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By FITSNews || Clemson University announced on Monday that it was offering “eligible employees” at its Public Service Activities (PSA) agency a pair of options – voluntary retirement or voluntary separation – in an effort to help the agency deal with a $6.6 million budget cut.

“With the magnitude of this current budget cut – and additional cuts expected next fiscal year – there is no way to balance the budget without taking painful steps to reduce the number of employees funded by PSA,” said agency head John W. Kelly, who makes $242,732 a year in case you were wondering.

“Response to these programs will determine the extent to which non-voluntary measures, such as a reduction-in-force, will be necessary,” Kelly added.

Hmmmm … based on Clemson’s history of doling out big raises to top administrators (while sticking it to rank and file professors), we’ll be very interested to see how “painful” this process has been on Kelly himself.

Anyway … what does Clemson PSA do, exactly?

Well, in addition to teaching gardening classes to a bunch of yuppies, the agency purports to “help South Carolina’s agriculture and forestry producers compete in a global economy,” which to be perfectly honest isn’t government’s job, people.  Of course, the last time we checked South Carolina also funded a S.C. Forestry Commission and a State Department of Agriculture, which means we’ve already got two other agencies doing something that government shouldn’t even be doing in the first place.

The agency also claims to participate in “economic and community development” and “environmental conservation,” two tasks that have nothing to do with the mission of a college or university.

Seriously, colleges and “economic development” don’t mix – just look at the University of South Carolina’s “Innovista” disaster.

And to the extent that government should be involved in economic development, don’t we already have a Department of Commerce?

Finally, PSA funds a number of “youth development” programs that provide “training in necessary life skills, such as resolving conflict, becoming involved citizens, and protecting the environment.”  Again, that’s nice … but don’t South Carolina taxpayers already fund stuff like this through a host of other agencies, most notably the S.C. Department of Education?

Of course they do.

In other words, not only is everything this agency does of dubious necessity/ value to the taxpayer, but everything this agency does is already being done someplace else in state government.


Funding for Clemson University’s Public Service Activities (PSA) agency should be eliminated from next year’s state budget, which would result in $62.8 million worth of savings to the taxpayers (well, assuming lawmakers actually chose to send that money back to them as opposed to spending it someplace else).

There is simply no reason for government to continue funding anything that this agency does,  whether in this – or any – economic climate.