Did you hear the GOOD news for South Carolina Higher Ed???

by Wes Wolfe

There’s not much of a payoff when it comes to sticking up for any sort of education, including higher education, in South Carolina. Of our political fields of battle, it’s one of the most commonly trod. But, there is good news, believe it or not. You may have heard earlier this week that USC’s Darla Moore School of Business was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the 15th consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report for international business undergraduate programs. Clemson claimed the No. 4 spot among “up-and-coming” universities, and Claflin placed No. 8 in historically black colleges and universities.

Carolina’s ranking isn’t just something nice to tack on the bulletin board. It shows that we have an important resource for economic prosperity right here. What is done with that potential can be debated, but it’s there. If the Gamecock football team finished in the top 10 every year for 15 years — much less No. 1 — the university, city and the state would be seeing significant returns on investment into the program. If we’re generating the best and the brightest undergrads in international business, let’s double-down on bringing that business here.

Clemson’s ranking was determined by academic leaders in higher education, in a list U.S. News describes as comprised of schools, “that are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life.” A number of schools in the list — No. 1 UMD-Baltimore County, No. 2 George Mason — are universities moving up from the “commuter school” ghetto. There are less obvious motivating factors for established schools like Clemson and other up-and-comers like Ohio State and Arizona State to make the same efforts. That’s all the more reason to celebrate that Clemson officials are taking steps to reach a higher standard.

And Claflin, the small Orangeburg private college, gets the attention not usually given to the school. You can likely name the top six HBCUs off the top of your head: Spelman, Howard, Morehouse, Hampton, Fisk and Tuskegee. Xavier University of Louisiana tied with Tuskegee and Fisk for fifth, with Claflin coming in next. That’s no small accomplishment. And it takes nothing away from Orangeburg neighbor S.C. State, which made its mark with a No. 15 ranking among HBCUs.

So, what do y’all think? Are these rankings a legitimate view of what appears to be the great potential of South Carolinians, or an indicator of something different?

Cromer Law Offices, LLC is proud to have guest blogger Wes Wolfe this week. He’s written for 11 publications in five states, and is the proprietor of The Five Points Flood.

Posted in Legal Advice

7 thoughts on “Did you hear the GOOD news for South Carolina Higher Ed???

  1. Ann on said:

    Amen! It seems that there is no end to the scholarships for athletes at my alma mater, USC, and I’m not sure that most of the athletes even appreciate them. At least, it’s not obvious given their behavior. And then there’s my niece who is in pharmacy school at USC with a 4.0 and doesn’t get the recognition or scholarships that the athletes do. How fair is that?

  2. Thomas on said:

    While USC does have a great school for international business, I doubt that it brings in more money than most of the more popular athletic teams. The football program alone brings in millions and millions of dollars to the school every year. We have hundreds of thousands of people showing up on campus just to watch a football game. That being said, I believe that education does take a back seat to other things when it comes to the media, but having this ranking does not go unnoticed, at least not by the people who benefit from the education.

  3. Pat Chisum on said:

    As proud as i am at our #1 ranking in international business program, I want to use this as an opportunity to prove a point. South Carolina’s economy is at par with many 3rd world countries. And like 3rd world countries, we are suffering from brain drain. One would think that having this program in state would be a great asset, but without in -state opportunities, the students come to get an education and take their knowledge to another state. The Brain drain happens at almost every level. South Carolina’s best and brightest leave the state to find opportunities else where. (Does it say something about me that i am still here?) Until politicians realize this, and promote economic development in this state, the brain drain will continue.

    Also, has everyone forgotten that Haley kicked Darla Moore off the board of trustees? Honestly, I thought her hooking up with Will Folks was a bad idea, but come one!

  4. Polly on said:

    Ann, I would say wou are generally correct, except for many of the female athletes. Im not getting into a males v females thing, but for years I have heard my father, a USC Prof sa how impressed he was with the classroom performance of his female athletes.

    Now: the real problem facing ALL of our instiutions of higher learning is what the Legislature and Governor have done to K-12 education. 16000 teachers out of work, including me. There won’t be any instate students qualified for any of these scholarships, or for admission to college. We as a state and as a nation are creating a nation of woefully undereducated and unprepared future workers.

  5. 8675309 on said:

    Hooray for SC HIGHER ED!!! Now, lets get rid of governmental regulation & red tape so that businesses can thrive in our state & those students will stay here & put their talents to work!

    As for K-12, the SC Legislature actually put more $ into that pot this year but our school districts didn’t see teachers and classrooms as their priorities – simple as that. The Legislature doesn’t decide what districts do with their $, the boards & administrators do! Can’t speak for all but sure haven’t seen my district protecting teachers & taking the hits at the top – actually seeing the opposite! As a teacher, I’d really appreciate an education system that valued the children, teachers & classrooms first and if there was anything left over, then put some into the smallest administration possible to get the job done. Just sayin’…

  6. Buford Pusser on said:

    athletics bring in the most and to narrow it even further, men’s football and basketball only…separate student/athlete because they are mutually exclusive…if the university is about education, athletics are the front porch.

    congrats to USC and Clemson, but if they really want to prosper and put out fine folks, they need to win.

  7. John on said:

    South Carolina should be proud of the college rankings with the major universities. Some of the other private institutions have been pumping out high rankings as well such as Wofford and Furman with many of these grads going off to graduate school without anyone wanting to look at transcripts. The best advice to give anyone in college right now is to STAY in school and get more education if they can afford to do so since the job market is horrid right now. New grads don’t stand a chance to land a position with the competition so great out there right now. One thing that bothers me is the lottery money seems to have been appropriated elsewhere and not in education as is was originally set up to be. If 100% of these funds were actually sent to education our kids would go to school with less financial burden since the state has reduced the amount they send to the colleges.

    One other thing that was bothered me is the reduction of scholarship money that is available to students. It seems that there is always plenty of money to fund athletic scholarships and for the elite it is just a short hop to the pros. My feeling is when a university signs a athlete he should sign a contract stating he/she will attend the university for 4 full years and graduate or else they should get the repayment of the scholarship written in their NFL contract to buy them out so to speak. This refund could be returned to the pot and in some instances the team could be self sufficient and not require additional funding thereby freeing up money to be used for academic scholarships. Just a thought, but when we hear talk about endorsements, agents and draft rankings on college juniors I think it would be prudent for the university to be refunded since the university won’t be making money with the draw of top performers “cam newton” types.

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