Mike Pitts Proposes Higher Education Privatization

BILL WOULD TRANSFER GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP TO NON-PROFIT SYSTEM While the rest of the state (and plenty of people from around the country) were paying attention to S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts last week for his nifty head fake on the question of constitutional liberties, the Upstate lawmaker quietly filed a bill that would seriously…


While the rest of the state (and plenty of people from around the country) were paying attention to S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts last week for his nifty head fake on the question of constitutional liberties, the Upstate lawmaker quietly filed a bill that would seriously reconfigure the structure of state government.

Pitts has filed legislation – H. 4621 – which would transfer several of the state’s institutions of higher learning from government ownership “to a not-for-profit organization authorized below for the purpose of operating it as a private and not a public institution.”

Pitts’ bill even has a timetable for transferring the ownership of ten of these government-run institutions over the course of the coming decade.

From his bill …

(B)    The following dates apply to the below-named institutions of higher learning for purposes of the transfer of the institution to the not-for-profit organization:

(1)    July 1, 2017 – the University of South Carolina and affiliated branches or campuses, including USC Upstate, USC Beaufort, and USC Sumter;

(2)    July 1, 2018 – Clemson University;

(3)    July 1, 2019 – Medical University of South Carolina;

(4)    July 1, 2020 – The Citadel;

(5)    July 1, 2021 – South Carolina State University;

(6)    July 1, 2022 – Winthrop University;

(7)    July 1, 2023 – Lander University;

(8)    July 1, 2024 – Francis Marion University;

(9)    July 1, 2025 – College of Charleston; and

(10)    July 1, 2026 – Coastal Carolina University.

Nice …

Pitts’ legislation would permit each institution’s governing board to establish its own alternate governing body for the purposes of administering the new non-profit.  That’s worth considering when it comes to Clemson University, which is currently governed by a board that operates well outside the state’s constitutional requirements for taxpayer-funded entities.

“The governing body of the not-for-profit organization which shall manage and administer the institution must be provided for in the articles and bylaws of the organization,” his bill stipulates.

What do we think of this proposal? Like Pitts’ recent marijuana decriminalization bill, this legislation seems to be a good start … and it certainly starts a very good, very necessary and long overdue debate about core functions of government.

“We have far too many state-supported four-year colleges and universities,” Pitts told us.

That’s for sure … in fact last time we checked the Palmetto State had more than thirty such schools operating at more than eighty campus locations.

According to Pitts, far too many of these schools are “receiving tax money but not wanting to educate the kids of those same taxpayers.”

A better alternative?

“Let free market work,” he said.

As we’ve said all along, higher education is not a core function of government.  Cops, courts, roads, bridges?   Yes … these are all government obligations, absolutely.  Along with a limited social safety net.

But higher ed?  Hell no … especially not the sort of bloated, duplicative system that exists in the Palmetto State.

“The ongoing government subsidization of higher education must stop,” we wrote last year.  “The co-mingling of public and private funds … leads to chronic incestuous corruption.”

Indeed.  Not to mention sustained incompetence …

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: South Carolina’s government-run colleges and universities need to be set free to pursue their own destinies in the private sector.

Pitts’ bill is a good commencement to that conversation.


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Mark M. January 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

How about the State stops giving money to Lawmakers for doing little to nothing while in Session? At least Colleges and Universities provide a service…

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

I know some people who work for state universities, they are some hard working people. I doubt Pitts knows what it’s like to bust a sweat, unless someone almost opened his closet full of skeletons.

Scrappy January 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

I doubt he knows what it’s like to work too! Cops don’t do shit! Im sure he never broke a sweat in his life! You can just “skate” and retire as a cop. Great pension as well! (SARCASM)

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm

I bet he will be sweating on election day.

Mike at the Beach January 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Actually, I bet he won’t.

Birthers For Cruz January 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Pitts is a walking advertisement for why legislative sessions should be shortened.
Then,clowns like him ,wouldn’t have as much time to okay this silly ass games.

They should be required to adjourn no later than March 15.

D. A. Tyme January 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

I like the idea.The taxpayers are funding state controlled universities infected with American hating socialist/communist/pervert tenured professors that have poisoned a couple of generations of our young people.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Sad how much you hate college education. I guess people tend to hate what they don’t have.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm

And another thing.I found me a man with a GED.Take that!

Goobersmacker January 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm

“The taxpayers are funding state controlled universities infected with American hating socialist/communist/pervert tenured professors”
You’re talking about The Citadel, right?

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

One final step to make South Carolina unable to compete with the other 49 states, there will be no affordable options for education and we will wallow in last place. Mississippi is probably Mike’s biggest fan now.

The Colonel (R) January 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

“…While the rest of the state (and plenty of people from around the country) were paying attention to S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts last week for his nifty head fake…”

Nobody outside of South Carolina paid any real attention to that boobishness.

Rocky Verdad January 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm

I say he needs to take your History class.

The Colonel (R) January 26, 2016 at 11:21 pm

He’d kill my curve.

Rocky Verdad January 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm

What is the point of this BS. I wonder if when the control of USC is moved to a non-profit, do they no longer have to disclose different projects, like engineering studies, and blah, blah, blah, that maybe some companies get the contracts for and others don’t? Maybe non-competative bidding on stuff? Anyone see where I’m going with this?

CorruptionInColumbia January 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Mikey is working overtime to get his name in the news as of late. I wonder if he’s thinking of running for governor or other higher office.

shifty henry January 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm

or this —–

“Mature, active, married professional seeks female companionship for quiet luncheons, light shopping, and dry humping. Must be discreet and immaculately confidential.”

Tazmaniac January 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm


We will heel you

We will save your sole

We will even dye for you.

Sign over a Gynaecologist’s Office:

“Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”;

In a Podiatrist’s office:

“Time wounds all heels.”;

On a Septic Tank Truck:

Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels

At an Optometrist’s Office:

“If you don’t see what you’re looking for,

You’ve come to the right place.”;

On a Plumber’s truck :

“We repair what your husband fixed.”;

On another Plumber’s truck:

“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”;

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :

“Invite us to your next blowout.”;

On an Electrician’s truck:

“Let us remove your shorts.”;

In a Non-smoking Area:

“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and will take appropriate action.”;

On a Maternity Room door:

“Push. Push. Push.”;

At a Car Dealership:

“The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”;

Outside a Muffler Shop:

“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”;

In a Veterinarian’s waiting room:

“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”;

At the Electric Company:

“We would be delighted if you send in your payment on time.

However, if you don’t, YOU will be de-lighted.”;

In a Restaurant window:

“Don’t stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.”;

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”;

At a Propane Filling Station:

“Thank Heaven for little grills.”;

In a Chicago Radiator Shop:

“Best place in town to take a leak.”;

And the best one for last…;

Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:

“Caution – This Truck is full of Political Promises”

Hey Shifty! You probably already have these but I saved them for you just in case.

shifty henry January 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm

1,000 + thanks, but they are all new to me — will have them now —- thanks, again!

Tazmaniac January 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm

So there was something I could get for the man who has everything? You are very welcome.

shifty henry January 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

A friend of mine accused me of plagiarism. I didn’t know what that meant, but I took his word.

I was arrested for plagiarism but to be honest, I think it was taken out of context

I’m being taken to court for plagiarism.
But it’s just his word against my word…
which he claims is his word.

TroubleBaby January 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Education is a gravy train that will never be stopped short of total fiscal calamity. The bill, while nice in sentiment, will go nowhere.

Mitchell January 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I suspect more university employees, teachers, researchers, etc are made millionaires by the Higher Ed system than are students. The system is rigged and there is virtually no transparency WHERE IT MATTERS.

Offer them their walking papers and they will all say no. They have everything just like they want it.

S Dallas, Esq January 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm

I’ve taught at a state university for over 30 years, and I can most assuredly tell you we’re not millionaires by any stretch of the imagination.

vicupstate January 26, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Why stop at Higher Education? Could the same arguments apply to elementary/secondary education? Besides the less educated workers are, the easier it will be to exploit them.

LouieBuoy January 26, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Hey,great idea Ted! Why don’t we privatize government also. Oh, perhaps we already have that. But I do agree that all on the list should be privatized except for Clemson and USC Columbia and Med USC. The rest on the list are just money pits!

jimlewisowb January 26, 2016 at 4:12 pm

The USC School of Journalism really pissed on this Cockroach’s shoes, all three pairs

Bible Thumper January 26, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Will Folks believes higher education is not a core government function. I need to ask, “So what?” I forget. Why is government only supposed to perform core functions?
This bill does not indicate what savings or better service that would result from this bill. Would students still receive government grants or scholarships. What is the point other than ideological purity?

It is OK to have an ideology, but don’t carry it to the extreme of being an ideologue. This is especially true of Libertarians. Use a little pragmatism. Your ideology carried to extremes is leading you to impractical positions on issues.

1. Before you decide to end or not go to war, make sure your enemies have also agreed to end or not go to war with you.

2. Why go on the gold standard? Why have a huge hoard of gold set aside doing nothing but backing my paper money? No one has ever refused my paper money. The gold can be put to better use.

3. If we don’ want crony capitalism such as the Ex-Im bank and Industrial development incentives, shouldn’t we first get other states and countries to also stop at the same time. Wouldn’t stopping unilaterally mean that development would go somewhere else?

Terry January 26, 2016 at 7:53 pm

That’s an easy question. Folks believes that government should be limited to performing core functions as defined by him. Of course most Republicans are of the philosophy that government should only do things that benefit them.

TroubleBaby January 26, 2016 at 10:27 pm

1. When was the last time war was declared? Who decides how/when it ends?

2. No one has refused your paper money because it’s illegal to do so. “Legal Tender” laws hombre.
There’s a notion that when derivatives are considered that global debt may top $100 trillion.
It’s hard to see that could ever happen under any kind of gold standard. It’s a potential bubble of such epic proportions that no one knows what would happen if the collateral backing it up suddenly dropped in value significantly, you know- like the housing bubble.

Speaking of bubbles, did you know there’s a theory behind what causes them?

3. Incentives in the way of tax breaks aren’t a problem and aren’t “crony capitalism’ if available to everyone. Redistributing wealth in the form of taxpayer money expenditure on favored companies is the problem.(both morally and economically)

You don’t need to do the latter to be competitive, but if the SC government did this equitably, then pols couldn’t get payoffs and the government would not have as much to waste.

When people like yourself, who hold to no principle, get into power it’s just a continual slippery slope toward the inevitable….a large/dysfunctional government that abuses it’s taxpayers, provides very little return on their confiscated dollars, that ultimately implodes through a combination of hate by its oppressed people and financial destruction via its own inability to even meet a budget long term despite the unending flow of confiscated tax dollars.

History shows this ending to be common. The long term success rate of any government on the timeline of written history is exactly 0%.

The causes of this unending stream of failed gov’ts are the same: debt & inflation(via monetary debasement/removal of gold from coins and/or system), war, & overall moral degeneracy.

You sir, have argued in favor of all three.

Yelsewh January 27, 2016 at 1:18 am

Return your degree to USuCk, you welfare queen.

DumSpiro January 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Pity the poor foole in Legislative Counsel who has to put this guy’s idiot wind into intelligible English… good thing there’s cut and paste for all but the most stupid parts. -courtesy of an unregistered journalist.

Lone Ranger January 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm

That’s right—what FITS won’t say we WILL tell you by the way—when valiant efforts were made with amendments to KEEP patriots’ flag flying

It was Mike Pitts who courageously offered those amendments while gutless Joe-I-Lie-To-Cons-Wilson and Haley waxed PC to see the flag frying

But the flag IS still flying and Haley, Wilson et. al. are dying because they long ago sold their RINO souls thinking to give cons the shivering fits

But SC cons are NOT fooled and WILL take these cowards ALL to school and Exhibit A WILL be the most definite 2016 reelection of Rep. Pitts !!!

ImpaledNazarene January 28, 2016 at 4:04 am

I do like the non-profit idea. However, there is one issue. People care more about football rather than education. In order for a non-profit university to work, all athletic programs must go! Sorry, all you fat idiotic football fans!

In order to do this, though, universities can license their name to a private firm who manages the sports teams. Then that firm and university split the profits. The burden on students would lessen as the majority of their tuition supports football coaches and staff.

ChucktownCharlie February 4, 2016 at 9:17 am

Would somebody please get Mike Pitts tickets to the next revival of the musical “Urine Town”!


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