The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Pastides Wants More Money for USC Railroad

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In a move that should have surprised no one, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said Monday that when the economy improves he will ask the General Assembly for more money for the university.

Pastides, in a talk to the Columbia Rotary Club, said South Carolina now ranks last, with Arizona, in state taxpayer support of higher education, according to The State newspaper, adding that only 15 percent of USC’s funding now comes from state money.

“That’s no way to run a railroad,” he told the group.

No, it certainly isn’t any way to run a railroad – at least a profitable private one – as few railroads get 15 percent of their operating capital from state coffers. And willy-nilly expansion, operating with little to no accountability and pumping money into the rail equivalent of Innovista are also no way to run a railroad.

In fact, were Pastides the chief executive of a railroad and operated it as he does the University of South Carolina, he’d likely be run out of town on a rail by the company’s board of directors.

Pastides said legislatures in states that have successful universities, vibrant economies and educated populaces usually contribute far more money to their institutions of higher education than South Carolina.

But the fact is, if USC is in such difficult straits perhaps it should consider what other organizations do in difficult times, namely pull in their horns and concentrate on core areas, rather than expanding like kudzu on crack. Marshalling resources would enable USC to focus on its strengths, rather than spreading itself too thin.

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Written by Cotton Boll Conspiracy

December 2, 2009 at 9:44 am

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