Self-styled “independent Republican” gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin blasted the University of South Carolina for awarding president Harris Pastides hundreds of thousands of dollars in raises.

Ervin also called for a cap in compensation for all university presidents in the Palmetto State.

Pastides – who received a $125,000 raise less than two years ago – is poised to earn more than $1 million in 2017.  The 60-year-old Queens, New York native currently earns $286,200 from state taxpayers and $395,000 from the University’s foundation for a total salary of $681,200.

Under a deal approved by the USC board of trustees, Pastides’ foundation salary would increase by $108,800 this year to $503,800 a year – putting his total salary at $790,000.  On top of that, Pastides would receive two separate bonuses of $100,000 of July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016.  On July 1, 2017, Pastides would receive a $250,000 bonus.

These pay hikes come despite USC’s plummeting academic position and its ever-escalating investment in failed command economic boondoggles.

They also come as tuition costs have skyrocketed.

Insanity, huh?

We think so … and so does Ervin.

“It’s unconscionable that state university presidents are being paid million dollar salaries while many students can’t afford the cost of tuition, and more than 70 percent of our college seniors are graduating with almost $30,000 in student loan debt,” Ervin said.  “We must cap total compensation for all state university presidents and lock in tuition for incoming college freshman. These are common sense solutions that will make higher education accessible, affordable and transparent so we can create a world of opportunity for our youth.”

Actually we need to do what this website has been proposing all along – set the state’s government-subsidized colleges and universities free to pursue their destinies as private institutions.