Elzey earned $50,000 with evaluation

2014-07-07T00:45:00Z Elzey earned $50,000 with evaluation The Times and Democrat

South Carolina State University President Thomas Elzey’s satisfactory evaluation from trustees earned him a $50,000 bonus for his work.

Elzey’s contract states that, “you are entitled to an annual contribution to a qualified annuity or other deferred compensation plan ... contingent upon a satisfactory performance evaluation as determined by the board.” It’s to be paid no later than June 30.

Trustees gave him a satisfactory evaluation for his past year’s performance by a vote of 8-1 last month. Vice President for External Affairs and Communications Sonja Bennett says that the Advancement Foundation is the source of the funds. But she said she couldn’t confirm whether the payment has been made.

Trustee Tony Grant, who cast the only dissenting vote to Elzey’s evaluation, said that when the board approved Elzey’s performance review, it also approved paying him the $50,000 bonus.

“He did get satisfactory, so it was supposed to happen,” Grant said. “But I don’t know if it’s been paid. I don’t know where it’s coming from because we don’t have no money.”

Trustees have not yet approved a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, but are considering closing Felton Laboratory School and making other cuts.

Bob Waldrep, whose term as trustee ended on June 30, voted to give Elzey a satisfactory rating. He noted the bonus “was not in our budget.”

According to Waldrep, the bonus did not come up in discussions about the evaluation.

The board was divided over the issue, and some members really wanted to give him an unsatisfactory rating, Waldrep said. No one seemed to be thinking about the money.

Waldrep said he knew the bonus was in the contract, but “it wasn’t on my mind. It was on my mind to keep our president.”

Grant said he doesn’t think Elzey has earned the extra money.

“I think we’ve got more chaos under his leadership,” Grant said. “I voted unsatisfactory because I think there are too many issues involved.”

The T&D could not reach Elzey for comment because he was on vacation.

Elzey’s contract, dated May 22, 2013, gave him a base annual salary of $170,000 to be paid by the university.

It also stated that he would receive an additional $110,000 annually from the S.C. State Advancement Foundation. However, The T&D has learned that the Advancement Foundation raised the compensation it’s paying Elzey to $132,000.

Emails exchanged in November 2013 between Advancement Foundation Chairman Charlton L. Whipple and officials at the S.C. Budget and Control state that the “actual supplement being provided to President Elzey from the SC State Advancement Foundation for this fiscal year is $132,000 payable in quarterly installments.”

The T&D received copies of the emails from the Agency Head Salary Commission in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

At least $110,000 of Elzey’s compensation through the Advancement Foundation is from an anonymous donor.

The T&D tried to learn who the donor is through FOIA requests to the Agency Head Salary Commission, S.C. State University and the Advancement Foundation. All the entities replied that the donor was anonymous.

The university’s general counsel said the compensation is funded directly to the foundation “through a donor who is anonymous to the President.”

Whipple refused to provide the information to the S.C. State Board of Trustees in a letter dated March 12, 2014. He stated that the Advancement Foundation is not a public body and not subject to the FOIA requests. He also noted that FOIA allows private donors.

Elzey’s payment package also includes a $25,000 annual housing allowance and $1,593 for country club membership dues.

Contact the writer: dlinder-altman@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5529.

Contact the writer: 803-533-5529

Copyright 2014 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(28) Comments

  1. fhsmct
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    fhsmct - July 09, 2014 4:12 am
    and, the FACT remains, a few years back, he DID turn down, give back, whatever you want to call it, a contractually scheduled and due pay raise/bonus! AND Lift a Dog is not in anyway lining his pockets. It;s merely giving our kids the same advantage (summer school so they can take a ligbhter load during season, summer workouts under strenght.conditioning coach supervision, etc, etc).

    Then, again, why confuse a n argument with "facts"?
  2. fhsmct
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    fhsmct - July 09, 2014 4:08 am
    a. Did you read the recent T&D article which factually highlighted Pough's win/lose record? One losing season in 13, always "in the hunt" for the conf championship, and, what it didn;t point out was a commendable graduation rate.
    b. By most standards, his pay is not that high. We're getting a hell of a return for what we pay him and how low we pay his assistants (a major reason so many move on to other schools). . .
  3. iDog76
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    iDog76 - July 08, 2014 6:42 pm
    Progress agrees with me. Wow! If Elzey is on vacation, we'll see what he does when he returns.
  4. ProgressforSCState
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    ProgressforSCState - July 08, 2014 4:56 pm
    Hannibal, if I didn't know better, I would think you were me. Great comments.
  5. ProgressforSCState
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    ProgressforSCState - July 08, 2014 4:55 pm
    Idog, I concur. I don't know why Elzey would not think it would not be in his best interest to donate the bonus to the Foundation. It's the right thing to do. To do anything different would be another PR nightmare for him.
  6. iDog76
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    iDog76 - July 08, 2014 11:23 am
    Good points Hannibal. Let Elzey start with the $50k as a gift. That's at least five in-state full semester scholarships.
  7. Hannibal
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    Hannibal - July 08, 2014 10:22 am
    what would that do to improve corporate giving to the university? Sure couldn't hurt, they would see an investment from those who have benefited from SCUS.Tthis problem can be corrected but not without the help of the community,EVERY graduate,legislators,BOT and corporations. It won't be easy but it sure will be worth it not to see the doors close because there are still young people who desire the HBCU experience and want to attend SCSU.
  8. Hannibal
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    Hannibal - July 08, 2014 10:15 am
    think of what that would do to assist funding sources with feeling better about contributing to SCSU. Recent scandals and trails haven't helped the situation but, I believe empowering the president, BOT operating within their assigned roles and doing away with established unproductive practices will help right the ship at SCSU. Won't happen overnight but it can be done but it's going to take EVERY graduate, staff person,BOT, legislator and corporation to help it get done.#itsagooddaytogetstarted
  9. Hannibal
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    Hannibal - July 08, 2014 10:08 am
    the problems at SCSU will remain. Just because you've worked there for years, are from Oburg, family legacy etc. doesn't mean you are qualified for the job, doesn't mean you have the best interest of the students at heart. It simply means you feel entitled to continue being a part of the problem. Never seen anything like this in all of my life but Oburg has a monopoly on the spirit of entitlement when it comes to SCSU and what it should do for the individual. If all of the alumni paid $30 a year
  10. Hannibal
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    Hannibal - July 08, 2014 10:05 am
    So tired of people heaping the blame on Elzey who just got to the campus. He isn't GOD, he can't blink and make it right over night. These issues have been here for more than the 23 years I've lived in Oburg. HBCU's have $ issues that's a fact, Grambling, Howard,Voorhees just to name a few SCSU isn't alone. The alumni would be better served to empower Elzey than to have him pick up and leave tomorrow. Who would come now? Warrick? Until the president is given the authority to remove the cancers
  11. Hannibal
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    Hannibal - July 08, 2014 10:01 am
    First let's acknowledge that Elzey didn't create the problems currently faced, he inherited them! The BOT is responsible for crafting his contract not him therefore if you are angry about his bonus be angry at the BOT not Elzey. Obviously he met the conditions outlined in his contract therefore he is due the bonus. Was it right to give incentives in his contract knowing the state of affairs as the BOT should've known, probably not. But they did and now they have to pay up. Bet he's sorry he came
  12. Praying for Change
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    Praying for Change - July 07, 2014 11:51 pm
    This is just so silly! A driver, a security detail, fancy cars --- but can't pay the schools utility bill or the food vendors - just to mention a few! Mr. Elzey, is your wife on payroll as well - the school's payroll or Advancent Foundation? Just dumb and so embarrassing!
  13. allrit
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    allrit - July 07, 2014 9:02 pm
    No money, can't pay their bills and they run this place in the ground and they get a bonus. •Unbelievable•
    SHUT IT DOWN, save the tax payers money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. getreal
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    getreal - July 07, 2014 8:57 pm
    Hard to believe that there is NO MONEY, NO BUDGET, and the board gives the president $ 50,000 bonus. Really? And he is begging the governor for money to pay their bills? Come on people.
  15. medicmom72
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    medicmom72 - July 07, 2014 5:16 pm
    Holy cow, the stupidity never ends with these rats who run SCSU.
  16. iDog76
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    iDog76 - July 07, 2014 5:00 pm
    Poor Grambling.
  17. allrit
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    allrit - July 07, 2014 4:54 pm
    UNBELIEVABLE
  18. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - July 07, 2014 4:48 pm
    So...and yeah I know Warrick.
  19. iDog76
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    iDog76 - July 07, 2014 4:47 pm
    Bonus - 1. Something given or paid over and above what is due.

    Satisfactory = Bonus at SCSU. #thatisall
  20. SCGuardian
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    SCGuardian - July 07, 2014 3:06 pm
    Did you know Warrick? I dare say not! Her intentions were to make a name for herself before she departed. Now her speed-boating is coming back to haunt SCSU with costly work that is needed. That work is in the new Engineering and Computer Science Complex. She forced the move in before the building was ready so that she could take the fanfare before she left. Guess where the money is coming from and it isn't from any Contractor? They got their pay early and left.
  21. Not Surprised at all
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    Not Surprised at all - July 07, 2014 1:59 pm
    Coach Pough should not have to give up any money and the lining his pocket comment? Doubtful. Let's keep this in perspective. The football team has a winning tradition overall and Coach Pough's hard work and dedication as their leader should be rewarded. What we are NOT going to do is compare him to Elzey and the bonus that he is slated to receive.. Please don't sit back and think that all College Coaches contracts aren't incentivized because they are.
  22. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - July 07, 2014 1:20 pm
    50 Gs for a C average work performance. We are on probation right? hat would he have got if 6,000 freshman would have applied. He got 50 Gs to beg Haley which is what Dr. Warrick did. Did she get a bonus? But she is hired by Grambling so she knows her stuff. I don't know what to say. Moving on to the sports page.
  23. The Watcher
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    The Watcher - July 07, 2014 9:52 am
    Buddy Pough has never given up any money. It's in his contract that when he has a fundraiser he get a percentage. So when lift a bulldog your lining his pocket. President got his bonus for doing his job. The only thing I can tell him is becareful of who is in his ear. Some people you are surrounded by are crooks themselves. Like his security detail. You know you can't collect debt in SC using the color of law enforcement.
  24. ccpsinsider
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    ccpsinsider - July 07, 2014 8:57 am
    Show me the money!!!!
  25. SCGuardian
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    SCGuardian - July 07, 2014 8:35 am
    Why didn't he give up more since his pay is so high. We need winners and more wins to qualify for any bonus money or a pay raise.
  26. SCGuardian
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    SCGuardian - July 07, 2014 8:30 am
    Don't be so sure that this "bonus" isn't from our Funds. Exactly whoooo donated the money and where did it come from? Give the BOT, for not giving us a workable budget, a minus (-) 10 vote.

    He got that money from those he fired and it is a slap in the face for the little people that work or worked here.
  27. fhsmct
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    fhsmct - July 07, 2014 7:47 am
    Wanna make a statement: donate it to the school's General Fund. I do believe, a few years ago, Coach Pough gave up a contractually mandated bonus/pay raise . . .
  28. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - July 07, 2014 5:16 am
    Tony grant is a Pinson guy. No surprise he voted against the evaluation.

    As long as that bonus was contractually agreed to and isn't tax payer funded, I could care less.
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