South Carolina State University is studying the possibility of expanding its female athletics opportunities.

SCSU Athletics Director Dr. Nathan Cochran informed the SCSU Board of Trustees at its Feb. 1 meeting that a feasibility study is being done on adding a women’s golf and women’s bowling program.

“We have the golf courses and we also have a bowling alley that we are hoping to get renovated if we find the right funds,” Cochran said. “We just have to look at the coaching aspect, scholarship aspect. That would go a long way helping with the Title IX concerns for the athletic department.”

Cochran says the university is also looking at the possibility of adding a club sport like flag football for women.

“It is an emerging sport with the NCAA and because it has the backing of the NFL, we think it will be another addition to the NCAA very soon,” Cochran said.

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Flag football is growing in popularity worldwide so much so that it is scheduled to become an Olympic sport at the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

Public Relations and Institutional Advancement

Public Relations and Institutional Advancement Committee Chair Trustee Jameel Allen said the university will seek to invest in a streaming service to help market the institution. He said the Bulldog Television streaming service will be able to reach an estimated 44 million viewers.

“That is a big deal,” Allen said. “That is going to be a game-changer on the marketing side.”

The university has invested about $80,000 in the service to date.

“When you look at the return on investment, it is not a big number,” Allen said.

The university also foresees the streaming service to be an income generator from streaming subscriptions.

South Carolina State University will be adding a gun-sniffing dog over the next month to beef up campus security, the university’s president said Friday.

Allen said the university is also looking to upgrade its website and it will go live in the near future.

Allen said profit giving per donor is up, noting that there will be 13 new inductees into the Thomas E. Miller Society. Those inducted into the society have given over $100,000 to the university.

Allen said there will also be a concerted effort to encourage all board members to contribute to the university.

Public Service and Agricultural Committee

Trustee Dr. Daniel Varat said over $250,000 in payments have gone out to the first set of farmers as part of The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant that provided $22 million to SCSU. The university is partnering with Clemson University to roll out the grant.

The five-year project will provide technical and financial support to peanut, vegetable, beef cattle and forestry farmers. It will aim to measure and verify carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, identify benefits associated with the practices and support markets for the products.

“That is up and running and functioning well,” Varat said.

Varat also noted the university has about five grants currently in submission totaling $1.6 million.

He noted just in 2023, the university’s 1890 Research and Extension got about $10 million in grant monies.

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“The department is doing a great job of finding money and then putting it into use,” Varat said. “This program touches all of South Carolina.”

In other business:

  • It was announced the university received a $500,000 research grant from the United States Army for its industrial, civil engineering and transportation programs.
  • Valerie Goodwin, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) university liaison, reminded trustees that SACS requires a regular review of the university’s mission once every five years. The last time SCSU reviewed its mission was in 2018.

“We want to make sure we are regular,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said any change to the mission statement has to be approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and, if the scope of the mission is changed, SACS needs to approve the change. The change needs to be submitted about half a year before implementation.

The university plans to set up an ad hoc committee to review its mission statement and bring any suggestions back to the full board.

  • Trustees did not approve a contract for the renovation of the Queen Village student dorm complex, noting the contract was not ready for approval. The contract’s approval was an action item on the agenda.

The Queens Village apartment complex, which was built in the mid-1970s, formerly was used as married student housing. Officials had hoped the project would have been completed before the 2024 fall semester, but it has been delayed.

  • The board went into closed session for about two hours to receive legal advice regarding an employment contract. Trustees did not take action on the item upon returning to open session.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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