[Updated (2/10/2015, 4:48 p.m.) with comment from the university’s Facebook page.]
A legislative panel has voted to temporarily shut down the financially beleaguered South Carolina State University, the state’s only public historically black institution, reports The State, a newspaper in Columbia.
Under the proposal, which still requires approval from the state’s House of Representatives and Senate to take effect, the institution’s trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff would all be fired. Students with grade-point averages of 2.5 and above would be eligible for scholarships to other state colleges or historically black colleges for the years the institution would be closed—2015-16 and 2016-17.
Lawmakers were apparently frustrated by the college’s request for money from the state to cover outstanding debt and declining enrollment. “We are looking at a bankrupt institution,” said James H. Merrill, a Republican lawmaker and head of the budget panel that approved the measure. “No one takes any pleasure in recommending this.”
The university posted on its Facebook page that the administration and college supporters were fighting to kill the measure.
Under the proposal, South Carolina would assume responsibility for the university’s debt.