Update: Clemson Enterprise Act Vote Blocked In Senate - WSPA.com

Update: Clemson Enterprise Act Vote Blocked In Senate

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CLEMSON, S.C. -


Updated: May 1, 2013

The Clemson Enterprise Act will not pass this year.

The bill would have eased state oversight of privately founded athletics research and economic development projects at the school.

But an objection from Sen. Shane Martin of Spartanburg blocked a vote on the bill Tuesday.

That means it didn't meet the crossover deadline, and cannot be considered in the House this session.

Posted: April 16, 2013

The next Clemson President may have a lot more power as outgoing President James Barker pushes for new legislation that could give the University freedom to spend hundreds of millions of dollars with little or no governmental oversight. The power would be unique to Clemson.

The "Clemson University Enterprise Act" would make Clemson a special entity.  A state-funded school free of many state regulations.

Graduate student Summer Priddy was expressing school spirit when she said, "when you're on campus, it's its own little world."

Soon, that could be much closer to the truth.  

The "enterprise act" would allow lemon to borrow and spend money, buy and sell property, hire and fire some employees and launch massive construction projects without accountability to the state.  It says the school's enterprise activities would be exempt from "state laws governing procurement, human resources, personnel, and disposition of real and personal property."

The bill defines "enterprise activities" as those dealing with : research, athletics, housing and professional schools.

One current housing project already underway will cost the school more than $200 million.

"I think what the enterprise legislation seeks to find is exactly the right balance between accountability and flexibility and I think right now we're tipped toward the level of accountability that is slowing us down from doing what the state's asking us to do," Barker said.

Clemson claims reduced oversight will allow them to move faster, especially on collaborations with business like at CU-ICAR.

7 On Your Side asked Barker why he thought the school should have special exemptions the other state schools won't have.

"To me, the General Assembly will want to look at each school and each school make its case and make a decision based on their individual missions," 

The bill is still in a Senate committee.

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