Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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the lieutenant governor, the president of the senate, the
speaker of the house, the associate judges, the judges of the
court of equity, all ex-officio, and thirteen other persons.
In 1825 an act was passed changing the board of trustees
to the governor, lieutenant governor, president of the senate,
speaker of the house, the judges of the court of appeals, the
circuit judges of the court of law, and the chancellors, with
twenty other persons to be elected by joint ballot. The term
of office of the elective members was four years. Under the
first board the president and ten members were necessary
to make a quorum at a stated meeting, or the president and
six members at an occasional meeting ; after 1825 nine mem-
bers constituted a quorum sufficient for transacting any busi-
ness except that of electing an officer, which could be done
only at a regular meeting. In 1853 the chairman of the
Committee on the College, Education and Religion of the
senate and the chairman of the Committee on Education of
the house were added as ex-officio members, raising the num-
ber of the full board to thirty-six.

The board of the University of South Carolina was com-
posed of the governor, the lieutenant governor, the president
of the senate, the speaker of the house, the judges of the court
of appeals, the judges of the court of law, the chancellors,
and twenty elective members. It was constituted in the same
way as the ante-bellum board. This lasted until 1869, when
the governor, ex-officio president of the board, and seven
others were put over the institution as trustees.

2 a

~ -i


The trustees of the South Carolina College of Agriculture
and Mechanics were, ex-officio, the governor, the superin-
tendent of education, the chairman of the senate committee
on education, the chairman of the house committee on educa-
tion, and seven others, who were elective. In 1881 the
justices of the supreme court appear as additional ex-officio
members. Two more ex-officio members were added the
following year : the president of the State Agricultural and
Mechanical Society and the Master of the State Grange of
the Patrons of Husbandry. When the University opened in
1888 it had as further additional ex-officio members the ten
members of the State Board of Agriculture.

The board of trustees of the South Carolina College, to
which the University was reduced in 1891, consisted of the
governor, the State superintendent of education, the chair-
man of the senate committee on education, the chairman of
the house committee on education, the justices of the supreme
court, all ex-officio, and nine elective members, who were to
hold office for six years : the term of part expired every two
years. In 1900 the justices were removed and the elective
members were reduced to seven. Prior to 1890 the term of
service had been four years, and all elective members had
been elected at the same time.

Vacancies in the board between elections had been filled
by the board itself from the beginning to 1873. After the
institution was reopened in 1880 the bylaws do not mention
the occurrence of vacancies ; since 1899 the power of appoint-
ment to fill an unexpired term has been given to the gov-

For the first few meetings of the board the chairman was
elected from the members without regard to his position ; but
after 1805, or thereabouts, the governor was ex-officio pres-
ident of the board of trustees. In his absence the lieutenant
governor presided; in their absence the president of the
senate presided; in the absence of these three the chair was
occupied by the speaker of the house. In the event of the
absence of all these a president pro tern, was appointed. This
succession obtained until the close of the first University.


Before 1811 the act creating the college fixed on the first
Wednesday in December, during the session of the legisla-
ture, as the time for the stated meeting of the trustees ; the
legislature of this year changed the time to the Wednesday
after the fourth Monday in November, which remained the
day for this meeting until 1880. The bylaws of 1883 again
fix upon this Wednesday. At present the Wednesday after
the second Tuesday in December is one of the days for stated
meetings, the other being the day before commencement;
these meetings may be adjourned from day to day (the
interval between the days not exceeding ninety days) until
an adjournment sine die. From the first there had been a
meeting in the spring, the month varying. The bylaws of
1836 appoint in addition to the regular meeting in the winter
another, which should be "holden on the day preceding the
June examination."

According to the laws of 1848 the Wednesday after the
first Monday in May of each year was to be the occasion
of a semi-annual meeting, which, with the exception of the
two years of the South Carolina College of Agriculture and
Mechanics, continued until 1888. The trustees from 1880
to 1882 met in Columbia as directed by the governor ; stated
meetings were to be held at least once in three months.

"The Chair shall be addressed by the members standing
and uncovered, and all motions, propositions and resolutions
shall be submitted in writing, if any member shall require
it." This paragraph appears first in the laws of 1836 and
has remained in almost the same words in all subsequent

From the first act creating the college the power of expul-
sion lay only with the board, and only at a stated meeting.

An act of 1831 invested the trustees of the South Carolina
College "with full power and authority in all investigations
where they deem it necessary to the interest of the College,
by subpoena, rule, or attachment, to compel witnesses to
appear and testify, and papers to be produced and read before
the Board." The following section of this act gave the
trustees power to dismiss from office any officer of the insti-


tution, which was perhaps aimed at Dr. Thomas Cooper, the
president, then nearly at the close of his administration :

"The Board has charge of all the funds and property of
the University, and to it all donations for the benefit of the
University must be made. The Board elects the President,
Dean, Professor, and all other officers of the University
(except as hereinafter provided), fixes their salaries, deter-
mines their tenure of office, prescribes their duties, authorizes
the Faculty to confer degrees, and enacts all such ordinances
and bylaws as shall appear to be necessary for the good gov-
ernment of the institution."

A secretary was elected by ballot to hold his office at the
pleasure of the board. His salary was fixed at $250 until the
close of the first university, after which it is not found in
the laws.

From the first up to 1845 the Standing Committee from
the board had active and minute supervision over the affairs
of the college. After 1845 this committee became the
Executive Committee. Its members, five in number, were
elected annually and "authorized, in the recess of the board,
to appoint to all vacancies that may happen in the offices of
this institution; and such appointment shall be valid, until
the next meeting of the board. They shall also assign to the
several instructors of the College, their respective duties,
when not previously regulated by the board of trustees, or
arranged among themselves." Regular minutes were to be
kept, which should be laid before the board at every meeting.
When the Executive Committee was created, the president
of the college was ex-officio chairman. There were four other
members elected for a term of four years, who were to "meet
in the College Library on the first Saturday in each month,
and oftener at the call of the chairman. To them shall be
submitted all proposed expenditures from the College Treas-
ury, and no money shall be drawn from the same unless
authorized by their draft signed by their chairman. They
shall audit, once a month, the Treasurer's accounts, and
report upon the same semi-annually. They shall attend the
examinations of the College, and shall also act as Library


Committee." The present committee consists of the president
as ex-officio chairman without a vote and three trustees
elected annually at the June meeting. This committee sup-
plies temporary vacancies in the offices of the University
between the stated meetings of the board, and it transacts
any other important business requiring immediate action,
not otherwise provided for.

In recent years the following committees have been
created: Organization, Finance, Building, Athletic, Infirm-
ary, and Normal Scholarship. The Organization Committee,
whose members are elected for three years, is charged with
the duty of thoroughly informing itself of the internal work-
ings of the institution, of the status and work of every officer
and instructor, of the habits and behavior of the students, of
the management of the Steward's Hall, of the condition and
preservation of the property, and of anything that may be
for the good of the institution. The Financial Committee
keeps informed of everything relating to the finances of the
University. The president is advisory member to the Build-
ing Committee. The Athletic Committee consists of six
members, two from the board and four from the faculty (its
own committee) and the president as chairman ex-officio.

From the very beginning the trustees have taken the
deepest interest in the workings of the institution : even the
purchase of books for the use of students was once in their
hands. They were desirous that the institution should be a
success and felt that the burden of making it succeed rested
on them. Naturally, the greater part of the work has been
performed by a few, especially those trustees who have lived
in or near Columbia, who have usually constituted the
executive committee. The position of trustee has always
been considered an honor carrying with it a great public
duty. Every record bears testimony that the trustees have
at all times devoted their full efforts to a loyal and faithful
conduct of the affairs of the university.

The minutes of the board of trustees are complete, from
the first meeting in 1802.


By act of incorporation the government of the institution
was vested in the president and professors, as the "Faculty
of the College", later as the "Faculty of the University,"
which consists of the president, dean, professors, associate
professors and adjunct professors. The duties of the faculty
have been about the same from the first regulations: "To
have cognizance of all offences committed by the students.
It shall have the consideration of all questions affecting the
common interests of the University, except those which fall
within the jurisdiction of the President." The faculty met
at first as occasion demanded at the rooms of the professors,
once in the sophomore recitation room; later a room in the
-dormitory was set aside for the regular weekly meeting at
9 Monday morning, when the monitors made their reports,
or their "bills" were read. At an early day in 1847 the
faculty gave up its room in the dormitory and began to hold
its sittings in the library. Tuesday became the day for the
regular session of the faculty after the beginnings of the
year 1873. Under the university system of 1888-1891 the
regular faculty meeting was abolished and in its place meet-
ings of the "Council" and of the faculties of schools were
held. In the fall of 1909 the faculty began to hold its sessions;
in Eoom No. 3 in Davis College; not long after the weekly
meetings were changed to semi-monthly. The proceedings
have always been secret, and no information about the delib-
erations could be given out except through the president. A
secretary, either an officer or a member of the faculty, kept
the minutes, which are preserved almost intact.

The president is the chief executive and administrative
officer of the University. During the existence of the first
university, 1865-1873, a chairman of the faculty took the
place of the president. President Maxcy was a member of
the board ; but none of his successors have been placed among
the trustees. He is present at the sessions of the board only
on invitation. He presides at all meetings of the faculty, if
he is present, and was long required to give his opinion after
hearing the opinion of the professors. He has the right of
voting and in case of a tie, the right of casting a deciding


vote. He possesses a superintending and controlling power
over any other officer in enforcing the laws made by the
trustees: as president he is entirely independent of the
faculty. No communication is made since 1900 to the board
of trustees except through the president, unless by special
order of the board. From the beginning he has been a pro-
fessor with a few hours a week in the classroom.

The office of dean was first employed under the second
university. To him was especially delegated questions relat-
ing to management of the students; in the absence of the
president he assumed his duties. When the present univer-
sity was created, the office was used to denote the heads of
schools. After the arrival of President S. C. Mitchell in
1909 the office of "Dean of the University" was established
with increased salary; his duties is the oversight of the dis-
cipline of the institution; during the absence of the presi-
dent he is clothed with the powers of the office.

In the old college besides the professors there were only
tutors on the teaching staff. "Assistant" first appears in
1886. "Instructor", "Assistant Professor", and "Adjunct
Professor" are found during the life of the second university.
"Associate Professor" came into the faculty in 1906, as the
next grade above "Adjunct Professor." The present order
of rank is Assistant, Instructor, Adjunct Professor, Associate
Professor, Professor.

"The Faculty," says the law of 1806, "shall examine all
applicants for admission to the College, and determine on
their qualifications; they shall appoint the time, place, and
mode of recitation, and other exercises for each class, or
individual student; and with the concurrence of the stand-
ing committee, may make provisional rules and regulations,
for the government of the students, in the recess of the board
of trustees, subject to the control of the board.

"4. The Faculty shall keep a register, in which shall be
entered the names of all the students admitted ; and in suc-
cessive columns shall be noted their progress through the
classes, marks of distinction conferred upon them, departure,
dismission or graduation. To which shall be added an


alphabetic index. They shall also keep a book, in which shall
be minuted all their transactions; and the register and
minute books of the Faculty, shall be laid before the trustees
at their meetings in Columbia; and may, at all times, be
inspected by any individual trustees, or member of the state

"5. The President and professors shall, during every ses-
sion of the College, constantly devote themselves to the
instruction and government of the students. They shall con-
stantly attend the devotional exercises of the chapel, and the
President shall perform prayers, morning and evening. In
his absence the officers shall perform in rotation."

The faculty had the power to suspend but not to expel.
In cases of misdemeanor not provided for in the laws, the
faculty could "punish in such way as may appear reasonable
and necessary, and agreeable to the usages and laws of other

The faculty holds office at the pleasure of the board. When
(Laws of 1902), any professor has reached the age of seventy
he is retained in his chair by annual election. If a professor,
or any other officer, whose tenure is at the pleasure of the
trustees, wishes to resign, he gives six months, in early days,
twelve months' notice. This notice has, however, been passed
over in many instances. He cannot pursue another occu-
pation or profession for reward during the session of the
institution without the consent of the board. No associate
or adjunct professor can be promoted in position until he
has served at least five years in the University, unless by a
two-thirds vote of the members of the board (Laws of 1902).
"Each Professor has authority to prescribe the text-books
of his department, to determine the mode of recitation and
to assign any exercises, not inconsistent with the laws of
the University, which he may deem conducive to proficiency
in study. He is also at liberty to permit persons not students
of the University to attend occasionally his lectures or reci-

Tutors were first elected in 1807 ; the last tutor was elected
in 1844 and held office for one year. They were elected from


1807 to 1834 by the trustees, afterwards by the faculty.
Rooms in the buildings were assigned them in such situations
as would best enable them to assist in the government of the
college ; it was their especial duty to maintain order.

Monitors were from the first appointed by the faculty, one
for each class to keep exact accounts of absences from and
tardiness at prayers, recitations, lectures and public worship.
For a time a monitor was assigned to each church in the
town. Their bills were presented to the professors every
Monday morning. The student who was frequently noted
on the bills and could not give a satisfactory reason for his
deficiencies was publicly admonished and, if he did not
reform his conduct, was suspended and reported to the
trustees. Later the monitors were appointed at the begin-
ning of every quarter, reporting to the faculty on Monday
morning. Their bills were transcribed in a book subject to
the inspection of any member of the board or of any parent
or guardian. Great laxness often characterized the monitors
in the performance of their duty: not rare was it for a
student to secure the monitor's book and make changes, the
monitor even knowing that his book was in the possession
of a certain student. To remedy this, the monitor was given
his tuition, in order to make him feel a certain responsibility
but without avail, so that shortly before the close of the old
college the system broke down and was discarded.

"The rewards and punishments of this institution shall
be addressed to the sense of duty, and to the principles of
honor and shame." These have always been the opening
words of the regulations in regard to discipline. The bylaws
of 1853 contain the following paragraph on offences, which
perhaps came from the president of the college, James H.
Thornwell, and which has been from that day the rule of
conduct : "Offences are any acts, or habits, unfavorable to
the peculiar duties of a student, or incompatible with the
obligations of morality and religion, or inconsistent with the
propriety, decorum or courtesy, which shall always char-
acterize the gentleman. As the end of the College is to train
a body of gentlemen in knowledge, virtue, religion and refine-


ment, whatever has a tendency to defeat this end, or is incon-
sistent with it, shall be treated and punished as an offence,
whether expressly mentioned in the laws or not. The sense
of decency, propriety and right, which every honorable young
man carries in his own bosom, shall be taken as a sufficient
means of knowing these things and he who pleads ignorance
of these matters is unfit to be a member of the College. The
Board expects and requires the students to maintain the
character of refined and Christian gentlemen. It would be
ashamed of any man who would excuse breaches of morality,
propriety and decorum, on the plea, that the acts in question
were not specifically condemned in the College code. It
earnestly desires that the students may be influenced to good
conduct and diligence in study by higher motives than the
coercion of law; and mainly relies, for the success of the
institution, as a place of liberal education, on moral and
religious principle, a sense of duty and the generous feelings
which belong to young men engaged in honourable pursuits."
This paragraph has appeared in the catalogue since 1893.

The students of the old South Carolina College were dis-
tinguished for their high sense of honor ; but often their idea
of honor was the conventional one of young men in college.
"The college boys of that time," wrote Dr. James H. Carlisle
of the class of 1844, "seemed to draw a well-defined circle,
within which were the things counted mean and low. Into
that circle very few students dared to intrude. Unfortu-
nately the radius of that circle was rather short." So we
find, according to the method of the time, many minute rules
of conduct and long lists of punishments.

The first bylaws enacted for the institution that was soon
to be opened contain this section defining the punishments,
one that continued almost unchanged: "The punishments
of the college shall be, 1 Private admonition by an officer
of the college, by order of the faculty. 2 Admonition bofore
the faculty. 3 Admonition before the class of the offender,
or in the presence of a select number of respectable persons.
4 Information communicated by order of the faculty to the
parents or guardian of the offender. 5 Admonition and


reprehension in the presence of the students. 6 Suspension
from the privileges of the college. 7 Public and formal
expulsion. Beside which the faculty may, in case of gross
deficiency degrade a student to an inferior class, or refuse
him promotion at the commencement." The bylaws rewritten
under Dr. Thornwell, 1853, read : "The punishments of the
College shall be friendly warning and caution by an officer
of the College, or by order of the Faculty ; admonition before
the Faculty; suspension from the privileges of the College
for a definite time; indefinite dismission, with notice to the
parent or guardian of the offender; and formal and public
expulsion. Beside which, the Faculty may, in case of gross
deficiency, degrade a student to a lower class or refuse him
promotion at the Commencement." This section reappeared
in the bylaws of the university in 1866, the word "College"
being changed into "University." It is found in all subse-
quent bylaws, with the omission in recent years of the last

The sixth chapter of the first laws published after the
opening of the college, 1807, treats "Of Misdemeanors and
Criminal Offences." Its twelve sections deserve to be repro-
duced. They are:

"1. If any student shall be guilty of any blasphemy, rob-
bery, duelling, fornication, forgery, or any such atrocious
crime, he shall be expelled.

"2. All the students are strictly forbidden to play at cards,
or any unlawful game ; to use profane or obscene language ;
to strike or insult any person; to associate with persons of
known bad character; to visit taverns without liberty; to
appear in indecent dress, or in woman's apparel ; to lie, steal,
get drunk, or be guilty of other gross immoralities. If any
student shall transgress in any of these respects, he shall be
admonished, suspended, degraded or expelled, as the case
may require.

"3. No student may keep in his room any kind of firearms
or gun powder; nor fire any in or near the College, in any
manner whatever; and any student who shall violate this
law, shall be liable to admonition, suspension or expulsion.


"4. If any student shall wilfully insult or strike any of the
officers of the College, he shall be suspended or expelled.

"5. All the students are strictly forbidden to play on any
instrument of music in the hours of study, and also on Sun-
days; and shall abstain from their usual diversions and
exercises on those days.

"6. If any student shall refuse to open the door of his
room, when required to do it by one of the Faculty, he shall
be liable to public admonition; and the Faculty, when they
shall think it necessary, may break open any room in the
College at the expense of those by whom they are refused

"7. If any student shall refuse to give evidence respecting
the violation of any of the laws of the College, when required
by the Faculty, he shall be admonished or suspended.

"8. No student is permitted to make a practice of enter-
taining company in his room, especially in the hours of study.

"9. All students are strictly forbidden, without previous

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 18 of 38)