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higher education

  • South Carolina State University has decided to keep its acting president as its temporary leader as a search continues for a permanent replacement. University trustees voted 12-1 on Wednesday to change Alexander Conyers' title from "acting president" to "interim president." Trustees chairman Rodney Jenkins says Conyers has shown formidable leadership skills since taking over in July after former President James Clark was fired.
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a mask mandate instituted by the University of South Carolina last month doesn't violate a state budget proviso. University officials withdrew the rule requiring masks inside campus buildings earlier this month after state Attorney General Alan Wilson opined that the mandate was "likely not consistent with the intent of the Legislature." Wilson cited a budget proviso that the high court has now interpreted to mean public universities and colleges can't enforce a mask mandate that only applies to the unvaccinated.
  • South Carolina State University is delaying fall classes by three days to give students more time to get vaccinated as COVID cases spike across the state. The Orangeburg-based historically black college and university says classes scheduled to start Wednesday for the fall semester will be pushed to next Monday.
  • Free tuition, Apple products and coveted tickets to this year's Carolina vs. Clemson game are among prizes the University of South Carolina is offering to campus members who get vaccinated against COVID-19. Interim University President and trained epidemiologist Harris Pastides announced the weekly prize giveaway Wednesday as part of a "vigorous vaccination campaign."
  • A small historically Black college in Rock Hill, SC, is offering all full-time students free tuition for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. Clinton College President Lester McCorn made the announcement last week for qualifying full-time students at the school in Rock Hill. News outlets report the school had already made the commitment to slash fall tuition by 50% for its students, and offer every student a new tablet. But now the college is making tuition free as the school wants to make sure their students get a college education despite financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Mike Switzer interviews Cory Cooper, engineering instructor in the CTE program at May River High School in Bluffton, SC.
  • Mike Switzer interviews Cory Cooper, engineering instructor in the CTE program at May River High School in Bluffton, SC.
  • The state's top prosecutor says the University of South Carolina can't lawfully require students and staff to wear face coverings on campus this fall, despite increasing cases of coronavirus, thanks to recent legislative action. University officials said last week they would require "face coverings to be worn at all times inside all campus buildings" except dorms, private offices or dining halls.
  • The University of South Carolina is requiring students to wear masks indoors this fall as the spread of COVID-19 has sped up across the state. School officials said Friday that masks are again required inside campus buildings given Richland County's high coronavirus transmission rate. The announcement follows recently updated federal guidance that calls for mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status in areas where the delta variant is rapidly spreading.
  • 64-year-old Converse University President Jeffrey Barker was killed Wednesday evening when his bicycle ran off a Spartanburg street. Barker worked at Converse University for 20 years and planned to retire as provost in 2021. But school leaders convinced him to stay on as president after the previous leader left for a different school. He took over at the beginning of July.