Senator sets hearing on S.C. State University

2012-04-04T04:30:00Z 2013-03-27T18:30:55Z Senator sets hearing on S.C. State UniversityBy DALE LINDER-ALTMAN, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat

Another lawmaker says he wants to draft a bill to fix problems at South Carolina State University.

Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, says he plans to hold a public hearing on April 12 to hear what teachers, students, parents and others have to say about the issue. A time and place have not been set, although Ford said it will be held at the university.

“We want to hear what the stakeholders want before drawing up a bill to suit the needs of a new S.C. State — one that is dedicated to one sole purpose, that is the education of the students,” Ford said. “We want people to know there’s going to be a new S.C. State, a new board and definitely a new attitude.”

Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, has already introduced a bill that would end the terms of all trustees on June 30. Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, has introduced one that would eliminate particular seats.

Ford says he doesn’t support Matthews’ bill, which would unseat trustees Maurice Washington, Walt Tobin, Jonathan Pinson and Lancelot Wright and would end the terms of Gail Joyner-Fleming and John Corbitt on June 30.

Some of those members are courageous enough to stand up against people who would take advantage of the university, Ford said.

Ford said he’d like to see some changes to Govan’s bill, which also would reduce the number of trustees from 13 to 11.

Unlike Govan, Ford says he doesn’t want to force all the trustees out, but he does think the board needs a new beginning.

“I want all the board members to resign,” he said. “Then we can have a new election and they can run again. I’m sure the General Assembly now realizes what type of people need to be on the board, and will select the board members who deserve to be there – the ones who are willing to understand this is a whole new day and a new S.C. State, and we’ll put them back on.”

Ford claims members of the establishment have controlled appointments to the board and have used the university for their own personal gain in the past.

“A lot of hanky-panky has been going on with the money, but the glory days are over,” he said.

Ford said, “We’ve got a brand-new broom, and we’re going to do a whole lot of sweeping till we sweep all those people up that destroy that school.”

Govan says he is open to new ideas from other stakeholders and he will be open to discussion with members of the Senate.

“Now, we’re focused on legislation as proposed in the House,” he said “We have always anticipated ... that there are other ideas. We have no problem with that.

“This is a free and open process, and we will weigh the merits of all ideas and find some common ground.”

The General Assembly was slated to elect trustees to two seats on the S.C. State Board of Trustees this session. The terms of at-large trustees Tobin and Lancelot Wright are up this year.

Tobin, Luther Seabrook, Thomas E. Persons Sr. and Clarence Davis are running for Seat 11

Joey Kenley, Jameel Allen, Clarence B. Mitchell, Bryanta Booker-Maxwell and Mae Frazier are running for Seat 12. Wright did not seek re-election.

Elections were delayed for S.C. State and other public colleges and universities because of discussions on how to deal with the additional congressional district, according to Sen. Jake Knotts. He heads the committee to screen candidates for state colleges and universities.

Knotts said he is unsure when the vote will take place.

“Hopefully, it will be this year,” he said. “But it may not take place until early next year.”

In that case, the trustees who are in place probably will continue to serve until the election, Knotts said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5529.

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. whathehe77
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    whathehe77 - April 07, 2012 9:53 pm
    Whathehe77 is even sadder is that they don't want to come together. They have not even talk to one another. Like I love to say I must have missed some points.

    @truthtella- EXACTLY on your 12:49 pm post.
  2. whathehe77
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    whathehe77 - April 07, 2012 9:40 pm
    Whathehe77, if two senators and one representative cannot sit down and compose a decent bill together, how can SCSU believe that what anyone of them say is for the benifit of the university? They are not showing unity among themselves. If the people who are responsible for choosing the BOT can not present a unified front then, as another poster said, " steven Wonder can see ..." why the BOT can not work together. Who should set the example for the board? I am just asking! Whathehe77!!!
  3. abattiste
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    abattiste - April 05, 2012 1:48 pm
    Based on past performances, Ford is not capable of logically thinking for himself. At one time he and Maurice were at odds, then they must have figured they needed each other. However, the people in his district deserve better and the folks at SCSU don't need his input. We need to let the folks in the legislature, who know what they are talking about, make the decisions. Then, we can move on.
  4. supporter
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    supporter - April 05, 2012 7:53 am
    Isn't Ford up for re-election? Does he have opposition? Will "fixing" SCSU in Orangeburg help him with his district in Charleston? I am wondering if he ever called a conference at the College of Charleston or the Citadel? Those schools have issues too. The people he is elected to represent must feel cheated? Since Ford is not the sharpest knife in the draw, I wonder who put him up to this. The clues are all over the place. Ford needs to think for himself.
  5. abattiste
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    abattiste - April 05, 2012 12:17 am
    I have very serious problems with Ford's credibility. He was one of those who kept saying that money was missing. I know that he wants to keep Maurice on the BOT. If you keep Maurice on the BOT then nothing has changed. You throw out the good apples and keep the rotten one. The Senate will probably come up with a bill and then they talk to the House and that is where compromise comes in. We don't need to send another new president into the lion's den.
  6. economic hawk
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    economic hawk - April 04, 2012 10:18 pm
    Senator Ford...Yes, you have a better idea...I would watch what Senator Matthews would want...this has been a honey hole for him for years...If Matthews goes left...Please go right...It is time for the real culprits to come out...Oh, and yes, restitution is a must...Thank you Senator Ford...
  7. supporter
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    supporter - April 04, 2012 7:47 pm
    I will start listening to Ford after he explains why he took the financial contribution of New York millionaire Howard Rich who supports tuition tax credits for parents to send their children to private, clearing taking away funding for the public school system. He needs to start his so called conference at SCSU with explaining that move before he gets into matters that he knows less about. A suitable explanation may restore credibility. Otherwise, he will be discounted as a trouble maker.
  8. Bunny
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    Bunny - April 04, 2012 1:18 pm
    Why can't all the Senators and SC Representatives get on one page. Instead of Matthews bill wanting to keep his spy
    P. Lott and Ford wanting to keep M. Washington. Govan's bill was first and it what SC State University needs at this time. Replace the entire BOT. P. Lott tells her friend Gloria Pyles all of the BOT Executive Committee business and Gloria spread the word..........
  9. truthtella
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    truthtella - April 04, 2012 12:49 pm
    there is good and bad to Ford, matthews, and govans bill. whats sad is that they would offer 3 competing bills instead of getting together, working out differences, and coming forward with one bill with all their support.
  10. 2ndGenerationBulldog
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    2ndGenerationBulldog - April 04, 2012 11:54 am
    Chris' Cloths... we don't always agree... but we agree on this...
  11. truthtella
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    truthtella - April 04, 2012 10:53 am
    I do agree with having the meeting on campus. it should be in the oldest, most run down building we have. that way all these legislators who want to be involved can see what their inaction and politics has left our students.
  12. truthtella
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    truthtella - April 04, 2012 10:50 am
    I think there is logic to not cutting everyone. Tony Grant is a well respected businesman. he isnt under investigation and he didnt vote to bring Cooper back. he wasnt on the board then. so what has he done to warrant being removed?

    good point about Ford and Washington being friends.

    Grant and Johnson havent really been involved in the mess. Id have no issue with them staying, or being allowed to reapply.
  13. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - April 04, 2012 10:26 am
    I disagree with the senator. He wants to keep Maurice Washington because that's his homeboy. I perfer Mr. Govan's policy of ripping the entire board in totality. Mr. Govan is an SCSU grad as I am, so our passion and admiration for SC State is higher than most people.Mr. Govan is also a congressional mind representing Orangeburg, which qualifies his credentials to know what the Orangeburg community needs and wants.Maurice could have ask the senator to do this. Public Enemy-Can't Trust It.
    Report Abuse
    I_LUV_OBURG - April 04, 2012 10:14 am
    Sen. Ford, it would be nice if you had your meeting at a neutral location. The university has been a media circus for too long. And what sense does it make to have them resign and then let them run again? Thats like saying Cooper resigned but he's gonna reapply for the president's position. I commend Rep. Govan for taking the approach he's taking.
  15. truthtella
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    truthtella - April 04, 2012 9:18 am
    I think that time should be taken to make the right decisions. There will be indictments to some trustees after Reggie Lloyds investigation is handed to the FBI. Once that happens and we see if Pinson, Wright, and other trustees get those indictments and are forced to resign, then make what changes need to be made. in the meantime, get input from all involved.
  16. truthtella
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    truthtella - April 04, 2012 8:45 am
    Finally some logic. Listen to people. Don't rush.
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