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SC News

SC State Fires University President After Enrollment Drop

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James E. Clark
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James E. Clark

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina State University's board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to oust James Clark as president.

The firing followed complaints by alumni and faculty that Clark had failed to turn around a significant drop in enrollment over the course of his contract, The State newspaper in Columbia reported.

Enrollment declined 43% from 2011 to 2019, according to the state Commission on Higher Education.

Clark is a former member of the university's board and became president of the historically Black university in 2016.

The university had faced financial troubles before Clark was hired. In 2015, the Legislature and then-Gov. Nikki Haley fired the entire board of trustees because of mounting debt and financial mismanagement that put the university's accreditation on probation.

The trustees have tapped Alexander Conyers, a retired U.S. Army colonel and vice president at S.C. State, to serve as interim president.