Message from SCICU President and CEO Jeff Perez –
When I share that I’m associated with SCICU, there are several questions that always seem to come up:
Q. How do you describe SCICU?
A. We celebrate independent higher education in South Carolina. We applaud the achievements of our campuses and their students and let as many people as we can know. We honor their work by striving to make higher education more accessible and affordable for South Carolina residents, and we provide opportunities for the campuses to collaborate and reproduce successful initiatives.
Q. Is SCICU a state agency?
A. No. SCICU is a private, not-for-profit organization that works on behalf of 20 private colleges and universities in South Carolina.
Q. Does SCICU oversee the campuses?
A. Absolutely not! We serve the campuses. We have no governance or regulatory authority over our member colleges and universities.
Q. Who governs SCICU?
A. SCICU is managed by a Board of Trustees, which includes the presidents of the 20 member institutions.
Q. What campuses can be members of SCICU?
A. There are four qualifications a campus must meet:
- Be a two- or four-year college or university with its primary emphasis in the liberal arts.
- Receive qualified accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Be a non-profit institution.
- Be headquartered in South Carolina.
Q. Do you advocate on behalf of the campuses?
A. We sure do, and we are proud to let the governor, legislators and other public officials aware of all that our member institutions are accomplishing on behalf of their students, their communities, and South Carolina. A high point for our advocacy is Independent Colleges and Universities Week, during which we highlight the letter-writing campaign – thousands of students write thank-you notes to legislators for the S.C. Tuition Grants which help them pay for college.
Q. What kind of programs are offered by SCICU?
A. Every year we organize Independent Colleges and Universities Week, and invite students for a rally day at the Statehouse (this year we’ll be virtual). We recognize the hard work and dedication of faculty to their students with the Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Q. Do you have special programs for students attending SCICU colleges and universities?
A. Yes, the Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program annually underwrites year-long student research projects. Undergraduate students have opportunities to conduct graduate level research and present their findings in a professional setting. SCICU also offers the McLean-Smith SCICU Student of the Year scholarship.
Q. Do you fundraise?
A. Yes, and every penny SCICU raises goes to the campuses or their students.
Q. Do you raise money to fund SCICU’s operation?
A. No. Our member institutions pay assessments. We take very seriously the financial commitment of our campuses, and work to make sure they get more from being a member of SCICU than they pay.
Q. How do I stay in-the-know with SCICU?
A. Thanks for visiting our website! It’s one of the best ways to keep up with SCICU’s work. Bookmark our website in your browser at https://scicu.org/site/. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter or follow us on Twitter (@SCICU_JeffPerez and @SCICU_ShayWest) or Facebook.
Q. Where are you located?
A. The SCICU offices are at 1706 Senate Street in downtown Columbia, four blocks east of the Statehouse (click here for customized driving directions). Stop by and say hello!
Q. How do I pronounce SCICU?
A. Just say “sky-coo,” like “The sky’s the limit!” for students who attend our member colleges and universities.