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University of South Carolina president: Losing stimulus funds will be catastrophic to a state that is already hurting


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 FOR MORE INFORMATION:

March 31, 2009                                                            Peggy Binette or Margaret Lamb

                                                                                      Phone: 803-777-5400; E-mail:



University of South Carolina president: Losing stimulus funds will be “catastrophic”

South Carolina appears to be headed for a showdown this week as legislative leaders scramble to find a way to accept stimulus dollars rejected by the governor.

As the April 3 deadline for accepting $700 million in stimulus funds approaches, leaders are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact that losing the money will have on the state.

University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, who has seen $55 million in state funds evaporate since last June, told a state Senate committee recently that stimulus funds are a lifeline that, if pulled away, will be catastrophic for the university and South Carolina, which has the second-highest jobless rate in the country.

A former vice president for research and health sciences at the University of South Carolina, Pastides said the university has suffered the most severe cuts of any public university in the United States.  Moreover, he says South Carolina can ill afford to cut education further in a state where only fewer than one-quarter of college-adults over 25 have a college degree.

Pastides says the issue transcends politics. Instead, he is passionate and reasoned on the topic of why South Carolina needs stimulus dollars. He is experienced in talking with national media and is available to talk with reporters covering the stimulus funding story or stories on higher education and budget cuts.


Margaret "Peggy" Ryan Binette

Office of Media Relations

University of South Carolina

Office -- 803-777-5400

Fax -- 803-777-3071

Web --

E-mail -- (note: new address as of 7/2/08)



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