Bill to cut USC trustees spurs diversity debate

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University of South Carolina Board of Trustees Chairman John von Lehe, seated at left, listens as House lawmakers question him about a bill that would toss all the current trustees off the board by summer 2021 and reduce the number of trustees, Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. There is a bill introduced in the Senate that would also reduce the number of trustees. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – A bill to remove all the elected University of South Carolina trustees from the board and reduce the number of seats has spawned a diversity debate.

A three-member South Carolina House subcommittee sent the bill Wednesday to the full Ways and Means Committee.

But first they questioned the board’s commitment to diversity and financial responsibility.

House Speaker Jay Lucas sponsored the bill, which ends all elected trustees terms by summer 2021 and has new members elected from the state’s seven U.S. House districts instead of South Carolina’s 16 judicial circuits, Senate President Harvey Peeler is backing his own bill to cut the number of trustees.

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