The inspector general’s office in South Carolina is pretty much a joke.  It doesn’t rock the boat, and even if it wanted to it lacks the authority to do much in the way of rocking …

It’s also part of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration, meaning it lacks any real credibility to tell other agencies, “hey, you’re being corrupt.”

Anyway, for these reasons inspector general Patrick J. Maley’s recent report on S.C. State University barely registered as a blip on the Palmetto political radar.

The report – which reviewed “suspicious indicators” at various non-profit foundations associated with the historically black, chronically mismanaged school – is worth reading, though.  For starters, it revealed that millions of tax dollars were being pocketed by these organizations in the form of rebates from university vendors.

That’s money that could have gone toward addressing the school’s multi-million dollar debt.

“This practice of diverting state funds, generally termed rebates, to foundations is inappropriate and needs to cease,” Maley wrote.

We concur …

So … where did all the money go?

“The foundations used the funds for salary supplements, travel, consultants, vendors, flowers, scholarships, awards, entertainment, meetings, country club memberships, and a variety of miscellaneous expenses,” Maley wrote.

Wait … country club memberships?  That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

All told $2.29 million of taxpayer cash was siphoned between 2010-13 – and that’s just from S.C. State’s top five vendors.  Who knows how much money corrupt school officials have been scamming?

Because there’s no doubt they’ve been scamming …

S.C. State has had financial problems for years, yet state lawmakers continue to bail it out using taxpayer funds (while subsidizing its boondoggles … and funding its questionable bureaucratic hires).

When will it stop?

Only when lawmakers recognize higher education is not a core function of government – and set South Carolina’s thirty-three government-subsidized institutions of “higher learning” free to pursue their destinies in the private sector.