USC-Upstate Scandal: More Professors Involved
University of South Carolina Upstate professor Richard “Ric” Routh isn’t the only member of the school’s faculty using taxpayer resources to pad his pockets.
At least three other professors – including Routh’s supervisor at the school – appear to be involved in his various for-profit dealings.
Ronnie Fulbright, Steve Caldwell and Lizabeth Zack – all current salaried professors in various departments at the Spartanburg, S.C. school – have reportedly been supplementing their income in conjunction with Routh’s unique brand of taxpayer-supported
Fulbright is the associate professor and chair of the USC-Upstate Department of Informatics, which employs Routh. He is paid $103,790 annually, not counting benefits.
Caldwell, a business professor at the school, makes $93,547 annually, not counting benefits.
Zack, a USC-Upstate sociology professor, makes $53,847 annually, not counting benefits.
All three taxpayer-funded employees appear as “faculty” on CIOExcellence.com - which is the website for Routh’s “executive coaching” business. Also, we’re told all three have participated in – and profited from – “executive seminars” held at USC-Upstate facilities. These seminars have been extensively promoted with USC-Upstate resources – including students.
Obviously that’s a big “no-no.”
In addition to his “executive coaching” racket, Routh has also been using taxpayer time and resources to lure investors to “Invictus University” – a for-profit private institution he plans to launch within the next few years. Earlier this week, however, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson sent Routh a “cease and desist” letter ordering him to stop offering these securities – nothing his business was not registered with the S.C. Secretary of State’s office.
Incidentally, part of Routh’s pitch to investors for “Invictus University” revolved around the raging stupidity of his USC-Upstate students.
“More than one-third of them are incapable of figuring out what 10 percent of a billion dollars is,” he said in a video which has since been removed from YouTube. “Most of them have no clue that you need to collect 1,000 different piles of a billion dollars in each pile in order to have a trillion dollars.”
“These same students have no idea that we even have a separation of powers in our federal government, or why that is historically important,” he added.
FITS has argued consistently on behalf of the full privatization of South Carolina’s bloated, corrupt and ineffective system of higher education – which drains taxpayers of billions of dollars each year on non-core functions. The conduct of Routh and his “colleagues” is just another example of why this needs to happen sooner rather than later.
For those of you keeping score at home, USC-Upstate is set to receive $91.5 million in the coming FY 2013-14 budget – an increase of $3.3 million from the current FY 2012-13 budget.
UPDATE: Stay tuned for much, much more … FITS has been provided with additional examples of USC-Upstate faculty using public resources for private gain, and are preparing more reports.