for itself.
MS. LOWMAN: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: I've known Ms. Lowman over 40-some-odd years. And I really appreciate the international perspective you bring to the board.

More important than all of that, in the At-Large Seat 8, you're the only one.
MS. LOWMAN: Thank you.
MS. CASTO: There's one more that we need to screen at a different time.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, we have one more, I'm told, we need to screen at a different time.
MS. LOWMAN: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: But I think you will make an excellent board member. I think your relationship, especially in the greater Columbia area, with so many different organizations and groups that you either have chaired or been a part of or created, I think bring a little perspective, especially when it comes to recruiting young people to go to South Carolina State.

So, Mr. Chairman, at the appropriate time, just when you finish your questions --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think the time is appropriate. The motion is favorable.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for pushing on the vet school. Thank you.
MS. LOWMAN: Thank you. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you so much.
MS. LOWMAN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right.

Next, Rodney C. Jenkins from Columbia.
MR. JENKINS: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning, sir.

For the record, if you would give your full name.
MR. JENKINS: Yes. My name is Rodney Clay Jenkins.
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. JENKINS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. JENKINS: Yes, I would.

Well, I'm a 1973 class graduate of South Carolina State. I actually marched in '74.

I'm married with two grown daughters. I retired from the State of South Carolina as a chief financial officer from First Steps.

I come to serve with experience as a budget person from the state level. I have been over here in the General Assembly and committees many times, either with the director or myself doing work with state budget presentations.

So I come with passion for South Carolina State University. Over the last 37 years, I've been connected to the university in many ways, either through the alumni chapter in Columbia here, as president of the chapter at one time, or I am the current president of the booster club at South Carolina State University called The S.T.A.T.E. Club.

So, you know, my passion that I have for the university and my experience that I have, I really feel comfortable and feel that I can bring something to the table to enhance what's already been started and the good stuff that's going on there right now.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Jenkins, you said that you were delinquent in your taxes, but you're currently negotiating a payment plan?
MR. JENKINS: I actually had it done.
MS. CASTO: You do have that done?
MR. JENKINS: I am paying them as we speak.
MS. CASTO: Okay. When did you enter into that payment plan?
MR. JENKINS: Probably a week, two -- probably about two weeks ago.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I guess I have a question for the Committee, then I will go to my questions to Mr. Jenkins.
MR. JENKINS: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: But I want to make sure that I'm clear on -- with the other candidates that we have had who have had some tax issues, those things had to be cleared in full and not on payment plans; am I correct?
MS. CASTO: The liens are required to be paid in full, yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. So, Mr. Jenkins, my question to you is you have two federal tax liens. Are those the ones you're speaking of?
MR. JENKINS: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. Are you aware that -- well, you may not be aware that we have required that those liens, the actual tax liens, be paid in full before we have moved other folks out favorable.
MR. JENKINS: I didn't know that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Hey, Rodney.
MR. JENKINS: Hey.
SENATOR SCOTT: How are you doing?
MR. JENKINS: I'm good.
SENATOR SCOTT: I've known Rodney forever and a day. He and I were at State together.

I want to go and look at the student loan situation that you have.
MR. JENKINS: I have a student loan?
SENATOR SCOTT: Unless I'm on the wrong page.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You're on the wrong page.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Jenkins, on your credit report, it says that you defaulted on student loans.
SENATOR SCOTT: Two student loans.
MS. CASTO: Two student loans.
MR. JENKINS: I don't have any student loans.
SENATOR SCOTT: It says "default," meaning that on the times you did have a --
MR. JENKINS: I didn't have a student loan. Now, my daughters had student -- one of my daughters had a student loan.
SENATOR SCOTT: Did you sign for the daughter for a student loan?
MR. JENKINS: I did.
SENATOR SCOTT: Is it defaulted?
MR. JENKINS: Not that I know of.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, you may want to double-check it, because they put it on your credit report.
MR. JENKINS: Oh, okay. I didn't know that.
SENATOR SCOTT: You didn't realize it.

Do you want to talk a little bit about this SLED report: '91, '94, '97, and 2000?
MR. JENKINS: What was that? What was on that?
SENATOR SCOTT: Fraudulent check.
MR. JENKINS: Oh, yes. Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Talk about that a little bit.
MR. JENKINS: Yes, I can tell you that.

It was a fraudulent check that I had to clarify, and that was taken care of immediately before there was any kind of prosecution.
SENATOR SCOTT: For all four of them?
MR. JENKINS: Yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: As I'm absorbing the past history and the track record with the Commission, and for the benefit of Mr. Jenkins, I think to cross this bar, or threshold, in a matter of days, I mean, I'm willing to make the same motion that I made for the previous candidate, but it's quite a climb.

I think we'd be looking for some indication from you as to whether or not you would ask that of us in order to maintain your commitment to seek this post. And I will gladly do it out of equity and fairness in the matter. I just -- I'm looking to you for some indication.

I don't have a previous relationship with you, and based on the vetting that we only have before us, it would be quite a steep grade to make what essentially is three separate issues clarified or reconciled or -- what's the word I'm looking for? Satisfied.
MR. JENKINS: I think I can handle that satisfaction, you know, in some days. I just would have thought that I could just do that through the payment process, but, you know, I can have some options to make that happen.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman, I move to carry the nomination over, pending notice and confirmation of settlements and satisfaction.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is to carry over.

Any other discussion?

Mr. Jenkins, it says you're current in negotiating a payment plan.
MR. JENKINS: Yeah, I've just taken care of that negotiation, but I'm hearing you want to have that totally taken care of.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You said your --
MR. JENKINS: Satisfied.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You said personal strength was a sound financial background.
MR. JENKINS: Yes. My personal strength is finances, you know, as far as my abilities. It's funny that I probably took care of other folks' money much better than I did myself over the years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I hope so.

All right. The motion is to carry over.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, any objection to carrying over?

No objection.

We'll carry this one over, Mr. Jenkins.
MR. JENKINS: Okay. Is there a date on that, or I will be hearing from you?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Two weeks from today.
MR. JENKINS: Okay. All right.

Great. Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Okay. The next one is the same At-Large Seat 9 from Rodney Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins was to get in his federal lien satisfaction. What he brought to me is from his and his wife's Social Security check. They deduct close to $400 a month to satisfy his federal lien, so he is on a payment scale to get that satisfied.

(Senator Scott entered the room.)
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So he's brought you the appropriate information. MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: That should satisfy it. You say he's on a payment scale. MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Will of the committee?
SENATOR VERDIN: Favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll find that candidate -- what was his name again? MS. CASTO: Rodney Jenkins.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Rodney Jenkins. MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable.
SENATOR SCOTT: Is this about Jenkins? MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. He brought in the payment schedule.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

All right. Lawrence Joseph Land from Charleston.
MR. LAND: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning.

For the record, if you would give us your full name for the record.
MR. LAND: Lawrence Joseph Land.
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. LAND: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. LAND: Yes.

I grew up in Bamberg, South Carolina, about 18 miles from Orangeburg. I went to the University of South Carolina and played baseball. I was the captain of the team under Bobby Richardson, the Sigma Nu.

I was going to play professional baseball until my rotator cuff. I was drafted by the Dodgers. And that dream died. I had to get another one.

And so I borrowed $50,000, and I went to Florida, and I started a transportation company. And over 25 years, I created a very large entity. And while I was having success with that business, I was able to go back to my hometown in Bamberg and give back. I created a scholarship fund based around a golf tournament, and we've sent 37 kids to college. Some of those went to South Carolina State.

And I just have a real appreciation for my hometown and surrounding area of Orangeburg. I spent a lot of time there and would like to make a difference. I've never served on a board, never run for politics, but I've done pretty good at business. I know what to do in a business, and I know what not to do in a business.

I've had great success, and I've had failure. So I think I can make a difference with the board.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments for Mr. Land?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Land --
MR. JENKINS: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- for your willingness to serve.

Under your SLED report, a 2008 foreclosure, First Palmetto; 2009, another foreclosure; 2009 again, mechanic's lien; in 2015, a foreclosure case. Sticking to your bankruptcy, do you want to tell me about --
MR. LAND: Yes, sir, I'll tell you about that.
SENATOR SCOTT: Because that's a real concern going on a board who has had a lot of financial issues.
MR. LAND: It was a lot of concern for me as well.

My first business, I created a $180 million transportation company, very successful. I then got involved in commercial real estate with a partner. We created a hundred-million-dollar commercial real estate portfolio. 2008 and '9 happened, and we had our butts handed to us.

And a lot of times when you're in sophisticated partnerships and some people go bankrupt and you're the only two standing, then you do what you try to do to survive to get through at that time. And to remind everyone, at that time banks were getting TARP money; entrepreneurs weren't.

And so we did the best we could do in the circumstances, and all of those -- all of the people that were telling me all along I should just go bankrupt and get rid of this stuff really was not in my persona. I did not want to do that.

So 2016, after you've kind of had enough people beating you up for a while, under advice of three law firms, I filed for personal bankruptcy. They did not receive it, and I did that in order to get first Palmetto Bank to settle with me.

And so we have reached a settlement, and I'm very proud of that. So...
SENATOR SCOTT: I'm still really concerned about the overall financial picture, and I'm not sure why in '8 and '9 you didn't file for a chapter restructure, and dragging it on to '15. And that credit issue, it's been a big issue up here this morning with the candidates moving forward.
MR. LAND: Well --
SENATOR SCOTT: You've done some really great things. I've got some real concerns about credit bankruptcy and -- because it's only been two years, three months --
MR. LAND: Yes. Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- since most of this, I guess.

Some of it has been satisfied, but it still shows -- it doesn't show that the 2008 foreclosure has been satisfied or --
MR. LAND: I have a contract I'll be glad to send to you that has been done.
SENATOR SCOTT: You may want to send it to the staff.

And it did show your 2009 settled.

The foreclosure case in 2015, do you want to talk a little about that?
MR. LAND: Excuse me?
SENATOR SCOTT: The 2015 foreclosure case in 2015.
MR. LAND: Who was that with? I don't -- I'm not aware of that.
MS. CASTO: There was one that was stricken, and one was bankruptcy.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Just the process.
MR. LAND: Yeah.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Anyone else?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Land, can you tell me what you think of diversity and the diversity that should be displayed on the campus of South Carolina.
MR. LAND: Well, I heard you ask that question before, so it's probably unfair that I've been able to listen to you ask that question. But, you know, diversity, to me -- we live in a different economy today, and kids are growing up in a different economy than some of us grew up in.

I'm an entrepreneur. I believe my greatest days are ahead of me. I have a lot of things working now that you don't know about that, you know, make me a lot of money. But that being said, you know, God has been good to me, and I believe that kids need to know that -- we've told people all our lives, you know, you need to think outside the box.

Well, there's no box today, and kids are creating apps, and they're doing things, you know, like Uber. Just people that are being disruptive. Those are the companies. Those are the kids that are going to create things that fix our problems in our society.

Find a problem in our society, you can make a business around it today. Look at Airbnb. Airbnb has more work than JW Marriott, and they own the hotels, and JW Marriott has 4,500 hotels.

So I believe I bring to the table financial expertise, whether you realize it or not, and teaching people how to think and do things differently and encourage kids to become entrepreneurs and make a difference in our society, because I say, you know, we're upgrading in what I call the "you economy" today.

A lot of women are working from home because they want to be with their kids. And so they're creating businesses and things that work from home for companies.

So that's what I would encourage and teach people to think. There is no box. Don't think outside the box. There is no box. Create your own box.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Land, when was the last time you visited South Carolina State?
MR. LAND: It's been several years. I went to a ball game.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And what would be your time commitment to this board?
MR. LAND: I can give as much time as needed.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Land, for being here today and your willingness to serve the South Carolina State Board.

Given your financial background and your business background, have you looked at the finances for South Carolina State?
MR. LAND: Well, I haven't been privy to those, but I understand that there's been some difficulty in the past. And I think I can bring some good things to help with that and I think encouragement in the right direction. I think it's a great institution. You know, Orangeburg, Bamberg, that whole area, we need that institution to be healthy and good, and that's my interest.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: What would you do? What's the first thing that you would do if you were elected to the board in looking at the current financial status of the university and ways to make it more financially stable?
MR. LAND: Well, in a business, you always look at revenue versus expenses, you know. And so, I'm not privy to any of that. But I'm sure I'd be -- as a member as the board, I'd be assigned specific duties to help with. But I could definitely help with revenue generation and, you know, donations and that kind of thing to help get the university on track.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So you have not looked at the balance sheet or --
MR. LAND: I have not seen it.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: -- or any of that publicly available -- some of that information should be publicly available.
MR. LAND: I have not seen it. I've been on their website and looked at a lot of different things. But I've had other friends who have been involved give me some information, but, you know, I have nothing concrete that I could see.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: All right. I just wanted to know if you had some specific ideas.
MR. LAND: Thank you very much.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Land, I have one question for you.
MR. LAND: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You just mentioned -- and this is one of my questions to you.
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You just mentioned that you would be able to help financially there at the institution. If you have recently read in the newspaper in the last couple of years about the financial situation that South Carolina State was in and knowing that and now that you want to be on the board, what did you do financially for the school?
MR. LAND: What did I do in the past?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Uh-huh.
MR. LAND: I haven't done anything for the school.

As I say, we have a scholarship fund in Bamberg, my hometown, that we sent kids to school there and paid for their tuition and so forth.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Going back to the foreclosures --
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- Coastal Mortgage and First Palmetto, this is all personal?
MR. LAND: Yes, sir. They've all been settled.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, they were -- then I want to assume -- domiciles, residences, or was this personal investment properties?
MR. LAND: This was all investment property, yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: We're having a little side debate over here.
MR. LAND: None of this was my personal credit. It was all part of the investment that we did in building houses and building commercial buildings and that kind of thing back in 2008 and '9.

Actually, we started before 2008. Had no idea that the subprime mess was going on. We just got hammered, and I'm sure a lot of people did.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Not that we intend to have a private debate over here, the senator from Richland and myself, but Mr. Land has -- well, he owes nothing to us corporately as taxpayers. He has no liens. These matters are private contractual matters with lenders. But I do believe that the senator from Richland would be much less uncomfortable, maybe even comfortable, to have more details on the settlements; otherwise, I'm trying to forestall the motion unfavorable.

So, Mr. Chairman, if we could afford Mr. Land the same luxury of providing more information within a timely manner on the '09 and '08 matters.
MR. LAND: Well, thank you, Senator. And I want to speak to that.

I mean, you're going to have people who are in business as entrepreneurs who have had struggles. It seems to me that's who you want on your board because, you know, you want people to know what to do when they go through the fire. And I'm not ashamed of my record.

I'm a businessman. I build businesses. And when you have businesses, you have problems, and you deal with the problems the best way you can. And that's what I did in these circumstances, and it seems to me you guys would want somebody on the board that knows how to deal in tough times and encourage people to do that.

And if you'd like for me to, I'd be glad to withdraw my name. I don't want to offend you by my personal record. I want to be a blessing to the school.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Of course, Mr. Land, it's your right if you so desire to withdraw it. I think the case in point we're trying to get folks to understand is the school is going through a crisis, and it's not been easy to convince both sides of the aisle as it relates to get them out of the crisis. To be perfectly honest with you, they're not finished with the crisis. They're still limited in terms of what the president can and cannot, in fact, sign off on.

So we want to be really careful of the message we send, and we're looking to, yes, create a very diverse board. I mean, that's the goal. But we do want to get some folk on it who have had a good, successful track record and made some good, solid decisions, and that's not easy sometimes.
MR. LAND: And, Senator Scott, that's exactly why I applied for this.
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, sir.
MR. LAND: That's exactly why I applied.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Land, I really appreciate you --
MR. LAND: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- offering yourself. And I say this to all the candidates because many of you are all -- most people are not here when we screen other candidates. These are questions and concerns that we ask of everyone.
MR. LAND: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And no one is picking on you individually.
MR. LAND: I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I want to you understand.
MR. LAND: I'm not offended either.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And so what Senator Scott is doing is -- we have offered other people an opportunity to explain more in detail their situation. And so I think that is what Senator Verdin is wanting to offer you at this time.

And it's nothing that -- I mean, we would be doing the same thing --
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- for you that we have done for other people.
MR. LAND: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And as Senator Scott has already stated, South Carolina State has had a very tumultuous recent past, and I feel that you would be great on the board with your financial background and with your struggle and how you have pulled yourself out of that as a voice for South Carolina State. In doing so, I would hope that you would not withdraw but would provide us with that information that we so desire.
MR. LAND: Well, you know, business is about integrity, you know, and a lot of things. But if you don't have integrity, you don't have a business. You might do it in the short term, but in the long term, you're not going to last.

And I ran 1,500 trucks and 3,000 refrigerated trailers and 23 terminals and 2,000 employees. So I know pretty much, you know, about operating the right way and doing things the right way, but I didn't know so much about the real estate business. But I learned a great lesson.

And so those lessons are what you have in life that are more valuable than anything that you can translate into other situations that need that kind of expertise and help. I can send to this body my settlement with First Palmetto. And I'm very happy with that, and that's over with. I'm moving on with my life.

So I don't know what else to do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin, clarify your motion. Favorable pending the information, or no overall?
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate the comments of Representative King. I know that right now the school is governed by the most conservative and track-record-proven businessman in this state.
MR. LAND: And he's a friend of mine.
SENATOR VERDIN: Going forward, you are a representative of the same dynamic of what the school is going through, hard times but an absolute commitment to succeed. I believe you possess that personally. I want you to demonstrate it for us to the satisfaction of all the Committee Members that these private contracts with private lenders are mutually satisfied.
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: And that would be my motion, that pending -- my motion would be pending record of satisfaction that we would have a favorable report --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- of the General Assembly.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. If you would get that -- could you do it within two weeks?
MR. LAND: I will have it tomorrow.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Great. If you would have it to us within two weeks, we'd appreciate it.
MR. LAND: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Thank you, sir.
MR. LAND: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve.
MS. CASTO: The third one is Lawrence Joseph Land. He is running for this At-Large Seat 9 too, so if you approve him, you will have five people for this seat.

He was the one who had the payment agreement, and you all had requested a copy of the payment agreement. I have that. This is the one that he had with First Palmetto Bank.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: He has satisfactorily reported now. MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Will of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

We find that candidate favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next we'll go to the At-Large Seat 9, Rodell Lawrence from Orangeburg.

Mr. Lawrence, if you would, for the record, give us your full name.
MR. LAWRENCE: Rodell Lawrence.

Can I get some water, please?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Please. Take your time.

(A brief recess transpired.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in, Mr. Lawrence.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes. I would like to make a statement about -- a little bit about myself. If you noticed, I'm from a little place called Apopka in Florida. Apopka is a little town outside of Orlando.

My first involvement with South Carolina was as a migrant kid. We came to Edgefield, South Carolina to pick peaches. From there, we went to Culpeper, Virginia to pick potatoes, and from there, we went to Rochester, New York to do broccoli and cauliflower and apples and to try to make it back to Florida by Thanksgiving.

So the opportunity to attend college was awarded to me by South Carolina State University. It was South Carolina State College at that time. So everything that you see on my resume and all of my accomplishments in corporate American and otherwise ARE truly attributed to my education at South Carolina State. So I am honored to have an opportunity to serve.

Also, I have been heavily involved. I have an honorary Doctorate of Law from South Carolina State that was given to me in 1992. And it was because I was instrumental at Xerox in giving South Carolina State over a million dollars.

Over the years, I have also been involved in taking care of my alma mater by being heavily involved with the engineering program. I was chairman of the advisory board for about 12 years. In fact, when I stepped off, we were just in the throes of getting a nuclear engineering program.

So when you look at my resume and you look at the things I have been able to accomplish, I attribute it all to South Carolina State. So I'm just honored for the chance to serve and continue to serve in the capacity of being a member of the board of trustees.

You also know that I also worked there for three years before I retired, and so I'm very, very familiar with some of the holes, but I also understand the roles and responsibilities of a board of trustees member.

I served on the board of trustees at Claflin for eight years and was instrumental in raising about $22 million for Claflin as the chairman of the capital campaign. So I think I bring both the business acumen as well as academic acumen to my alma mater.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good.

Staff, is the paperwork in order? MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you Mr. Lawrence.

I want to go back to 2014. Has that Chapter 7 been resolved at this point?
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Also, when we passed legislation to allow South Carolina State College to give an engineering degree, which is, I think, a technical engineering degree, tell me what more we need to do -- and I'm pretty sure, I guess, as VP, you were part of the engineering department, or were you just administration?
MR. LAWRENCE: No. I was vice president of institutional advancement.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Fundraising.
MR. LAWRENCE: Fundraising.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.

Tell me if you have any ideas what we need to do to be moving in that direction so South Carolina State can actually give engineering degrees. Of course, these kids leave and go on to Clemson or someplace else.
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes. Yes.

When I came to South Carolina State in 1963, I was part of the engineering science program.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. LAWRENCE: I left school. My mother got ill in 1966, and I ended up being drafted in 1967 and went to Vietnam. I was the last graduate at South Carolina State who got a degree in electrical engineering science.

So they flipped from science to technology because the program was very rigid. And when I graduated in 1970, two of us graduated. And so, as you well know, two people graduating it electrical engineering is not very good. So they changed the curriculum to make it more amenable.

What they ended up doing when they went to technology, they really focused primarily on technology of the textile mills and that type of thing in the state of South Carolina. Well, you know, a lot of that has folded. And so, as a result, what I did as chairman of the engineering advisory board at South Carolina State, we went after -- so we lost electrical. We lost civil. We lost industrial. We lost mechanical.

Now, I think right now we have nuclear and we have electrical. What we need to do is strengthen those programs, and the way you strengthen them is you strengthen them through science, through science and mathematics. You've got to really go back to Calculus I, II, III, and differential equations.

So, in other words, you have to really strengthen those programs to make them science, engineering science. I think that with nuclear and electrical, I think it wouldn't be very much for us to get mechanical and industrial back, based on what I know.

And I haven't been there in a few years as far as managing and getting involved in the programs, but that's what I would suggest.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let's talk about institutional advancement as the vice president from 2008 to 2011. I know a little bit about institutional advancement. I chair the committee at one of the colleges.

Tell me how well you did, and tell me some issues in trying to raise money at the institution, especially private money, given the fact that I think you only get about 9 percent now from state funding, which, I think, will represent -- I'm going to ask some more questions about fundraising since you've got to experience some of that and where the board needs to go in terms of being able to raise private dollars.

I think fundraising starts at the top. I think fundraising starts with the board. I'll go back to what Representative King asked, and I'll answer that question also. I'm very anxious to -- that was a very good question he asked.

Let me just say this. Fundraising starts at the top. It starts with the board of trustees, and it also starts with the president. It starts with the president.
MR. LAWRENCE: That's right. But now, in the case of Claflin, let me just say, I served on that board for eight years. I can tell you that the board stepped up first. When we had a capital campaign, the board stepped up and said that we're going to do $3.2 million, so everybody else kind of followed suit. And as you know, Dr. Tisdale has an outstanding track record for raising money.

But again, you asked me what did I do. Let me tell you some things I did at State.

One of the things I did, I put on a traveling roadshow to alumni. I think you have to go in front of them. You have to step it up. You have to tell them -- and you lead by example. I have a history of giving to South Carolina State. My record speaks for itself. Evie and I continue to give.

So anyway, what ended up happening, the traveling roadshow I think was very successful. I ended up -- I don't know whether you remember this or not, but we ended up with the benches on State's campus. I was able to sell 28 benches at $10,000, $280,000 just on benches all around the stadium. You see those benches around the stadium. I had that program going.

I had the Club 1000. I raised $380,000 for the Club 1000. You remember, one of the football games let everybody line up with the shirts, with the white shirts with the -- I did a special emblem. And people are very proud of that. So we were able to raise $380,000 just by people wanting to wear that shirt with the special emblem on it. So it's things like that that I was able to implement.

Then I decided that maybe at age 65, I said, Well, I'm done, and I retired. But still, there are so many things that we can do at South Carolina State to raise money.

And you also -- I remember you asking, Senator Scott, the question about the -- we need to have a capital campaign. I think at South Carolina State, we start thinking about where we are with the buildings and the infrastructure. We need to have a capital campaign, and I know how to do that. I'm not interested in doing it strictly from a policy and procedures standpoint, but I most certainly would like to get involved from that level to make sure those kinds of things happen.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let me just interrupt you for a just a second.

Before you get into the capital campaign, you really need to have some ground seed money.
MR. LAWRENCE: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: The other part in looking at responsibility for boards of trustees, you're really going to have an institutional advancement. But really raising money is really serious. You've got a number of different components. One of the portions you talked about was alumni giving. You've still got corporate giving, other kinds of community-type giving to really make your numbers come through.

I'm happy to see there is somebody that will be on board or at least that's competing for a position to get on board who knows something about raising money, but there's a whole lot of other issues --
MR. LAWRENCE: Absolutely.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- as well. And I'm talking about a little bit more than what I've heard or seen, maybe a little bit more aggressive to what Claflin has and some other HBCUs that are used to raising money, because most public institutions don't raise money. But there a lot of models that are out there that actually work.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What is the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR SCOTT: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded. Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no. The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now we have Richard D. Leonard from Orangeburg.

Good morning, sir.
MR. LEONARD: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. LEONARD: Richard Douglas Leonard.
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. LEONARD: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. LEONARD: As a resident of Orangeburg, I'm tired of hearing about the complaints about South Carolina State, and I figure you can either complain about it or try to do something about it. And I'm trying to do something about it.

South Carolina State's important to the city of Orangeburg and also the state, but living right there, the economic impact it has on Orangeburg is enormous.

Yes, I have a degree from South Carolina State, an education specialty degree, and I remember attending the University in Turner Hall. It was falling down as we attended classes, and I saw other buildings on campus that were closed up. And I said, This is not right. We've got to do something about it.

And you look right next door to Claflin, and I said, Okay. It's private. But still, it's like going into Mexico from San Diego. It's just night and day.

So I think there's a lot of things that can be done to help South Carolina State. Personally, I don't think you all and the governor will bail out South Carolina State again if they get in that kind of trouble, so I think that would be a very important part of being on the board, to make sure we support the president and the faculty and staff, but also that we are responsible to you all and the governor and the citizens of South Carolina.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Welcome, General Leonard.
MR. LEONARD: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: He is one of my generals under the general service detachment, a brigadier general to me.

Tell me a little bit about a strategic plan that you would actually put together. And we just finished working through that, and we've got all these ideas about how we fix it, how we change it from looking like Mexico. Now, tell me what you would actually do on the ground to make this thing work.
MR. LEONARD: Well, we've got to look at what's the purpose of the university. It's education. And we've got to look at -- make sure we are attracting the correct students. You just can't look at an SAT score or an ACT score. You've got to look at the whole transcript.

I think also, not just for South Carolina, but all universities nationwide, we've thrown out so much money, and the kids who are not completing the school, they don't have the discipline or the -- whatever -- maturity, I guess, in a lot of respects. And they build this student loan that goes with them.

I think we need to look at programs and make sure that the kids are focused on whatever career fields they select and also, they don't drive up that student loan where they can't pay it back, and also look at the purpose of the loan, for getting an education.

So I think the graduation rates need to be looked at and make sure the accreditation stays, that South Carolina State doesn't lose that. We've got to, of course, in addition to good recruiting, also recruit professors and staff that will support the institution. Those are some of the immediate things.

Long range, of course, the infrastructure. My impression of South Carolina State University is that it's a patchwork type architectural design. It's nothing uniform. It looks like one year they had a bunch of money and they build this type of building.

And I think that would help, looking at the overall facilities we can do because nowadays, there's so much competition out there for college kids. They've got online schools. They've got technical schools that are doing very, very well.

And then the choices. You go to Morehouse or Howard or some of these other Universities, and they've got a lot more money, but I think that South Carolina State is important to the state as a historically black college. I've been down to Denmark, and they've got their issues. But again, I think there is hope for South Carolina State, and I want to be a part of trying to build that back up.

Again, you've got to look at getting the student body up and focused on what they are there for. It's not a party school. They're getting an education. They don't have the money. The parents and grandparents are paying a lot into it, and they need to get a big bang for the buck.

Likewise, I think nowadays, a lot of schools have programs to help students. They're just not thrown out there anymore. I think the faculty and staff through mentor programs or whatever can help the students academically to achieve what they are going to do.
SENATOR SCOTT: So you're saying on the front end, a little different kind of funding and a little bit about the culture.
MR. LEONARD: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Is that what you're saying?
MR. LEONARD: I think not just attracting numbers but doing a very selective process of, Why does a kid want to go to South Carolina State? Granted, a lot of us when we were 18 years old really didn't know what we wanted to do with our lives. I changed majors when I was going to school. But I think nowadays, there are so many tools available to the young people to help them make those decisions.

And I think, too, South Carolina State's not the answer to all. Somebody who wants to go there is going there for particular reason, and hopefully it's a major that they're focusing on career-wise.

I've always told students, for undergraduate degrees, you want to get your broad, general degree, and for your master's and doctorate, you gradually start to specialize. But I think getting a good, sound education will help them.

The thought today is we're training people for jobs that aren't even available yet. We look at the cell phone industry. When we went to college, we had slide rules. Now, all these kids have got these cell phones that do everything now. Somebody had to invent that. And I think we need to provide an avenue for those students who have that drive to do something like that.

And again, I'm just picking at one little field, but there's a lot of them out there, and I think South Carolina attracts them.
SENATOR SCOTT: You're the principal at the Area Career Center.
MR. LEONARD: Cope Area Career Center.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what you see with these young people coming in, whether or not their first, whether or not their ready to go to college, their mindset.
MR. LEONARD: A lot of them are not focused. One thing we're having to do now is teach -- what I hear from the industry when to go out there is, What do we need to do with the university's soft skills?

They don't know the basic stuff that we learned in our household when we grew up, to say, Thank you; Yes, sir; show up on time; how to do job interviews; how to just be polite, customer-service oriented to help these kids.

I said, If you're going to work at McDonald's or somewhere, do the best you can. And I said, But if somebody hands their hard-earned money over, make sure you say, Thank you. You're a representative of that company. So that's some of the things we're looking at.

In addition, with globalization, we're competing not just nationwide but against all those other countries for jobs. And I think that's true. We've got to have our people, our young folks engaged and not waste their time.

That's another thing I told them. I said, Don't waste your time, guys. Get focused. Now, we want you to have a good time in high school and a good time in college, but you've got to stay focused. And it doesn't do any good to say you just attended college. You need to have it on your resume that you graduated from that college because the certificate is what everybody's looking at nowadays.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. I appreciate you being here.

With the work that you do, I just want to see are there any issues with you being able to attend scheduled meetings or other activities that would be required from that standpoint?
MR. LEONARD: No. I looked at what's -- I live in Orangeburg, and with ample time and notification, I can always get off work if something happens during the daytime and I have to come here. So it shouldn't be any problem.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome, Colonel. Us non-comms appreciate you. At least I don't have to salute you here.
SENATOR SCOTT: He's been promoted. He's a general now.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Oh. He's a general now.
SENATOR SCOTT: He's a brigadier general.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Wow. I guess we'd better salute you then.

I'm a former educator also, and I've noticed what you were talking about, the culture of young people from when I first started teaching, where they used to say, Yes, sir, or No, sir, or whatever, Mr. Whitmire. By the time I retired, that had disappeared.
MR. LEONARD: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Is it their home life or is it maybe just the culture of television, or is it a combination? What's your opinion on that?
MR. LEONARD: It's a lot of things. A lot of the kids now are just -- basically, they're spoiled. I spoiled mine, but my sons Know how to say yes, sir and no, sir. But the media doesn't help. They see all the things on YouTube and all the other distractions we have in our society today.

But I think a lot of it is, we've got to enforce it in them and let them know that this is the right way to do things. Obviously, I tell people, the only instruction book that the parent gets with them at the hospital is how to use the car seat. They're never taught how to be parents.

And that's the problem we have in our society, especially with so many fragmented families or whatever you want to call it nowadays. And that's an issue we have to deal with every day. When I call a parent, I don't know who I'm talking to. Am I talking to the parent or grandparent, to a foster parent?

It's just the way our society is. It's not like it used to be 50 or 60 years ago.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, kids don't have the structure -
MR. LEONARD: No, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: -- that we grew up with, unfortunately.

And another thing I've noticed, I'm chair of the funding for education on the house side, and one thing we talked about with the Department of Education is, they're having a hard time keeping teachers past five years, but I don't think it's just teaching. It seems this new generation, they just go from one job to another. They don't have any --
MR. LEONARD: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Are you seeing that?
MR. LEONARD: I'm seeing that, especially in rural areas like Orangeburg, Bamberg, Barnwell. The teacher shortage is really impacting us in finding qualified people. Granted, I think sometimes teaching is a passion, not just a job. But we have an issue with that.

One of the programs I had at Cope is early childhood education, trying to get students enrolled in that. We have a teacher cadet program. But a lot of these kids, they go off to college, and they don't want to come back home because we have no amenities or anything for them. And that hurts the rural communities of South Carolina. We've always talk about the Corridor of Shame, which we're on the fringes -- we're on part of as well.

How do you fix that? You just can't throw money at it. Money helps. But, again, attracting people to go to the rural areas, unless they're from there and have families there, it's hard.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You're right as far as funding. My wife's a former elementary principal, and she came home one time and she said, I've got this wonderful candidate. He went through the Call Me MISTER program. He's going to be a great role model for especially minority boys who don't, sometimes, have a father figure at the home. And about a month later, I said, Well, how is he doing?

She said, Well, he didn't take the job because private industry hired him away at twice the salary.

So it's hard to find, especially, male role models in education because they are going to go where the money is, unfortunately.

So anyway, thank you for what you're doing as far as career education and willingness to serve.
MR. LEONARD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of the committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no. The ayes have it.

Thank you for your willingness to serve, sir.
MR. LEONARD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good morning.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. RICHARDSON: Leo Richardson.
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. RICHARDSON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement, Mr. Richardson?
MR. RICHARDSON: Yes.

I too, I have three children and a granddaughter, and I do have a dog.

I've been around a while, and I guess I've been involved with South Carolina State most of my life, even though I'm not a graduate. I've been familiar with it for a while. The last time I was on the campus was February 10th when they honored Dr. Benjamin Payton, whose sister was my girlfriend when we were at Morris College. So we've been family for a long time.

And also, I'm a season ticket holder since 1990. So I've been involved and in and out of the campus, I guess, doing any number of things. For a while, we were -- when I was at the Department of Social Services, we worked with 1890 and some programs in getting some things done there.

We also had an opportunity to have some professors from South Carolina State do some research for us, and that was very gratifying. So I've been involved a while.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes.

Mr. Richardson, you put in your paperwork that you serve on the Board of Pharmacy.
MR. RICHARDSON: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Do you still?
MR. RICHARDSON: I am.
MS. CASTO: And if elected to the South Carolina State Board, you would resign?
MR. RICHARDSON: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.

Everything else is in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other discussion?
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR SCOTT: What's your dog's name?
MR. RICHARDSON: Mikey.
SENATOR VERDIN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Please tell me it's a bulldog. S.C. State bulldog?
MR. RICHARDSON: Well, you know...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise you right hand.

Thank you.

Thank you for your willingness to serve, Mr. Richardson.
MR. RICHARDSON: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Mr. Irvin is in the audience.

Yes, please come forward, sir. Make sure your -- that it's burning green, the light next to the speaker.
MR. IRVIN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Good morning, sir. For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. IRVIN: Milton Michael Irvin.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: I'll swear you in. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. IRVIN: Yes, I do.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement, Mr. Irvin?
MR. IRVIN: First of all, you know, thank you for your time in scheduling a number of meetings. That's always rough.
I was introduced to South Carolina State when I got appointed to the board by Governor Haley. Previous to that, I really didn't know much about the institution, and over the last two and a half years, it's been a journey, a journey that still has a lot of forward to go, but something that I have been very pleased with in terms of some of the things that have been accomplished over the last two and a half years.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you.
Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. PRICE: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Members, do you have any questions or comments?
Senator from Richland, Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Irving, for your willingness to serve. I have a question for you this morning.
Would you tell us what exactly happened at the board of trustees' side not to follow the instructions of the General Assembly that was to, in fact, put the school back where it needed to be and the board decides to hire a president that was a member of the board of trustees? Can you kind of walk me through that?
MR. IRVIN: Sure.
We knew that we needed to go forward with a new president. We actually had formed a committee, a search committee, and it was going to take time to get the appropriate approvals for the right search firm because the search firms that were in the existing database probably weren't the search firms that were going to be necessary to find the right candidate.
Isaacson Miller is a pretty well-known search firm that has done a lot in the HBCU space. As a matter of fact, recently Johnson C. Smith, Morehouse, and Fisk University, they basically -- I know the presidents of all three of those schools.
It was a function of money and time, and when we felt that there was an individual on our board that had the skill base and the tenacity and the business acumen, we felt why spend a year or, you know, six months to a year when you had someone in your midst that could hit the ground running and really begin to add some value and make the tough decisions.
SENATOR SCOTT: And knowing that your time was piled up, all those members of the board of trustees come off, you guys second-guessed the new board that was coming on. The new board should have had the opportunity to select the president.
You had a president that had gotten you through the time the school was about to -- had gone broke until this time, and the board of trustees decide that that was an immediate thing that it needed to do, like it did not already have somebody.
MR. IRVIN: One, I think there was a sense of urgency as it related to --
SENATOR SCOTT: Define sense of urgency because I have heard you say it three times now.
MR. IRVIN: We clearly -- as we went through the first year, particularly as it related to preparing for SACS, we were very disappointed in the performance of President Evans. Therefore, the sense of urgency was putting someone in place that could be in place for a more permanent time. That was -- you know, that was the sense of urgency.
The sense of urgency was, one, we had to make sure that we were going to live up to some of the things that we told SACS. We knew that there were going to have to be a lot of tough decisions made. We thought it was value-added, having someone who understood, you know, some of the numbers that were confronting us, some of the cuts that we were going to have to make sure happened, and making sure that we were going to come in with a balanced budget, making sure that something called the UNAC (phonetic) was going to, you know, be zero.
So all of those things were important right out of the box.
SENATOR SCOTT: Believe it or not, I spoke with SACS. That's not what I got from SACS. That's just not what I got from SACS.
And the other part, did you know that the same president we hired at Vorhees College transferred from one college to the next college, and we interviewed almost 100 people? We didn't use an outside firm. You guys could have developed a rubric and used the rubric for the purpose of weeding out those particular individuals that you wanted to be president.
Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Any other questions or comments from the committee?
Mr. Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning. Thank you for being here. Being a board member, I see that you attend a -- the campus frequently, but what is your attendance record at board meetings and other activities that are responsible for the board?
MR. IRVIN: I have attended every board meeting that we have had over the last, you know, two and a half to three years.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Representative Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am interested in understanding a little bit more about the current financial status of South Carolina State. You mentioned in your application here that you desire to continue to serve on the board so that you can help to see that its finances get back on a good, stable footing. I am not quoting you exactly, but I believe that's, in essence, what you said.
Where do you think South Carolina State needs to go at this point to be on a more substantial, stable financial footing?
MR. IRVIN: Well, one, we've got to continue doing what we are doing, but, in essence, it's really raising more money. One, I think that, and I said this before, the House Ways and Means -- in the past I think the State has given us what they feel is their fair proportion, and at some point, I think South Carolina State may need a little bit more than what is considered the fair proportion.
Secondly -- and the thing that we really want to begin to take a look at is developing a strategic plan, okay, what I call "product." What you want to do is then you take that product to the alums, to corporations where appropriate within the state, and really begin to rebrand, have a product, sell that product, get additional funding, get alumni engaged, and those are the things that we need to do on the revenue side.
I think we have done what we could do, you know, on the expense side. You know, we've gotten, you know, payables down from, you know, owing over 12 million to basically being flat. But, you know, it comes at a cost. Okay. You know, we still need to make sure that we can attract talented professors, staff people, you know, et cetera. So there has to be a focus now on the revenue side.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Let me ask you, HBCUs, why are the private colleges thriving and growing and this one's not?
MR. IRVIN: I don't know that all the private colleges are thriving, but, you know, having put that aside, to me --
CHAIRMAN PEELER: The one right next door is.
MR. IRVIN: Well, first --
CHAIRMAN PEELER: You can't even blame it on climate.
MR. IRVIN: No. Dr. Tisdale has built a very good institution, but he's been there for a long period of time. He's had an engaged alumni base. And, you know, I think that his board must be the type of board that is in it, you know, for the school and not for any personal aggrandizement.
So I think having a steady person at the helm with a supportive board has been a good recipe for them, and they have been able to have a galvanized alumni base that has raised a reasonable amount of money, and they take pride in what they are doing.
CHAIRMAN PEELER: You recognized that and stepped forward, I think. What you just said. You recognized that. Recognizing that, it's important to do that.
I'm sorry. They were supposed to fix these microphones, but it went dead on us again.
Any other questions or comments?
What's the desire of the committee?
Motion is favorable. Seconded.
Any other discussion?
Let's take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
(Members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to serve, sir.
MR. IRVIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon.
MS. JOHNSON: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. JOHNSON: My name is Valencia LaToya Johnson.
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. JOHNSON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. JOHNSON: I would, actually.

So as a graduate of South Carolina State University, this is one of the main reasons why I submitted my name in terms of the board of trustees.

I have a love for the institution, because not only has it provided me with a great education and the ability to sustain myself professionally, but it was a place where I was able to hone in leadership skills that may not have been noticed previously in high school.

One of the things about South Carolina State that is amazing is that they take in a population of students that other institutions may or may not be interested in, and they take these individuals who, metaphorically, are considered lumps of coal, and they turn them into diamonds that are able and ready to move into the professional phase.

And in thinking about the treatment of the institution as a whole and in terms of some of the infrastructure issues that exist, in terms of student enrollment being down, in terms of just the general oversight of the institution, I feel that I provide a unique insight on how to better engage students in the South Carolina context.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes.

Ms. Johnson, on your personal data questionnaire, you said that you have defaulted on your student loans and that you are making payments to remove the default from your credit history.
MS. JOHNSON: Yes.

I would love to provide some context into that, and I think it really speaks to some of the infrastructure issues in terms of customer service that you are providing to a student.

So in my matriculation through South Carolina State University, I incurred some student loan debt upon my departure. I actually spent some time in South Carolina as a teacher and got 5,000 invested in loan debt removed.

I then decided to further my education, attending NYU and moving to New York. And that departure from South Carolina state to -- the state of South Carolina to the state of New York, there was a lot of just mail missing, just generally, in terms of correspondence in regards to student loan debt.

Just for full disclosure, I also got all of my UPS mail forwarded to my new location. So it's really interesting how in communicating with South Carolina State University, I did not know that I had entered into default range until I was already in graduate school for a year and applied for student loan support in this area as well.

And so I was able to lift and move from default into a placement of payment currently. And that's through months and months of back-and-forth conversation with the institution and the loan officer. So there's some tricky thoughts that should go into that realm in terms of advocating for students and communicating their student loan obligations.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Johnson, what is your address?

THE WITNESS: My current address is 1300 Long Creek Drive, Apartment 221, Columbia, South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And what is on your driver's license?
MS. JOHNSON: 105 Buckingham Boulevard, Sumter, South Carolina.

My license still holds my parental address. I moved to Columbia within the last seven months from that address. Prior to that, I lived in Boston. So in moving back to South Carolina, I stayed in Sumter.

Recently within the last seven months, I moved to Columbia.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And where do you vote?
MS. JOHNSON: Where do I currently vote? Right now, my voter's jurisdiction is still based on my license address, which is Number 6, Mulberry County. Mulberry County, I believe, and will be changed thereafter.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So --
MS. JOHNSON: Sumter County, Mulberry District.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Huh?
MS. JOHNSON: Sumter County, Mulberry District.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Can you tell me about what you feel when you think of diversity for South Carolina State? How do you see South Carolina State being -- just explain diversity to me in reference to South Carolina State. And if you are on the board, how will you promote diversity?
MS. JOHNSON: Well, it's interesting. South Carolina State is a historically black college and university, and people make the natural assumption that there is a lack of diversity at South Carolina State with it being an all-black institution.

But there is diversity within the black diaspora. So that's including international students. That is also including individuals from South Carolina that have a diversity beyond race, I would say. It's in terms of lifestyle, understanding, first-college graduates.

Thinking of diversity among skin color and thinking of diversity holistically. So in the holistic approach in diversity, South Carolina State University does have that. But in the movement toward investigating opportunities for more international students, investigating beyond the sporting areas -- because we do have a lot of international students that play nontraditional sports for people of color at the institution, but also thinking about international students in the academic space as well, bringing in scholarships and opportunities that way, we can increase and maintain the level of diversity that exists at South Carolina State University.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: What is the ratio, do you think, percentagewise that should be South Carolinians versus out-of-state folks that attend South Carolina State?
MS. JOHNSON: Well, with the current enrollment being where it is, I do think that I have a very keen concept of 60 percent of the students being of South Carolina State are in-state students. I think there's a lot of work to be done in terms of perception of the institution. A lot of just PR that needs to be done in terms of the programs that are currently offered, communication in terms of South Carolina staying -- in terms of accreditation.

There's a lot of rumors and miscommunication about the institution overall, and I think that we are in an interesting place where we can communicate what has been done at South Carolina State with going and moving forward in terms of just the student population making strides. Like most recently, we had a small population of students that are in the research space that were able to discuss their research internationally.

And so I think that there's room there; however, with it being an in-state institution, I have a preference for engaging those in South Carolina.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And on your questionnaire when they asked about abatements, you said unless the student established residency. Explain that.
MS. JOHNSON: The establishment of residency for South Carolina to determine in-state tuition. So with in-state tuition, I am a firm believer that we should have a policy -- and a policy does exist to a certain degree -- in terms of demonstrating your state of residence, living in the state of South Carolina for one year previous if you're in graduate schools and things of that nature. But for undergraduates, it's about their home address and making sure that they have maintained time in South Carolina before receiving in-state tuition.

Am I not --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: No, no.
MS. JOHNSON: -- getting to your question?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: You're good.

This is my last question to you: South Carolina Board of Trustees has predominantly in the past been an all African American board. What is your take on it being a diverse board? Do you feel that it should maintain being an all African American board?
MS. JOHNSON: I do not think it should be maintained as an all African American board. I do believe in a sense of diversity and diversity beyond race, as I mentioned before. So that includes age inclusivity as well. Just understanding the dynamic of the student population that currently exists there and some of the concepts moving forward that could engage more students.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you. Good afternoon.
MS. JOHNSON: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is there anything in your current responsibilities that would preclude you from being able to be active and in good attendance at the board meetings and other events that would be necessary for you to be on the board?
MS. JOHNSON: Currently, no. So I will be able to adjust my schedule in general just to make sure that I am able to attend all meetings and any activities that may be required of me. Currently, I am the managing director of impact and service at City Year Columbia, which is a nonprofit organization. So there's a level of flexibility there as well as just a desire.

So I will make it a priority.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Glad to see you here today. I'm glad to see that we have some younger candidates as well. I think that's very encouraging. So thank you for your willingness to serve.

Given you are one of the younger candidates, I'm interested in understanding your viewpoint on South Carolina State expanding its use of online classes and perhaps bringing in additional students via online classes versus sort of the traditional college experience. What is your take on that?
MS. JOHNSON: So that's a very interesting question, because online institutions have grown so much so in providing people the flexibility to be anywhere and still be a part of a university setting. I think that there is value in investigating that specifically for certain programs, but there is a beauty in South Carolina State in terms of its brick and mortar.

There is a history there. There is a richness there, and I think it's very important for students to definitely breathe in that air and be a part of that spirit that is South Carolina State University. So do I think that there is possibility there? Yes.

I think that there are certain programs that that would be more fitted for, but there are programs in which I think partnerships with other universities to expand the programming availability is really, really important to investigate first and foremost before, in my mind.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I would point out, though, that the brick and mortar university, you know, as we know it today may be going away. It takes more and more money to build these buildings and especially if you bring in specialized programs. It just costs a lot more money.

So that's why I'm wondering with South Carolina State in particular if it's a good interim step, you know, until we have the capital programs in place to bring the buildings up to where they need to be --
MS. JOHNSON: Oh.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: -- and build new buildings if that's a way to bring in additional revenue without the overhead expenses.
MS. JOHNSON: I think if it's done strategically, then it would be interesting to investigate. And I hesitate partially, just because there are certain programs that are not suited for online in the South Carolina context.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you. I appreciate your response.
MS. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

No other discussion?

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

Thank you so much for your willingness to serve.
MS. JOHNSON: Thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good afternoon, ma'am.
MS. BUTLER: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. BUTLER: My name is Rosemounda Peggy Butler.
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. BUTLER: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. BUTLER: I would.

I am the daughter and mother of South Carolina State students, as well as aunt, grandparent, godmother, cousin, and above a whole lot of other things, I believe in the institution as a whole. That's what I heard all my life, that you need to go to South Carolina State University.

I also believe that I bring a lot of assets to the position of board of trustees by serving on a number of boards that I've held prior to now. I think the institution as a whole is viable for the community, and I see that in the future. It could possibly grow and become one of the greatest assets that we have as an HBCU in South Carolina.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is her paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good afternoon. It's good to see you.
MS. BUTLER: Good afternoon.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you're kind of consistently there with your current responsibilities. Is there anything that would preclude you from being an active and engaged member of the board and having other responsibilities that would be required as a board member?
MS. BUTLER: None whatsoever.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, ma'am.
MS. BUTLER: You're welcome.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Go ahead.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I just want to ask one thing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Ms. Butler, I see that you served for West Columbia City Council for a number of years.
MS. BUTLER: Yes. I was elected for West Columbia City Council in 1993. I served 12 years by serving as a council member.

We had a lot of things going at that time. I have seen the city growth. We built a new city hall at that time.

I went on to serve as a member of the National Legal of Cities Board of Directors, and I was elected by my peers from across the United States. And that within itself was public policy, and even though we didn't have to do fundraising, per se, the monies were given to us from sponsorship from the high-end corporations. I know that as a member of the board that you should be able to sow a seed into the institution so that people can see that you are willing to not only serve, but to give to the institution. And fundraising is very, very important for the institution as well as all of the other monies that's coming from the state.

The school should be able to sustain itself with the different directions and different things going on. I don't see that that's an impossibility when you have responsibilities and collaboration with communities and their organizations. It can be done.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Ms. Butler, thank you for your willingness to serve.

One thing I can say publicly, you have never allowed disabilities or anything else to stop you.

At the appropriate point in time, I vote for a favorable report.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable report.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you so much for your service.
MS. BUTLER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Ronald Friday from Blythewood. Is Mr. Friday here, or Mr. Addison?

Oh. They're coming? Okay.

Good afternoon, sir.

For the record, if you would give us your full name, sir.
MR. FRIDAY: Ronald Douglas Friday, sir.
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. FRIDAY: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. FRIDAY: Yes, sir.

Honorable Peeler and distinguished members of the South Carolina Trustee Screening Committee, I am honored and grateful for an opportunity for consideration of my expertise for such a historical institution. The reason for selecting Seat Number 11, the principles that's based upon the tension of a door is 7 at the top, 11 at the bottom.

Throughout my career, I've always started at the bottom, and that has been my guiding principle. You will find no other person on the question of commitment, of courage, competency, and candor for consideration of South Carolina State University; that I'll become a champion for this institution for growth and change, sir.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Friday, on your personal data questionnaire, number 19, I couldn't read your handwriting exactly. You said this was a failure to move your car --
MR. FRIDAY: Yes, ma'am.
MS. CASTO: -- in Birmingham in 1988.
Could you explain?
MR. FRIDAY: In nineteen -- let me back up to where I left.

In 1985, '86, I was in Birmingham. I was involved in an accident. The driver hit my car, and he turned his car around. I went through a lawsuit because of this.

Well, I had just came to Birmingham. And while my sister was there, she had gotten hit in her car. Alabama is a no-fault state.

So I ran from my apartment down to the car, and I wanted to take pictures, because that was something I never want to relive again, being sued when somebody was at fault. And when I got there, I didn't have a camera. They had already taken my sister and nephew to the emergency room in Birmingham.

When I got there, I asked the deputy sheriff did they have a camera I could use, something to take some pictures, and explained to him -- and he said no. And then I turned around. I said, Well, let me look in the car to see if I've got a camera.

So I turn around and open the door to my car. I guess from now thinking, 20 years later and the way that police officers think, I didn't think that way. I was in the military. I was a first sergeant. I mean, you know, you try to get things done and try to make sure that you don't relive another moment.

The next thing I know, the guy said, "I'm going to charge you for failure to move the car."

And I was like, "Okay." I said, you know, Lord, this is sad that I didn't have pictures of the first incident, but the good Lord got me through it. But I wanted to make sure that when my insurance company had to deal with this issue, I had pictures, because of learning that a lot of pictures is worth a thousand words.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You've got one of these now, don't you?
MR. FRIDAY: Yes, sir.

THE WITNESS: So, unfortunately, I went down a path. You know, that's why I said that it's -- it's regrettable I had to deal with and go this way, ma'am, and panel, because, in fact, it was a lesson learned that I was trying -- you know, it was taught to always protect ourselves, and this kind of was a sad situation, an it's kind of hurt my heart.

And as a matter of fact, I don't even -- today, if something happens, I don't even -- if I go to an event and I see people taking pictures, I don't pull my phone out because you see so many things and just lesson learned. That's what happened, ma'am.

It's a sad situation. I mean, the judge told me -- I paid the fine and moved on, because life goes on, ma'am. At the end of the day, it wasn't worth it anymore. It just was a bad mistake.

And he kind of thought, you know, the cop might have been a little aggressive.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I don't have a whole lot to go on, but my gut tells me that Mr. Friday is as good at taking orders as anybody in this room. So...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think he could give a few too. A former sergeant, oh, yeah.
SENATOR VERDIN: I do appreciate staff and all the good work that they do, but I'm more than satisfied on the matter, for the record.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right. Questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon.
MR. FRIDAY: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your service to our country and your willingness to serve here.

Your responsibilities now in the work that you do, is there anything that would preclude you from being an active member of the board or other responsibilities that you may be called upon?
MR. FRIDAY: No, sir. There's no -- I travel, but my travel schedule is controlled by me. I know when I have to travel, and I schedule that. If there is an event known today, if I need to rework my calendar, I can rework it, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Who is Candy Friday Farms?
MR. FRIDAY: Candy Friday Farms. I own a -- four or five years ago, my dad owned 20 acres of land, and he was just letting the land sit there. So my sister said, "We ought to use some of the land."

So I started to develop -- I developed a farming business called Candy Friday Farms. Candy is my nickname.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. FRIDAY: I am known in Cartersville, South Carolina, by the name of Candy. So I started Candy Friday Farms with 20 acres of farmland, and that has increased to about 165 acres now. I'm a rural crop farmer, and I've developed this farming business to give back.

South Carolina is one of the largest farming industries in the state (sic). And the challenges that when I looked at South Carolina State, historically what it was designed for, there is a lot of benefit that we can bring back. Because in the 2014 Farm Bill, President Obama stated that they wanted to get two things: they wanted to get veterans and they wanted African Americans back into farming, which we are a minority in the farming world today.

And my encouragement is that South Carolina State can come back to that organization of helping, as I'm answering one of your questions about that program. Agricultural, that's where South Carolina State was, the start.

So Candy Friday Farming is a farming business that's thriving. We're getting ready to plant corn in a week.
SENATOR VERDIN: I love it.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any discussion?

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

Thank you, sir.
MR. FRIDAY: Thank you, sir.

Sir, is there anything else I have to do after this?
MS. CASTO: No, sir. We'll be back in touch.
MR. FRIDAY: Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Chairman, the next person that is here is Doris Helms, and she's been here longer than the others, and the rest are not here. Her paperwork is behind Tab N and --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Tab N, Doris Helms from Johns Island?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the At-Large Seat 11.
MS. CASTO: And the skinny is on page 17 of the handout that I made for you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Helms, for the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. HELMS: Doris Rittinger Helms.
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. HELMS: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. HELMS: Sure.

My name is Doris Helms, and I'm currently on the interim board of trustees at South Carolina State University.

I have enjoyed being able to use the experience and knowledge I have from 40 years in higher education to help the university over the last two and a half years. I also have quite a few connections, both at the national level and the state level, and I have also been pleased to be able to use those to help the university.

It is a historic university. It's an important university in this state. It has a very loyal, unbelievably loyal faculty, staff, and alumni and, you know, a student body that deserves an excellent education. They will be a large part of our workforce coming forward, and I think it's really important that we bring this HBCU, this 1890 HBCU, back to prominence in our state.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MS. HELMS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Ms. Helm, thank you for your willingness to serve during the most difficult time.

Tell me some of the things that you observed that we need to be doing to move this institution forward, now that you've had three years at the institution.
MS. HELMS: It's been an interesting three years, especially looking at it having come from another university and having worked at the university for 40 years.

I think the first thing that we noticed was that there was a lack of business practices and a lack of accountability, and, certainly, those were the two things that had to be fixed immediately. They led to some of the financial problems that the university had. Obviously, the financial problems were something that needed to be fixed.

Academically SACS had reaccredited it, at least on a positive level. The academic areas, the trouble they were in were financial and governance issues. So those needed to be fixed.

I think that we've come a long way. We, for the first time, have a positive UNAEP thanks to the legislature, thanks to forgiveness to parts of the loan, and thanks to working hard to increase the number of students.

As you well know, the number of students were going down, down, down, down, down, and at the time we came in at 2015, it was in the lowest number of students that they had in ten years. And it takes a while to pull that back, because you had a sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level class that were very small, and all of a sudden you put in a bunch of freshmen, but it takes a long time for those to increase. Absolutely increasing the number of students has to happen in order for the university to be viable. So that's another area that we're working on.

Vision. What is this university? That was one of my first questions.

Who is South Carolina State? What is your vision for the future? And without a strong vision, I don't think that you can get a strategic plan that's going to move this institution forward. We're working on that now.

We had a new vision. It's transformation through collaboration.

I've heard all the questions about diversity, so I'll address that. One of the reasons I'm excited about that vision --
SENATOR SCOTT: Well --
MS. HELMS: Yeah.
SENATOR SCOTT: Just wait until we get to --
MS. HELMS: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- Representative King and his --
MS. HELMS: I'll wait.
SENATOR SCOTT: We're going to try to focus on just answering some questions that I have right now.
MS. HELMS: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I really appreciate you trying to get through it.
MS. HELMS: Too many years.
SENATOR SCOTT: Some would say that the board was given a four-year transition period -- a three-year transition period, and the fourth year we would be doing exactly what we're doing now.
MS. HELMS: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: What led the board, and also you, making the decision out of the members of the board of trustees rather than doing a national search -- because it came up -- to, in fact -- and that question is very, very prevalent here among some of the other members of the Senate.

What led to the board making that decision, to elect a member of the board as the president rather than an interim president and then doing a national search?
MS. HELMS: Well, when we started looking at things in 2015, we took about six months to figure out really what was really going on. We had a president who had been a provost who was an acting president, a very, very nice man. But a provost and a president are two very, very different things, and it became very obvious very quickly that business practices were not his forte and that accountability was something that was going to require replacement of people.

We went into financial exigency, which is not easy. We ended up releasing a lot of faculty and staff, which is hard to do if you've been at a university and you know the faculty and staff. So we actually formed a search committee, and I was chair of the search committee.

We started looking at what the possibilities were for going out and getting a search firm because we needed a strong president. A search firm is going to cost you quite a bit of money. The university had no money left in its foundation, mainly because of the payoff to the president that was released.

So there was no money. We had everyone on furlough for 30 days. You had an amount of salaried employees at 195,000, which is what the state would provide with no foundation money to augment that.

And we all looked at each other and said, You know what? I'm not sure we can invite in here at a national level somebody who is willing to come to a university that's going to be or has been on probation for two years. It's not sure whether it's going to be accredited, lots of negative press in the newspaper about whether we're going to close the university or not. There was a lot of reasons to say you're not going to get the quality of the candidate that you really want.

So we disbanded the committee. And we said, You know, we already have two people who have been working tirelessly for the university, weekly, going to the university. And that was Charles Way and James Clark.

James was passionate about what he was doing. He had the business sense. He was a retired vice president of AT&T, and he wanted to do this. He knew the financials of the university, and that was the biggest thing that we needed, plus he knew business practices.

So we decided to appoint him, not as interim, but to give him the full power of a president. And we put him in there for a four-year term with the idea that at the end of that, we would do a national search, and he could apply.
SENATOR SCOTT: You know, not questioning his qualifications, but what we sent the members of the board, interim board, in to do was to gain control and get the institution back. But to look at a person on the board who had never been a provost, never been a president, never been a part of the system, don't you think y'all took a pretty big gamble given the fact that you were concerned about bringing in someone of national or international quality to be a college president?

And I'm not questioning his work. I'm not questioning his integrity. I just know the board chooses to do that. I'm going to work with that person.

Don't you think y'all took a real big gamble doing that, that he could have really tumbled over on the board?
MS. HELMS: Yes, I do think we took a big gamble.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MS. HELMS: But look at what we've been able to achieve having taken that gamble in the last two years.
SENATOR SCOTT: Some would argue different.
MS. HELMS: I'm sure.
SENATOR SCOTT: You know, some would argue different. You know, I get to the weeds and things and get down to the --
MS. HELMS: Oh, you get down into the weeds?
SENATOR SCOTT: No question. And that's what I do. I'm a numbers guy too.
MS. HELMS: Right.
SENATOR SCOTT: And so some would look at some of the strengths and some of the weaknesses and still have some real concerns about where the institution is heading. And I'm still concerned about who goes on that board and whether or not the person who goes on the board, will the school maintain a level of balancing itself out and so we don't find the school in turmoil. Because getting a new board who was not part of this process that a board decided may create a lot of turmoil on that board.

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

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

And, Ms. Helms, you know I have a couple of questions, but I actually have an additional question for you because you are a present board member.
MS. HELMS: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I have asked this of another board member who is on the board. The lobbying firm that you all have for South Carolina State actually has internships with their lobbying firm, and it bothered me to find out that they are lobbying for South Carolina State University; however, they have no African American interns on their lobby that they have selected. Were you aware of that?
MS. HELMS: I was, and they now have an intern.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thanks to me.
MS. HELMS: Thanks to you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

My question: Will you please tell me about what you think in reference to diversity at South Carolina State?
MS. HELMS: I think diversity is extremely important. I think the different opinions and values of different kinds of people, different colors of people is very important to our global economy and to the workforce in South Carolina. It's a struggle right now to increase the number of students at South Carolina State. So I don't think you're going to immediately increase diversity.

So I think one of the ways that we can get to this is by collaborating. We need to open the eyes, as some of the earlier people said, of the students about what's out there. Being able to put together programs with Clemson University, with the University of South Carolina, and with other universities with the various businesses and industries in the state, internships, get the students moving out of the university and getting them familiar with other kinds of environments, I think will begin to increase their knowledge of how to work in a diverse environment.

And I hope that it's not just one way. Collaborating does not mean you go one direction. I would hope that we start bringing faculty and students from Clemson, from USC, back down into South Carolina State for some unique programs that we can put in that could draw them in.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: In your time on the board, what have you given back to the institution?
MS. HELMS: Well, as a board member, we all -- one of the first things we did was said, All right, we'll get rid of the budget for the board. So everything we do, we do out of our own pocket: all of the travel, all of the overnights, all of the times that we stay there. I have not personally given a large sum to the university, but I have been going up there on a monthly basis, if not a weekly basis sometimes. And I'm also helping to support one of the graduates of the university who went on to Clemson University as a graduate student, and that's important to me.

I think that it is important for board members to give back, and I think that I do have the ability to give and will be doing that now that I feel that the university is in good stead.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I do want to thank you, Ms. Helms. I met you and the board maybe a year or two ago, and I do appreciate the open-door policy that the present board has with the members of the General Assembly to come and voice their concerns.

And so I do thank you all for that short notice and allowing me to speak with you all in reference to the issue I had with South Carolina State.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Ms. Helms, thank you so much for serving on the board in this volunteer situation that you've dealt with over the last three years and, also, your willingness to continue to serve. I know this is an uncomfortable conversation for us to have, but it's one that we've got to have.

When Mr. Way left, he was quoted in a paper that "nobody wants to be a part of that mud hole."

It's not a mud hole, but let me tell you where we are. It's quicksand. It's quicksand. The more you will wiggle, the more you sink. The more you yell, the more you sink.

We could throw money at it, and you would continue to sink. You must have a lifeline to survive. You've seen that with your past experiences. You've been on there three years.

You said the future looks -- do you think the future is bright at South Carolina State, or what do you think?

Here's where I'm headed -- and you probably heard it -- the vet school. I've been trying to nudge Clemson and haven't gotten very far. The cost, the need, so forth. I personally think we need a vet school in South Carolina.

I think South Carolina State desperately needs a lifeline. I think -- and I think Senator Verdin can speak to this one way or the other on the need for a vet school in South Carolina. Do you think I'm barking up the wrong tree with your experiences? Do you think that would help?
MS. HELMS: Well, you know that I tried that at Clemson.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, you need to do a better job at South Carolina State.
MS. HELMS: It's very, very hard, and we even tried to work with the University of Georgia to try to get something going.

My daughter is a large animal surgeon, and my son-in-law is a small animal surgeon. So cats, dogs, horses, cows. Everything.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The one with the small animals is making more money.
MS. HELMS: This is very, very true. My daughter will tell you that it's very true.

(Senator Alexander enters the room.)
MS. HELMS: You know, a vet school, I desperately fought to have a vet school in South Carolina, thinking that Clemson would do it. We're close enough to Georgia that you want to split the people who now go to Georgia, which means both universities would struggle maybe.

Tuskegee right now has a vet school that is struggling, as a matter of fact. I think that there would be a way to begin to build the possibilities of other universities to start into a veterinary direction. We don't have the faculty down at S.C. State at this point. You know that it's very costly to build a vet school, and right now I'm not sure that that is the proper lifeline.

I think that they are moving in a technology and engineering direction. I didn't come from a school where engineering is very big. I know that trying to build something like that could really bankrupt them. So trying to build engineering by collaborating with USC and Clemson will let them begin to build their programs before they have to have their own faculty to sustain those programs.

And where our state is going right now, I think the technology and the engineering areas are extremely important in terms of bringing new kids into the university. That's what they're interested in. As much as I would love to see a vet school, I'm not sure that unless someone wants to put $80 million into building a vet school that you're going to be able to do that at S.C. State. We have bigger problems, I think, to even out before we get there.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Give me three of the --
MS. HELMS: Sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Give me the top three problems you have.
MS. HELMS: The top three problems?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, ma'am.
MS. HELMS: I would say enrollment, budget --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Well, how do you solve that problem?
MS. HELMS: Enrollment? I think you solve it by making unique programs and letting students -- you're going to have to market those programs. You're going to have to let students know that if they come to S.C. State, they will have opportunities to experience other things beyond the doors of S.C. State.

They'll have opportunities to be out in internships. They'll have opportunities to do research at some of the major research universities. Only 7 percent of the students right now at S.C. State are involved in any kind of research, and I think getting the undergraduates to -- someone earlier talked about work on campus. Work on the problems on campus and getting them involved in undergraduate research and reaching out.

We need to market that. We need to make sure that students know that when they come to S.C. State, we are opening doors and transforming their lives. So enrollment is going to take unique programs. It's going to take a lot of collaboration of other institutions until we get ourselves --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What does the school right next door have that South Carolina does not have?
MS. HELMS: It has had strong leadership for 20 years, and I think that that has made a big difference in the Claflin versus S.C. State.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. You mentioned -- about three, the first one.
MS. HELMS: The first one was enrollment.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the second one?
MS. HELMS: The second one is budget. Those are linked together.

And then the third one is what I said earlier, business and accountability. And all three of those -- the business practices that are associated with the budget, the business practices that are associated with commissions, and financial aid, all three of those are linked together.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How long do you think we'll need to supplement South Carolina State?
MS. HELMS: How -- excuse me?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How long do you think we'll need to continue to supplement South Carolina State? It's obvious we're going to have to. How long?
MS. HELMS: I don't think that you should have to supplement South Carolina State. I think that South Carolina State, if it can build its student body and if it can come in and defend its requests to the legislature for both noncapital and capital needs, that the university should be able to stand on its own feet.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You mentioned enrollment a little bit. What's the magic number in enrollment? How much? How many students will you need?
MS. HELMS: I think we need to get back to 3,500. We're at about 2,900 right now. I think we need to get back up to about 3,500. And I think that at 3,500, we could not only sustain ourselves, but we could probably --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: How long do you think it would take to reach that number?
MS. HELMS: I would say it's probably going to take another four years.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So if you don't do it in five, do we need to close the doors?
MS. HELMS: No. No. I think that in five, if we don't have 3,500 students, we will be cutting programs. We will be sustaining ourselves in a different way.

But I think that it is a historic institution. It serves a population of students that are not served by the other institutions in the state, and I think it would be a very big mistake to shut the doors of the institution.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, ma'am.

I've asked you a disproportionate share of the questions because you're an incumbent, a reelected incumbent just the same, and I appreciate your willingness to offer again. We had to open up, as you know --
MS. HELMS: Oh, sure.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- and pretty much beg for candidates, and our prayers have been answered. We've had some mighty fine candidates to offer, including you.
MS. HELMS: Well, I'm humbled.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to say something in Dr. Helms' defense on the veterinary school matter.

I actually was in the room for the meeting that you facilitated with Sheila Allen --
MS. HELMS: Gosh. I forgot that.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- and the chairman of Senate Finance.

And, Senator from Oconee, you might have been in that meeting too. I think we could have extended the conversation further had Dean Allen not come in and dropped a $50 million price tag on Senator Leatherman.
MS. HELMS: Exactly.
SENATOR VERDIN: I think I was the one that picked his spectacles up off the floor.

But anyway, I agree with both you and Senator Peeler. I think now since they've built their own school --
MS. HELMS: Yeah, they have.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- I still think there is collaborative --
MS. HELMS: I think so too.
SENATOR VERDIN: -- opportunities there, and we have about a 53- or 5,400 population per capita ratio to veterinarians. Georgia -- all of our neighboring states are down below 4,000, so...
MS. HELMS: Exactly. I think the collaboration with the University of Georgia -- now that they aren't expecting us to foot the bill for their new building -- is a real possibility, and I would very much like to see us build that. I think that I have several friends who are on the faculty at the vet school and would really, really like to work to bring that about, and maybe we can get the number of vets we need without a total vet school. Maybe it's in the future, and I tried once, and that's when I gave up.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I really appreciate your observation a few minutes ago, but just a couple of things I want to share.

And I don't know how much you really know, Dr. Helms, about the history of the institution, about funding here at the General Assembly. When I came to this General Assembly in 1991, South Carolina State College probably had 70- or $80 million in deferred maintenance. When I listened to you answer the question, even if you got the extra 6- or 700 students, you have to have a place to put them. If it's not kept up with deferred maintenance, and you've got a major hall, Truth Hall, that's closed.
MS. HELMS: Right.
SENATOR SCOTT: They're only using one or two floors when it's a main facility to, in fact, make that happen.

During that time period, Mr. Chairman, we cut funding for State Institution from 17 percent to 6.8 percent. A 10 percent-plus cut to a small institution who is already struggling with the deferred maintenance is like tying the hand behind the back and then telling you that you can compete.

And then we did the lottery in 2001, 2002. And two major institutions, we gave them $200 million and allowed them over an 8- to 10-year period of time to match it. So we gave them an infusion of about $400 million, still ignoring South Carolina State College and its deferred maintenance.

So really and truly when I hear somebody talk about State College, how long we need to support them, we really have not done right by them. And in the end, all of it catches up. I know that when you begin to look at the financial stability, it's moving money from one program to another program, trying to keep the doors open.

And so until we really begin to take the institution serious, what its role is and what it does to help the state, we're going to continue to lag behind in teacher recruitment. It was a teachers' school. And you don't turn that many teachers out anymore because you don't give them the extra money to do it.

So I think if we -- and I think you said something that really sparked an interest. When they bring these issues to the General Assembly and they ask for funding, especially on the capital side, we actually fund it. When they talk about $80 million to do something else, they need $80 million just to fix the current situation. I think it's a different institution, and I think the institution will do us proud.

I appreciate your willingness to serve.

And if it's the appropriate time --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I just have one question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable and seconded.

Any further discussion?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Just one question. I just have one question.

I wanted to ask you this because I think you could probably enlighten us a little more with the students. And when we talked earlier about students repaying their loans, can you -- because my colleague asked. She was like, "I was surprised that that actually affects the accreditation."
MS. HELMS: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Could you elaborate on that for us just a second?
MS. HELMS: It's one of the things they look at in the -- that SACS looks at in the finance area for reaccreditation, is the number of students who have defaulted on loans. Because one of the things I think that's important for a university to do when you're graduating students is to make sure that they understand ethically what their responsibilities are. And not only that, not only educate how important it is to give back to the institution, but also how important it is for them to represent the institution going forward.

So yes, it can very much affect your credibility.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable. All in favor, raise you right hand.
MS. HELMS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you again for your willingness to serve, Ms. Helms.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, At-Large Seat 12, Dwayne Buckner from Walterboro.

Good morning, sir.
MR. BUCKNER: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. BUCKNER: Dwayne Trevino Buckner.
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. BUCKNER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. BUCKNER: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right.
MR. BUCKNER: Good morning, and thank you very much for the opportunity to be here.

About three months ago, I saw a good friend of mine. I was riding around in the community, and he said, Dwayne, did you hear about South Carolina State?

And I said to myself in my mind, From what I've heard about South Carolina State so much, this can't be good news.

But he said, Well, you know, they can't find anyone to serve on the board of trustees of the University. It was in the Post and Courier.

And I said, Well, that don't sound right. You mean to tell me nobody's interested in serving? They can't find anyone?

And he said, Yeah. And he said, Well, you know what? You would be a good candidate. Why don't you apply.

And I thought about it, and I said, Well, you know, I wouldn't be an attorney today had it not been for South Carolina State and my undergraduate degree in English education.

And so I emailed the reporter who wrote the article and inquired how they'd gotten the information, and they gave me the information to Senator Peeler's office. And so that's how I got here, because my heart was, I want to serve, to do what I can, to take the skills that I've learned to help the University.

And so I'm excited when I saw the list from Julie that there was a lot of candidates on there. So I said to myself, Well, that's a great thing. And so there is interest, that people do want to serve.

And so that article, though in the beginning, it may have seemed like it was something negative, it's actually something positive because I think it's brought people who want to see the University improve itself, and I am one of them. And so I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here, to do whatever I can to help the university that I got my start at. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Questions?
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I can appreciate your friend telling you that.

Tell me a little bit about how you feel about serving on the board and what you actually bring to the board to make a difference.

And let me just kind of qualify something. We're looking at all the candidates. It doesn't matter which race, where they come from. We're looking at some of the best qualified candidates we can. We're still in the process. You have to run to get elected for this job. And looking at folks' qualification, I notice a number of attorneys now who want to serve, which is a good thing too. But the question is about having the time to serve as well if you've got board meetings and not really being able to put a long-range plan.

But what do you think you actually bring to the table or things that you see as a '94 graduate of the institution that you think would change and make the school a better institution?
MR. BUCKNER: Well, first of all, I think that, having been a graduate in 1994, one of the issues that concerned me was how the students were being treated.

It wasn't the faculty or the staff of the school where the issues were. It was mostly in the financial aid department where I would hear my friends say they couldn't get their paperwork together or they would try to get a class and they couldn't get into class in order to graduate. They were treated, mistreated in the bursar's office.

And so to me, the first thing that would need to be done in order to raise more money for the school would be to have the school just say, We apologize for how we treated you during that time period.

I think that would just open the flood gates of donations from 1990 on because people were just treated -- not the professors. There were great professors, great staff, the people who took care of the school, the grounds. All of that was great. But when you went to try to get your financial aid and things together, that's where the issues were. And so I would start there, with just something from the school board to the alumni from 1990 on, just saying --
SENATOR SCOTT: Suppose they told you that culture existed long before that?
MR. BUCKNER: Well, yes, sir. Yes, sir, Senator. But that's the first thing I would do is try to implement that.

But in terms of the skills that I would bring, I've been in private practice as an attorney for the last five years, and I know how to reduce your overhead and increase your revenue. We've got to have more coming in than you have going out.

And so, I would look at where the school is spending money, how the school is spending money, and cut costs and increase revenue. And sometimes you have to make the tough decisions in order to make that happen.

But at the end of the day, to me, it is very disheartening to know the school had to borrow money from this legislator in order to continue to keep the doors open. That's hurtful. That's shameful that that would have to happen. And it should not happen again. And if I were on the board of trustees, I would do everything that I could to make sure that we would never be in the red again.
SENATOR SCOTT: These students are going to more regional type schools. You live within that region, you go to that school. You're in the Low country region, the 95 area. Tell me what you would do to make sure of the recruitment part, that South Carolina State is recruiting these students from your region based on your physical location.

An example of that is those who are in the Pee Dee, a lot of them tend to go to Francis Marion because it's less expensive to travel, and some kids go home every day.

Looking at costs of those students, tell me what you would do. It's easy to say, I'm going to bring them in. It's another thing to create a plan where you're actually out there actively recruiting students to come to the institution.
MR. BUCKNER: Well, first thing, we'd have to look at the marketing of the school. How is the school marketing itself? And what I've seen since I've been back home is that the school is not quite sure which direction it wants to go, whether it wants to go...

There's nothing wrong with diversity. I believe in diversity. I think it's great. But I do think that we should be recruiting the best and the brightest African-American students from the high schools throughout the state of South Carolina.

Also, in the marketing materials that I've seen from South Carolina state, again, I'm not saying we can't do diversity, but we have to make sure that we are trying to recruit the best and the brightest African -- because it's a historically black college and university.

And from what I've noticed, there's a big international trend of students at the school. That's good, but I would cap that amount of international students to a certain number for the reason that you want to keep the school historically African American. That's the purpose of the school.

And also, in the marketing, you need to market and have people who are African Americans in your marketing material because if that's who you're marketing to, then that's who you go after. And then, if others want to participate, that's fine, but your core needs to be going after the students from which the University was founded. So that's what I would do.
SENATOR SCOTT: You indicate on your application it's $21,080 to go to South Carolina State for in-state students. The best and brightest will pick up $5,000 in lottery funding. Tell me where the other $16,000 is going to come from?

You have to create a pool of funding in order to give these best and brightest kids -- kids go to money. That's what they do. They follow the money. So if you're going to get the best and brightest, a lot of these kids are first-generation kids who are the first in their family to go to college. And so they don't have any money. They're not trying to load up on student loans. Tell me how we create this pool of funding so the best and brightest get the funding to go to this institution.
MR. BUCKNER: Well, we would have to look at our alumni associations throughout the state in order to increase the amount of giving to the University. That's important because once we do that, then we can have more scholarships for the best and the brightest to come and to learn without incurring substantial financial debt.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, let me say this to you, and then I will pass it on to someone else.

That's the responsibility of the board of trustees. You heard a few minutes ago, a gentleman talked about institutional advancement. The buck stops with the board of trustees to curate the private donations that come in and scholarships.

The president, in most cases, if they really understand institutional advancement, they spend all their time on the road, actually trying to bring that kind of money in. It's not just the alumni association. It's a bigger, bigger deal than that.

I really thank you. Good answers.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: I really appreciate it.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I know we are crunched with trying to stay on schedule, so I just have a few questions.

First of all, I really appreciate your answer in reference to the culture of some of the employees there at South Carolina State. I've made phone calls, and before they knew that I was a representative on the other end, they were very rude. So that is part of the culture there. So if I get it, I know the students are getting it. So I appreciate you just being honest about that. Versus me calling another institution, the professionalism is not there.

You spoke about international students. Would you be surprised to know that when I attended Morehouse -- and that's the experiences that I have -- that we had a large number of international students?
MR. BUCKNER: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So that is something that just happens, especially at HBCUs, I would assume, with people who are coming from predominantly African or darker-skinned countries.

I had a question a few weeks ago of board members, and you alluded to the face of the marketing material that is set forth.

The present board or the president or whoever is at South Carolina State, they hired a lobbying firm at South Carolina State. Would you be surprised to know that that lobbying firm, which is a Caucasian lobbying firm, had opportunities to have internships that they would offer, and not one South Carolina State student was offered an internship?
MR. BUCKNER: That's not good. That's not good. And, you know, I -- that's not good. That's all I can say about that. That's not how it should work.

And going, again, back to the marketing material, if you are -- my mom used to tell me, if you're going to want a big fish, then you've got to have a big hook, and if you have a small hook, trying to catch a big fish, it's going to break the line.

So whatever we're trying to attract, we have to use the right bait in order to get what we want, and what we want is the best and the brightest African-American students at South Carolina State.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And in my experience at Morehouse, my professors were very diverse. I mean, the diversity of the professors from across the board, from international to white, black, the diversity -- so I believe in diversity.

I feel that when you look at HBCUs across the country, and you think of Spelman, Morehouse, Howard, Hampton, South Carolina State, you think of some of the most -- the brightest of the bright of the African-American community attend those institutions, and at those institutions, you have a very diverse faculty.

And so I would encourage, if you are appointed, that you would make sure that we have the diversity when it comes to the faculty. I'm encouraged to see the diversity of the folk that are offering themselves to be on the board of trustees, from our young folk to white and black people here in South Carolina, across the state, offering to be on the board of trustees at South Carolina State because I believe the only way that that institution is going to be successful is through diversity.
MR. BUCKNER: I agree.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, sir.

And welcome, Mr. Buckner.

When we discussed a few years ago, the senate and the house, about South Carolina's financial problems, one of the major issues was declining enrollment. I forgot how many they went down, but it was considerable. Of course, that money is not coming into the school.

What would you do to encourage or promote South Carolina State as a destination for young people?
MR. BUCKNER: I think the first issue with that is regarding the cloud of the University not having its accreditation. That hurt the University substantially when -- I mean, you're not going to invest your money in a school that you don't think is going to be accredited. So whatever accreditation issues, that has to be resolved immediately.

And then, once that's resolved, then the second issue is going to be, again, attracting the best and the brightest. And you can do that by marketing. For example, again, I came here because of an article in the newspaper that said nobody wanted to serve on the board of trustees of South Carolina State. They couldn't find anybody to serve.

We see that there are a lot of applicants today. Is there an article being written right now that's being published that says, Flood of applicants for trustee positions at South Carolina State University? I haven't seen that article.

But those are the type of articles that the school can write and put out there that will be more positive, showing the school in a positive light instead of a negative. And once you do that and, again, work within the local alumni associations to promote the school, go to the high school fairs and participate in attracting students, you will see the enrollment increase.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I just wonder if the history of South Carolina State has been properly promoted throughout the years. I mean, it's got such a rich and diverse history. I'm coming from the Upstate, so I'm not very familiar, but I just --
MR. BUCKNER: No. Their history is there. The culture of the school, one of the issues I've seen is the spiritual element of the school has kind of gone down.

What I mean by that is, when I went there, there were opportunities for spiritual enrichment. You could find places to worship, and a lot of the students were focused on their academics, and they had that avenue. The school promoted that. Now, I don't think that that's happening as much as before. So that element has to come back to the school.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Do you feel the students now overall are proud of their university or school?
MR. BUCKNER: Oh, yes. They're very proud to be -- I'm a proud alumni of South Carolina. Again, I wouldn't be here today, had not I had that opportunity to attend South Carolina State and get a degree in English education.

So we want to see the school improve, and it can because the tradition and the history of the school says this is the place that you go when you want the best and the brightest African-American students. And I think that's where we need to be.

And one last thing I'll say before I defer. When I went to South Carolina State, Claflin, next door, it was "Laugh-In" (phonetic) College because the C used to be hanging down off the side of the sign. It was Laugh-In College. Today, it is Clauflin (phonetic) College, and South Carolina State is almost the exact opposite of where Claflin was several years ago.

So what happened at Claflin, the same thing can happen here at South Carolina State and all the other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We've just got to find the correct business model that works. And what works is more coming in than you have going out.

And you can have all the money, but if you're mismanaging the money, which is another issue, then people are not going to be confident in putting their money in a place that's not being managed properly.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you.
SENATOR VERDIN: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, I just can't help myself. We're in a secular setting, a state school, so I really appreciate and I commend you for your emphasis in your first answer on ways to improve.

It doesn't matter if it's South Carolina State or the South Carolina General Assembly. Just like our Chairman offered at the beginning of this meeting -- you might not have been here, but it was, God help us all, in a prayer.

And I appreciate the fact that we can do that, especially when -- I've just finishing getting my fourth kid through college, and I'm telling you, I invest 18 years in them, and it still is a Herculean challenge, and they hit the wall, and good things usually happen because they realize, Hey. God's not dead. He's going to help us all.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: I really appreciate you.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of the Committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no. The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir, for your willingness to serve.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I wanted to point out that newspaper article. Sometimes, you get what you ask for.
MR. BUCKNER: That's right.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MR. BUCKNER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Gene Gartman from Orangeburg.

For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. GARTMAN: My name is Gene Gartman, Jr.
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. GARTMAN: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you want to take a drink of water and then give us a brief statement?

Okay. Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. GARTMAN: I would. I would, Mr. Chairman.

Like Representative King said earlier, I go to a church in Orangeburg, First Baptist Church. And I came up to South Carolina ten years ago. I used to live in Orange Park, Florida, and I worked for a major healthcare staffing agency as a staffing manager down there. And my brother invited me to this church when I came up here.

And this pastor, Reverend Songer, that also came up from Georgia -- he was an interim pastor -- he always held up his hand with a check when it was time to make the offering, and he would say, I trust you made out your check. And it consistently reminded everyone to bring some money to church.

And I know we're about to talk about this, but I think that at some point, sometimes we become complacent, no matter who we are or where we are, and I think that this university has kind of become complacent on funding revenue, and recruiting and retention.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Can you tell me what years you did your AS degree?
MR. GARTMAN: It's 2005.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And your BS?
MR. GARTMAN: 2007.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I see that you said that the tuition is 31,000 in state and out of state is 40.

Where did you get those figures from?
MR. GARTMAN: It's on the -- I'm trying to remember the site. I looked it up. It's 40,000 out of state, 30,000 in state. I think it's Ballotpedia, Ballotpedia. I could be way off on that, that website. It seemed like a pretty approximate amount.

I did go to the university site, but it's all broken down, and it's a little bit confusing.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay.

And you visited the campus.
MR. GARTMAN: I'm a local in Orangeburg. I've been up here ten years. I came up here in 2007, and here we are in '18. I've been on the campus quite frequently. I do see the students in the community, at the local restaurants, and I have also spoken to the students as well. And I know a few, not personally on the campus, but know of a few staff members there.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: What is the role of a board member, and more specifically, a board member at South Carolina State?
MR. GARTMAN: I believe that a board member has to look out for the health and the welfare of the University. Several areas, recruiting and retention, school security, facilities and infrastructure, amongst those, tuition and assistance.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Why do you want to be a board member at South Carolina State?
MR. GARTMAN: Well, Representative King, I think I work very well with others. I think that's very important when you're on a board to bring everyone together.

I feel that I have a few very meaningful leadership skills, not that I would take advantage of that, but I would try to bring everyone closer together.

I think that the budget is still in the red. I think that working on recruiting and retention and also looking at funding, like we said, before alumni, that sort of thing, we can bring the school back in a more positive light.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Do you think it is one of the responsibilities of a board member to be one of the first givers to the institution.
MR. GARTMAN: I do. I should pull out my checkbook first.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

And good afternoon, sir.
MR. GARTMAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you for your willingness to be here.

A couple of things. I take it with your work, would there be anything that would preclude you from being able to be engaged in timeliness at meetings and other responsibilities?
MR. GARTMAN: No, Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Also here under Question 6, it talked about visiting the campus. It says, Yes, frequently. And it also said in your capacity of Dalton and Dalton, who, I guess, is your employer.
MR. GARTMAN: I work with Dalton and Dalton Enterprise. They're a 501(c)3. They have the homeless shelter in Orangeburg, a house for veterans and non-veterans. And we've gone out to Belcher Hall to the business department, looking for interns on one occasion, masters of social work in their last year. So I've been out there on that basis, and I've also been out there to the radio station when I worked for the state, Department of Employment and Workforce.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Great. Thank you, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I just have one --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- one other question.

You have a fine with the ethics -- can you explain that?
MR. GARTMAN: Yes. Yes. I'm glad you brought that up.

I took that stuff vary seriously when I was filling it out. It was a one hundred dollar infraction for running for city council and closing the ethics portal, and it was another hundred dollars for the County. I was in the Philippines, came back late, and didn't close it out proper. But I appealed, and it was reduced to $100, and I wrote the check for a hundred.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So you've already taken care of it.
MR. GARTMAN: Taken care of it. That's correct.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: I'm sorry. I had to leave the floor for a second.

What year -- I noticed you didn't put year of graduation. Maybe somebody asked that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Yeah. We got it.
SENATOR SCOTT: You did?
MR. GARTMAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: What were the years?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: 2005 and 2007.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Thank you.
MR. GARTMAN: Thank you, Senator Scott.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Second. Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir, for your willingness to serve.
MR. GARTMAN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And thank you, members, for your willingness to serve.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Emory Hagan from Columbia.
MR. HAGAN: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes, sir. For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. HAGAN: Emory Jackson Hagan, III.
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. HAGAN: So help me God.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HAGAN: Yes, sir.

I'm here because I read that same article, and nobody wanted to jump in the "mud hole", and I've been marching to the sound of the guns for my entire adult career of public service. I said, this is a job for me. No one else wants it. This is where I need to be because I have the experience, the leadership, the credibility, the energy, and the passion to do this job. So that's why I'm here.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. Thank you.

Is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good morning.
MR. HAGAN: Good morning, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what makes you the most qualified candidate to be able to do this job?
MR. HAGAN: Well, I bring my core competencies. I know how to lead. I've done that for 30 years. I know how to lead people. I've spent a career in the Marine Corps leading people. I have business acumen. I know how to run a business. I also was, numerous times, a camp commandant and base commander, in which I know how to run a city, facilities, public service, public safety, utilities, people, everything.

I'm a skilled communicator. I bring my credibility, my core values, my experience as a teacher, an educator. I taught in college. And I bring my best passion. And I'm results driven. I want to see this school succeed. I've talked to the students. I've talked to the faculty. It's a great place. It's a rich heritage. It doesn't deserve to be where it is today.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And good afternoon, sir.
MR. HAGAN: Yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Delighted to have you with us here.

A couple of things. It lists on here that you're the president of the company. What kind of work is your company?
MR. HAGAN: I do management consulting, leadership, strategic planning, core values, mentoring.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So there's nothing in that work that would preclude you from being able to attend the meetings --
MR. HAGAN: Oh, no, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- on a regular basis and be involved from other standpoints.
MR. HAGAN: No, sir. I have the time.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay.

Also, I just want some clarification one of the questions. It says, about filing state and federal income taxes for the past five years, you say no. I would assume that is the state income tax.
MR. HAGAN: Not in South Carolina.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right. But federal, you have --
MR. HAGAN: Filed every year.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay, because it is both, so I just wanted to clarify for the record that --
MR. HAGAN: Well, yes, sir. I filed in -- when I filled that out, I hadn't filed in South Carolina yet.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right.
MR. HAGAN: I filed in California.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: You're in full compliance with all the things. Is that correct?
MR. HAGAN: Oh, yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good deal. Thank you.

Thank you, sir. I just wanted that for the record. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me a little bit about your thought on diversity, because you had the opportunity in your military career to see a lot of that. Tell me your thoughts, especially with students, faculty, administrators, a very diverse group. What's your thought pattern on that?
MR. HAGAN: Well, the military started -- was the institution that started integration with Harry Truman. Diversity is what this country is all about. This is why everyone came here in the beginning.

South Carolina State -- one of the strongest parts of the school is its rich heritage as a historic black university. I also think that's one of the things that actually gets in its way sometimes. There needs to be diversity of faculty. There needs to be diversity of student body because that's the way the real world works, and if you're not exposed to it, then you're not exposed to the way the real world works.

But that diversity, on the rankings nationally, the school's just a little bit below where the national average is. But it shouldn't lose sight of its mission as a historical black university. That's important. That's critical to its core current value, its core being.

So I'm totally in favor of diversity, both faculty and students, to include international students, because they bring lots of money, usually.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

What is the desire of the Committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other questions?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.

THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. HAGAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, Mr. Michael Vinzani from Mount Pleasant.
MR. VINZANI: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would, give us your full name.
MR. VINZANI: Sure. It's Michael Jeffrey Vinzani. I go by Jeff.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Thank you. And that's why I always ask people to give their full names.
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sometimes I pronounce it right, and sometimes I don't.
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir.
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. VINZANI: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. VINZANI: Sure.

I've had the pleasure and honor of serving on the interim board of trustees for the last two-and-a-half years. And same thing. I did not know the details of the history of South Carolina State University, so when I delved into it and realized it had been created by the Morrill Act in 1890 as a land grant university, I didn't know that. I knew Clemson -- everybody knows Clemson's a land grant school, but I didn't know SC State was.

And the great thing that I've seen since I've been on the interim board is that we're trying to instill better business practices and accountability because when we got there, they weren't balancing the budget, and they didn't have accreditation. But we have been able to balance the budget. We have gotten the accreditation straightened out, although we'll have continuing accreditation issues going forward, like every university does.

So going forward, I feel like the school's in good shape. Enrollment's up. But I truly feel like they need something exciting going forward, I think, to show that the school is on good footing going forward.

I'd love to see a new student center there. We also have Truth, which is the largest building, tallest building in Orangeburg County, that we're not even using, that just needs to be revamped and redone. And I really feel like those two things are important.

Now, whether the Legislature can do that or whether the -- it doesn't look like there's going to be a bond issuance. I'm a commercial real estate attorney. I do a lot of development work. I know there's a lot of private partnerships, private/public partnerships such as 650 Lincoln, which is down here at the University.

I just feel like that we need to start looking into those areas because if we could get those things at South Carolina State so that when families come to tour the school and they're all excited about the new student center -- and the student center they have now is not even 2,000 square feet or something. I mean, for 2900 students, that's not even a student center. It's just a room almost.

So that's kind of where we are. I'm very excited about where the University is. I feel like it's on good footing, but it's going to take a lot more hard work, which is why I've decided to continue to try to be elected to continue to serve so that I can continue to work towards getting the school going forward.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your service on the board there at South Carolina State.

As a board member, what have you done to communicate the issues of South Carolina State to the General Assembly? While I appreciate you being a member on the South Carolina State board, it would be very helpful that present board members that are there presently would be a voice here to the General Assembly and let us know what the issues are.

What have you done?
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir. I've been to several meetings. Of course, when you have Charlie Way as your chairman, he's such a great mouthpiece that a lot of us would meet with him, and then he would carry the water forward for us.

So to be honest, a great deal of our work was trying to get things -- I remember walking in that first day, and they presented a budget that was $29 million in the red.

So a lot of our work in the two-and-a-half years has been getting the balanced budget, getting the accreditation, hiring a new president, and getting a lot of those things turned around, as Mr. Way had said, to try to get the dots out of the ditch, which is his favorite saying.

So I have talked to a few people that I know that are in the Legislator, but I haven't made any major push to actually sit down and talk to my concerns about the University because I kind of felt like once we kind of got things on firm footing, then that would -- we could go forward. So it's kind of hard to talk about where you want to see the University go when you were worried about whether the University was going to go at all.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And if elected, re-elected to the board of trustees -- and I hate to keep bringing this up, but my experience has to be on where I went to school.
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: The president, you know, at Morehouse does a lot of fundraising.
MR. VINZANI: Correct.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Would you all be looking at bringing someone in that capacity that can fundraise for the institution? I know that you all hired someone that was on the previous board and served with you.
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: But will you all be bringing in someone who is more qualified in the fundraising as well as running an institution of a stature such as South Carolina State that will be able to fundraise?

While you all have done an amazing job, as well as this Legislature, in keeping the doors open at South Carolina State, I think you all missed a mark in the history of South Carolina State by not appointing someone who could come in day one with that type of experience.
MR. VINZANI: So you're saying -- just so I can get clarification, you're saying hiring a new president that would do that or hiring someone as director of development?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: No. I think that the president, you know, at least at the HBCUs that I know that are successful in this country --
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- they have a president who also knows how to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the institution but also as an amazing fundraiser.
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I take Johnson C. Smith over in Charlotte, North Carolina, who had a president there who was able to -- who had connections, where Oprah Winfrey donated to Johnson C. Smith. Johnson C. Smith has an endowment through the Duke Energy endowment there in North Carolina. But they don't just rely on that.
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: They have a president who traveled around this country --
MR. VINZANI: Sure.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- who ensured that that institution stayed solvent.

And so what would you do as a board member to make sure that you all hired someone -- at least, I'm interested, as a legislator in the state, in seeing someone else as the president who is going to -- because when I go back into my district, which is heavily African American, which is heavily South Carolina State graduates, and I'm getting fussed at, I want to ensure that that school is still open, and I don't want my colleagues and I to be the ones who have to carry the brunt of that when we have hired you all --
MR. VINZANI: No. I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- to be the voice of the institution.

But I want to know what you think about having someone in place that can also fundraise. I understand that Dr. Clark does an amazing job on the day-to-day operations, but I'm really interested in money coming and being there at the institution, and I think you all need to have someone there in that position.
MR. VINZANI: Right. And getting back to when James Clark was picked to be the president, you have to understand that we were just balancing the budget. We had just gotten our accreditation. And we had a presidential search committee. I was on that committee.

But we were looking at a lot of negative press. And so there were some early overtures to see if there were people interested in. We didn't have a whole lot of people, at least initially.

And then it was all concept of, We have no money. We're going to pay $195,000 for this position with -- unlike major universities where you've got a huge alumni association and endowments and things where you can supplement that income, we didn't feel like we had that at this point.

And we also just -- there was just no way to pay for the presidential search itself. I mean, we as a board had agreed to not take a dime for -- I think we had, like, a $250,000 budget to pay for parties for the board and reimbursement for hotels and even just reimbursement for mileage, just driving around --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, I guess my question is, if you are reappointed.
MR. VINZANI: Right. Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I understand where you were then.
MR. VINZANI: I'm sorry. I know I'm a little wordy.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: No. I understand where you were then, but I'm saying as a new -- well, as a re-elected board member, what would you do to bring on someone who could do that?
MR. VINZANI: So -- right --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Just like any of these institutions here in the state of South Carolina, I don't want South Carolina State to be deprived of that opportunity.
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir.

So James Clark has been at this for less than two years, and I don't think he's really had the opportunity to try to show that he can do that, getting back to what I said before, instituting better business practices and accountability, which is what James has done, come in as a former executive at AT&T and some other big companies, has come in and instituted those business practices. He gives each one of his people a card that shows you're red, green, yellow, almost like --
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay.
MR. VINZANI: -- red's bad and that kind of thing.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Not to cut you off again.
MR. VINZANI: That's fine.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: That is not how an HBCU operates in this country.
MR. VINZANI: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: An HBCU in this country operates off of fundraising.
MR. VINZANI: No. I don't disagree.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And this -- even though it may be state funded, all HBCUs in this country that I know of have amazing presidents who fundraise.
MR. VINZANI: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: So my question to you -- Mr. Clark, with all due respect, in my opinion, has not done the fundraising part of it. And I'm interested in finding someone who has his characteristics in running the operation of the school but also being able to fundraise.

And that is my question. What would you do to ensure that you all hired someone that can also fundraise?
MR. VINZANI: Well, as an interim board, that was our number one goal was to deal with the president, dealing with governance more than anything else. So in that realm -- this is a public HBCU. I don't know -- that was one of the things that I discovered. I didn't realize that all these other HBCUs in South Carolina were all private. I didn't realize South Carolina State was the only public one. So I think that's somewhat of a knock.

But I think James is still early enough on that I want to give him the chance to show that he can do that fundraising. If he doesn't -- I mean, I'm going to be on for another two-and-a-half to three years. If he doesn't do that, I have no problem with moving on and finding someone that can do that.

My concern, again, is whether we have the money to hire somebody that's going to -- because if you're good at fundraising, you're going to be an expensive person to hire. I just don't know that we'll have the money to hire that person. So I'm willing to give James a little bit more time to show that he has the prowess to do that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you for your answers.

There are other HBCUs that are not private that -- they follow the mark
MR. VINZANI: No. I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- that I'm speaking to.
MR. VINZANI: I understand.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.

Thank you for your willingness to serve.

I think when we brought an interim board on, the intent was for the interim board after 36 months to be gone.
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: And we would come back through this process, take a look at other individuals who were qualified.

You're probably about the second or third to come up here and say you did not have the money to do a search for president. But believe it or not, there are some online companies now for about $5,000 or $6,000. You put your information out there, and they send the information in.

We just finished the process at another private school. We had about a hundred applicants who actually sent in. We did an in-house rubric, and they filled the rubric, and we interviewed candidates.

So I don't quite buy into that process. I'm not taking anything away from Mr. Clark, but I've got issues with that particular answer when that answer keeps coming on this desk when I know that's not the way this thing actually works.
MR. VINZANI: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: And so I don't buy into that.

What gives me great concerns, if we sent you all to serve for 36 months, why was there an urgency to hire a new president when you could have -- if you didn't like the old president -- which less than 30 days later was employed at another university -- if you didn't like that president, why didn't you hire an interim president, giving the new board the opportunity to hire a president?

And of course, Mr. Clark still could have gotten it, could have gone through the process and would have gotten -- may have gotten elected president or may not. We don't know because that process did not work.

Would you care to elaborate on that? Because I've heard it over and over again --
MR. VINZANI: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I know that there are other ways that that process could have worked.
MR. VINZANI: Okay. So, going back to your question, we felt like that we needed to get the budget balanced, to get our accreditation back, and didn't feel like making a change in the president during that interim was a smart move because that would show even less stability, in my opinion.

So what we did was, we got through that, and then we made -- we had already been talking behind the scenes that we were going to look to hire another president. We started looking at having a presidential search.

And in the meantime, Mr. Way and Mr. Clark were spending an inordinate amount of time in Orangeburg, working with the University, unlike me. I was working as best I could, but I have a law practice.

So Mr. Clark was doing a great job with working with balancing the budget and all that. So in discussions, it came up that he might be interested in doing it. And so with his background as an executive, we felt like that he would be someone we should consider.

And then when he decided that he wanted to do it, he went through all the interview process, and we felt like he was qualified to handle the job.
SENATOR SCOTT: Who else was interviewed during that process, since you all had an interview process? Early on, there was not the money to interview for a president. Now you had an interview process. Who else -- were there other candidates? And if so, tell me how the other candidates came to be in the process.
MR. VINZANI: I don't know that there were any legitimates candidates, Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: So you didn't really have an interview process. You all made a decision among the board --
MR. VINZANI: Correct. Right.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- that this was the right situation.
MR. VINZANI: That's correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. VINZANI: There were a few, but from what I understood from screening those, they weren't legitimate candidates.
SENATOR SCOTT: So how did the board come to the conclusion after the president it had had gotten you out of the hot water -- because there were some questions with SACS when your president changed out. I know I spoke to SACS.
MR. VINZANI: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me how you came up with it was time to make a change --
MR. VINZANI: Well, we had already been talking about it before that. The reason why we didn't was what I said earlier, which was we felt like it would be a sign to SACS for us to replace the president during the time when we were trying to get our accreditation back, get the budget balanced, and all that.

There were people, including Mr. Clark and Mr. Way, who were working behind the scenes a lot more hours than I feel like a regular board member would serve, volunteering their time. Because they were retired executives, they were willing to put the time in.
SENATOR SCOTT: So -- my last question -- what made him more qualified to be the president because of a strong financial? That sounds like a member who would be your financial person at the institution's responsibility to work in conjunction with the president, because the president is the administrator.
MR. VINZANI: Right. Right.
SENATOR SCOTT: So what made that candidate more qualified for the board to make that kind of drastic decision that sent shockwaves across the alumni association, and there was no interview process where folk had the opportunity to compete and so we'd actually know what's out there?
MR. VINZANI: Well, his previous experience wasn't just in the financial area. He was an executive that had worked at several companies, and he had more than just financial experience. He had management experience, and he had worked with lots of big companies that would lead to further fundraising and things like that. So we felt very comfortable with his background and his executive background.
SENATOR SCOTT: Although he'd never been a college president before.
MR. VINZANI: I understand.
SENATOR SCOTT: So the mistake gets made twice. You'd just gotten rid of a president and came out of a lawsuit, and you hire another president again who didn't have college experience.
MR. VINZANI: And that's what also hurt as far as trying to have the money to do a presidential search is that they -- you're right. They'd just settled a case with Dr. Elzey that cost the University hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
SENATOR SCOTT: I'm going to say it one more time, and then I'm finished with it.
MR. VINZANI: Okay. Go ahead.
SENATOR SCOTT: You didn't need hundreds of thousands of dollars to have --
MR. VINZANI: I understand.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- a screening process. The board of trustees could have either created a rubric themselves --
MR. VINZANI: I understand.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- and gone online and allowed other interested parties to send their applications in.
MR. VINZANI: Well, we did talk to some other -- some search firms who said 195,000 per year was going to limit us because almost always, you had other funds that supplement that.

So, again, I'm not the expert on hiring in academia, but we made a decision that Mr. Clark was -- we were very excited about him. He was very excited about -- and had been working with all the people, knew all of the people at the University, and we felt like he was a very good choice.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, I think my point is, we really didn't know whether the 190,000 actually worked or not because we didn't go through that process.
MR. VINZANI: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: But thank you. I appreciate it.
MR. VINZANI: Okay.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

And I appreciate you being here today and responding to the questions.

Since your service on the board, how would you qualify your service as far as being able to attend the meetings and other responsibilities from that standpoint? What percentage range have you been from that standpoint?
MR. VINZANI: Yes, sir. I've been at a hundred percent.

I no longer do much litigation. I'm a transactional lawyer, so I can schedule when my closings or my meetings are and that kind of thing. So I always have marked off when all the meetings are and when my committee meetings are. So I've never missed a meeting.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
MR. VINZANI: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What is the desire of the Committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion favorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, say aye.
THE MEMBERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Opposed, no.

The ayes have it.

Thank you, sir.
MR. VINZANI: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, 7th Congressional District, Seat 7, Lavon Allen from Darlington.

We saved the best for last, Mr. Allen, do you think?
MR. ALLEN: I would like to thank so.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Give us your full name, sir, for the record.
MR. ALLEN: Lavon Herschel Allen.
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. ALLEN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. ALLEN: I could tell you guys a little bit about me.

So as you know, my name is Lavon Herschel Allen and I got my Bachelor's in Business Administration with an emphasis in management at Charleston Southern University.

I then got my Master's in Business Administration from South Carolina State University with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

And I have also worked with the Small Business Development Center.

And since then, I compete in track and field professionally, and I also like to assist with the sports at South Carolina State University. And I do give back both financially and with my time.

And anything else is: What do you guys want to know?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. Mr. Allen, I do have one question. On the driving record. Your license is currently suspended? Have you cleared this up? Or can you tell us?
MR. ALLEN: That should be in the process of being cleared as we speak.
MS. CASTO: It was suspended for?
MR. ALLEN: Insurance. Because I wasn't using my vehicle. And so I didn't have the insurance kept up because I wasn't using it anymore. I was in the process of transferring the vehicle.
MS. CASTO: But you're in the process of getting your license back?
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
MS. CASTO: Is that correct?
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Is there anything else on the paperwork that you feel like you need to add to or take away from that you can think of?

If you don't have a license, how do you get from Point A to Point B? How did you get here?
MR. ALLEN: Lovely lady in the back gave me a ride here.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You got a driver.
SENATOR VERDIN: Chauffeur.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Allen, for your willingness to serve. Where do you live now?
MR. ALLEN: Darlington, South Carolina.
SENATOR SCOTT: How do you plan to get to and from the various activities as well as if you were to serve on the Board of Trustees at South Carolina State without a driver's license?
MR. ALLEN: As I said, my driver's license will be squared away within a few days. In addition to that, I also have many numerous ways of getting around. The same way I was able to get here on time -- early, in fact -- is the same way I'll be able to get to any organization or any type of meeting that might be held.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want to make sure you understand this. Attendance at university is important. Being very active. This school has come through a lot of difficult situations. And we're looking for members of the Board of Trustees who really have an interest in the university and also have the time to be able to serve on the Board. You indicated also that you are a professional athlete.
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: Track and field?
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: Internationally?
MR. ALLEN: Correct. Internationally.
SENATOR SCOTT: That means there are times that you run internationally that you will be out of the country, am I correct?
MR. ALLEN: This is true.
SENATOR SCOTT: Will that hinder you? How do you plan to serve and not be in the country?
MR. ALLEN: Well, there are a few ways. The first way is that I have full control over my schedule.
SENATOR SCOTT: Not if you run international meets.
MR. ALLEN: I have full control because our schedule, there are many meets that are available for me to enter. And I get to choose which ones that I want to enter into. I don't have to perform at a particular meet. And I can arrange my schedule.
SENATOR SCOTT: Just want you to know this: State law tells you if you miss three consecutive meetings, they will yank you off the Board.
MR. ALLEN: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: I need you to understand that going into.
MR. ALLEN: I fully understand.
SENATOR SCOTT: I don't want you to get on the Board and all of a sudden given what some of the meets actually pay, sponsorship, I understand how that works. That it becomes a problem for you to be able to participate in some of those meetings.
MR. ALLEN: It won't be.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what your plans are and your contribution you think you can make to this institution.
MR. ALLEN: My contribution would be I'd like to say mostly a way of thinking. I often hear people in positions such as this trying to deal with problems and not necessarily find new ways to improve upon them.

So, for example, we talk about as a man previously stated, sometimes teachers might be getting a certain salary and the enrollment starts to decline. Well, I would like to question where are the efforts and what are the efforts going into increasing the enrollment? And are they working? Over 100 years, this university should be in a much more progressive state than it is in now.
SENATOR SCOTT: Outside when you left South Carolina State College working for your Master's, after achieving your Master's, have you been actively involved in South Carolina State?
MR. ALLEN: I was an assistant coach with the track and field program.
SENATOR SCOTT: How long ago was that?
MR. ALLEN: This would be, I want to say I finished in 2016?
MR. ALLEN: That was the last time you had a relationship with the school?
MR. ALLEN: Correct. That was an actual --
SENATOR SCOTT: Involvement with the institution.
MR. ALLEN: Well, it depends on how you phrase involvement. I mean, I was there three weeks ago. Three weeks ago, I was there also just supporting the teams and all of the teams.
SENATOR SCOTT: Outside of the athletic department, and as a member of the Board of Trustees, its policy, how much do you really understand about what's actually going on with the members of the Board of Trustees, with the shortfall, with funding, capital needs, IT systems needs to be fixed, those kinds of issues.
MR. ALLEN: So, because I am recently, not too far along I graduated from there in 2015, and one of my classmates was Caldwell at the time, who was the head of the IT department. And I was able to speak with him personally on issues going on with that.

I also am being, with the business program, I'm familiar with the business professors. And they look at it from, of course, a business perspective, the goings-on of the university. And I also was a part of the student ambassador program while I was there. So I was involved in many other ways aside from just athletically. But I do like to participate.
SENATOR SCOTT: Because you compete internationally, which means that those skills and involvement can open some doors to bring some international students.
MR. ALLEN: Oh, definitely.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what role you can play in promoting the diversity, not only just white students but also of international students.
MR. ALLEN: Okay. Okay. So I actually represent Montserrat. It is a Caribbean island. And from there alone, it's a smaller land. And so we are in a great communication with all of the other islands. And I don't know what you guys know about track and field, but the islanders are quite exceptional.
SENATOR SCOTT: I attend a lot of the international track and field. London for the Olympics. I was at the world games when you saw both records. So I'm very familiar with it.
MR. ALLEN: I have connections there. I know coaches. I know athletes. I've gone to high school and collegiate and professional level. And I actually, when I was coaching, I was approached by many, many athletes, internationally and not only from the Caribbean, but also from -- which was a surprise to me, but Ostrava and -- I can't think -- Germany, Switzerland, plenty of those, that wanted to come and were very interested.

Of course due to circumstances, we weren't able to get them a loan, but working with them showed -- just their interest. I didn't even reach out to them; they reached out to me. That already exposed me to know that there are people who want to come. I just would the love to provide a way to allow them to be able to do so.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Allen. First thing, we were talking what events do you run in?
MR. ALLEN: Okay. So my primary event is the long jump. And as such, speed comes with it, so the 100 and 200 are also my events. And the 400 was my original event, so that one was always good.
REP. WHITMORE: What's your best in the 100?
MR. ALLEN: 10.3 right now.
REP WHITMORE: Wow, impressed.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: 10.3?
MR. ALLEN: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Wow, that's about 2 seconds faster than I ran.

One thing I noticed here, you're unopposed. When we report you out, you're going to be going on the Board. You're going to be a role model for younger people. Your driving record needs to improve, as you well know. So I hope that you will kind of watch it from now on when you do get your license back because it doesn't look good to younger people when they hear about people driving this bad. Obviously you can run fast, but you probably don't need to drive so fast.

Anyway, I wish you luck on the Board. Thank you for your willingness to serve.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis and Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you.

I see from your paperwork that you're self-employed.
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: What do you do?
MR. ALLEN: Well, in addition to competing, I also like to invest in real estate.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Do you have employees? Do you have an established business?
MR. ALLEN: I work as an independent investor.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And, Mr. Allen, first of all, I appreciate you, your willingness to serve. Also your interest in staying in South Carolina. I see that you are a native of Queens, New York.
MR. ALLEN: Correct.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: I have family there. As a matter of fact, my cousin is one of the longest-serving legislators, and she represents Jamaica Queens, and then my cousin is Greg Meeks, who is the Congressman from Far Rockaway.

My question to you would be: What would be your giving financially to the institution? What would you give? Would you be willing to give financially to the institution if placed on the Board?
MR. ALLEN: I would definitely be willing and definitely will. I have and on a smaller scale, but I'll continue to increase that as my finances also increase. I have no problem with that. I have been dealing with business for over 10 years now. I understand that funds are needed. So there's no issue with that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Now, I'm about to make a motion to hold off on your appointment and I'm going to tell you the reason why. It is not that we are not going to appoint you. But earlier today we had one of the same situations. And we just needed some more information.

And so that we are fair to all candidates that come before us and we don't show favoritism to anyone, but there are some items that our staff has asked for that we need to have cleared up.

And it's not just you. And I know you came in a little later. You came in at your appointed time. But I want you to understand that it has nothing to personally do with you. I think that you will do an amazing job for the university.

But at this point, we're going to need for you to provide some information so that we are fair to every candidate that comes before us.

So at this time I would like to make a motion that we hold off on the appointment until the required information is submitted to our staff. Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?
SENATOR VERDIN: Discussion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I just want to make sure that what we're looking for is the insurance requirement. I don't fault anyone for not having a driver's license. Because I tell you, you're a unique individual. And I think you demonstrated that you can take care of transportation.

I just want to make sure that was the issue you were looking at, the insurance card versus the driver's license.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Just that his -- I know that we failed to pass someone along earlier; and as a matter of fact, it's two items that we need cleared up. It is dealing with the insurance as well as the -- an explanation on the nonpayment of the loan.
SENATOR VERDIN: Got you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? Take motion to a vote. All in favor of carrying this matter over, raise your right hand.

Staff will notify you, Mr. Allen. And if you will work with our staff in clearing up these questions.
MR. ALLEN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.
MR. ALLEN: All right. Thank you.
On March 8, 2018:
MS. CASTO: The next one, South Carolina State, Lavon Allen. He is the 7th Congressional District. You'll remember, he is the runner, the athlete. He had a suspended driver's license and student loans that he had not paid in 18 months, paid anything on in 18 months.

I contacted him, and he told the Commission that he was in the process of getting his driver's license cleared up. He has not. It is still suspended, and he is not paid anything on his student loans. And we've gone -- I've tried to contact him about four times in the last week and a half and have gotten no response.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Motion for unfavorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion of unfavorable.

REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Discussion?
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: No discussion.

What I want to do with that is open the process back up. An unfavorable report means you've still got a report out there, an unfavorable report. I want to open the process back up so we -- since he has not done what we asked him to do, open it back up so we can find some other candidates to be able to fill that position.

So if the -- I don't know whether or not -- I think you have to make a motion to withdraw the unfavorable report and substitute that motion to allow the process to be back up -- be back open. I think that will take care of that.
MS. CASTO: As he is the only candidate --
SENATOR SCOTT: Candidate in that.
MS. CASTO: -- running for that seat. Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Inquire of staff again about the attempts to contact him.
MS. CASTO: I emailed him the day after the Commission met, I've left messages on a voice mail, I've emailed again, and I have gotten no response, so at least three times and possibly four by email and phone.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chair.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Even when we reviewed the candidate, there were some things that gave me some great concerns, the question of whether or not he would even be able to serve, to be able to get there, coupled with a laundry list of other things that came a little after we finished that process that showed there were really some concerns as it relates to credit and those kinds of things that would create, I think, some real serious problems.
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I will say this. I don't recall consideration of -- there's two items listed there, one the license and another. And that's the reason I was interested in whether or not he had responded to our staff inquiries, because his license suspension was based on insurance, and sometimes those take time. And that second matter that's listed, I'd have to go back and review the file, but I don't recall that from the previous consideration. But that would be significant, based on his -- we're talking about delinquencies.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. He's got $82,000 in outstanding student loans that he's not paid on --

SENATOR VERDIN: Okay.
MS. CASTO: -- in 18 months.

And Representative King brought it up -- you alluded to it. You didn't bring it -- you told him --
SENATOR VERDIN: Ah. Okay. Got you.
MS. CASTO: -- we would talk to him privately about it.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think we need to find him unfavorable as the motion says and then reopen.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Unfavorable.
SENATOR SCOTT: Second.

Okay. We'll take a vote on the unfavorable.

(All members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you. Unfavorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, At-Large Seat 9, Herbert Gadson from Charleston.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Chairman, while he comes up, I was going to tell y'all, there are six people that are running for this seat, the next six you will screen, except for Rodell Lawrence. We got an e-mail from him this morning, and he is in the hospital and could not be here today.

So you will be screening five of the six candidates.

Good morning, Mr. Gadson.
MR. GADSON: Good morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. GADSON: Herbert Gadson.
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. GADSON: So help me God.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. GADSON: Yes.

My name is Herbert Gadson. I'm a 1971 graduate from South Carolina State University. I am a retired educator from the Charleston County School District after serving 35 years in that the district. I have three kids.

I think I may be the only survivor of the Orangeburg Massacre. I was one of the 29 students that was shot that night. That night sort of tied me to the hip of South Carolina College. I don't want to play on words, but I was shot in the hip.

But that night changed my life. When I left my little hometown in Hollywood to attend South Carolina State College, I was a little dumb country boy. I didn't know anything about Black Power. I didn't know anything about black injustice until I got to South Carolina State College.

My eyes began to open up about the world; not only about books, but about the world, about people, how people interact with people. Now, that experience has been with me throughout my life. It has changed my life in some ways. It has made my life better in some ways. Some ways, I look at things a little differently.

But I want to serve on this board because I think my experiences throughout the years will allow me the opportunity to better the lives of some of those kids at South Carolina State University.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. I encourage you to look at the skinny I did on the SLED and the motor vehicle.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions or comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Gaston, how are you doing?
MR. GADSON: Good.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you for offering yourself to serve.
Can you talk to me a little bit about your feel about diversity there at South Carolina State and what you would do as a board member in reference to diversity.
MR. GADSON: Diversity has its place as long as it doesn't supplant what South Carolina State University is all about. South Carolina State University was established in 1896 as a school to educate black people in the state of South Carolina. The mission of that school should not be lost in diversity.

I'm all about diversity. I'm all about globalization, but let's not lose sight of what State College is all about. We need to market State College for what it is, for what its history is; not what we think that in our mind we want that school to be, but what its history is. There are people out there who appreciate the history of our black schools, but we have to market it in a way that means something to people, and I'm talking about both black and white.

And if we could find a way to market the history of black schools, just as we do the history of white schools -- the College of Charleston, for instance, the College of Charleston markets itself on Charleston's history. And if we can find a way to market South Carolina State University on its history and then we bring in the diversity and then we bring in all these other things, I think the school can survive as an HBCU school.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Gadson, I am a graduate of Morehouse, which is an HBCU.

And so with all due respect, my questioning about diversity, I've asked that question to every candidate. I don't care what school it was, if it was USC, Clemson, or South Carolina State. But I do understand the importance of diversity in our faculty and our staff, even at Morehouse. As we walk that stage on that last day and enter into this global world that we live in, we need to be able to compete globally.

So that was the reason why I asked that question, not to minimize the great history that South Carolina State has, or any HBCU. So I want to go on record in saying that. And so I do understand and appreciate your comments.

My next question to you is -- just as we've asked the other candidates, and I want to be very clear, as my fellow senator, Scott, asked earlier, we don't pick on anybody. We just go on what we have on everyone. Can you elaborate in reference to your SLED report.
MR. GADSON: I know it's colorful.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: It is.
MR. GADSON: During that time period there were a lot of things going on in my life. I got divorced in December of 2002. My mother died in January of 2003. I found myself at that stage sort of misdirected with nobody to run to on Friday evening to talk to, and I started hitting the bottle, and I didn't stop hitting the bottle until August 26th, the summer of 2010.

I went to the urologist for going to the bathroom so much at night, and he sent me to have some X-rays. And he called me back, and a few days later he told me I had some bigger problems.

They sent me to a vascular doctor, and they found an aneurysm in the aorta, in my crotch area. I went to the hospital on August 26th. I woke up at the end of September, looked down, and I was missing a leg.

When I came out of the hospital on November 26th, I vowed that I would not take another drink, and I haven't. God spared me for something bigger than I was doing.

I served as the mayor of my town for 14 years, and I served those people with everything that I had. And at the end of that -- and that factored into why I lost the election in 2003. There were a whole lot of things were coming into play during that time, but I don't want to make an excuse, because I drank, and I drank during that time, and I drank hard.

I don't recommend nobody else taking that course, but that's the course I chose.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, we appreciate your explanation, and I believe my other colleagues may have questions. And once again, I appreciate you offering your services.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Gadson, have you gotten your driver's license back?
MR. GADSON: No, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: How do you plan to get from Charleston to Orangeburg for board meetings?
MR. GADSON: I have a driver.
SENATOR SCOTT: All right. Are you still employed, or are you retired or --
MR. GADSON: I'm retired.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Gadson, I understand your challenges that you had, and folks go through challenges. And I'll tell you, you know, one of the biggest concerns we have with young people is drinking, drinking and drugs on college campuses. More drinking and binge drinking than anything else on college campuses, and I'm just concerned about what message we send as we screen these candidates and we run into all kinds of problems, and some turn around immediately, and some just take longer to turn around.

I think your previous experience as town council, mayor, I mean, is just such a valuable experience to bring to the board, but that which leaves me a lot of concern is the amount of DUIs and the time period and rebounding as a, I guess, functional alcoholic in that time.

And so my challenge, in my mind, is there anything that could trigger that to start again?
MR. GADSON: What a better messenger to talk to those kids about drinking than me? It's been eight years.
SENATOR SCOTT: Since you drank?
MR. GADSON: I've been through a lot of other things in eight years.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. I know I heard you talk about your health issues as well.
MR. GADSON: About what?
SENATOR SCOTT: I heard you talk about your health issues you had as well. You talked about the doctor telling you about your health issues. You talked about that to us as well. I guess --
MR. GADSON: And so no. At this stage in my life, no.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Anyone else?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Excuse me, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, as we try to rebuild South Carolina State and send out the best candidates to represent the state and as we have to send these to our colleagues and so that we make sure -- and although I really appreciate you offering your services to the state of South Carolina, unfortunately at this time, I'm going to have to move that we give you an unfavorable report.

Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is unfavorable.

Seconded by Senator Scott.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, all in favor of the motion unfavorable, raise your right hand.
MR. GADSON: Thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, Alexandria Tamila James from Irmo.

Good morning, Ms. James.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MS. JAMES: Good morning. My name is Alexandria James.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Good. 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?
MS. JAMES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MS. JAMES: Yes.

I am a recent -- well, about a year ago -- I'm a graduate of South Carolina State University. I got my bachelor's degree in agricultural business and my master's degree in agricultural business from South Carolina State.

In my undergrad years, I worked heavily with the school. I was a student orientation leader. So I worked firsthand with freshmen or any transfer students that came in, helping to enact programs that will attract students and, you know, make the transition from college -- go from high school to college.

I worked with the campus activities board. I was the committee chair. And I worked heavily with the 1890 Program. I worked with two different summer camps at Discovery and Cypress.

One worked heavily with high school students across the nation in agriculture, just trying to recruit them to South Carolina State, but also expose them to agriculture and different aspects besides farming. And Cypress was the same thing but on a middle school level.

And I would love to be a part of this board to -- because I've grown up in the South Carolina State University atmosphere. My grandmother was a teacher there. I've had numerous family members come to the school. I was an honorary cheerleader, if you will, when I was a kid, and I just want to be a part of the future growth and development of this university that I love so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Ms. James, for applying.

When we look at candidates who are running for the institution -- I'm a graduate of the institution as well. We also look at candidates' ability to be able to assist, not only with instructions and programs, but also financially. And I know you're young, and if it all doesn't fit in this time, you've got adequate time.

What raises some concern with me is your student loan. You're about five months delinquent on your student loan.
MS. JAMES: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: And so that raises a lot of concern in terms of where you are financially. If you want to talk about that, we're open to hear about that.
MS. JAMES: Okay. Yes, I am a few months behind on my student loans. Honestly, of course I'm starting out, but I, I guess, choose what is -- I hate to say it like this, but what's most important right now.

So I am very family oriented. So a lot of my funds go towards like my immediate necessities and then spread out towards family members that need help.
SENATOR SCOTT: So other students that choose to follow the same path, what do you say to the student loan program, which is always under attack with trying to fix the interest rate, trying to make sure the program stays in place, and above all, trying to make sure that those who are involved in the program are, in fact, up to date, especially when you're moving into a situation that you will be a representative on a college board where students will be getting student loans? Are we saying that's okay to do that as well?
MS. JAMES: That is definitely not what we're saying. It is a responsibility. I mean, it's case-sensitive, and I think that everyone should take responsibility with their student loans. So this is not an issue that will progress.

I know that it's something when I'm representing South Carolina State, it has to be cleared up, and I'm working towards getting that cleared up. So before I start serving, everything will be caught up. I am making enough financial income right now where I can catch up --
SENATOR SCOTT: Hopefully.
MS. JAMES: -- and I will be able to in the next few months.

I understand what you're saying, and it won't be an issue, because we don't need to have students, you know --
SENATOR SCOTT: Correct. Thank you, Ms. James.
MS. JAMES: -- falling behind on their student loans.
SENATOR SCOTT: Sure. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions or comments?

Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: And I want you to understand the questions about student loans is very important, and especially if you're going to be representing South Carolina State.

Do you realize that when you fall behind, it reflects on the actual university?
MS. JAMES: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. And so that's why we may have that line of questioning for you. And I didn't realize that until I was an instructor at a college, that students who do not pay their student loans reflect negatively on the university in which I represent. So that's why we have that line of questioning.
Can you tell me what you think about diversity.
MS. JAMES: Well, I was listening to what you said previously, you know, about having diversity across the faculty and staff. I believe that's very important because they come through every walk of life already that we are -- well, that students are getting ready to embark on. And being able to have different opinions -- well, people who don't necessarily look like you but can tell you their experiences in life, that is very important as well as with students internationally and out of state from different income levels, different academic levels, I think diversity works very well.

When I say "academic levels," like when I was -- when I first got to South Carolina State, I wasn't in the honors program because I transferred. And I met with a group of kids who were in the honors program, and just hanging out with them, they were different from my friends back home. Hanging out with them made me want to try harder, and I actually did merit into the honors college that following semester. I got the Achiever Scholarship.

So I think diversity across every aspect, from skin color to state background, economic backgrounds, is very important because it can -- it encourages and it teaches people, you know, to see life and -- to see life through other people's eyes.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Great.

My last question for you, if you were selected to be on the board, what would make you -- what will you do different as a board member to make South Carolina State successful?
MS. JAMES: I would bring in new ideas from a different standpoint, from a younger standpoint. I look at a lot of the successful colleges now and just try to see what they're doing that's working, and I would try to bring that into South Carolina State. I would try to get us as a university more out in the community, and I would try to utilize South Carolina State's biggest asset, which is their students. Everything the students are learning now, they could be practicing while they're on the campus, you know.

With the agricultural business, we could start a little garden and have a fresh market, if you will, on the campus. The journalism students, they can be practicing their journalism skills by going out into the community or walking around campus, you know, publishing whatever interviews that they do on campus.

So yes, I would definitely utilize South Carolina State's greatest assets and my network as well. I've met a lot of people since I've worked with the campus activities board and worked with 1890. So a lot of people are ready to give back. I think we just have to ask.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Ms. James.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion or comments? What is the desire of the Committee?
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, it raises a major concern with me with the student loan issue. I'm going to move for not a favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Motion is unfavorable.

Is there a second? No second?

For the benefit of the Members, I'll second the motion. Let's discuss it now.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Seconded.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is unfavorable for Ms. James.

Further discussion?
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I'm inquiring of the previous student loan -- well, the motions are predicated on the student loan, questionable loan, correct?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: I know we've had various credit record discussion and debate end in unfavorable reports. Have we had -- and not having served in a -- and we've debated this motion before as a commissioner, I'm inquiring of the previous track record of the Commission on this specific matter. You might not be able to access it right now.
MS. CASTO: The question is whether y'all have found anyone unfavorable because of the student loans? Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: As I go through the different reports, there are a number of individuals who have deferred these loan, and that's the process you go through. Once you defer it, you're not past due on the student loan, and that's the issue. Some think a little bit different from me. I don't have a problem with it, but I saw some others with large amounts of deferred student loans, and that's how you protect your credit, by asking for a deferment.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. James, would you like to speak to the student loan situation? I know you touched on it earlier. You said you could satisfy that? You're able to?
MS. JAMES: Yes. I can make a phone call today, actually, to see about what I can do right now to rectify the situation. But I know within the next couple of months, I'll be caught up.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And sorry, Ms. James. I understand why this is such a great concern. I'm going to repeat this one more time.

A high number of students who do not pay their student loans back to the institution, it affects the accreditation of the school. South Carolina State has battled that in recent history. So that is one of the issues that Senator Scott is having with giving you a favorable report, because if you are a member of the board and have student loans, you have to understand that this does affect the accreditation of that institution with the number of students who are unable to pay their student loans back. So that's why it may look small to you and why someone may ask that question.

It is very important to us as legislators when we have recently debated and sometimes fought very hard for South Carolina State's accreditation in this state.
MS. JAMES: I understand.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin and Senator Scott, would you like to carry this over to satisfy this matter?
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, that's what I was going to ask.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You're speaking in terms of months. I think we're talking in terms of days.
MS. JAMES: Days? Okay.

Well, I can call the student loan companies today and see what I can do to -- what kind of programs or what I can do to rectify the situation immediately and see if I can...
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman, I would like to give the candidate every benefit of opportunity. I don't want to create a hardship for the Commission or the General Assembly in the election. I just need to be reminded of the dates.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is to carry this matter over.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, let me -- I'll withdraw my motion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And I'll withdraw the second.

Motion is to carry over for Alexandria Tamila James.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I'll second the carryover.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And try to clear that up as soon as possible.
MS. JAMES: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: Do you want to give her a deadline?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I know that the House is out on furlough this week, and I think in a week -- we will be back in on the 3rd.
SENATOR SCOTT: We're going to be gone too.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Okay. So I think once we are back in session -- I don't know the date the Senate will be back in -- I think that will be ample enough time.
SENATOR SCOTT: Two weeks.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Two weeks.
SENATOR SCOTT: Two weeks, yes.
MS. JAMES: Okay. I'm going to need an e-mail, or what should I do?
SENATOR SCOTT: Notify staff.
MS. CASTO: We'll be in touch.
MS. JAMES: Okay.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
MS. JAMES: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: I just want to remind the Committee on the student loans. If they have asked for deferments on these student loans, that's one thing. We've seen two previous attorneys come in who have asked for deferments. That stops the process, but at least the process has been approved. But if you are not paying on it and have not followed the proper procedure, that's simply you just ignoring your responsibility, and that's what we were talking about.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, like the Senator from Laurens said, we'd like to give the candidate every benefit of the doubt.
SENATOR SCOTT: We do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All right.
On April 9, 2018
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I'll call the meeting to order. This is a meeting of the College and University Trustee Screening Commission. I'd like to welcome everyone. I pray that God continues to bless us all.

Martha, you have a little committee business we need to attend to.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. When you met on March 26, there were four candidates that you carried over to get some additional information. We have received information from two of them. Two I have not.

The first one is Alexandria Tamelia James. She was running for the At-Large Seat 9. You carried her over because of her student loans that she had not paid, and she was to come back with a payment schedule, and she has not. I gave her until 10:00 this morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So it hinges on sending in the information.
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: And you have not received it.
MS. CASTO: Correct.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So what's the will of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I make a motion for unfavorable report.
SENATOR VERDIN: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we find the candidate unfavorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Now, we'll go to At-Large Seat 10, Enoch K. Beraho.
MS. CASTO: Enoch.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Beraho?
MS. CASTO: Is he here? Yes, he's here.

Dr. Beraho, come on up.
SENATOR VERDIN: Come on down. The time is right.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Yes.

That's why I ask you to say your full name for the record, in case I don't say it right, pronounce it right.

What's your full name, sir?
MR. BERAHO: Enoch K. Beraho.
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. BERAHO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement, sir?
MR. BERAHO: Yeah.

Well, I want to say that I went to South Carolina State University in 1981.
MS. CASTO: Can you sit up and talk into the microphone.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: A little closer to the microphone.
MR. BERAHO: I worked for South Carolina University from 1981 until two years ago, and that's the only job I have ever had.

So I saw that university grow, and I also -- I knew that when I went there the first time, it was a good school. And as time went on, it became worse and worse under my watch. So I want to say that I know the school well.

Well, I worked there 34 years. And I've seen good things happen, and I've seen bad things happen to it, but I believe we can help it improve. That's what I hope to see now and move it forward.

I'll wait for whatever you need to say.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

You did put on here that you are involved in a wrongful termination suit against South Carolina State. Is it still in mediation?
MR. BERAHO: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
MR. BERAHO: I think it hasn't even started. I think it will soon be, but it's not there yet. I think it will be there probably in two weeks, but it's not there. They are working on it.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman -- and I want some guidance on this from the actual Committee -- I notice that, also, he is in a suit against South Carolina State, and it gives me some heartburn if we were to vote him out favorable with that standing, with a suit against the institution.

And so I think we need to -- I would hope that we're going to have some conversation in reference to that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to speak to that, sir, the outstanding lawsuit?
MR. BERAHO: Well, for me, I don't think it has anything to do with this, because I still love the school. But my termination really was a personal thing. Some individuals decided to do that. I don't want to hold it against the university itself.

But as far as I'm concerned, I don't see that it has anything to do with it because with whom I work, it's not something that -- something because I hate the school. I love the school, but something wrong was done by individuals of the university, actually.

So I think I don't have any problems serving in spite of that.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman, I would -- you know, and with all due respect to you, sir, I can't pronounce your name. I would love for you to, you know, in my opinion, reapply once this lawsuit has been settled; and because of that -- and I'm just one member of this board -- I'm going to move before we even ask you questions, because I don't want to ask you any questions that you may be -- because I would love to know more about the lawsuit, but we would have it on the record.

I want to move for an unfavorable report.
SENATOR SCOTT: I'll second it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.

Any other discussion?
SENATOR VERDIN: Just one clarification.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I'm assuming, based on all of your comments, that you are the plaintiff, and you have been terminated.
MR. BERAHO: Yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: I just wanted to make sure.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other discussion? Hearing none, the motion is unfavorable.

Raise you right hand.

Thank you, sir. CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Michael Addison from Orangeburg is next.

Good afternoon, sir.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. ADDISON: Yes, my name is Michael Antonio Addison Sr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. ADDISON: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. ADDISON: Yes, I would.

I'm a 1997 graduate of South Carolina State. I entered in 1993. A brief story for my statement.

I met a gentleman my freshmen year, and I was living in Lowman Hall, and the young guys there had a party, and I was introduced to partying with young guys for the first time coming from Hartsville. And we walked the campus, and we're touring the campus, and we ended up running into a guy. Because we were loud, he pulled me over and spoke with me.

And then later on the following day, he came by the dorm to visit me, and I was so taken by the visit. And that guy was Dr. Maceo Nance, and he walked me up and down the campus and showed me his history of the campus, the beauty of the campus, and the wonderful things that the university had done throughout the state of South Carolina and this country. And he also taught me about alcohol, you know, not to hang out with the boys and getting too rowdy. And he also had pulled my grades.

He said, "Because a young man with that much energy, there must be something special about you."

He pulled my grades and saw that I was a presidential scholar, and he was excited about that. And he said he wanted more students like that. He goes, "Here is a kid coming from Hartsville, South Carolina, born near the projects in a ghetto-like area, and South Carolina State pulled you in here, remediating you, giving you an opportunity at life to become a doctor and be as successful in life as you want to be."

And so South Carolina State offered that to me, and I want to make sure that opportunity is still there for students to come, regardless of their background and their nationality, but that we still have that opportunity available for those students who seek to further their education.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Mr. Addison, I have a couple of questions.
MR. ADDISON: Okay.
MS. CASTO: In your personal data questionnaire, when the question says, Have you filed taxes for the last five years? you said no, but as of January 17th, you would be in compliance within 30 days. Are you in compliance with the filing of your taxes?
MR. ADDISON: We are in total compliance at this time. Our accountant had an issue with our taxes. I didn't work for a couple of years because we lost everything to a national disaster. We lost about $2.43 million and had to start over from scratch.

So there were things about our taxes that we could not find. He had to recreate. We had to contact vendors to get receipts. A tornado ripped our building apart, and we lost all of our records, our computer systems and all.

So it took him some time to put everything together. And then we experienced another national disaster with Hurricane Matthew where we lost quite a bit there, and we're still recovering from that at this time. So presently we are in compliance. Mr. Gilmore has everything in order and is continuing to work on it and make sure we stay in compliance.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You said that in 2000, you were disciplined by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Can you explain that.
MR. ADDISON: Yeah.

It started in 1996. In 1996, I was detained and arrested under the advice of then-Attorney General Charlie Condon for not turning in a tax form. Well, at that time we didn't have a tax form that we needed to turn in, and we didn't owe any money, and we were somewhat confused.

And so from then we went on to a trial, and there was a conviction, and we moved the trial to an appellate court on to the supreme court, in which supreme court ruled in what I felt was my favor. But Board of Chiropractic Examiners said you did not give us knowledge that you had been arrested and/or indicted and/or convicted.

And so we disagreed with that, and we went back and forth for about three or four years until we just settled the matter because the legislators, you guys, actually did away with the law. I repealed without a saving clause, and because it was at the supreme court, it become a moot issue at that point because you guys did away with it.

So that was an issue that the Board of Chiropractic Examiners was disciplining me on, because they said they didn't receive notice from me that I had been arrested, indicted, and/or convicted.
MS. CASTO: And it was settled how? You said that you settled with the board.
MR. ADDISON: Well, we settled with the board by entering into an agreement to pay a fee, I think in the year 2000.
MS. CASTO: You paid a fine to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
MR. ADDISON: Yes.
MS. CASTO: Okay. You also said that you were a silent partner in two companies, Quality Loss Construction and Watson Sports Media, that do work with the State of South Carolina. What agencies do they do work with?
MR. ADDISON: Quality Loss Construction, I am full owner of that company. Watson Sports Media, I'm a consultant and silent partner invested in that company. The sports media firm goes around and helps market sports events in schools' athletic departments. This last year, they were responsible for the Game Day booked at South Carolina State University, ensuring that the school's athletic department gets properly marketed through the corporations who are interested in displaying their ads.

Quality Loss Construction, we are an asbestos abatement and testing firm registered and certified with FEMA, EPA, and South Carolina DHEC. And what we do, we petition state institutions, from South Carolina State to Clemson and USC and other institutions, for some of their asbestos testing and abatement projects.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And you may have answered this, and I'm just going to make sure I'm clear on it. Just so that we are following protocol with the other folks that we have screened out. The issue you have with DOR, Department of Revenue, an outstanding lien, has that been taken care of?
MR. ADDISON: Yeah, I don't have any liens with the Department of Revenue.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Staff, can you update us on that, please.
MS. CASTO: According to the SLED report, you have $135,000 worth of liens to the state.
MR. ADDISON: That cannot be factual. Not correct. This is the first that I've heard of that. I don't owe anything to the -- Department of Revenue? I don't have anything.
MS. CASTO: You have outstanding liens is what it says. It's not to the Department of Revenue, but...
MR. ADDISON: I am not aware of any.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
MR. ADDISON: Yes.

Let me make this comment, because I spoke to Virginia at the department, and there were several things that they pulled, and that someone has the same name and similar date of birth as mine. Things like attempted murder, being arrested for stealing a car. You know, those things are also tagged to my name, which I don't have any of that in my history.
MS. CASTO: Okay. None of that showed up.
MR. ADDISON: Okay. She took that out. Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, Mr. Addison -- and I'll ask you some other questions, but just so you know, with other candidates that we have that's on there, the information that we have, if it shows up on their report, we're allowing you some time to get that to our staff.

And so at the appropriate time, I'm going to make a motion that we allow you that time, and at that time then we will, you know, move forward with your application as a board member. And that is just in light of what we have done with all out the candidates, not just today but all that we have interviewed in reference to any university.

So we want to make sure that we're being fair across the board. Okay?
MR. ADDISON: Well, can we be specific to what you guys have? Because I'm totally oblivious to this.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Would you get with staff? Probably if you get with the staff, it would probably be better and then that way -- because everything that we're talking about is going into the record --
MR. ADDISON: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: -- and you may want to talk with her personally. Okay?
MR. ADDISON: That will be fine.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Move to carry over.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is to carry over, and then we'll go to Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Yes, please.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The motion is to carry over, and now we'll move on to discussion.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I just wanted to get a couple of other things to clarify.

One is, obviously, your responsibilities, your work responsibilities. Would there be any if you were elected to the board? Would there be any issue with your ability to carry out those duties?
MR. ADDISON: As far as attendance or supporting the university?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Attendance and responsibilities that would be required.

THE WITNESS: Well, I live in Orangeburg. I visit the campus on a weekly basis. I am a lifetime member of the national organization for -- Alumni Association. I still attend a majority of the sporting events.

So being on campus would not be an issue because I don't live too far away from there. But it's just having the scheduled meetings and my secretary putting them on my calendar. So I could definitely make the appointments.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So is it my understanding you're a chiropractor by trade?
MR. ADDISON: That's one of my -- yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you have an office where you practice or --
MR. ADDISON: Yes. 3605 Columbia Road in Orangeburg at Waters Edge.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is to carry over.

Mr. Addison, can you get all of this information and get with the staff within two weeks from today?
MR. ADDISON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Thank you.

Motion is to carry it over. We'll carry it over without objection.

Thank you, sir.
MR. ADDISON: Thank you.
On April 9, 2018
MS. CASTO: The last one is Michael Addison. His is South Carolina State At-Large Seat 11. He had some lien satisfactions he needed to get to me. I have not received those from him.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: He had a deadline of --
MS. CASTO: Of 10:00 this morning.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: Unfavorable.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion unfavorable. Any other discussion?

Unfavorable on that candidate.

Does that clear up our housekeeping?
MS. CASTO: That's it. Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Next we have the University of South Carolina, 1st Judicial Circuit, Charles H. Williams from Orangeburg.

Mr. Williams, welcome.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Williams, I want to ask you to give your full name for the record.
MR. WILLIAMS: Charles Hiram Williams, II.
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. WILLIAMS: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
MR. WILLIAMS: Can I get a cup of water?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Please.

Mr. Williams, make sure your light is burning green also.
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm sorry.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Make sure your light's burning green, that button.
MR. WILLIAMS: The green button? It's on.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement on why you'd like to continue to serve on the USC board?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.

I think I want to start off by kind of telling who I am. I'm 68 years old. I attended the University of South Carolina undergraduate and law school. My father was the late Senator Marshall Williams. My wife was the late Karen Williams, who was the first lady on the Fourth Circuit and the first lady to be Chief Justice.

I have four children, all of which are lawyers, all of which attended the University of South Carolina law school.

To tell you I'm not embarrassed to be here would be a lie. I am. In my 68 years, I've never been in any kind of trouble. I think I had a speeding ticket 40 years ago. I think I've lived an exemplary life. I've always tried to do what's right.

I served on the board at South Carolina State College for 22 years. I resigned in protest over what was going on at the school, and some of you all over there -- ten years ago I wrote a letter to the Legislature, telling them the problems we were having at State and trying to get them to vote against Maurice Washington as chairman.

I've been on the University of South Carolina board for eight years. I don't accept any per diem or any mileage or anything from the University, nor did I do it from South Carolina State.

I'm still a strong supporter of South Carolina State. I'm a lifelong resident of Orangeburg. I think it's a valuable school. But I do love and cherish being on the board at the University of South Carolina. I attend 90-something percent -- I think maybe once or twice I was in court and couldn't attend a meeting, but I attend all board meetings. I attend all committee meetings, even those committees I'm not on.

My firm gave $2 million to the law school, and they named the law school courtroom after my late wife. I've always been a financial contributor to the University. I think the University is a great institution, and I love being there.

I know a lot of you all have problems because almost five years ago, I reckon, now, I had a wildlife violation, and I was trapping hawks on my farm. I'm going to tell you some background when this happened.

My wife was dying from Alzheimer's. And I exercised poor judgment, and I'm sorry I did. Excuse me. I'm sorry I did. But I grew up on a farm, and I quail hunted all my life. Hawks have always been a problem for quail hunters. And I knew I should not have done it. I put out some traps, and I shouldn't have done it.

And, you know, I've lived through five years dealing with this thing. It's been hard on me. The papers have been pretty much unmerciful on me. There's been a lot of things said that were untrue. Anytime they mention me, they always mention my father and my wife. She died about three months after this happened.

But I want you to know, I'm not a bad person. I made a mistake, and I'm certainly sorry for it. I think -- I didn't realize the consequences of my mistake. I'd never heard of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act until this thing happened.

It started off, the state had it. They made another case. I think it was in Beaufort. The defendants were each charged a thousand dollars each. They'd taken 30-something birds.

I didn't understand the seriousness. This was a magistrate's court offense both in state court and in federal court.

I'm going to pass up, if I may...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Please.
MR. WILLIAMS: (Tendering documents.)

I didn't make but one copy of this.

(Tendering documents.)
MR. WILLIAMS: Under state law, there are 37 violations for wildlife. If you'll note, 29 of them carry 10 points or more. One of the lowest point totals is for taking a hawk, which is only an 8-point violation.

The migratory Bird Treaty Act which is federal, is a treaty between Russia, Canada, and the United States. Of course, I learned this afterwards. I passed up a thing. There are 800 birds protected by the Migratory Treaty Act. They include blackbirds, pigeons, crows, coots, any bird that can fly except quail or a turkey.

When I met with the US attorney, I never denied it. I always took responsibility. They wanted me to give a $100,000 contribution to an organization which I'm well aware of and know the person that runs it. It's an -- I can't think of it right now, but it's for birds of prey. I grew up with the man that ran it, and I did not want to.

I offered to give 100,000 to my church or to the University, and they said no. I said, Well, I'll just plead. They wanted me to plead to seven counts, and I agreed because I bought the traps and I put them out. They were out for about -- maybe a year.

When I went to court, I went before the magistrate Shiva Hodges, who I didn't know. She sentenced me and gave me a fine of $75,000. I was shocked. I had researched all the cases in the Fourth Circuit. The Fourth Circuit controls South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The highest fine for anybody that killed a hawk or trapped a hawk was $1,000. The people that pled before me each got $1,000.

The judge went on and asked the US attorney, who asked for a $100,000 fine. And she said, Well, can you show me anywhere, either a misdemeanor -- and this was a misdemeanor before a federal magistrate -- where anybody has got a fine of 10,000 or more, including all felonies?

And felonies, they get higher charges, you know, drug distribution and child pornography. And the answer was no.

And I thought everything was going along fine, and then that she sentenced me to 75,000. I'll be honest with you. I was shocked.

And then she said she wanted to add, and told me that when she was at the Governor's School that she saw a red-tailed hawk. Well, a red-tailed hawk is the same thing as a chicken hawk. And it changed her -- she looked in the eyes of that hawk, and it changed her life, and she wanted to be an ornithologist, and she went to Clemson and decided on being in biology.

Of course, I was a little bit disturbed that she hadn't told me that when we began the plea, and I also knew that her maximum -- a federal magistrate can only fine $5,000. So I took -- I appealed it, appealed to a district court judge in the federal system. And the district court judge agreed that she couldn't fine me what she did.

And I went for resentencing. And in the first sentencing, they told the judge that a game warden came to me and told me to quit trapping hawks. And that was just completely untrue. And I got the name of who they claimed it was, and it was Damian Yongue, and he was no longer in Orangeburg. He was in Lexington.

So I called him after the sentencing and asked him did he tell anybody that he'd ever called me and told me to quit trapping hawks, and he said no. And I asked him, Will you give me an affidavit? And he gave me an affidavit, which I presented to the second court in my sentencing.

The newspaper made statements that were just totally false. My farm became a plantation all of a sudden. I got a farm that my daddy had from his granddaddy that I bought from my daddy. I don't like the connotation of a plantation. It's a farm.

The paper said that I was charged with killing an endangered species. They're not. The next article said they were rare. They're not. There are millions of hawks. You can google it at any time.

And, you know, they always -- they never said anything about the false statement that was given in court by the government that was disproved by the affidavit given by the officer that he did not ever say that they'd been on my farm. Never knew anything about it. The first time he knew about this was when he read in the paper that I'd been charged.

To tell you that my life has been miserable -- I mean, I had people in Orangeburg who thought I was going to jail and asked me. They said, What's going on?

And this same -- I now know this same treaty, if you get charged federally by shooting over the limit of doves or shooting bait, this is what they charge you under. And it's a magistrate court offense in the state. It's a magistrate court offense even under the federal.

And, you know, why -- I never thought I was political. When Daddy died, everybody wanted me to run for senate. I didn't want to be in politics. I know what you all give up. I watched my daddy. Daddy never made any money. Daddy was up here in Columbia all the time. I got Brad Hutto. He's never at the office. They're always in Columbia.

I never wanted to be in politics. I mean, I won't say I'm greedy, but, you know, I wanted to practice law. And I didn't understand why the attention was directed at me other than who my wife was and who my father was.

And to tell you that I'm sorry and how many sleepless -- I got in from China yesterday. I spent three weeks in Asia. So on the plane back, I said, Well, I can't go to sleep. I've got to get a good night's sleep so I can be ready for this. Well, I didn't get any sleep. I haven't slept in 48 hours.

I told Pastides, I said, you know, it's not worth it to have to go through this thing again. For four or five years, I've been trying to get it behind me. And, you know, it's been tough on me. It's been tough on my children. I mean, you know, they don't want to read things about their daddy.

And I don't know why the paper -- when I took the appeal, Ariail did a cartoon and put three buzzards up there and had me in the tree with three buzzards and said, Birds of a feather flock together.

I mean, who isn't going to appeal when the judge can only fine you $5,000 and they give you $75,000? You know, you can't talk to the paper. They're not going to print what you say. It's a one-sided deal.

And, you know, what I did was wrong, and I know it, and all I wanted to be was treated fairly. I wanted to be treated like everybody else that went to federal court and got a $1,000 fine. I paid -- I didn't appeal my second fine of $30,000. I paid the fine. It was actually $30,070, and I paid it just trying to get this thing over with.

(Representative Henderson enters the room.)
MR. WILLIAMS: But next to my wife dying, this is the worst thing I've been through in my life. It's an embarrassment to me, my family, my friends. People in Orangeburg have been great. They've supported me.

I mean, you know, I hate to say it, but people have been shooting -- quail hunters have been shooting hawks down there since time began. Hawks came back in 1970 when they did away with DDT, and they had an explosion of the hawk population.

You know, I'm willing to answer any questions you have on that, if you have any.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If you could, hold that and let's make sure the paperwork's okay, and then we'll open for questions or comments. Thank you.

Have you completed your opening statement?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. And I didn't mean to be too long.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No. No. That's okay. That's very serious, and we'll take our time.

And quite frankly, Mr. Williams, I'm not an attorney, and so -- number one. Number two, most of the information about this incident I read in the paper. And so I understand what you're saying. But we have a job to do also, and I know you understand that.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?

MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Now, Mr. King.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Thank you.

And I thank you for your statement.

My question to you is, I'm more concerned about diversity at the University of South Carolina.

Can you tell me a little bit about diversity and how your continued service on the board will be helpful in my quest at seeing diversity throughout the campus with the student body, faculty, and staff?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think we do a very good job. I think we can do a better job. I'm proud -- we have a 74-percent -- 77-percent graduation rate of African Americans at the University of South Carolina, which is the top three percent. That's better than 97 percent of the other schools.

It is becoming more and more difficult, I think, to get African Americans because the declining -- and we accept 74 percent of all South Carolina African Americans that apply. The African Americans are declining in the number applying to universities and colleges.

You probably won't like what I've got to say, but, you know, we've got rural counties, and the education is subpar, and they're not preparing -- mostly African Americans live in these areas, Allendale, Kingstree, Orangeburg, and so forth. And they're not preparing these kids for college. And so a lot of these kids are not even trying to go to college. One in every four black males goes to jail. It's a terrible problem.

President Pastides is, I think, very diligent in trying to bring more African Americans into our school. Right now, we have, I think, 3600. That makes up about ten percent of our enrollment. We have about 20 percent of our teachers who are African American.

Can we do a better job? Sure, we can do a better job. I think we are trying. We have people who go to high schools to try and recruit blacks, African Americans, but we can do a better job.

But we lead the state in the number of African Americans by a large stretch. We have, I think, 3600. South Carolina State has like 2700.
SENATOR SCOTT: 2900.
MR. WILLIAMS: And the second highest is, like, 17 or 18 -- third highest in our state is Upstate, one of our four-year satellites.

So we're trying, but we can do better.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: As myself and Senator Scott -- we're part of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, and one of the major concerns or complaints that we receive as caucus members has been the advancement of African-American faculty and staff at the University of South Carolina, the lack of advancement or the ability to advance.

Can you tell me how you would be supportive of the advancement of African Americans?
MR. WILLIAMS: No question. I recommended two ladies from Orangeburg, and both of them got jobs at the University. They were well qualified. I hate to say I took one from Claflin and one from State, but they were excellent people.

And I talked to Pastides. At the time, it was -- and the other provost emeritus. And they were both hired. And from what I know in talking to the administration, they've done an excellent job. One of them went into administration.

But I come from a county that is probably 65 percent African Americans, and I do my best to try and help what I perceive is a serious problem.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Well, know that you're well respected by some folk down in Orangeburg, trust and believe. Representative Ott and Representative Cobb-Hunter speak very highly of you.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, Senator Matthews came to me at my last plea and spoke on my behalf.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions, comments?
SENATOR VERDIN: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: I don't want to get in the way of any questions. I do have comments as we debate the Committee's recommendation. But I'm here with listening ears for questions, but I do have comments.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: (Nodding head.)

Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to relate something that is a matter of public policy as relates to wildlife. I believe Senator Martin, senator from Pickens, in his final few months of service was the first one to bring this matter to my attention. Yes, it was. I had to think about that. I know that the current senator from Pickens has been keenly aware of it, but I had to go back in my mind and recollect the time frame.

So back into 2016, the cattlemen of the northwestern corner -- that would be the Golden Corner --
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: You got that right.
SENATOR VERDIN: And I'll just say this, not to have heard it from Senator Alexander first rather than Senator Martin. I will admit it was an election year, and there were a lot of people out there listing with keen ears to their constituents. So this would go back to the spring of 2016, that primary.

Nonetheless, regarding the time frame winter or spring, about 200 cattlemen from the northwestern corner of the state, primarily Anderson, Pickens, Oconee Counties, convened somewhere in Pickens County. I believe it was a community center somewhere in the Tamassee-Salem section, which, I guess, would have been Oconee County.

You might recall the meeting where these cattlemen met to discuss the black vulture, a bird that's protected under these same treaties that affect the hawk.

I was unable to make the meeting, but I got the reports back that the Fish and Wildlife Service, in a rather abrupt manner, told the presenters and the testifiers -- and these testifiers who were there were cattlemen, animal husbandry.

A gentleman made the appeal to the Fish and Wildlife Service for any kind of relief they could get on depredation of their cattle. Now, let me tell you how this happens.

He gave the specific instance of his brood cow delivering a pair of twins -- delivering a set of twins. Before the mama could lick that first calf off, get it on its feet, these black vultures had pecked the eyes out of the second twin.

At that point, the animal is unstable. The mother was able to bring one to life. The second twin was, obviously, killed. That pecking of the eyes was just the start of the process. When she was finished, there was hardly any meat left on the bones. This has been repeated many, many times now in the northwestern sections of the state.

If you're not familiar with this black vulture, we grew up with a turkey vulture in South Carolina. Turkey vultures are the ugly, old bird with no hair on its head and red on top. You don't usually see more than four or five of them at a time.

When you see this black -- and it's a fairly large-sized bird. This black vulture is speckle-headed gray on top. It's about a third less size. And when you see them, you're going to see -- now, when you see the turkey vulture roosting at night, you might see 50 or 60 of them sitting up on an old BellSouth tower somewhere. These black vultures, you're going to see them packed up 40 or 50 at a time.

And they have come in here aggressively from the southwestern United States. They made their way in here via the Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys. They worked their way right across the mountains, and now they're in South Carolina.

Well, when these concerned cattlemen had this meeting, the Fish and Wildlife Service heard their pleas and said, Well, let me tell you...

The cattlemen were saying, Look. We've got to protect our property.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says, Well, you might be protecting your property. We're going to put you under the jail.

Well, that's the federal response in 2016. It's so bad in Tennessee and Kentucky that the previous administration gave a special dispensation to those two states for this predation to be handled privately -- to be handled with private protection and with reporting to the federal agency, special dispensation given by the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service to Kentucky and Tennessee.

I subsequently have been working the National Conference of State Legislatures, Southern Legislative Conference, to have policies adopted and sent to the feds to extend that dispensation and that special permit to South Carolina as well.

Last month, when the secretary of the interior was here in Columbia listening to the energy debate and offshore drilling, I spoke with him directly, Ryan Zinke, about this matter, and he said he was more and more aware, not from just the successful efforts to protect property in Kentucky and Tennessee, but he's hearing now from North Carolina, Virginia, and expects to hear from Gulf Coast states soon and that he is very interested in seeing a national policy change that will highlight and give preference and consideration to the protection of property.

Now, Mr. Williams indicated that there are millions of these hawks. I'm going to say there's tens of millions.

I'm not an ornithologist or a Fish and Wildlife Service counter, but I can tell you, I'm a mom-and-pop retailer. My wife sells about 4,000 or 5,000 day-old, two-day-old chicks a year to mom-and-pop or to backyard poultry keepers in Laurens, Greenville, Union, Greenwood Counties.

And those same people are back every year, and they start all over again because they basically feel like they're just part of the food chain for the local chicken hawk population. So there's a lot of different perspectives on the way federal policies impact us at the local level.

And I will just tell you, my understanding and personal involvement for the protection of private property does very much color my view towards this matter, and I do view that apart and separate from the violation.

But the fact that there has been a violation and acknowledgment, a suffering of the consequences, a wearing of the scarlet letter.

I can just tell you, I might be the newest member here, and I really appreciate the in-depth and serious manner in which this Committee goes about its business. I'm not privy to all the previous confirmations or clearances, votes of qualification or non-qualification. But as I've told the Chairman and other members of the Committee, I want to be as open-minded and open-hearted as I possibly can be in regards to this matter going forward.

So I wanted to put that out there so that you would know, all know, where I'm coming from as we continue to consider and debate the matter.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Senator.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I apologize. I've had a committee meeting this morning, and I probably missed some of this before I got here, so I apologize if I'm covering some ground that's already been covered.

But Senator Verdin's comments -- and I'm wondering, what is the -- are the hawks similar to the vultures in terms of they are causing some kind of problem, there's a reason why, or is it just for fun or -- I mean, I don't understand because I just don't know anything about it.
MR. WILLIAMS: I've hunted all my life. I love quail hunting. My whole farm is -- we don't pick crops. We feed corn to the deer and the soybeans and the millet to the quail, and the only ones who hunt on it is my family. And I have friends that hunt, but it's not a paid hunt. I mean, it's just family and friends.

In the '70s, there were a hundred coveys on our farm. I'd go out and find 25 coveys in the morning and 25 in the afternoon.

From 1970 on, about the same time that the federal government did away with DDT, the hawk population exploded, and our quail population went down. I have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to make my farm back to what it was when I grew up.

Tall Timbers -- I don't want to knock -- DNR doesn't know anything about quail. Tall Timbers is a nonprofit. It does all the research. And one of the biggest problems with quail is avian predators. And that's mainly the chicken hawk and the Cooper's hawk, which I'm not charged with. It's one of the worst ones.

And they live off -- if you've got -- we have chickens, or we had chickens. You couldn't put a chicken out in the yard. They'd kill every chicken you had. We had to build a fence and put a top on it. There's no such thing as a free-range chicken anymore because they'd kill all your chickens. I could ride around on the farm and literally see a hundred hawks.

And really, out of frustration -- and it's pretty widespread with quail hunters trying to do away with the hawks or limit the amount of hawks on your farm because they take all your quail. They take your rabbits. They take your songbirds. They take your doves.

It's similar to what went on with the cormorants down at the lake. The cormorant's a protected bird, and all of a sudden, the federals allowed them to shoot them in Santee. All of a sudden, all the fish came back. They were eating all the herring in the lake.

There will be a day, I think, when the federal government finally does something with the enormous amount of hawks that we have. I don't want to do away with hawks, but I just want there to be a reasonable amount where I can enjoy quail hunting again and have chickens in the yard.

And I'm not -- don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to justify what I did. I was wrong, and God knows I'm sorry for it. But it wasn't done for sport. It was done to try and protect the quail on the farm and the chickens in my yard and the rabbits on my farm.

You know, if I had to do it over again -- since this thing happened, I've seen so many hawks, and it's almost like they know I can't do anything now because they'll sit right there in the tree and look at me. But you couldn't pay me a million dollars to mess with a hawk again. If I have to lose all my quail, I'll just have to lose all my quail.

But again, I had no idea about this treaty. In fact, I could have applied -- I didn't know it, but you can apply for a permit. I don't know if I would have gotten a permit, but you can apply for a permit to take these species. But I never heard of the Migratory Treaty Act until this thing happened.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So you're saying the types of hawks that you were trapping are the ones that are -- have been taking your quail.
MR. WILLIAMS: There are only two kinds of hawks -- there are three kinds of hawks that go around, and all of them will attack what I just mentioned, quail, rabbits, and so on. There's a red-tailed hawk, what's called a chicken hawk; and there's a common hawk; and then there's a Cooper's hawk.

And the Cooper's hawk is the worst of all. It's a small hawk. And if you -- you can start at the beginning of the season where you know your wild birds are, and you can see that hawk -- and I don't shoot wild birds because I'm trying to get them back.

But you can see that hawk in the tree over where the coveys are around, and in five months, instead of having 12 birds, all of a sudden you've got four birds in that covey. They just decimate you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Williams, I want to give you every benefit of the doubt, and you have good law and you have bad law. And I'm not debating whether this law is good or bad.

As I said before, I'm not an attorney, but as an attorney, help me understand the difference between a state misdemeanor and a federal misdemeanor. And I personally think this is a higher level than a speeding ticket. But they made a federal case out of it. You've heard that old saying. What's the difference?
MR. WILLIAMS: There is no difference. Both of them are misdemeanors. The federal usually has a higher fine.

It's kind of like if you've got somebody charged in state court, and he's going to get five years. If they charge him in federal court, he's going to get 30, or he might get life. They just -- it's just much more severe.

There are 10,000 wildlife cases made a year. These are only two I know of that were state cases that went federal. And I can only speculate why. But they wanted to make an example of somebody. They were upset the first time around when they only got a thousand-dollar fine, and so here I am. My wife is a judge. My father is a senator. I'm on the board. Why not -- let's take him apart.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So you admitted to breaking the law. You pled guilty.
MR. WILLIAMS: I never -- in fact, I never, I never -- from the minute it happened, I always said, They're my traps. I never denied anything. In fact, when you -- I never was arrested. I never was indicted.

What you have to do, they do it on what you call an information in federal court. You just go before a magistrate, and the magistrate sets up your date for you to appear. They automatically enter a plea of not guilty.

I never said I was not guilty. In fact, the headlines were I pled not guilty. I didn't plead anything. And then they say -- when I went to court, they said I changed my plea. And that was just untrue. None of the stuff they printed was correct.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So now as a board -- a trustee of the University, you have an employee's handbook.

If you were an employee of the University and pled guilty to this --
MR. WILLIAMS: It wouldn't affect you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- federal misdemeanor --
MR. WILLIAMS: It wouldn't affect you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- it wouldn't have cost you your job.
MR. WILLIAMS: No, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, do you want to share?

I was just told in the employee handbook that if an employee -- do you want to read those that we have?

MS. CASTO: This was taken from the employee handbook.

If an employee has been charged with a crime for which there is probable cause for arrest or which raises a reasonable concern or belief by the Vice President for Human Resources or the Vice President designee, that the presence of the employee on the job would or could be harmful to the employee, other employees, students, or other members of the University community, or that the employee would be unable to properly perform the duties of his or her position, the employee may be suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charge and/or a thorough review by the University.

In the event no wrongdoing by the employee is established, the employee may be entitled to back pay.

Conviction of a misdemeanor such that the employee's presence on the job could or would be harmful to the employee or others such that the employee's fitness to perform assigned duties is suspected, written reprimand to suspension to dismissal will occur.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: So a handbook is in the eyes of the beholder. But you as a board of trustee member using this handbook, and you were an employee, you wouldn't have suspended -- you wouldn't have been suspended.
MR. WILLIAMS: I wouldn't think --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you have gotten a reprimand?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, yeah. I can't say whether I would have gotten a reprimand, but number one, I was never arrested. Number two is, I mean, I don't see how a wildlife violation would endanger anything at the University.

I mean, if I got -- Lord. I don't know how many people have shot over the limit in doves or shot a pigeon at a dove shoot or something. I mean, I just don't see where that has any adverse effect on what that is addressing.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Williams, for coming.

When I look at the laundry list of what is considered to be serious crime with wildlife, I give you the most consideration with an 8 point. I believe what you say. I believe that you made a mistake. I believe you paid your fine for your mistakes.

But Committee, when I look at some of these things that are like an 18-point or 14-point violation: killing or attempting to kill or molesting deer from a motorboat, 14 points; night hunting deer or a bear, 18 points; roost shooting turkey between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, 18 points; hunting turkey over bait for game, 10 points; trespassing to hunt waterfowl, 18 points; shooting waterfowl -- now, now, now, hunting waterfowl, baiting, 18 points; but shooting waterfowl, baiting, 10 points.

Come on, folks. Hunting waterfowl out of season, 15 points. Taking or possessing more than one waterfowl over the legal limit, 15 points.

You were doing an 8-point violation, and what they did, since the magistrate judge could not get the 75,000, the next level court fined him for each one of them.

I don't this is going to tear anything up. I think he is fine. I've been probably one of the toughest folks up here as it relates to folks coming in here with all kinds of judgments and fines.

I think Mr. Williams has learned his lesson. I think this is something outside of the normal purview of the public, something that happened in the private part of his life. And I do believe that he didn't quite understand all of what was going on out there.

But the key to it is he said to us, he said, I could have gotten a permit to do what I did, but I didn't know a permit to do it exists. Lack of knowledge, of knowing that a permit was available.

At the appropriate point, I'll offer a motion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Williams, I'm really sorry we're having to go through this, and I know you're hating it. You've got some loyal supporters there that have spoken highly of you.

My question is, how did the federal authorities know that you were trapping hawks in the first place?
MR. WILLIAMS: They didn't. It was a state case. I didn't hide these traps. I had them right there on the road. I didn't hide anything from anybody. They weren't under trees, and I wasn't doing it -- I just had them because I really didn't think anybody cared. I mean, in retrospect, I was wrong.

But the state made the case, and the federal assumed the case, and I think they did it because, like I say, they'd made a prior case before mine. It had happened around the same time, and it went to court, and they only got a thousand-dollar fine, and I think they were trying to make an example.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So you think your prominence in the community and being an attorney, they threw the book at you.
MR. WILLIAMS: I think there's no question. I think it was who my wife was and who my father was. I mean, if I'd been an old farm boy, they'd have taken me down and there'd have been a $200 fine at magistrate's court in Orangeburg. And there's no doubt in my mind that's what would have happened.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I guess I'm having a hard time. I'm no attorney, and I've got just a small, little farm way up in the upper part of the state, but I know you don't kill birds of prey. And it's been on the books for a long time, I believe. And I just -- it's hard for me to believe that somebody as knowledgeable as you didn't know that. I mean, I know you wouldn't do it now, but it seems that should have occurred to you before.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I did, and I pretty much knew what the DNR was, an 8-point violation and a $200 fine. I didn't know anything about this federal Migratory Treaty Bird Act.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Well, I'm really sorry that you're risking your seat on the board because of this, because the rest of your life has obviously been exemplary, and I commend you for that. But as Chairman Peeler says, we've got a duty to do, and we're going to try to be as fair as we can to you.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, that's all I could ask for.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: (Raises hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Williams, I'm wondering, exactly what were the charges, and what were you charged with, and what did you plead to? What were the exact charges?
MR. WILLIAMS: Trapping hawks.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Was it X number of counts of trapping hawks?
MR. WILLIAMS: Seven counts.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Seven counts. And then your -- so that was what you pled guilty to.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.

And then, beyond that, there was the federal charge.
MR. WILLIAMS: No. That was the federal charge.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. That was the federal charge. So what was the state charge?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, they didn't. The feds -- the state turned it over to the feds.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. WILLIAMS: And the fellow who works for me was charged, and a friend of mine who works on my tractors was charged because -- and they each got a thousand-dollar fine.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So seven counts of trapping --
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: -- hawks.

And so, then, as a result of that, did you -- did they use these points to determine --
MR. WILLIAMS: No, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: -- per charge what the fine would be or anything like that?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, they didn't -- the points are the state's points.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. So once it moved to federal court, then none of the state law applied at that point.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. State, you get 18 points. If you accumulate 18 points, you lose your license.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. But all of this was handled in federal court.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, ma'am.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So then my next question is, why are you willing to sit here and go through all this to be -- to continue your service on the board?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, to be honest with you, I thought about not doing it. And the president and other members on the board asked me to please go through with it. And I felt like this was just another mark against me if this committee says I'm unfit.

And I truly don't think I'm unfit. I think I'm a very good board member. I think I've attended all the meetings and I've done everything I was supposed to do as a board member. I've been 30 years between South Carolina State and the University of South Carolina. I'm 68 years old. I ain't got many more years. The last thing I want is for somebody to say I'm unfit.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Can I ask one more question, Mr. Chair?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: When you were on the South Carolina State board and then you resigned in protest, could you describe what that situation was and why you were concerned and what led up to the resignation.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, it was two things. Maurice Washington was our chairman. And they did things. There was no accountability. There were things going on. We had a quarter of a million dollars in bad checks, fees at the bank for overdrafting fees.

When I resigned, President Hugine was the president. We'd just had a Democratic debate at the University. Everything was going good. He didn't get along with Washington. They orchestrated the firing, which I was bitterly opposed to.

When it got topped off, President Hugine had done an investigation, and the second man in command at finance had been caught. He bought, I think, $3,000 or either $5,000 worth of clothes over at a clothier store in Aiken.

And I came to the meeting, and I asked what we were going to do, and Chairman Washington told me he'd taken care of it.

I asked him, How have you taken care of it?

And he said, We're going to let him resign and pay the money back.

And my comment was, You can't do that. You can turn it over to SLED. If you all want to get this guy probation, whatever, but you just can't sweep it under the rug.

Reverend Corbitt, who was the next chairman after that at this same meeting told me that we had enough black men in jail.

And I said, I don't want him to go to jail, but it's a public university. We have to report it to SLED.

They refused to do it. I said, I'm out of here. You all can go to jail. I'm not going with you. And I tendered my letter of resignation. Then I wrote every member of the Legislature a letter explaining what was going on.

Maurice Washington was up for reelection. He had had what they called -- the presidential thing down at The Citadel. They started playing a football game at The Citadel. He wouldn't account for the money that was given and where it went.

There was just stuff going on that I didn't want to be a part of. And I'd been on there 22 years, and maybe the last six or eight years I'd been on there is when it just was going crazy. I mean, there was stuff going on and no accountability.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So was your letter the beginning of the investigation that led us to the point where we put an interim board in?
MR. WILLIAMS: No, ma'am. I'd been off that board four to six years. It came in afterwards.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: As Chairman, I'd like for us to go into a quick executive session unless you have some more questions or comments before we go.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: (Raises hand.)

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: I just want to say one thing so that it's on the record.

I believe that you were doing what you felt like was in the best interest of your farm and your business. The problem that I have is that what we have to look at is character and ethical fitness and the fact that this is one of our major institutions, the leadership, the example that we should set.

And I just think that the average person out there, with everything that we've been through at the State House the last few years with members of our bodies who have been charged with behavior that's unethical and illegal, that I personally feel like I have to look at it in the situation of what's -- I have kids there.

What it says to me is -- and I'm not saying this to you, but the message is, it's a person of privilege who takes advantage of the system and doesn't feel like -- they can pretty much continue to do what they're doing without any consequence. And that's a mark on all of us in the roles that we play because we all get painted with the same brush.

But that's my concern. I just wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to say that before we went into executive session. Thank you.
MR. WILLIAMS: If I could just briefly respond.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Williams.
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't think you were present when I gave my opening statement. And if anybody paid a price, I definitely paid a price. And I feel like I have had a terrible experience. I'm deeply sorry.

I don't think it's fair to paint me with the same brush as somebody in politics who's charged with a corruption charge. You know, it's a misdemeanor. I made a mistake. It's -- the lowest thing you can be in the judicial system is a misdemeanor.

And I just -- I really do think it's unfair that the newspaper painted me in the light that it did. I don't think I've ever had a chance to really tell my side of the story. You can't win when the paper is against you. I mean, they're not going to print what you say.

And I understand that being a politician, you worry about what people think, but I also think I need to be treated fairly.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Without becoming confrontational, I just think there's a tremendous difference between taking something from somebody and a misdemeanor where something -- a bird or an animal -- is injured.

What has transpired here at the State House is far, far different. We're talking about thousands and in some cases millions of dollars that folks on their own created a scheme to do, which one is tied back to the other. So I, too, would not want to even begin to even insinuate that this is anything close to what the State House has been through.

This is -- I came in here in 1990, '91, right after the first real corruption, and now we're into the second real corruption. It's two different things. A man killed a bird. A man didn't steal money. A man didn't do all these other things that created total chaos in our system.

I just couldn't leave that out there. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, as a layman, again, I think the punishment should match the crime, whoever did it and whatever it was.
SENATOR VERDIN: (Raising hand.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Before you entertain the motion for executive session, I want to respond to the general tenor of debate.

Some things are clearly defined as regards our task and responsibilities here. Some decisions are cut and dry. Some are easy. Some are hard. This one's hard, but because it's hard, it really calls upon our cumulative abilities and responsibility to discern closely.

So regardless of this current case, past cases, future cases, I commit myself to any candidate and to my fellow commissioners to very careful and close discernment, not broad generalities, not paths of least resistance, but close discernment.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: With that, I'll entertain a motion for executive session.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: So move.
SENATOR SCOTT: Second.

(The Commission adjourned to executive session at 10:09 a.m.)

(The Commission returned from executive session at 10:17 a.m.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We're back in session.
SENATOR SCOTT: Motion for a favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott moves favorable report. Is there a second?
SENATOR VERDIN: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded. Any other discussion?

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

(All members raise hands.)
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, sir.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Next, we'll get back in line, Dorn Smith, 3rd Judicial Circuit.

Good afternoon, sir. For the record, if you will give us your full name.
MR. SMITH: Charlie Dorn Smith III.
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. SMITH: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Smith, would you like to make a brief statement?

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Senator Peeler. Thank you for having us here this afternoon. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here to present to you all and give me the opportunity to serve the university and the state.

I feel very strongly that higher education is important for the long-term growth of all our students and population as we go forward in this new economy. As Mr. Hubbard pointed out a few moments ago, 55 percent of all the jobs in 2020 and above are going to require at least some form of higher education for our children to be able to compete and to go forward and be able to support themselves and raise their standard of living. That's incredible.

At the same time, it's imperative that we manage the cost of tuition to try to give them their best opportunity to give them the most bang for their bucks as we look at that and provide them with a safe healthy environment to live and grow in.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir, his paperwork is all in order.
MR. SMITH: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Dr. Smith, you heard my question of Mr. Hubbard, but probably not Mr. Westbrook. I was just looking to see if I could identify the specialty of medicine practiced by a senator in Virginia. But just last week the state legislature with the senate voting 40 to nothing, 40 to zero, approved -- and I'm not sure what the scope of their medical marijuana law is, but, again, just highlighting the fact that there is a rapidly moving debate in the country, and from my perspective, trying to address public policy here in South Carolina.

I feel like we're nearly devoid of the benefit of up-to-date peer-reviewed medical science, and I've asked practicing physicians for the Medical University of South Carolina these same questions, and do you -- and I realize we live in an extremely conservative state, limited resources, but we nonetheless have a political debate that is outrunning the medical debate.

What do you see or advise from your peculiar position as a trustee of this school where we can bring two debates under the same track?
MR. SMITH: Well, first of all, I don't think you are ever going to completely align those two debates, and I hate that, but I think that's the reality of the world we live in too. From a medical standpoint, medical literature is confusing at best. It's always hilarious when you go to medical meetings and you see one person stand up to present the data and argue with the exact same data one position and the next person stands up and argues against that.

As far as medical marijuana, there are tons of papers out there that say that certainly there is some benefit, particularly for chronic pain, for glaucoma, or epilepsy and those sorts of things, if you will. There are also adverse effects to any medicine you give. And if you look at it just from that standpoint, that has to be weighed in upon.

When you look at it from a legal standpoint, when you have Mark Hill at SLED saying that they have no interest in it, even with the new hemp law that's come out that where the farmers were growing hemp, if you will, that -- and not that people signed up for it, but there was concern as to how you were going to regulate that, because -- and it's the same issue with that.

Again, from your standpoint and from my standpoint what I would like to see is -- I would like the see the medical literature catch up with that. I think so much of medical literature can be twisted and turned to argue whichever point you are, and we need to be very careful and conservative as we go forward and make sure that we have our facts.
SENATOR VERDIN: You and I -- you from a medical profession, and mine from a political -- first of all, let me salute you and thank you for your awareness and attention. But we probably are from nearly the same -- both of the cloth, and I've relayed this to fellow legislators in other states. If it is legalized and facilitated at the federal level and then legalized at the state level, South Carolina in its role as being a conservative-by-nature state will probably be the 47th through 50th state to do. But I believe that category is coming much sooner than we all think.
MR. SMITH: I think you're probably right, but the problem I have with it also is that it is very difficult if you're in a business, whether it be banking or whatever, and I'm growing medical marijuana, I can't take my cash or checks and deposit it into a bank because the banks won't take it, if you will, because nationally -- or at the federal level, it's still looked at as illegal.

And so --
SENATOR VERDIN: Sometimes I think it's political provisions and roadblocks that are possibly causing the medical community to be somewhat slow in the development of the science, and I am not looking for positive necessarily or negative.
MR. SMITH: No, sir.
SENATOR VERDIN: When they tell me definitively this application is bad, this one is possibly good, at least I know more than I know now.
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir, and I feel the same way. I am not a pain management doctor. I'm a cardiovascular surgeon, and no more than you would want me doing your craniotomy to take care of your brain tumor, you don't want me making the decision as far as whether you would qualify for medical marijuana or methadone or whatever.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you. I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Dr. Smith --
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- how many other members of the board of trustees are in the health area? Doctors? Surgeons?
MR. SMITH: We now have three. There's Myself, Dr. Eddie Floyd, and Mr. Hugh Mobley. Hugh is a pharmacist from Lancaster who is not up.
SENATOR SCOTT: The School of Medicine has probably one of the most outstanding programs for Ph.D. for nursing. Are y'all up to date with what's going on there?
MR. SMITH: We are.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let's talk about it a little bit and the tremendous need for having nurses with Ph.D.s because we are so far out of line with just regular nurses and hospitals and centers and nurse practitioners. Enlighten me a little bit about what's going on with that and whether or not y'all are growing those nurses and especially recruiting African American students to come into the nursing program.

I know it's a challenge for some who come from the technical program and transfer over to the university, but even more difficult to get into the Ph.D. program and, with many different reasons, lack of funding. I don't know if y'all have scholarships set up, foundations set up.

Tell me a little bit about what the health portion of the board is actually doing.
MR. SMITH: Well, first of all, I'm very blessed to have other health-care professionals on the board that have a keen interest in that and that I went to the USC School of Medicine. And so I'm glad to be there.

We have in Jeannette Andrews, our dean of the nursing school, a lady that came in under adverse circumstances when our success rate wasn't passing and then the nursing board was not where it was supposed to be, and it's built this into a powerhouse program. Not only at the Ph.D., nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia level, but also at the RN, BSN level, and we're very proud of what she's doing with that, and we're very supportive of that.

Forty percent of all the jobs in the country in the next 10 to 30 years are going to be in the health field, and that's why it's important that we do continue to grow the health sciences campus, if you will. We have acute needs to expand our medical school. We have acute needs to expand the nursing school, both at the RSBN level and at the Ph.D. level, so that we can have the ladies and gentlemen to teach our -- to have the faculty to teach these people as well as nurse practitioners in our new PA program that is going to provide primary care, if you will, to the underserved areas, if you will.
SENATOR SCOTT: Can you tell me a little bit about some numbers. Underserved areas raise a tremendous question. And using MUSC as the model, from Charleston to I-95, Beaufort and Colleton, there's very little to any coverage. So it means that expanding, I guess, from all the way up to Greenville will probably be a larger portion of service.

Tell me a little bit about some numbers, if you've got some data, of what our numbers actually look like, and are we able to get minority students into the program and graduate from the program and also what your graduation levels may look like.
MR. SMITH: I don't think we have the African American numbers in front of me or for the nursing school right now, and I apologize for that, but I can get those numbers for you as quickly as possible. Certainly, it is open and in a conducive environment. We encourage that.

Particularly, one of the things I have read about is the areas you've talked about. It's not so much the different areas. It's almost a rural versus suburban competition in this state, and there seems to be a more and more divergent pathway -- particularly if you're from a Jasper or from an Allendale County or a Clarendon County, Williamsburg County -- if you're not along the coast or if you're not in the capital along the I-85 corridor. There's lots of work to be done, and we have a ton of work to do, and we would like to continue to expand that, quite frankly.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let me just suggest -- and I'll let you go --
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- since you hold that expertise on the board -- three members of the board who do have that expertise, given the real needs in South Carolina with health care --
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- 34 out of 36 in the country with health-care issues --
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- I would really like to see a little bit more collaboration since y'all have the expertise, and then to expand in some of those areas and have some real discussion, especially being able to look at the creating of those African American students right there at your technical level just trying to get into these other schools' master's program, undergraduate program, and Ph.D. program.
MR. SMITH: Absolutely. And there's a raging debate about whether the RSBN is the better route as opposed to an associate's degree. And, you know, for right or for wrong, I like that my personal opinion is that an RSBN is better prepared and has a better experience. That's not always available for everyone.

Does that mean that I won't work with an associate's degree nurse? Absolutely not. Some of the finest ones I know --
SENATOR SCOTT: I think where I'm going is -- let's try to grow that population.
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Let's put a little bit more energy into growing that population. Begin looking into some buildings we can build, how large, can we accommodate. We also want to look at some very specialized areas that USC can, in fact, grow because of the kind of expertise --
MR. SMITH: Absolutely.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much, Doctor.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Henderson.

REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Dr. Dorn.

Let me ask you a question. So you hit on something I want to ask you about a little bit more, and that is -- so what do you see as the long-term solution to the health-care crisis in rural and underserved areas of our state?
MR. SMITH: It's going to have to be multi-pronged, if you will. I think that the short answer to that is not only do we need to be able to produce more primary care physicians, we're also going to have to produce more nurse practitioners and PAs and physician extenders, if you will, to be able to take care of rural areas and be able to have centers of excellent tertiary care to phone problems into.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Do you think the physician extenders should be able to practice privately, independently?
MR. SMITH: Would you repeat that, please?
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Those physician extenders that you mentioned, do you think they should have the authority to practice independently?
MR. SMITH: You can argue that both ways, and my personal opinion is it's always nice to have someone looking over my shoulder even with 25, 30 years of experience. I would think that someone that didn't have the complete level of training that some of the other physicians do, that they always could use some mentoring and monitoring, if you will.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes. Well, yes, I agree with that. That's why I asked.

But I think that, you know, we've seen -- I've spent five years on medical affairs, and Senator Peeler has seen this many times too in this effort for nurse practitioners to have independent practice. And while it's touted as the answer to rural health care -- you know, I live in Greenville, so, you know, I can go to a specialist and get my health care. I think, to be honest with you, that is an insult, honestly, to folks that live in a rural area. They say, basically, because you live in an Allendale and nobody wants to come and live there in private -- you know, as a physician, you're going to get your health care delivered by a nurse practitioner, and those of us that live in a more populated area are going to get a doctor.

I mean, that is just really -- that's not fair. And I understand it could be an easy fix, but it's not a long-term fix. And that's why when I hear, you know, y'all talking about those kinds of issues with respect to physician extenders, my radar goes up because -- you know, I'll tell you one other.

So Dr. Paul Catalana is the head of the medical school admissions. He is a friend of mine and constituent, and we have had these conversations.

He's like, you know, "I have a lot of people come to me and say, basically, Dr. Catalana, like why would I want to be a doctor? Because it's so expensive. I can just be a PA, and I can practice. I can see patients."

They want to see patients, and they see medical school as a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of energy, especially -- I think that if we get to the point where we're actually giving nurse practitioners the ability to practice independently, we're going to see less and less doctors because people are like, I can go get a nurse practitioner degree and see patients. Why would I ever want to go to medical school?

So I'll leave that to you guys to figure that out, but that's --
MR. SMITH: Until the federal government changes the way that the physicians are reimbursed and the way that they're paid for rural versus metropolitan and those sorts of issues, you're never going to resolve this issue. And I don't mean that bad.
. But let me also say, if you think about it, why would I spend, you know, 12, 15 years in residency and med school and training when I can go and make as a nurse practitioner or a PA exactly what a family doctor is making with less call, less overhead, and no liability?
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Or debt.
MR. SMITH: And that's a huge issue, and we grapple with that all the time. Unfortunately, I have my very strong opinions on that. I'm just not certain that it's something we're going to be able to fix at the state level, if you will.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A couple of things. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Following up on a couple of those comments. You mentioned looking at expanding medical school and different things. Do you also evaluate within the university system programs that have been successful but yet maybe have outlived their usefulness, you can eliminate some of those, or are we always looking to expand things?
MR. SMITH: No, sir. I agree with you a hundred percent. I think it's a constant ongoing evaluation that one area is growing, and that's the area that we need to focus on.
. We can't be all things to all people. We would love to do that, but the reality is we can't.
. And so, yes, sir, we're constantly evaluating programs to see what needs to be maintained, what needs to be accelerated, and what needs to be cut, if you will.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.
. And would you please explain to me your participation as a board member as far as committees and attendance.
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
. I've been on the board now eight years. I was chairman of health affairs for the first four years. I'm currently chairman of all of the compliance. I've been a very active member participating.
. I think my attendance has been perfect. So I would like to think that I'm involved.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, sir.
. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?
. What's the desire of the committee?
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.
. Seconded.
. Any other discussion?
. Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
. Thank you, Dr. Smith. We're fortunate to have you on the board.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, Senator Peeler.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, we have William Hubbard.
MS. CASTO: Mr. Hubbard's information is behind Tab J on the skinnies that have been passed to you. His begins on page 13.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, please repeat your full name.
MR. HUBBARD: William Coleman Hubbard.
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. HUBBARD: So help me God.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
. I appreciate this opportunity to be with you this afternoon, and I especially appreciate the privilege that the General Assembly has given to me to be of service to the state of South Carolina as a member of the board of trustees at the University of South Carolina. I believe that education, especially higher education, is critical today, and I believe that we have to do everything we can to maximize our resources to provide cutting-edge education to our students.
. As we all know, we have entered into a new economy, a global economy, that requires more and more critical thinking skills, more ability to adapt to changing conditions. Recent studies have estimated that 65 percent of the jobs in South Carolina by 2020 will require higher education.
. And so we need to focus on higher education and make it as responsive and as efficient and effective as we can make it, and that's my passion for South Carolina, and that's why I appreciate the privilege of serving on the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
. Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Paperwork is all in order, yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Hubbard, I've been looking. You've been on the board since '86?
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I think you were one of the first people I voted for --
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: -- for the USC Board of Trustees.
MR. HUBBARD: I've been grateful ever since.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Time flies when you're having fun.
. How many partners -- I guess you say partners, Nelson Mullins -- serve on the board?
MR. HUBBARD: There are three of us.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: If someone asked me why or -- has there been any criticism of that over the years?
MR. HUBBARD: I haven't received any. I think it's more fortuitous. It certainly wasn't planned that way. We just all are graduates of the university. We all have a passion for the university.
. Mr. von Lehe was with another law firm for the vast majority of his career, and only late in his career did he move over to Nelson Mullins.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you feel there could be any conflict; and if there was one, what do you do? Abstain on any votes?
MR. HUBBARD: There is no conflict and no collaboration among us. We vote our conscious. We vote based on the evidence and the questions that come before us. And I'm not sure I understand about conflict, but I'll be happy to --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Well, I just understand that you do some work for the university.
MR. HUBBARD: Last year, it was $16,000 that the firm -- according to our ethics report and the research that we did, we are all screened from that income. We put partitions in place to make sure we don't receive any compensation from that. We've discouraged the university from using us, but there are certainly specialties, particularly in the health-care field. I think we did a little bit of work for the medical school, and we have a very strong intellectual property practice at our firm, and it's a very limited practice in South Carolina.
. So I think there was a little bit of work done. But I think the total for the whole year was $16,000, is what we determined and reported on our ethics forms.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Abatements, are you familiar with out-of-state abatements?
MR. HUBBARD: I am.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I want to ask about the meeting, I guess. Talk about that.
. Senator Jackson especially, and I know Senator Scott, there's a concern that we're bringing in more out-of-state students than we really should that would take in-state students' slots that we're giving on abatements, and there's some discussion about out-of-state students bringing money with them. But if you lower their tuition, what are they bringing, and are you monitoring that? Because that's a concern of the General Assembly.
MR. HUBBARD: I understand that they -- some of it is for competitive reasons, some of the students that get these abatements. The larger amount of abatements are for people specifically with very unique academic credentials, artistic credentials, or athletic credentials. I have been monitoring that, and I understand the concern of the General Assembly.
. I do believe that there's a place for some of that, but in my own personal opinion, I think we need to rein it in. I think it's gotten too large.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Upward of 50 percent is too large.
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir. I think that's something that we on the board are concerned with and are in dialogue with the administration about. I understand it's a marketing effort.
. It's not cash payments to the students, but it also has an added benefit, though, if someone is coming in on a scholarship. If you lower the tuition rate, you have to take less money from your endowment to fund the scholarship if they are at a lower rate than a typical standard out-of-state rate. But it's something that I believe we need to monitor more carefully, and I believe there's room for us to cut back on it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you anticipate the board having a policy?
MR. HUBBARD: I think it's a matter of significant discussion right now. I don't think it's something that we can solve in this year's class because I think most of the letters are in process of going out, but I do believe before we engage in the next admission cycle, I think there will lots of discussion about it, and I think there will be some reduction in it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Hubbard.
MR. HUBBARD: Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell us a little bit about the last national experience you had as a national president across this country.
MR. HUBBARD: In 2014-2015, I was president of the American Bar Association, and by our bylaws, that makes you the spokesperson for the lawyers of America, and it involves not only going around the country and making presentations to state and local bar associations, but it also involves some international work to promote the rule of law globally. The American Bar Association part of it receives upwards of 40- or $50 million a year from the United States State Department, USAID, to promote rule of law in areas that are unstable and need a stronger rule of law, promote democracy.
. And so some of the work involved is going into some rather interesting places in Syria -- excuse me -- Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and some other places and having some conversations there about their policies and democracy and rule of law issues.
SENATOR SCOTT: Did it have a positive impact on our law school here?
MR. HUBBARD: I believe it did. Through some of the work that I've done, I don't take credit for it, but I was a participant in trying to develop this rule of law collaborative that we now have on campus at the University of South Carolina. We are doing a good bit of training for foreign service officials who have come back, especially from post-conflict environments, so that they can share information and gain lessons learned from each other. It's largely through Senator Graham's assistance that we got an initial grant of $5 million, and that has really helped us along that particular program, which is headquartered in the new law school.
. But it's a military disciplinary effort. It's not just lawyers and judges. It's all about people from other disciplines who understand the importance of rule of law and have a stable society, enforceable contracts. Strong rule of law promotes economic development around the world.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me of where we are in terms of African Americans being able to get into the law school and the numbers, what the percentages look like, and has it gotten better, as well as additional law professors and adjunct professors teaching there, the whole makeup. Now, you're probably one of the biggest, probably the most moderate law school probably in the country right now. Shall I say that?
MR. HUBBARD: We are making good progress. I don't know the exact numbers and percentage of African American students in the law school. I can get that to you.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. HUBBARD: I do know that I was -- I know that you can't have a system of justice that is respected by the people if you don't have a judiciary that reflects the makeup of the people.
. And so it's imperative if we're going to have a rule of law in our country that people view as fair and stable, we have a legal profession that reflects the population of our state, and I know that's the emphasis of Dean Wilcox at the law school, and I know there are a number of scholarships -- we probably need more -- to make the law school more affordable to people, to minority students especially, African American students, in our state.
. I was chair of the search committee that resulted in the hiring of the first African American dean at the university since Reconstruction. And that was at the law school, and I chaired that committee.
SENATOR SCOTT: Is the dean still there?
MR. HUBBARD: No. He's on the faculty, but he's no longer the dean.
SENATOR SCOTT: How many other African Americans since that point in time have become a part of the law school?
MR. HUBBARD: I'd have to get the exact numbers to you. I don't know the number of faculty at the law school.
SENATOR SCOTT: Percentage?
MR. HUBBARD: I think it's growing for sure. I don't know the percentage. I'd have to get that information from Dean Wilcox, and I'll get that to your office this week.
SENATOR SCOTT: Since we're looking at recruiting out-of-state students or undergraduates, what about the law school itself with some of the best and brightest minds across this country? Because we are competing with some of the best schools in the country now.
MR. HUBBARD: We are, but I believe the focus on our law school is clearly to admit in-state students to the extent that we possibly can, and I know we fill out our undergraduate enrollment with in-state students first. That's our first priority, but there is a lower percentage of out-of-state students in law school than there are as a matter of the undergraduate population.
SENATOR SCOTT: How are we doing with scholarships for those kids?
MR. HUBBARD: I've helped get some money and contributed some myself and gone out of state and tried to raise money for scholarships for the law school, and we're not as competitive as we need to be. I know there are good quality students who graduate from the University of South Carolina, Clemson, and others who go out of state, frankly because the financial package for law school is better in other places.
. I think it's something that -- you know, it's always a matter of resources. I think I put in my questionnaire that one of the biggest challenges at the university is increasing endowment. To the extent you can increase the endowment, you can create more money for scholarships. And I do think in addition to merit-based scholarships, we have a fundamental weakness in the number of need-based scholarships that we offer at the University of South Carolina.
. And one thing I want to mention on that subject, not the law school specifically, but when I chaired the intercollegiate athletics committee by the board of trustees, I led the negotiations with then-athletic director Eric Hyman to get a commitment from the athletics department that they would be primary funders for something we call the Gamecock Guarantee, which is a program to fully fund the tuition and fees for impoverished students, and there's a bare threshold of 17,500. There are people who qualify for admission to the university with that low income, and this covers all of their tuition and fees.
. And I was -- if I may say so, I was a big part of getting that program in place, and in further discussions, we've gotten that up to a minimum of $2 million a year that goes directly from athletics into that fund for lower income students.
SENATOR SCOTT: On a need-based side, I think it formally is based on total population, not on needs. It's about higher ed, and this General Assembly has addressed the issue, the costs from beginning to end, and I want to stay with law school a little bit because that's where you put a lot of interest in it, you along with some of your other colleagues.
. From the beginning to finish, what's the cost associated? From the beginning to end of law for in-state students, and is there a separate cost for out-of-state students?
MR. HUBBARD: I think in state is probably approaching for about three years about 75- to $80,000, and it's probably two and a half times that for out-of-state students.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions?
. Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon, Senator.
. Please explain to me your participation level as a board member. How would you classify that?
MR. HUBBARD: I consider myself a very active member. I think I've chaired every committee of the board, and I currently chair the -- and I've been chairman of another board in years past. I currently chair the buildings and grounds committee, which is, in my opinion, one of the most important committees of the board because there are a lot of capital expenditures coming through that committee, and we very carefully want to scrutinize any projects that -- particularly that require any allotment or allocation to debt.
. In terms of my actual attendance at meetings, Senator Scott mentioned the year I was traveling a good bit as president of the American Bar Association. Overall, in the past four years, my attendance, committee meetings, and board of trustees meetings combined is 87 percent. But since I gave up that --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: At one year out would you be --
MR. HUBBARD: A hundred percent --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A hundred percent.
MR. HUBBARD: -- after that.
. Since December of 2015, I haven't missed any meetings.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I congratulate you on your service from that standpoint. You make the state proud.
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: You heard my question to Mr. Westbrook?
MR. HUBBARD: I did.
SENATOR VERDIN: Not just as a citizen but as your peculiar responsibility as a trustee of a research institution, a school of medicine, do you, like me, find it somewhat disconcerting that we have a raging public debate and the radical change of public policy with the seeming lack of benefit of medical research and persuasion as it relates to medical marijuana?
MR. HUBBARD: Sir, I wish I knew more about that issue. I have to confess, I'm not as schooled in it. I know that the university has had one professor who has 18 years as doing research on that subject.
. I understand it's particularly necessary or could be potentially lifesaving for children with epilepsy. But I think what we have to do -- and based on this conversation, I intend to go back and look and see how we're focusing that research. That's where I need to have a deeper understanding of what goes on in that lab and how we can be of greater service.
. I know there are lots of permutations and angles when you look at marijuana and the legalization of marijuana. And I think it's something that requires a lot of careful thought. I do think that what we need to find out and what I need to find out as a trustee is what exactly are we doing. How do we focus that research so that we are addressing it from a medical standpoint?
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you. I appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?
. Mr. Hubbard, a group of students came to see me last year with a suggestion that we allow these -- I think this was the student body president -- to be a voting member of the board of trustees. Do you have a thought on that?
MR. HUBBARD: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would that be an advantage?
MR. HUBBARD: I think it would be an advantage. I've been incredibly impressed with the quality of the student body presidents over the last decade or more at the university. I think they -- we live in a different world now, and the way they learn, their use of social media, the way they expect to be taught, and the way they learn best is really incredibly helpful, to have that perspective.
. And so our current president sits in on all of the meetings. He does everything. He contributes significantly to our debate and discussions, but he doesn't have a vote. So I would be in favor of that.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Of actually given him -- that person
MR. HUBBARD: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Any other questions?
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What's the desire of the Committee?
Motion is favorable.
SENATOR VERDIN: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Seconded.
All in favor, raise your right hand.
That will be one of your first voters.
MR. HUBBARD: Thank you, sir. And we remain grateful.
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 with University of South Carolina, 7th Judicial Circuit, expires 2022, Toney J. Lister from Spartanburg.
Toney, if you would, come forward. Make sure your light is burning green. Let me swear you in.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. LISTER: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would state your full name and then give us a brief statement on why you would like to continue to serve on the USC Board, please.
MR. LISTER: My name is Toney J. Lister. I'm from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
I have been fortunate enough and at times unfortunate enough, I guess, to serve on the USC Board of Trustees for the last 24 years. I have you to thank for that. I'd like to be reappointed to the board.
I have enjoyed most of it, as I said. The budgets are never fun to discuss, as all of you know. I consider it an honor. And as corny as it sounds, I think it's somewhat payback time.
I finished at the University of South Carolina, and it's been good to me. My wife finished there, and both of our children finished there.
So thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Staff, is all of the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
In your notebooks, Members of the Committee, over on the left-hand side are the skinnies on the people, and Mr. Lister was the first one to let us know through the board that he was going to be out of town when we're screening the rest of USC. So he is here by himself today representing the university.
MR. LISTER: And I certainly want to thank the Committee for working me in, and I thank the staff for making that possible.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: An issue came up this last year. Senator Jackson brought it up about out-of-state students coming in to USC on an abatement program, and the concern is the number of out-of-state students that USC is admitting. Are you familiar with that and --
MR. LISTER: I'm somewhat familiar with it. I know we have 57 percent of our Columbia students that are from the state of South Carolina. If you take the entire system, I think it's 67 percent of our students.
And the abatement program is not a situation where we pay the students money to come here. It's a reduction in abatement in what they pay. It's to make us competitive.
Those students pay $5.7 million towards scholarships for in-state people each year. They also contribute $9 million towards the buildings and infrastructure for the university on an annual basis. That is really our number-one source of revenue.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The concern we were having, are those out-of-state students filling slots that should be filled by in-state students?
MR. LISTER: Oh, I think that's really a concern on everybody's part, but you have to look at our numbers to answer that in a negative. And the USC system accepts some 90 percent of the applicants who are South Carolina citizens.
So to answer your question, no, sir. I don't think we are turning down South Carolina students.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
Any other questions?
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Leading in on that same question, your in-state intake for students is 57 percent, but you accept 90 percent of applications. That doesn't mean your intake is 90 percent. It means your application process is 90 percent.
MR. LISTER: Oh, no. It does not mean that intake is 90 percent.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MR. LISTER: The 57 percent just happens to be the percent of in-state students on the Columbia campus.
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, also in that same question, Mr. Chairman, there was also some concerns as it relates to percentage of African American students. Although the percentage in other areas have gone up, in the Columbia area, they've gone down. And I don't want to confuse it with overall minority students. We're talking about African American students.
That's what the other senator mentioned that I had some real concerns about, because I think the university assesses the district, and it monitors that fairly close.
MR. LISTER: It's my understanding that the percentage of African American students has gone down the last 20 years. In the last decade, it's gone up.
SENATOR SCOTT: No, I don't think -- the USC campus now is probably the lowest it's been in probably the last 10, 15 years, because your numbers -- at one time you had good, stable numbers.
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: And as the campus grew and your campus has grown, your percentage didn't stay growing with the number as the campus actually grew. You're offsetting those numbers as it relates to, I think, your Beaufort campus, your, you know, Chester campus, or your -- whatever that middle portion is out on the other side of Rock Hill, at that campus, where the numbers -- what is that called? Chester, York. It's over in Representative King's area. I can't remember which county it is, but you've been able to offset those numbers over there.
But the concern is the Columbia campus, which creates a whole different makeup. A lot of those kids don't have to live on campus and the fact that most of the kids who are accepted in the freshman class received a lottery. And so if your SATs are not at a certain point, you know, a certain percentage of your graduating class, you're just not going to get in. And so that's where the real concern is, in recognizing the percentage that we do give, we're still concerned as it relates to aid.
And I think you said it better than anyone else did: using out-of-state students for the purpose of paying for buildings and construction at the expense of not being able to bring in in-state students, especially students who want to come to the Columbia campus. And that's a real problem.
MR. LISTER: It's my understanding that we accept some 70 percent of the African American students who apply. And 70 percent don't come. They go to other schools, and some just don't go anywhere as far as further education.
On the Columbia campus, we have approximately 3,500 African American students. In the system, we have approximately 7,500 African American students.
SENATOR SCOTT: You've got 3,500 of -- what's your total population of student body undergraduates?
MR. LISTER: About 35,000 total on the Columbia campus.
SENATOR SCOTT: I think you know it's a little bit higher than that. But then that would say African American students at 3,500 versus 35,000 is about 10 percent, and that's not what your data that I previewed a while back actually showed.
MR. LISTER: We have about 10 percent African Americans on the Columbia campus and about 15 percent in the entire system.
SENATOR SCOTT: So that's with both undergraduate as well as graduate and Ph.D. as well as law students when you do your 3,500 students?
MR. LISTER: I am not certain.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. LISTER: I think that's the undergraduate population.
SENATOR SCOTT: All right.
MR. LISTER: I know in the last decade we have 1,200 more students, African American students, on the -- in the system than we had prior to that time, a decade ago. And in the Columbia numbers, we're talking about 350 more African American students than we had a decade ago.
But you're right, we can do better.
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes.
Okay. The other question, diversity. And I see that y'all get it. Y'all have hired an adversity officer and moved forward, and you have had some problems in the area of, and you may still have some problems.   And my understanding is the diversity officer is trying to deal with it, especially with people posting negative things that brings on a negative impression to the institution. Because you don't really embarrass one group of people. You embarrass the entire student body when you do those kinds of things.
MR. LISTER: And the administrators and the trustees.
SENATOR SCOTT: No question. No question. It's just defaming.
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: And so what is the institution doing in hopes to prevent those kinds of things from happening?

Are you increasing your security in those particular areas? Are you having more security added for walking around? What are you doing to try to keep that kind of atmosphere outside of the institution?
MR. LISTER: We've been told security is patrolling more in those areas.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. LISTER: We certainly are of the opinion that it was a person not related to the university --
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MR. LISTER: -- who caused the problem.
SENATOR SCOTT: Right.
MR. LISTER: As far as hiring additional officers, I don't know.
SENATOR SCOTT: Yes, sir.

And my last question, and I'll let you know, judges in South Carolina retire at 72. What is your feeling also about members of the board of trustees following that same pattern? That will become a conversation a little bit later on, giving the institution an opportunity to grow some young people coming into the board of trustees.
MR. LISTER: When I was a young man appearing here, I thought term limits was a good idea. But now being 72 in May, I don't like term limits. There are four trustees -- not older than me, but there are four trustees who have been on the USC Board of Trustees longer than me, and I still find that I'm learning from their experiences.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you so much.
MR. LISTER: Thank you so much.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Getting back to the number of in-state versus out-of-state students -- and I asked this question of the Clemson Trustee Candidates, and one of their applicants stated that a lot more in-state students have the tendency to remain in South Carolina who become employed where the out-of-state students will go back to wherever they came from. In fact, I think he's listed after five years, it was only 15 percent of the out-of-staters stayed in Carolina.
So my concern is, you know, we're educating these people, giving them abatements, and they're not staying in our state. And so I agree with my colleague. I think we need to really take more of a look at our in-state people. I know they may not bring in as much money to the table for the university, but they'll probably stay and work and, you know, pay back in the way of taxes for the next 30 or 40 years.
MR. LISTER: 60 percent of the Columbia graduates stay in state. I'm from Spartanburg Upstate campus, as Senator Peeler knows. It's located there. And some 87 percent of our graduates stay in state, but I'm certain that a number of the out-of-state students return to their homes and cause those numbers to go down.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I'm quite sure that's --
MR. LISTER: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Maybe someone in the future who's running for the Carolina board can give me accurate numbers on that.
MR. LISTER: Yes, I'll get that for you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Okay. I'd like to hear that. Thank you.
MR. LISTER: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

What's the desire of the Committee?

Oh, you have a question? Oh, okay. I got a motion.

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I'll be brief.

Two things. One, as far as your term on the board, please, for the record, provide me your involvement as far as attendance at meetings and things that are required by you. What kind of -- 90 percent? 95 percent?
MR. LISTER: Probably 99 to a hundred percent. Probably 99 percent.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay, okay.

Getting back to this, I want to make sure I understand on the -- you're saying that 57 percent of your students on the Columbia campus, at the Columbia campus, are in-state students?
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you've stated there's roughly 35,000 students here in Columbia; is that correct?
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So if we round that up and say there's 60 percent, that means that 40 percent -- if we're looking at hard numbers -- 14,000 out of your 35,000 are from out of state?
MR. LISTER: I understand that 20 percent on the Columbia campus are in-state residents. So yes, sir.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And then I guess my other point, if I heard you correctly, you said 60 percent of the students that get their degree from the Columbia campus stay in state?
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So, to me, that would be consistent with if you've got 40 percent that are out of state, those 40 percent leave to go out of state. Would that be correct?
MR. LISTER: I'm...
SENATOR ALEXANDER: In other words, if you're at 60 percent for staying in the state after they get their degree --
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- and you're roughly at -- 57 percent are in-state students, so that's really mirroring your in state versus out of state.

So back to Representative Whitmire's point, most of them that are from out of state are leaving the state once they get our education.
MR. LISTER: I would think so, but I'm sure it's not a one to one --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It may not be the same ones, but --
MR. LISTER: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you know how many folks you have that have applied or applied last year for your freshman class?
MR. LISTER: How many applied? I think it's 20-something thousand.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. And for how many slots roughly?
MR. LISTER: Fifty-five hundred slots, thereabout.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And what percentage of those freshmen accepted -- or, actually, members of your -- not accepted, but what percentage of your freshman class are actually in state versus out of state; do you know that?
MR. LISTER: The freshman class?
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Or if you could, could you get that information for us?
MR. LISTER: I'll get it for you. I don't want to tell you wrong. I think I know, but I don't want to give you a bad figure.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anybody else?
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: I have one question.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Representative Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you. Thank you for your patience.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I did have one quick question. I'm going to try to ask this question throughout all of our screenings as well.

What percentage of your operating revenues are appropriated to the university by the state?
MR. LISTER: Ten percent.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Ten percent.

Does that include money for lottery scholarships?
MR. LISTER: No. The cost of tuition per year for in-state students is about $12,400. That's the sticker price. By the time you add in scholarships and lottery monies and grants, you're talking about $6,000 a year.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. So I guess I'm still trying to get the net amount.

In other words, if you receive lottery money from the state from -- for scholarships, is that included in your 10 percent?
MR. LISTER: No.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: No.
MR. LISTER: It's not in the 10 percent.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: It's my understanding -- and if you would verify this -- that 50 percent, actually, of your freshman class are from out of state from the information I got.
MR. LISTER: Yes, I think that's correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Do you think that's high, that you would be taking -- of those students, that you would be taking that many from out of state?
MR. LISTER: Yes, sir. I've always said I thought the majority of our students should -- and it's in the brief that you've been handed.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Right. So what do you do? I mean, how do you change that policy as a board member? I mean --
MR. LISTER: I don't think we can change the policy. Our number-one problem is funding, and until --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So you're okay if you go down to 25 percent in state --
MR. LISTER: No, no, no.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: -- and then 75 out of state if it's all about the money?
MR. LISTER: No, sir. A lot of it is about the money. And if I said otherwise, I would be misleading.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A 50/50 is satisfactory? You're satisfied with 50/50?
MR. LISTER: I am satisfied with 50/50. I'm not sure if the administration would be or the board of trustees would be, but personally I'd be satisfied with 50/50.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: I want to follow up on your 50/50.

It says freshman enrollment as of the fall of 2017 who applied was 26,013; enrolled was 2,574. WCGPA average high school was 47.04. SAT was 1254. Average ACT was 27.3.

So if you follow that same scenario, you're not going to lose very many students going into your sophomore, junior, and senior year because of this: the ACT, SAT, and what's your grade-point average. So that simply means that you're going to always be carrying a heavier out-of-state load of students, and it means that you are at some point going to end up with about 50 percent of out-of-state students, which is the concern that this panel is trying to say to y'all.

Yes, we want you to get the best and brightest students, but at the same time we want you to watch your enrollment numbers as you enroll all these out-of-state students for the pure purpose of paying the bill, because that's not fair to the in-state students whose parents actually pay the taxes. And the 10 percent that you do get, they pay it over the long haul, long before they even get to the institution. They've already made an initial investment into the school.

And so that's where the real concern is. Not just USC. We're not just picking on USC. All of them are having that kind of problem. And what that means is our best and brightest students are going to go someplace else.

And some of the issues we're having as we look at where we are nationally in education, we can't maintain teachers and others, and when we look to these institutions to be able to produce them, they can't because they've gone someplace else. And once you get out of state someplace, you're not going to come back.

And so if you don't get educated here, you're not going to tie yourself and come back when you've spent most of your adult life someplace else, the early part of your adult life for four years someplace else.

So I want you to take a look at that. That's a major concern as you try to balance the budget and also try to balance the students, which means that every student who is in state who comes to you for 2,600 or 2,700 gets the lottery money.

And so that's almost half of the load. The rest of it you're loaded with out-of-state students.

Thank you so much.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: A favorable report at the appropriate time to move.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

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

Any other discussion?

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

Thank you, Toney.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You're lucky when you're the first one up.
MR. LISTER: Thank you, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: You're a lucky one.
MR. LISTER: Thank you, Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I appreciate your willingness to continue to serve.
MR. LISTER: May I get those numbers for the representative and give it to one of the ladies?
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Certainly. Sure.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: And congratulations on your girl passing the bar.
MR. LISTER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Next, John von Lehe, 9th Judicial Circuit.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. von LEHE: Good afternoon, Senator.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: On the record, if you would give us your full name, please, sir.
MR. von LEHE: Yes. John Christopher von Lehe, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Let me swear you in, please.

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

Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. von LEHE: I would. Thank you very much. It kind of calls for a reflection to an extent, thinking about coming to the University of South Carolina in 1961 and attended law school '65 to '68. They were great years for me. So it's been a great opportunity for me to serve on the board. This will be my sixth term, assuming that I am reelected.

It's been a great opportunity, a hobby, I guess. And people asking if I have a hobby, my hobby has been public service during my life, just as all of yours has been, and it's a great opportunity. There's nothing like it, to do something and feel good about it. So I have definitely enjoyed my opportunity to serve on the board of trustees at the university, and I hope to be able to continue that.

I'm excited today, even though it's been a long time. I have seen a lot of things there. I'm always excited about new things, and we have adopted a new outlook on history. We call it a procedure to take 3 percent of our budget and allocate that to particular areas of excellence to try to make an excellent university even more excellent.

So this is a new thing, which I know the president has spoken on in the past. And so I'm looking forward to seeing that come to fruition.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Everything is in order.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. von Lehe.

Let me ask you about the excellence thing that you just mentioned. All I could think of was -- sorry to my Clemson people here, but when Dr. Barker took over as president of Clemson, one of his goals was to turn it into a top-twenty university.
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: And one of the things that came out of that was the start of the Bridge program --
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- which some have criticized it as being a way to take the average or what really now is above-average students out of the college mix and put them into Bridge so they can bump up their excellent ratings with their SAT scores, and, you know, turn the university and get their scores and their grades way up there. And that was part of that whole thing, good or bad.

So I was just wondering what kinds of things would be your measurables as far as the types of programs or things that you all would see that you would do to make the University of South Carolina more excellent?

By the way, I have two. I have one graduate and one getting ready to graduate. So I'm not criticizing. I'm just asking, so...
MR. von LEHE: Well, this program really reminds me a lot of the ones that the legislature put in effect some time back. Bobby Harrell was one of the primary people behind these areas of excellence for the various research universities. I think that was very successful for all three of us.

This one is not asking for new funds, but looking at what we're spending our money on and seeing if we could put some of that together and do a package of excellence -- and you ask about specifics -- they haven't been decided upon yet. But I would think they're going to be more in the health area, like the medical school, like the School of Public Health. These are some areas in which we are already good and significantly good, but certainly they could be improved with the ability to get the best researchers and the best professors from other schools and bring them to the University of South Carolina.

The problem has always been that the University of South Carolina, if you get somebody good and as they progress and they become known, somebody with a lot more money grabs them up. And, I mean, it's nice to have your people placed in other schools, but it's kind of disappointing when you lose a real good person because we can't match what some of these other people can do. So I think that also would be an opportunity to keep some people here, and to concentrate in that area.

With regard to the Bridge program, our Bridge program is a method of where we take the students that don't meet the criteria, but they're close. They're real close. And we share this -- they get admitted to tech, to Midlands Tech. And then when they complete that program, then they get to live on campus. During that time they're not university students, they're tech students.

But they get to move into the university, that small group of people, 600, but it's really important to them. And it's a place where someone can show that they're committed even though they simply cannot test out on the SATs, but it does give them an opportunity to come forward.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. von Lehe --
MR. von LEHE: Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- thank you for being with us, Mr. Chairman.
MR. von LEHE:
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Senator.

Revisit -- what struck a real nerve with me a few minutes ago -- the question that was asked from the House side. I do remember the $200 million that we gave, what was called the Big 3.
MR. von LEHE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: Nobody else got any money, and y'all matched it dollar for dollar for dollar. And, really, all that money was supposed to go to scholarships. And my memory recalls some of the same ones were eager to give that money away who were not folks who were eager to take the hit. The general public was fussing about the state having a state-run lottery. That just comes to my mind.

And that same $200 million we gave -- well, I think it took some eight years to do it -- a lot of kids did not get scholarships because we took that money off the top for the purpose of doing that.
MR. von LEHE: Yes, sir.
SENATOR SCOTT: I wish that we had not. We should not repeat that again.

And so I'm looking since the Big 3 -- Clemson, ICAR; USC, economic development; and MUSC's research school of medicine and health -- I just want to revisit some of those kids who, because of what we did, was unable to get scholarships, and we looked at all these institutions who raised tuition. I mean, tuition just kind of went out of the window with cost of tuition.

Tell me a little bit about your discussion or discussion the board is having to try to slow down the growth and cost and tuition as it relates to the number of different campuses that USC has.
MR. von LEHE: Well, we're always looking at revenue sources, of course. This is a big thing in order to keep tuition within reasonable balance.

And so in searching for revenue sources as you know based on some of the questions that I heard briefly when I came in a few minutes ago and the questionnaire, which I filled out and sent in to you, the number of nonresidents has increased substantially at the university. And that is one of the areas in which we gained tuition revenue to be able to hold and check the tuition for our residents. We get $9,600 from an average nonresident, whereas it's about counting everything with reductions, et cetera, it's around $5,600 for our residents.

So that is really our main source of revenue, it's this nonresident tuition, and I think it's worked effectively. I think it has worked effectively.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me what we're doing with -- I hear Clemson bragging about athletes and graduation rates. Tell me what we're doing to try to make sure that same kind --
MR. von LEHE: We've got bragging rights on that too.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay. Tell us a little bit about it.
MR. von LEHE: The athletes, you know, at the University of South Carolina, they do a lot better than the regular students. And the percentage is we're the highest in the Southeastern Conference besides Vanderbilt. And as far as graduation rates, great GPR and all of that -- Vanderbilt is kind of hard to contend with, but nevertheless, we're close to them. So we're very pleased with what our athletes are doing academically.
SENATOR SCOTT: A lot of your athletes are going into the medical fields, doctors and other specialties, on the track and field, golf, baseball, and some of the others.
MR. von LEHE: Yes. I think something you just mentioned, they've got some of the highest GPAs in the entire school. So there would be those that would be eligible to go to medical school.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Anyone else?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon. Good to see you, sir.
MR. von LEHE: Good afternoon, Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: We appreciate your service.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I was just looking here, and as you chair the board, you're talking about ideal in state/out of state currently at 57 and 43 on the Columbia campus. We'd like to see 65/35 at Columbia. So what are y'all doing to achieve that?
MR. von LEHE: We're not doing anything to achieve that, to tell you the truth, because we need that out-of-state revenue so badly. If we were able to find other revenue sources, we would have a much better chance. I'm not saying we're not servicing the people of South Carolina. We are, because they're the first ones that we take.

Then after we take everybody, which is 90 percent of everybody that sends in an application to the University of South Carolina who is a resident. Send in an application, fills out an application at the University of South Carolina, we take them. The other 10 percent, there are other avenues for them to get there if they wish, like the Bridge program that I mentioned or go to one of our other campuses and then come into the university.

But getting back to what you're asking, I want to give you a straight answer -- which is what I certainly want to do --
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I would appreciate that.
MR. von LEHE: -- as long as we're that dependent on the out-of-state revenue and that is a major factor, I don't think that ratio is going to decrease.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So just looking here quickly, eyeballing and current tuition according to your sheet here, in state is roughly a little bit over 12,000, out of is 32,000 on a yearly basis. So you're looking at about a $20,000 difference per student.

It would be interesting to know what you're looking at numberwise of students going from 57 to 65. I mean, granted, any amount of money, I just would like to maybe have the staff, USC staff, provide me those numbers of exactly what it is we're talking about in numbers we're talking about in dollars that you're foregoing and total from that.

Do you understand?
MR. von LEHE: I do understand, and I'll be happy to get that computation done.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And, please, before I let you go, explain to me your participation. Obviously, as chair for the board; is that correct?
MR. von LEHE: Yes.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Congratulations on that.

And I would anticipate that you are heavily engaged with all the committee and with your attendance.
MR. von LEHE: I am pleased to say that is correct.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Good. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. von Lehe, it's been probably a year, maybe slightly less than a year, since the Senate Medical Affairs Committee had a hearing on a pending bill before the senate now authored by Senator Davis from Beaufort. Nonetheless, we did have testimony, and I believe it was a professor. And I apologize, I can't immediately place my finger on his name for a good pronunciation. But we did have participation from, I believe, an Arnold School of Health professor.
MR. von LEHE: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. I read about it.
SENATOR VERDIN: Is it possible -- I would just like to see possibly a memo from both the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. I want to solicit it through you, if you would, for the benefit of us that are serving immediately on the Medical Affairs Subcommittee. Senator Alexander is right there with me, so...
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: What chairman put y'all on that?
SENATOR VERDIN: What chairman put us on that? You're invoking your name. Every time I talk about the marijuana bill, Senator Peeler over there, he'd get really agitated with me. So I've pointedly not discussed your name.

Thank you. I appreciate that.
MR. von LEHE: Yes, I'd be happy to do it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Sorry to interrupt you.
SENATOR VERDIN: No, we're done. I'm just going to get that memo or letter or -- just an update.
MR. von LEHE: Will do. Will do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. von Lehe, thank you for your service for the last 21 years on Carolina.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: I know you've made a great contribution.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: I've got one.

Well, Mr. von Lehe, I've got a quick one.

The Commission on Higher Education, there is some concern over there that higher ed in South Carolina is on the edge of the cliff, and if we continue the way we're going, we can't sustain one. Have you been following their comments, and do you have a comment about it?
MR. von LEHE: Yes, I've been following them in the newspaper, and I've also been briefed by our university people who have attended these meetings. I don't believe that higher education is in its dire straits. Some of what I've read that has been said is true. I don't think there's reason for concern about that. Obviously, there are always things somebody can do to improve. I think a lot of the questions here today address that. But as far as the commission is concerned -- and they've done a great job in the areas that have been assigned to them over these years. I have no reason to believe that that's not continuing, but we're going to try to do what you've asked us to do also. And ask us to be responsible to what you've asked us to be responsible for.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Certainly.

Motion is a favorable --
SENATOR SCOTT: Before that --
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
SENATOR SCOTT: -- trust me when I tell you that the smaller schools are in trouble, especially the smaller private schools are in serious financial trouble. Unlike the intake system that the larger schools have, it can choose some of the better students that come in. The smaller schools are not doing very well.
MR. von LEHE: I read an article in the Post and Courier yesterday. Excuse me. The day before yesterday, I think it was, which I clipped out, and I wish I'd brought it with me, but it had repeated testimony from some of the -- these are all public.

It repeated testimony from various people who attended these town hall meetings or what have you from those schools. And they have painted a different picture financially from what I read, and that -- at least reportedly some of the -- the commission had said. I hope that what was reported by the financial officers or president's education committee of some of the smaller public schools -- I want the best and more accurate.
SENATOR SCOTT: But I think, Mr. Chairman, the crash of the Parent PLUS program, some of the private schools across the county almost completely went out of business.
MR. von LEHE: Out of business, yes.
SENATOR SCOTT: Unlike the larger schools who had scholarships and state support and were able to escape to survive.

With that in mind, Mr. Chairman, favorable report.
MR. von LEHE: I was going to say, because I want to bring up one thing real quick. I know what the time is. I never thought I would be up here wanting to stay.

You know, think back on the College of Charleston, which was a private school, but eventually the state had to take over the College of Charleston and run it. This is the kind of thing I think could happen again. So I think, in that respect, it certainly is something for the public bodies in this state to be on the lookout for: What's going to happen to the private schools? Because you may be called on to take them over.
SENATOR SCOTT: Favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is favorable.

Seconded.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
MR. von LEHE: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to continue to serve, sir.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll lift the veil and come back into order.

This is the meeting for College and University Trustee Screening Commission.

Next is University of South Carolina. We're going to carry over Mr. Williams, and in the interest of time, Mr. Westbrook is here. If there's no objection, we'll move to Thad Westbrook, 11th Judicial Circuit, University of South Carolina.

Mr. Westbrook, for the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. WESTBROOK: Sure. My name is Thaddeus Herbert Westbrook III. I am from Lexington County, 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. WESTBROOK: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to give us a brief statement on why you want to continue to serve on the USC Board?
MR. WESTBROOK: Sure.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, for having me here today. Four years ago when I came before you seeking the election, I told you that I wanted to continue in my work on the board of trustees to fulfill the university's mission of providing access to our diverse population here in South Carolina, to higher education, to four-year degrees; and in doing so, I wanted to create greater access to the university system, and I think we've done that over the last four years.

One thing I will note is that Palmetto College -- which the growth of Palmetto College has helped tremendously in providing access. It is something that the General Assembly worked with the university on and by funding it to get that part of the university going. That was the online part of it, the third and fourth year, the completion part of it.

I was on the selection committee for our chancellor for the Palmetto College. That was Chancellor Elkins who was selected to help implement that program, and we've seen growth every year in that. That is just one of the ways that we've provided greater access to our university and utilizing our eight campuses that way.

But that is why I'm seeking reelection today, this year, is to continue to provide greater access to the university and four-year degrees.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir. His paperwork is all in order, and he was one of the first to turn it in this time. Thank you.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any questions or comments from Members of the Committee?

Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Westbrook, I've worn out the Committee with this line of questioning for all MUSC and USC trustees. You might have gotten a heads-up. I don't know, but I'm inquiring about research and development of medical marijuana at the USC School of Medicine. It's a different playing field than we have now.

So my qualifications are if the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Department of Justice had a more favorable posture for developing this science of medical marijuana, and even if public and private grant opportunities were available, do you see that as a -- would you be open to USC School of Medicine, and even further, would you give positive direction or encouragement for something that is a -- it's a freight train of an issue. Every time I check with other states, there is another state that in some form or another has legalized medical marijuana.
MR. WESTBROOK: I think we do some research now with medical marijuana. As far as where we go from here, I would like us to be in alignment with the state on that issue. I know the state has looked at medical marijuana. There has been legislation on it, and I would want us to be in step with the state on that issue.

We are the state's flagship school. I don't want to get out of step. So, yeah, I would be open to it because the state has been open to it. The state had legislation on it, but I would want to make sure we're working with the state and we're in line with the state's policy on medical marijuana.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, that's fair enough. And, yes, you do have some folks over in public health, I guess.
MR. WESTBROOK: Yes.
SENATOR VERDIN: The School of Public Health.
MR. WESTBROOK: I think it's Dr. Nagarkatti.
SENATOR VERDIN: Yes.

Yes, it's not something tomorrow or the next decade or your next term even. This is here now, and we are frustrated. Some of us are frustrated as public policy makers because we very intentionally want to err on the side of sound science.
MR. WESTBROOK: Sure.
SENATOR VERDIN: There is a lot more to be developed, in my summation.
MR. WESTBROOK: And I can understand. I know there's a national debate, and I don't think you will see the university -- at least not my part -- getting out in front of the state on that type of issue.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other questions or comments?

Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. Westbrook.
MR. WESTBROOK: Good afternoon.
SENATOR SCOTT: I know that you have heard a lot from me along with other members of your board of trustees about diversity at the University of South Carolina. Tell me a little bit about what's going on as you've reflected on your first term and where you think we need to go to improve diversity, not only with students, but also with faculty.
MR. WESTBROOK: And I think it's an important issue for us to continue to focus on. I attended the president's presentation to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Higher Ed -- the one where we are presenting the budget -- and in that, he made some comments that I think echo really actually where the board is. We've had growth in our minority population in the student body and the African American population by head count. I think if you look at it as a percentage, the numbers have gone down because we've had tremendous growth at the university. But I think by head count, I do know we have greater populations of African Americans on campus and minority students on campus, both at USC Columbia and in the system.

I will note -- I'm sure you read about it -- we had a terrible incident in Columbia where someone came onto our campus and posted some terrible flyers --
SENATOR SCOTT: Twice.
MR. WESTBROOK: -- that were directed towards African American students in particular.

And that is something that has been a subject of discussion. I know when I saw it, I saw it on my on social media first from a student government representative, and from there I called our chief diversity officer to find out what was going on.

And, unfortunately, we didn't have cameras in the right places. We had some issues as far as, I thought, security that need to be addressed. We need to be able to identify and keep those kinds of folks off our campus. But it also emphasized the importance of having the dialogue.

So if any type of incident like that happens that causes our students to feel unsafe or unloved, it's is a huge problem for us, particularly in the state of South Carolina. We've got to be in front of that as much as possible. I think there's more we need to do on the security side, but, also, I think we need to have -- we need to continue the dialogue with our students.

The president had a forum in the middle of campus last week for our students and faculty. I thought it was an important part of the discussion, but it's not the complete discussion. There's more to be done.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me about the Columbia campus. I think that's where the numbers have fallen short. And I think at the Beaufort campus and some of the others, your numbers are --
MR. WESTBROOK: Yeah.
SENATOR SCOTT: For some reason, the Columbia campus has been in trouble.
MR. WESTBROOK: Yes, sir. And we've seen tremendous growth in the Columbia campus. I think as a system, we've got about 20 percent minority students and then about 10 percent in Columbia.

And so we've seen a little bit of a drop there. I think that's because we have grown so much and the extensions have not kept up. I know that there is an emphasis to do our part to make sure we are enrolling and graduating, particularly African American students.

We are number one in the state as far as enrollment and graduation. We're also number one in the Southeastern Conference. We're ahead of 97 percent of the schools in the country.

So we're doing a good job. It doesn't mean we're done. There is more to be done.

One program that is being talked about right now is a program that we -- it's loosely called Think College. Think Carolina. That is a program that would go into the schools in South Carolina, middle schools and high schools that yield fewer numbers of African American high school graduates.

I'm sorry. College entrants. High school graduates but then who don't go to college.

And so our idea is to try to get with them early. Let them know about the resources available. Have them thinking about college early on. And if the parents aren't as familiar with the process, we can help provide guidance as far as the process for getting ready to go to college.

So that's one thing we can do. There are others.
SENATOR SCOTT: But in getting them ready, tuition, the cost to go to school, I'm talking about that and especially the number of out-of-state students as well.
MR. WESTBROOK: So we feel the tuition pressure as well. We had a discussion last year. With our budget, there were no votes on the budget because the tuition increased. There will be continued discussion on tuition.

Out president did mention to the Ways and Means Committee ideas of trying to hold tuition flat this year, and, in fact, trying to work out something there on the funding side. We'll see where that goes. I'm certainly interested in that.

I am concerned about tuition because of the access issue. I opened -- my account is not accessed. When I ran, I talked about access. And for me, personally, dealing with -- knowing young families who have children who are getting ready to go to college, I worry about the cost of tuition.

Now, one thing we can do, we need to explain to folks that the sticker price for tuition is different than what the average South Carolinian pays. It's a little less than $6,000 a year, but there's also -- that's tuition cost. There's also room and board and books and things like that.

And so it is an investment that people are making, and we've got to do our part to try to keep the tuition --
SENATOR SCOTT: Well, your $6,000 has to do with them coming in and getting the lottery scholarship.
MR. WESTBROOK: Lottery scholarship or other financial aid.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.
MR. WESTBROOK: Not just lottery.

Out-of-state students, you asked as well?
SENATOR SCOTT: (Nodding head.)
MR. WESTBROOK: Out-of-state students, we have been growing with out-of-state students. We have seen many more. We are actually -- out-of-state students are our number-one source of revenue at this point for the university.

That's not an ideal model, but it's where we are now. For the Columbia campus, we have infrastructure issues that are preventing us from growing much more. We're getting about to the limit. In fact, we need to do some more on lab space in particular for undergrads.

We're not busting at the seams, but we're getting close. There's only so much we can do with growth as far as generating revenue, which is what we have done over the last 70 years.
SENATOR SCOTT: I'm so glad you finished my last question. Looking at your intake system, I think last year some 26-, 28,000 students applied for 1,500 spots to 6,000 spots.
MR. WESTBROOK: That's correct.
SENATOR SCOTT: How do you go through just about every kid who applied who will meet the -- if they get in, they have already met 3 point, 1100 SAT, 25 percent of their class. One, two, three or all of the above just to get in. So how do I make the determination when I've got that many kids who are applying and I've got out-of-state that are applying? How do y'all balance that out?
MR. WESTBROOK: So I have some knowledge of this from asking questions and being involved with student affairs on this issue. I will say that 90 percent of the South Carolinians who apply are granted access to USC Columbia in some way, whether it's the regular admissions, honors, or the Gateway program. But they are being accepted to USC Columbia.

In talking with student affairs, my understanding is the admissions process is one that takes the initial slice where the kids who get the first letters are usually the ones who are just no-brainers based on grades and standardized test scores. They're coming right in, and they're getting acceptance. It's when you get into February and March, you're looking at the question of, Are people on the border? You know, we think they're college ready or we think they're not college ready, but let's go hold this for review.

So there is within the admissions department -- they call it a holistic review, but they go deeper than the top-line academic profile. Now, as far as how deep they go, I don't know.
SENATOR SCOTT: How many of those kids actually get in?
MR. WESTBROOK: I don't know. I couldn't tell you that. I can find out. But --
SENATOR SCOTT: I don't think it's very many of those kids that actually get in.
MR. WESTBROOK: Yeah. I've seen some who have and who have not. It's more anecdotal.
SENATOR SCOTT: Okay.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Questions?

Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Westbrook. Tell me about Gamecock Recovery and where you are on that program.
MR. WESTBROOK: Sure.

Gamecock Recovery is a newer program at the University of South Carolina Columbia campus where we are working to provide services and support for students who are in recovery. We all recognize that the opioid epidemic is a huge problem in this country. Our state is impacted by it tremendously. And we reflect the state in many ways, and we are having students come to us who are in recovery, and we have students who become addicted and go into recovery while they're with us.

And I think it's imperative for us to provide support through what we call the Gamecock Recovery program. It is a newer program. It's one that needs to grow, I think. It is one that we need to centralize on campus.

And there's some ideas out there right now. We're having discussions. In fact, we have some citizens who are willing to help support the university in this effort.

But we are working to provide a more centralized program where students have a home, students who are in recovery have a home and who -- rather than washing out of their four-year education, they have the support they need to continue through recovery but also finish their degree, hopefully on time or as close to on time as possible.

And so that is a program that I have an interest in us continuing to expand, which I would include expanding through our budget and funding that program more heavily than we are now. It's an important part of what we do for student life.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, I appreciate that, and I would say yes, you should continue to fund that through your budget. Put them in a location where it's more easily accessible to students.

But I want to say thank you for doing that because I will tell you, when I questioned the Clemson trustees about what they would be doing, they said, "Well, they can go to the health center."

Okay. Well, we know that that's really not going to work for students.

So at least I give y'all credit for at least taking the first steps to develop something that is actually going to provide a good service to your students.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you. We'll keep working on it.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Mr. Whitmire.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Mr. Westbrook, I asked Clemson candidates this question, so I'll ask Carolina candidates also. Do you have any idea how many in-state graduates remain in the state to work and be contributing members of society versus the number of out of state that remain?
MR. WESTBROOK: I don't have those numbers. I know that we have looked for ways internally recently, but we've got more work to do to figure out how many stay as far as in state and out of state. I know anecdotally we have some from out of state who do stay. There are people that I have worked with that I knew in school or people coming out now that I deal with in business.

But I don't have the numbers for that. But it is something we need to be aware of. But I think we have had a recent conversation about it. We need to do more to figure out those numbers.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: If you could find out and let staff know, I would be interested. I was very surprised to hear that Clemson, after five years, out-of-state students was only 16 percent, and I think it was 55 percent in state. So I'm thinking, you know, here our top universities are educating people who aren't going to stay around, and that concerns me.
MR. WESTBROOK: Yeah. Again, just as an aside, I actually worked on a program through one of our professors at the university to try to match mentors locally with South Carolina students, and these were a group of honors students who were thought to be entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs.

And my idea was to match them with local folks to have a mentor here who hopefully would help them understand what's available to them here in South Carolina but also to help them open doors and meet people, because the out-of-state folks don't really know anyone here. So if someone locally could help introduce them around, the more likely they will stay here.

That was a small group. It's a class that continues on with, you know, a small group of mentors. But there are things we can be doing to help encourage our students, our out-of-state students, to stay here in South Carolina and contribute after we finish educating them.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: That's good to hear. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: No.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: No?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you.

Good afternoon. Good to see you.

Describe for me your participation level as a board member, please.
MR. WESTBROOK: I have attended all of the board meetings since I was elected four years ago. I also have chaired two different committees during the past term. I have chaired the academic affairs committee, and I currently chair the strategic planning committee. I attend most of the committee meetings even though -- that I'm not a member of.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: And you mentioned earlier to the senator from Richland that the main campus -- do y'all focus on your -- what do you call them? -- satellite campuses or --
MR. WESTBROOK: (Nodding head.)
SENATOR ALEXANDER: So where are you with those as far as attendance?
MR. WESTBROOK: We meet as a board, and we do them with the Columbia campus and the other campuses. And so the other campuses, those issues come up during our regular board meetings; however, we also do meet on the other campuses from time to time. For example, in this past year, we have met at USC Upstate and USC Aiken as a board on site on those campuses.

I also attend many of the commencement ceremonies. I can't say I have attended all of them. We have 14 every May, but I have attended many of them in past terms. I've been on each campus multiple times.

We have chancellors at each campus, and then we have the Palmetto College chancellor of the two-year campuses as well. And so they all report to us through the president, and we -- when I am chairman of academic affairs, their program comes though my committee from all the other campuses for strategic planning. We've just been -- we're wrapping up a plan for Columbia, but the next step is to have the chancellors for each of the four-year campuses come in to do strategic planning and talk to us about their plan.

For example, last month I met with the new chancellor at USC Upstate and spoke to him about his strategic plan. He's coming to our committee within a couple of months to present on that plan. So we are very much involved in the other campuses.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. Westbrook.

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

What's the desire of the Committee?

Motion is favorable.

Any other discussion?

Hearing none, we'll take it to a vote. All in favor, raise your right hand.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to continue to serve USC.
MR. WESTBROOK: Thank you very much. Thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you for your willingness to continue to serve, sir.

Next, we have of C. Edward Floyd from the 12th Judicial Circuit.

Good afternoon, sir.
MR. FLOYD: Good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: For the record, if you would give us your full name, Dr. Floyd.
MR. FLOYD: Cecil Edward Floyd.
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. FLOYD: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Dr. Floyd, would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. FLOYD: The first thing I'd like to say, I love the University of South Carolina. I have served on the board quite a few years, and I think a lot of things have happened since that year. When I became chairman of the board about close to 20, 25 years ago, we could not fill a freshman class of 2,000.

We went on the retreat at that time, I think at Pawleys Island. We stayed there about as long as -- spend very little money, and we sat out, and we worked out a plan. We laid out a plan that you can serve as chairman for four years and so forth, and we started putting all of your resources out at the administration buildings.

We put them in student services. And today, today this last freshman class, we have over 5,800 students in the freshman class.

And I hear a lot of you talk about out-of-state students. My goal at the University of South Carolina is to educate the people of the state of South Carolina. I've talked a lot about this over the years, and really believe we do not turn down any South Carolina student that has a 1050 on their SAT. Maybe we ought to go to a thousand.

I don't know, but I think sometimes -- and I've had this happen in my family -- when kids are admitted and they really can't make the grade, I'm not sure you do them a service. And I've enjoyed my service on the board, and I certainly hope to continue.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you.

Staff, is his paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: There's a couple of things, Dr. Floyd.

On your personal data questionnaire, question number 11, it asks your congressional district, and you put the 12th Judicial Circuit. Will you clarify that and tell us what --
MR. FLOYD: Maybe it's a mix-up because we were in the 6th and now we're in the 7th.
MS. CASTO: So you're in the 7th Congressional District?
MR. FLOYD: The 7th Congressional District.
MS. CASTO: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: The district grew but you didn't, right?
MS. CASTO: And also, on the personal data questionnaire, question number 39, it asks, "Have you -- list the recipients and amount of contributions made by you or on your behalf to any member of the General Assembly within the four years of filling out the questionnaire."

You originally answered no, that you had made no contributions. We received a letter from you last week with some contributions, but it was for one year. Will you please provide the Committee with the prior four years instead of --
MR. FLOYD: I'm sorry. I didn't realize that was required, you know, so I apologize. But I will get the young lady in the office to try to get everything in.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Thank you, Doctor.

Questions?

Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Dr. Floyd, I concur with you. You spoke of family experience as it relates to these admission standards. I sent three to Clemson, and I sent went one to The Citadel. And as a Citadel man now -- he is a graduate, but if he could go back and do it all over again, he would have been at Clemson. Academics was the only thing that kept him out.

But my children became very aware of what was going to be necessary when they were in 7th, 8th grade because it was something they were mindful of. So finding that right balance for our flagship institutions is going to be critical because there is a lot to be said. One of the previous trustees has already said that his career in many ways could have been made by his college experience.

I'm going to just read a statement and just really look for a head nod because I think you're going to be in total agreement with the statement. I mentioned earlier that the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate almost unanimously passed a which, and it really was strictly limited to oil.

But the statement was made by the lead sponsor, an OB-GYN named Senator Dunnavant, and she said, "I finally decided that I needed to be -- that I needed to advocate for the physicians being the decision makers. We know physicians are the ones that follow the literature and know which treatments are best for different conditions.

"The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians."

I like how that rings in my ear. The only thing I question is how rapidly is the medical literature going to evolve that she is speaking to?
MR. FLOYD: I certainly don't know the answer to the question that you had, but I would have to tell you that I have a personal bias in all of this.
SENATOR VERDIN: You're right in there with those Millennials, I bet.
MR. FLOYD: My grandson started with marijuana, my namesake. He started with medical -- not medical marijuana, but with marijuana. He ended up on and on and on, and he died of a drug overdose a couple of years ago.

And so I'm certainly prejudiced about it. So you would know where I would stand on anything.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, I appreciate you sharing that, and from my standpoint, regardless of your profession or your responsibilities as a trustee paramount -- family is paramount, and I appreciate you sharing that, and I wouldn't begin to argue with you.

Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Dr. Floyd. First of all, I'm sorry for the loss of your grandson, and you hit a note on something that I've been involved in pretty heavily for the last couple of years. I asked Mr. Westbrook earlier about Gamecock Recovery and didn't want to be a broken record --
MR. FLOYD: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- and ask everybody, but I would assume that since you've had a family loss that you would be very supportive and committed to helping the university really establish that program. And you know Bruce Loveless who has been involved in that. I've been working with them.

But I'd like to get a little bit -- some of your comments about what you all are doing in your efforts to really establish that. For students that are struggling, they need those resources, and you know that, I know.
MR. FLOYD: You know, I certainly am very supportive of everything along that line. But, you know, the drug issue is -- I don't understand a lot of things about it. I mean, ten years ago, the government, our federal government went on a binge about us not treating pain, and they were asking doctors all the time about pain. We're not giving them enough drugs.

Now look what's happening. I mean, I shouldn't say this, but I think our doctors sometimes are the blame.

I mean, my grandson went to a urologist. He was cystoscoped about three or four times. He didn't need to be cystoscoped. He wanted to get the Percocet.

I mean, I don't know how we change. But a lot of it is your own fault, and I wish I had an answer for you, but I don't.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Well, sorry to hear your story. I've heard it so many times --
MR. FLOYD: Yeah.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: -- from so many people, but I'll tell you that one thing too is I know with the medical school, you know, and that -- and you're not the first physician, you know, that's over the age of 50 that says, you know, When I went to medical school, that's what we were taught. We're going to write prescriptions for your opioids. And the new generation now is understanding that, you know, appropriate prescribing dispensing habits are important, and being able to talk to patients.

But I think that we are -- as a body, we are making some progress, and I think one of them is alternative pain management techniques and things like that and counseling for people to understand.
MR. FLOYD: And I want to limit the amount of narcotics that you can give at certain times, and I think this is kind of what's happening. And I think it's got to come from everybody from the legislature.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
MR. FLOYD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Dr. Floyd.

Let's talk about when y'all were trying to find the 2,000 students to fill your freshman class 29 years ago. Tell me about the growth among African American students and faculty at the university, your input, your outlook, and what we can do better, because we continue to recruit some of the topnotch industry in the world to come to South Carolina.

Also, with them are the families who also come and seek jobs, employment and training and education. What's your outlook on that?
MR. FLOYD: I think we've gained an awful lot, and, you know, your questions have been answering about what we can do. I think you need to know the background of the people that you are electing. I mean, of course you need to know the background as far as diversity is concerned.

Senator Peeler may remember when I first came to first run for the board of trustees at the university, there was a black doctor in Florence named Dr. Beck, which I don't know if you remember Dr. Beck, but he controlled the whole 6th Congressional District.

My uncles had a hospital that they turned into a not-for-profit hospital. We were the only -- we had three hospitals in Florence. We were the only hospital in Florence that would give him privileges. I worked with him for years.

He came up here when I ran and campaigned for me to be on the board of trustees at the University of South Carolina. Now, I'm sure you probably won't like this, but he even came to my house when Strom Thurmond came one time.

So, anyway, he was a great friend, and he served -- he went to Shreveport when the crew went to look at the medical school in Shreveport. I helped him get on that committee, and I spoke at this funeral. Representative Alexander was a pastor at that time. And at the present time, we put a new medical building in Florence.

Our foundation put in $7.5 million, which I'm the chairman of. And Francis Marion put in -- I think the legislature did -- put in $7.5 million. And Dr. Beck's statue is in front of the medical building treating a young patient.

So anyway, over and over, we had a doctor in Lake City. I went to Lake City to operate. He came, and he graduated from to Columbia University. He did a residency at the University of Florida in pediatrics, and the hospital doctors wanted to kick him off the staff. He was a great physician.

I went to the attorney for the hospital who was Toy Nettles's daddy. Y'all remember Toy. Toy's daddy was a lawyer, and I said, "If you kick him off the staff, I want you to know I'm going to go to court and testifying that he was being discriminated against. And I want you to know that I will fight all my life to be sure everything is fair and everybody gets a fair opportunity."
SENATOR SCOTT: You know, I can really appreciate that. I just wish the rest of the world was in the same position if it had some of the same kind of experiences. In fact, that's just not a reality.

And so I have to ask the tough questions and have to live with certain situations every day of my life.
MR. FLOYD: Sure.
SENATOR SCOTT: But my goal here is to make sure there is fair access to every child regardless of race, creed, or color, and to make sure that we educate all South Carolina children regardless of SATs. As a matter of fact, when I began college back in 1971, if I had to have an 1100 SAT, I would have never been able to go to school at 17 years old, but look where I am today, because I have the capabilities and the access to get in school.

So that's why we ask these questions.
MR. FLOYD: I question the importance we put on a test. And I've seen kids -- I'm sorry about telling you these experiences, but we had a kid to come from Lamar, South Carolina, that came to my office. He went to the University of South Carolina and brought his transcript. He wanted to get into medical school.

Brought his transcript. He was in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, and he had made one B on his medical test. That was all. But the doctor was a good friend of mine from Lamar, and he said, "Eddie, this young man came to my office the day of the test, and he had a terrible toothache, and I gave him a gram of codeine for the pain, and he said he was going back up to take the test."

Well, he made fair on the test. By why -- here's a kid that's been at the University of South Carolina four years and made one B, and one day he got turned down. That's not right. I mean, but you've got to depend on some things.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Other questions or comments?

Senator Alexander.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Motion is a favorable report.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion is a favorable report.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: Pending the information requested by the Committee and that you provide it.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Any other comment?

All in favor, raise your right hand.

Thank you.
MR. FLOYD: Thank y'all very much.
MS. CASTO: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Dr. Floyd, all of these stories, I wish you would write a book. Seriously, I wish you'd think about writing a book.
MR. FLOYD: Well, let me tell you one more if you want to hear one more. Let me tell you one more.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay.
MR. FLOYD: I'm telling you about my great hero, Dr. Beckett, who is a guy that I loved to death.

I was in the operating room one day, and I got an emergency call. I actually at one time put in more pacemakers than anybody probably in the state, and I got a call -- actually, we, the surgeons, used to put them in, and the cardiologists started putting them. And I got a call from the cardiologist in the operating room, and he called me to come down. He couldn't get the pacemaker in.

So I went down there and everything was scrubbed, and I went in, and I put the thing in. I didn't really have too much trouble putting it in. I got it in and got ready to walk out of Dr. Beckett's room, and I said, "By the way, who is the patient?"

He said, "Dr. Beck."
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Really?

Thank you, Doctor, very much.
On March 8, 2018:
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Okay. Next.
MS. CASTO: The fourth item is USC, Dr. Eddie Floyd. You'll remember on his campaign contributions, he had submitted one year and the Committee required four years of campaign contributions. He has since submitted the other three years, and so now you all found him qualified pending his submittal of those campaign contributions.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Satisfied?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE KING: Motion favorable.
REPRESENTATIVE WHITMIRE: Second.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: All in favor, raise your right hand.

(All members raise hands.)
MS. CASTO: Thank you.

Next, Mack Whittle from Greenville.
MR. WHITTLE: I didn't know I was going to follow Dr. Floyd.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: We'll say we saved the best for last.

For the record, if you would give us your full name.
MR. WHITTLE: Mack Ira Whittle, Jr.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. WHITTLE: I do.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Would you like to make a brief statement?
MR. WHITTLE: Yes.

The question was asked earlier about the financial condition of the university, and I have been on the board 31 years. When I first came on the board, when we got our budget, it was a document, just -- over the course of the last ten years through the help of a lot of folks behind me, the university has put together a strategic plan with a strategic planning committee to improve the academics and just the place in general. And we have redesigned the budget system that we just recently put into place so that we have individual budgets on every college, and it looks more like a business budget and P&L.

So we know the schools that are making more money than others. Not that it matters how much they're making, but we are better able to manage the university from a financial perspective than we've ever been able to. There's far more transparency of what we do financially and as it relates to the board than it was in the past.

Are there worries? Sure, there are worries. You know, the debt bothers me like it bothers a lot of y'all. If we were to have a large decline in the number of students for whatever reason, then if you've got debt on your books, you've got to deduce the quality of students coming in to keep your revenue up to service the debt, or you've got tough financial issues.

So it truly is a balancing act, and I think, as I said earlier, there's far more transparency than there has been in my 31 years. The board is much more informed about what we're doing and how we're doing it.

We referenced the initiative that was put in place to improve the academics and how we took 15 percent from each college and put it in a pool, and then we are using that pool to fund those initiatives, and the strategic plan will allow the university to go where we want it to go. So there's a financial incentive for each one of the colleges to do better, and we're measuring things like graduation rate.

Most of the debt that college kids accumulate, they accumulate it in the fourth and fifth and sixth year. If we can get your kids out quicker, then we can, number one, get them in the workforce quicker, and we can help them reduce the debt that they're burdening their families with.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Staff, is the paperwork in order?
MS. CASTO: Yes, sir.

Mr. Whittle, I think you answered it. We needed to know how many years you had been on the board or when you were first elected, and you said you had been there 31.

And you disclosed that you had been fined by the ethics commission for a late filing. Do you have any idea what year that was?
MR. WHITTLE: Right after I retired, I had no secretary. I was keeping all the records. So that would have been five years ago.
MS. CASTO: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Scott.
SENATOR SCOTT: Mr. Whittle, how are you doing?
MR. WHITTLE: I'm doing fine, Senator.
SENATOR SCOTT: Tell me about a little bit about your 31 years there and the changes in some of the positions on the board, along with the growth that the board has received and where we are going wrong with the percentage of African Americans and other minority students, because there's more than African Americans on these campuses as well. We're losing track, although the growth is there, but the percentages are getting smaller. What's going on?
MR. WHITTLE: You know, the way the applicant pool works is the applications come in in December. And then those that have extremely good academics, both SAT and grade-point ratios, those are admitted early, in December.

And then there is another process that they go through now, which is a more holistic way of looking at what did they do, where did they go to high school, if they've got a low SAT but high GPA. You know, they do something special. Was there a tragedy in their life that maybe kept them from making decent grades in one year?

So there is more of a holistic process that we go through. Academics is still important, but we try to look more at the individual at that particular point.

The African American and minority piece, you know, we do our best to recruit, and we actually have recruiters throughout South Carolina and surrounding states, and they make every effort they can to try to recruit the African American students. We lose a lot of the real high academic African American students in South Carolina. We're not able to retain them.

Senator Allen and I talk on a regular basis, and we look at them in our district, and we try to go out and start recruiting them early and get the university involved, with them early, so that we can convince them why it's important for them to stay in South Carolina.
SENATOR SCOTT: And I know your background in finance and banking. Tell me a little bit about what control measures are you trying to put in place to kind of settle down the large increases in tuition so that we don't end up with a lot of it being brick and mortar simply because of expansion.
MR. WHITTLE: Well, we revisit degree programs, you know, and when a degree program is established at the university, it comes to the board. And it comes to the board now with a financial pro forma. Is it going to stand on its own; and if so, when will it stand on its own; and if not, why? And if it's something that we need to make the academics where he needs to be in the university, then we can make a conscious decision.

We then go back and visit those particular degree programs, and if they don't perform as they should have performed, then the dean has got to explain that to us. And we actually will eliminate programs? We've gone through a number of occasions eliminating course matter, as well as degree programs, and I think that has gone a long way to help us better understand who we are as a university.

Somebody said earlier, "We can't be all things to all people."

You know, we have an outstanding business school, and we attract students from all over the world to the business school. We're now trying to move into health sciences because that's such a big need for our state. And we're allowing that students that come in and agree to major in health sciences, they get a separate dorm. They get some special perks to encourage them to come in.

So we really view -- obviously, arts and sciences are very important. That's, you know, one of the cathedrals we have, but business, health science, and arts and sciences are who we are.
SENATOR SCOTT: Advanced degrees in health science, an earlier question, a master's in nursing, Ph.D., a tremendous shortage of teachers, what are y'all doing in advanced degree programs.
MR. WHITTLE: You know, in order to elevate the university, you know, Ph.D.s and advanced degrees are an area we need to do a better job with, and part of this strategic plan addresses that. It's not only for the medical field, but really for all fields.

You know, we are hopeful at some point to have a health sciences campus somewhere where we can accommodate more students than we can accommodate now.
SENATOR SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Davis.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Given your financial background, maybe, you know, related somewhat to Senator Scott's question, your strategic plan, does it address the future of online learning and the remote classroom and ways to take advantage of that so that we can drive down the cost of education?
MR. WHITTLE: It's not a specific matrix, but it is a tactic to accomplish some of those. Okay? And what I mean by that is -- and there's other tactics as well. Better utilization of FASFAs.

You know, in the summer a lot of the classes and dorms were empty. We had summer school, but we are now trying to encourage kids to come. You know, we're teaching classes longer. We've got a better utilization of the brick and mortar that we've got as well as the faculty.

That is an initiative, and that initiative is to help us improve that graduation rate. We want to move the graduation rate down. If they can't access the classes, then they've got to stick around a little bit longer, and their parents have got to borrow more money or pay more money for them to stay on a little bit longer.

You know, I'll give a little story like Dr. Floyd did. The company I was with had the second Internet bank buried inside of our bank. It doesn't sound very sexy today, but at the time it was unheard of.

And we thought it would eliminate brick and mortar. We thought that the old branch would totally disappear. What it did was it increased the velocity, meaning that people had more transactions. They checked their balances more often.

Did the brick and mortar utilization go down? It did. We sensed some of that at the university, that a lot of the classes were being taken by many not degree people or people that have had to leave school for a while because of a family tragedy or other reasons and are taking it, and it's a temporary thing.

So we're closely monitoring the evolution of this, because I agree with you. I think down the road, it would change things. There's, you know, a big argument that the college experience is academic, yes, but the college experience is the relationships and the people you meet and learning to live on your own. And learning to do the things when you're independent are not as important as the academic aspect of it, but are equally important in some cases.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: So what would you say in the future is going to be the best way to drive down cost?
MR. WHITTLE: Delivering it, you know, in some electronic manner.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay.
MR. WHITTLE: Okay. USC Upstate has an economics course. We've got the best economics teacher -- I'm making this up. We've got the best economics teacher down here.

Do it remote. Do it on a television. We have facilities there, you know, and you can do remote. You can do it, you know, via the Internet, and you can make it interactive. They can be in the classroom in the Upstate, hear the professor down here, and can ask a question just like they can as if they were sitting in the class here.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Do you think that that's going to promote better collaboration between universities? Let's say you do have the best economics professor. So does that mean that as a student I can take a class -- and this is very theoretical -- through Clemson, but the professor is the best that's at USC?
MR. WHITTLE: We're doing some of that. You know, we're doing some of that in research where there's more collaboration, if you will. But that's a tough sell.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Okay. I'll leave it at that.
MR. WHITTLE: You're correct that it would make it more efficient, but that's tough sell.
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS: Yes. All right. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Senator Verdin.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I might have to just prove I'm pro-something besides just one pitch. I'll ask you a Greenville question.

Governance of the USC School of Medicine Greenville, through the board, I'm assuming.
MR. WHITTLE: We have a joint --
SENATOR VERDIN: Joint board.
MR. WHITTLE: We have a joint board with Greenville Hospital System directors and our directors.
SENATOR VERDIN: Okay. Well, that's really my next question. Regardless of what transpires with GHS Palmetto, assuming everything has been tracked with tuition, or if it doesn't, the future of the school? That's my question.
MR. WHITTLE: Well, we have a very detailed operating agreement between the University of South Carolina and the Greenville Hospital System that pretty well ties everybody up. So the school is doing extremely well. I think there were 5,000 applicants for a hundred spots.

That academic matrix that you measure these incoming students with is as good as any of the other medical school in the state. It's on sound financial footing, and you might imagine that with the Greenville Hospital System funding it like they had funded it. We give back your tuition dollars to help support it.

You know, the governance was a new form of governance, and then Jerry Youkey came on, and now he reports to Harris being at the medical school. And Jerry had worked for the administration at the hospital there.

So we had to work through some of the governance issues, but I think it's all running very well. We all seem to be very pleased with the way it had operated.

They have currently -- and this is some of that collaboration we talked about. Clemson currently has under construction a nursing school building behind the medical school. It's a public-private partnership in which a developer in Greenville is building the building and then leasing it to Greenville Hospital System, and the nursing school in Clemson will occupy it.

I think I heard Jerry Youkey say it's probably the only place in South Carolina where you'll have Carolina and Clemson students going to school in pretty much the same building.
SENATOR VERDIN: Well, that's encouraging, and that's what I hear from students currently. Then my oldest daughter is a USC School of Medicine graduate, a pediatrician in Spartanburg, and she would have loved --
MR. WHITTLE: She had been through the new medical school?
SENATOR VERDIN: She was just a little ahead. She was a couple of years ahead when she benefited from an education in Greenville, but she would have loved to have been there. It's was just a little too early.
MR. WHITTLE: It's truly state of the art.
SENATOR VERDIN: She's very pleased to -- she would hold her education up to anybody's.
MR. WHITTLE: You know, as we've done financial aid, the hospital system did a five-year, six-year budget in a pro forma, and we pretty well have been right in line with that. If anything, expenses have been less than what we thought because they have added faculty a little slower than they thought they would have. But financially, it's done quite well.
SENATOR VERDIN: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Ms. Henderson.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Whittle. Thank you for your service.

Senator Verdin's questions remind me about something else I wanted to ask you. By the way, I want to say that the Clemson-Carolina GHS collaboration, only that would happen in Greenville because we have so many unique private partnerships that I have learned of in my years here that don't happen anywhere else because of the leadership like yours and others in Greenville that have made things happen, not only there, but in a bunch of other things.

So I want to go back and ask a few more questions about the GHS thing. And that is, are the buildings that the medical school is operating at, are those owned by USC, or are those owned by GHS?
MR. WHITTLE: These were built by GHS when Frank Pinckney was in charge. Okay? And that building was empty. They had plans for it, but it had not been occupied when the idea of the medical school came about.

And so it was natural that we occupy that building, and I'm certain that they still own that building.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay. So it's an asset of the hospital?
MR. WHITTLE: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: As is, I would assume then, this new building you're talking about too?
MR. WHITTLE: Yes. No. It's going to be owned by a developer. They're going to lease it from the developer.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: So I guess a roundabout question would be, if there were any changes in GHS as far as it's not run by GHS anymore or whatever, your operating agreements with whoever would stay, and the medical school would not be affected if something were to happen?
MR. WHITTLE: You know, the document -- we spent a lot of time, Dr. Floyd and many of us and multiple lawyers, going over that operating agreement. Are there things in there we would like to change, yes, but, generally, we feel pretty good about it. I think it has a 10-year period. So if they got mad at us, they couldn't compete for 10 years if they were acquired by a third party --
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Yes.
MR. WHITTLE: -- okay, if that's where you're going.

You know, it's kind of standing on its own or pretty close to standing on its own now and not a financial drain. So I wouldn't see any reason why a third party would want to get rid of it.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Okay.
MR. WHITTLE: Plus, you know -- and I'm a novice at this, so a lot of this is what I've heard the doctors and the administrators in the hospital say. A hospital that has a medical school and now a nursing school on its campus is more prestigious. I mean, you get into the likes of a Duke, Emory, a Chapel Hill where you have that.

So you become more of a teaching hospital -- or not more. You become a teaching hospital, and it just creates more sizzle around what you've got, and you can attract better physicians, I'm assuming, and other folks that would work for you.
REPRESENTATIVE HENDERSON: Thank you.

At the appropriate time, I'll make a motion for a favorable report.
SENATOR ALEXANDER: I second that motion.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR PEELER: Motion seconded.

Any other discussion?

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

Thank you.
MR. WHITTLE: Thank you.

***

Motion Adopted

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Senate agreed to stand adjourned.

MOTION ADOPTED

On motion of Senator SETZLER, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Mr. James Moore Kirby of Columbia, S.C. James served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He attended Gardner Webb College and transferred to Mercer University before becoming an FBI agent. He later became the Deputy Director of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. James was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he was an Elder Emeritus and Chief Greeter. James was a loving father and devoted friend who will be dearly missed.

ADJOURNMENT

At 3:36 P.M., on motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Senate adjourned to meet tomorrow at 12:00 Noon.

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