The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education was created by the General Assembly in 1967. It replaced the Advisory Council on Higher Education, which had been created in 1962. The Commission on Higher Education serves as a statewide higher education coordinating body. There are fourteen board members, who are appointed by the governor and approved by the General Assembly. The staff is led by an executive director who is hired by the board. The mission states, “The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education will promote quality and efficiency in the State system of higher education with the goal of fostering economic growth and human development in South Carolina.” The primary functions of the commission include: to promote access to higher education; to develop and maintain a process by which annual appropriation requests are based on institutional performance; to review and approve new degree-program proposals and evaluate existing academic programs; to examine and license nonpublic educational institutions; to maintain statewide higher education data collection; and to establish procedures for the transferability of courses at the undergraduate level between two-year and four-year institutions. In 1996 legislation was enacted by the General Assembly to require the Commission on Higher Education to develop a system for the funding of public colleges and universities based on performance in areas identified by the General Assembly. By the 1999–2000 and 2000–2001 fiscal years, all funding was to be based on the performance funding formula. However, for the 2000–2001 fiscal year, only three percent of funding for public colleges and universities was determined by performance scores.
Sheheen, Fred R. “Higher Education in South Carolina.” In The Organization of Public Education in South Carolina, edited by John H. Walker, Michael D. Richardson, and Thomas I. Parks. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 1992.