Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is a CofC-MUSC merger bad for students? Stavrinakis, Merrill don't seem to care

Be cruel to your schools

Posted by Chris Haire on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Today, Lowcountry lawmakers Leon Stavrinakis and Jim Merrill introduced a bill that would merge the College of Charleston and the Medical University. Apparently, they were unfazed by the fake that a majority of faculty at CofC oppose a merger and the chair of the MUSC board does too. But that doesn't mean much of anything to both Leon and Jim, neither of whom has been a leader at the Statehouse.

For years, Rep. Stavrinakis has been content to sit on his ass in the House chambers and wait for the moment for Joe Riley to leave office. And now that Joe's said this will be his last term in office, Stavrinakis has suddenly realized that he may have to show the masses that he's accomplished something — anything — during his time in Columbia, even if it's just sending out tweets blaming Nikki Haley for the ice on the Ravenel Bridge.

As for Rep. Merrill, he likes to spend his time accepting payouts — cough, consulting fees — from special interest groups. That he ultimately sponsors legislation supporting those special interest groups, well, that's just a coincidence, like opening the door to a restroom stall at a high-end steakhouse and stumbling dick first into an escort's mouth before falling head down into a line of coke. 

Yeah, I don't put much stock in those two. They've got plans and their plans don't include making our lives better, just theirs.

And now, there's even more reason to be wary of Stavrinakis and Merrill. I just read their joint statement regarding the so-called Charleston University Bill. In it, the pair wax philosophomoric about the importance of merging the two schools to help spur economic growth. They write:

"This proposal is a response to business demands in the Lowcountry to create a workforce to match our growing economy; and ensures the long term excellence of the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina. We have created a measured and responsible process by which leaders from each school are tasked with developing a merger plan that works and will be successful.

The College of Charleston and the Medial University of South Carolina and their respective acclaim and history are important parts of the fabric of Charleston and South Carolina. We are confident this merger does not adversely affect either institution, and ultimately, the merged value and prestige of Charleston University will be greater than the simple sum of its parts.

The bottom line is, this merger is long overdue - it is right for business; it is right for higher education; it is right for the Lowcountry; it is right for South Carolina; and it is our obligation as legislators to deliver." 

And they're not the only ones saying a Charleston University will be good for business. So does, high-flying, ethically challenged Bobby Harrell and BMW's own personal state Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. 

Harrell writes:

"Business leaders have strongly embraced the idea of this merger, knowing that a full-scale comprehensive research university in Charleston is not just good for the Lowcountry's economic future but our entire state's."

While Hitt, says, “Business recruitment and expansion in the Charleston region is one of the many keys to continued economic growth here in South Carolina. One of the challenges we face right now is how to better align the needs of the business community with our talent pool. Any proposal to create a full-scale, comprehensive research university in this region clearly makes sense for businesses in Charleston and across South Carolina."

And while I don't have a problem with supporting the business community — I read the Wall Street Journal, yo — I find it rather telling that none of these guys — not Leon, not Jim, and not the two Bobbys — mention the students at MUSC and CofC. In fact, the word "student" doesn't pop up once in their press release. Go ahead and Ctrl-F-it if you like, but you won't find dick. And to me, that says all you need to now about this BS. 

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