South Carolina State University
Wednesday 25 August 2021
ORANGEBOURG, South Carolina –South Carolina State University’s board of trustees on Wednesday named retired U.S. Army Col. Alexander Conyers interim president of the university.
TConyers, a SC State alumnus who joined his alma mater as vice president for strategic alliances and initiatives in May, had been acting president since July 13.
âSince the appointment of President Conyers, he has proven to be a tremendous leader as the university makes this very critical transition,â said Chairman of the Board Rodney Jenkins. âHe focused heavily on the success of our students. “
Jenkins highlighted the positive images in the news media of Conyers’ engagements with students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. The president said the enhancement of SC State’s image has fueled Conyers’ initiatives to increase enrollment, gain financial support and gain buy-in from various university constituents.
âI believe this decision positions Mr. Conyers as a leader whom the board supports and entrusts to him to execute the strategic vision of the university, not just as a temporary placeholder; but as a leader who is on this journey for as long as the board sees fit, âJenkins said.
The board voted 12-1 to change Conyers’ status from interim to interim president.
Conyers thanked the board for entrusting him with the leadership of the university and reiterated their commitment to helping more students succeed at SC State.
âOur administrators, faculty, staff, alumni and I share a common desire for SC State to reach new heights in service to our families,â said Conyers. âHaving the board’s support for our core mission makes all the difference in growing the next generation of academics, leaders and influencers. “
One of Conyers’ first initiatives as interim president was to clear the delinquent account balances of some 2,500 continuing students using federal COVID-19 relief funds. The move was intended to ease the financial burden on students who had been unable to return to the state of SC due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in the return of over 320 students for the current semester, with additional returns expected in the Spring and Fall 2022 terms.
âWe must do everything in our power to reduce the barriers that stand in the way of student enrollment and support while they are in our care,â said Conyers. “We are committed to challenging their minds and setting them on the path to a fruitful life.”
Jenkins said having Conyers in place as interim chairman would allow the board to embark on a deep and integrated process of selecting a permanent chairman.
“Having an interim president is a sign of stability and permanence that allays the concerns of external voters and potential supporters who would rather do business and build relationships with a leader who they believe will be ‘there’ for the university. in the short term and for the possible in the long term, âJenkins said.