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Published on November 21st, 2020 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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SC State Final Approval on President’s Contract

Board seals deal for James E. Clark to lead the university for another two to four years

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The SC State University board of trustees unanimously approved the terms of the contract offered to university President James E. Clark. The vote came Friday during a special board meeting held via teleconference. The contract was signed by Clark and Board Chairman Rodney C. Jenkins.

“The board values its working relationship with President Clark and this administration,” said Jenkins. “We are committed to working together and supporting this president so that we can complete our mission to make SC State University the best it can be. It’s so important that we keep our institution strong because SC State is the way forward for so many students who might otherwise not go to college.”

The contract negotiated by Clark and the board members includes a two-year term with an option to extend for an additional two years based on Clark’s achievement of a set of performance benchmarks that align with the university’s strategic plan.

Clark will receive an annual salary of $195,000, as set by the State of South Carolina, plus benefits, including health and life insurance, annual leave, sick leave and an automobile. The university will also provide $50,000 in a discretionary fund for the president’s use in cultivating business and community partnerships, tickets to university athletic events and $25,000 to renovate certain university spaces. Clark’s contract term ends in June of 2022, however, the president and board will meet in January of 2022 to discuss an extension of the contract.

Clark was named the university’s 12th president in 2016 after serving a one-year stint on a seven-member interim board appointed by the South Carolina legislature.

“President Clark’s passion for this university has not waivered since his first day of service on the interim board,” said Donnie Shell, vice chairman of the board. “He carries that same energy and passion into his role as president, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

During his first four years at the helm, Clark has garnered financial contributions of some $100 million to the university from various sources. As president, he bolstered enrollment and averted a financial crisis that jeopardized the university’s accreditation by its governing body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He also led negotiations and authorized the construction of three multi-million dollar, federally-funded 1890 Research and Extension community facilities with no impact on the university’s budget.

“We have our sleeves already rolled up, and we are continuing the good work we started,” said Clark. “Expect some major announcements very soon that will have a major positive impact on our institution. There are so many exciting things on the horizon for SC State, despite the challenges we faced with the onset of a global pandemic. We are preparing to welcome students back for the spring semester, and we are working hard to make sure their experience is a stellar one.”

Founded in 1896 as a land grant institution with a mission of providing service to the citizens of the state, South Carolina State University has evolved from a small teachers’ college into a major University center of learning and research. Located in Orangeburg, S.C., South Carolina State offers more than 50 different fields of study on the undergraduate and graduate levels. South Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools.

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