Board of Trustees meets for final time in 2020

The university’s Board of Trustees met Tuesday (Dec. 15), as well as several board committees. Here’s a rundown of actions the board took.

Academic programs added, modified

The Academic Excellence and Student Experience committee recommended, and the full board approved, the addition of the following degree programs:

  • B.S. in Music Industry Studies
  • B.A. in Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  • M.A. Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  • M.S.N. in Nurse Education
  • Certificate of Graduate Studies in Nursing Education
  • Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Informatics
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering Dual Degree
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Dual Degree
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering Dual Degree
  • M.P.H. Dual Degree with Nanjing Medical University
  • M.H.A. Dual Degree with Nanjing Medical University
  • 100 percent online delivery of the B.S. in Integrated Information Technology
  • 100 percent online delivery of the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies

Program modifications to the M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology, M.Ed. and M.A.T. in Special Education; an M.B.A./Pharm.D. combination degree and M.D. degree were approved, as well as the name changes for the Accelerated MBA to the one-year MBA; the Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Library and Information Science to the Certificate in Specialized Study in Information Science; and the establishment of the new Cardiovascular Translational Research Center.

Board approves contracts, leases and resolutions

The Governance committee, followed by the full board, approved a lease between the USC Development Foundation and the School of Music for the rental of Greene Street United Methodist Church at 1100 Greene St., and a lease between USC Educational Foundation and the College of Engineering and Computing for the property at 1000 Catawba St. that serves as the McNair Center labs.

The following contracts were also approved:

  • a new agreement with Pepsi Beverage Co. to be the primary beverage supplier for the bookstore and dining operations through 2023, which does not cover vending machines on campus or pouring rights at athletic facilities;
  • the transfer of insurance money from the university to the USC Educational Foundation to complete the demolition of Pritchard's Island Research Facility;
  • a rental agreement with Holiday Inn for 90 rooms from Dec. 30 through March 1 to be used for potential quarantine and isolation of students who test positive or have been exposed to COVID-19;
  • a visiting student agreement between Lady Margaret Hall College at the University of Oxford and the Darla Moore School of Business in which two international business students per year will study at Oxford;
  • the purchase of two pieces of equipment for the diagnostic genomic laboratory in the College of Pharmacy from Illumina for the purpose of SAFE testing;
  • a memorandum of understanding between Lexington County School District 1 and the College of Education to help address the shortage of principals and administrators, in which the university will offer the M.Ed. in Educational Administration to qualified teachers and the school district will pay a flat fee for a cohort of 20 participants;
  • a rental agreement between the National Resource Center First Year Experience and Students in Transition and the Hyatt Regency Seattle, which moves the previously approved 2021 conference to 2026 due to COVID-19 cancellations;
  • a gift agreement for the University Libraries in which John and Margaret Downs donate a collection of more than 400 memorabilia items, including 26 guitars, from the rock band KISS to enhance the Libraries’ popular music collections;
  • an amendment in the Charles S. and Donna H. Bryan Health Science Library Gift Naming Agreement to allow for cessation of payments until ground is broken if construction on the health sciences facility at Bull Street hasn’t begun by 2024
  • a gift agreement between Joey Rose, LLC and Gamecock Athletics, which includes the donation of a horse named Cracker Jack for the equestrian team to use in competition;
  • 10 Architectural Services Indefinite Quantity Contracts for professional services to provide planning and design services on a strictly controlled, when-requested and as-needed basis from Boudreaux Group, FWA Group, Garvin Design Group, Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood (GMC), GMK Associates, Inc., Jumper Carter Sease, POND, Quackenbush Architects + Planners, Stevens & Wilkinson, and Watson Tate Savory;
  • a five-year employment contract for the hiring of new head football coach Shane Beamer.

The committee and full board also adopted a U.S. Department of Energy resolution that excludes all the members of the Board of Trustees except the chair and vice-chair from completing security clearance requirements related to a project at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant, which also excludes them from receiving classified information.

Additional board actions

During the course of the meeting, the Board of Trustees took action on a slate of items. They approved minutes from committee and full board meetings in 2020, the Finance and Infrastructure committee agenda from Nov. 13, and updated mission statements from USC Aiken, USC Beaufort and USC Upstate. Approval was also granted for the implementation of fines for student non-compliance with the spring 2021 required testing program.

The board further approved personnel matters related to honorary academic titles, and tenure and promotion, as well as changes to the Faculty Manual to clarify the language around the inclusion of faculty in university budget committees.

Trustee Richard A. Jones Jr. was elected to the South Carolina Research Foundation, and Jeff Spears was elected to the unexpired term in the second judicial district of the university’s Board of Visitors.

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