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SC State University's new acting president outlines goals, vision for school

SC State's acting president, Col. Conyers, says his number one goal is increasing student enrollment.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — U.S. Army retired Col. Alexander Conyers spoke to News 19 for the first time as South Carolina State University's acting president Tuesday after the board of trustees removed James E. Clark from the position. 

"It's exciting times for South Carolina State University," Conyers said. "I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to lead this university, and great things are happening here."

With just a few days on the job, Conyers says he's no stranger to pressure when it comes to meeting the needs in highly demanding jobs.

"The world that I come out of is the military," Conyers explained. You get two years in a very high demanding job as a commander, and I've done that twice. You get two years to make a difference."

Conyers told News 19 he doesn't know how long he will be in this role. In the meantime, he says his number one goal is increasing student enrollment and bringing students back safely on campus while still in the pandemic.

RELATED: SC State University to clear $9.8 million in student debt

"We intend to seek those students out, recruit them, market for those students, and give them exactly what they need to propel themselves into a better station in life," Conyers said.

The new acting president made an executive order on Thursday afternoon to clear $9.8 million of more than 2,500 students' account balances. The new acting president for SC State believes that's the launching point for his vision of bringing more students to SC State.

"Everything that I want to do will cost money," Conyers explained. "The first thing that I want to know was what funds were available, and what were the limits of the funds. It was a win-win for the students, their families, and the university."

RELATED: SC State University president fired effective immediately

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