After leading SCICU for more than 10 years, Mike LeFever retired as President and CEO on August 31, 2018.
Colleagues and Friends:
Because of SCICU’s extensive statewide network of members, I have not been able to visit each campus this summer to personally say goodbye and thank everyone for their support and their commitment to independent higher education. Regretfully, I have not been able to visit each of our 42 community trustees to thank them for their support, advice and guidance.
As a graduate of one South Carolina’s independent colleges, it has been my honor and privilege to have worked with SCICU and our 20 distinct and diverse institutions of higher learning for almost 11 years. I believe strongly in the liberal arts and the transformative nature of a comprehensive education at a private non-profit college.
The challenges for higher education are many, but that has always been the case, as we generally focus on the threats at hand at the expense of our many accomplishments. I will cede a full-throated defense of our higher education sector for another time, but remind all of us that our members have survived wars going back to 1861. They have weathered the Great Depression and most recently, the Great Recession. They have adjusted and adapted to various political, cultural, and societal upheavals. Through it all, our independent colleges and universities have been true and faithful to their missions.
There is no reason to think that the resiliency shown over the past 150, 100, or 50 years will not see our members through decades to come. The elements for success—strength of purpose, institutional resolve, supportive, generous alumni and friends, loyal, committed faculty and staff, and an abiding faith in the importance and constancy of teaching and learning—have not waivered since the founding day of each and every SCICU member college and university.
I have been blessed with a wonderfully strong, caring, and supportive family, both at home and at the office. And I will always cherish the many friends that I have made from all who have been involved with SCICU for even a minute.
Thank you for allowing me to cap a 40 year career in public policy and public service doing something to which I was fully committed and equally convinced that we were providing greater opportunities for educational access and success for the generations of students that follow.
August 31, 2018