The Daily Gamecock

Board of trustees discuss member removal policies, 650 Lincoln to partially become freshmen housing

Interim President Harris Pastides speaks at the Fall 2021 Board of Trustees Retreat in the Pastides Alumni Center.
Interim President Harris Pastides speaks at the Fall 2021 Board of Trustees Retreat in the Pastides Alumni Center.

The university’s board of trustees discussed potential new procedures for the removal of board members at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Current board policy as well as state law gives the state General Assembly the power to impeach and remove board members. State law also gives the governor the authority to do so “when state constitutional provisions are not applicable,” according to Walter Parham, general counsel and executive director of Compliance Programs. 

A new addition to the removal procedures gives any board member “reasonable notice of the allegations” the member is facing removal for, according to Parham. The addition also gives the member an opportunity to respond to the allegations before a vote is held.  

“This policy would also address whether or not we, or when do we go to the state government, to the governor, and say ‘we believe this individual should be removed,’” Vice Chairman of the Board Thad Westbrook said.

The board requests the removal of a member after a two-thirds vote, which would currently require 14 votes, according to Parham. 

Separately, a new addition was added to procedures allowing the board to publicly sanction a board member. 

Parham said a sanction would also require a two-thirds vote. He said sanctions would not remove members from attending meetings. 

“As elected members by the General Assembly you’ve got a right to be a board member, you’ve got a right to come to meetings,” Parham said.  

Behaviors that may result in sanctions include “significant misconduct” that paints the university in a bad light or violates the board’s code of conduct, according to Parham.  

Parham also announced that USC’s housing office will take control of the some of the housing at 650 Lincoln, allowing freshmen to be housed there. The 650 Lincoln will be owned by an LLC operating in conjunction with student housing. 

650 Lincoln will open up 881 beds for on-campus housing, according to Parham. 

“That is needed because in order to deal with the number of freshman students we are expecting on an annual basis,” Parham said. 

University Athletic Director Ray Tanner briefed the board meeting on the NCAA v. Alston case, a Supreme Court ruling on limits to benefits and rewards institutions like USC can provide student athletes. 

“Any type of material a professor requires, anything that has to do with academics, that's not — any particular item, we can now provide that, at our cost, no limits,” Tanner said, regarding the court ruling. 

Tanner said schools will be limited to cash values of $5,980 per athlete, which adds up to a total of “almost 3.4 million dollars” across all of USC’s current rosters. 

Interim university President Harris Pastides said search committees had been launched for a new university provost and a vice president for research. 

Pastides said the committees would work in tandem with the presidential search committee. 

“It’s our goal to have a great group of finalists prepared for (the board’s) president-elect to be able to interview them and hopefully select the next provost of the university,” Pastides said. 

-Tyler Fedor contributed to reporting in this article.