SC State President Looking Forward

Monday, December 1, 2008

Four months after taking the helm at SC State University, President George Cooper has set his sights on the future, pinpointing crucial priorities and major goals.

Cooper sat down with the Business Journal on Monday (11-24-08) to discuss his vision and where SC State is heading.

As state budget cuts continue to grow, the University is looking to alternative sources of funding, such as fundraising and alumni giving.

“We have to find ways of leveraging our resources,” Cooper said. To that end, he has been meeting with alumni and potential partners for the past several months to lay the groundwork.

Cooper said another priority is to cut through the red tape in the state procurement process that has stalled construction of the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center.

But despite some tumult at S.C. State involving Andrew Hugine, whom Cooper replaced, Cooper said major progress and achievements have also come out of the university.

Washington Monthly magazine ranked the school the No. 1 University for social mobility. Cooper said half of the school’s students come from families making less than $30,000 a year and 30% come from families making less than $20,000 a year; but the university prepares them to move up and out.

“Our graduates stand shoulder to shoulder with graduates of any university in the United States,” he said.
Cooper also cites that the university has the nation’s only nuclear engineering program to be accredited in the past 10 years.