SCSU: High stakes, high endeavors (Editorial)

Friday, July 26, 2002

By Maurice Washington
Reprinted from The Times and Democrat
Friday, July 26, 2002, Editorial, Page 6B

As the South Carolina State University National Alumni Association (SCSUNAA) convenes in Orangeburg, it is a very good time to share insights from the SCSU Board of Trustees' perspective, to solicit support for the University and Interim President Ernest A. Finney, Jr. in his new role, and to set a course with strategy for STATE to advance the 1890 land-grant University, the city of Orangeburg, the state of South Carolina, and the nation.

It is first an honor and privilege that my fellow colleagues elected me as Chairman of the SCSU Board of Trustees, placing faith and confidence in my ability to lead. That faith and confidence I pledge to use purposefully and insightfully to serve SC State well. Likewise, every member of the current SCSU Board of Trustees has committed to the powers vested in his election to "provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly," in accordance with the SCSU Board of Trustees Bylaws.

It is also very timely and appropriate that this year's SCSUNAA Convention is held at home on the 160 acres of the SC State groves and classic halls and billed as  an "INAUGURAL STAKEHOLDERS FORUM," with a theme, "Focusing on the Future: Where Do We Go From Here?"

One specific insight that seems almost obvious is the harmony and accord with which the Board and the SCSUNAA share about the "high stakes we hold" for SC State. That is a major concern for my fellow colleagues. It is true that Trustees are focusing on the future and the direction of this great school. That future and that direction require this Board to deliberate carefully on matters and concerns that will impact South Carolina State University.

In his press release on July 16, 2002 relative to the U.S. Senate passage of Corporate Governance Legislation and in the advent of corporate management nationally, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paul H. O'Neill noted that the House of Representatives had also shown "its commitment to improving disclosure, holding corporate officers accountable and protecting investors." And just prior on June 27, 2002, Secretary O'Neill talking about the statutory debt ceiling remarked that "They [the House] stood up for the soundness and strength of the American economy and preserved the full faith and...