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Apr 28, 2014 01:50 PM EDT

South Carolina State University May Run Out Of Money As Soon As Next Month


South Carolina State University is running out of money and is hoping state lawmakers will save the school from "financial disaster," The Times and Democrat reported.

Katon Dawson, who heads the budget panel for the board of trustees, told trustees Thursday, according to The Times and Democrat the institution will have a $ million shortfall next month and will lack the funds needed to meet the $2.26 million payroll for its 1,045 employees.

"I cannot tell you where the revenue stream is coming from," Dawson said. "[Next month, the money will] disappear very quickly. I don't see any hidden money."

He added that the school was nearly unable to make payroll this month, but was saved by a $1.3 million commission check written by Sodexo, the dining services contractor. 

Initially, the food services and facilities management corporation said it would not pay the commission because the university owes Sodexo $2.3 million.

Dawson said the school could completely run out of money next month and go under unless the General Assembly provides the institution $13.6 million for current bills and its needs.

"When we need $13.6 million, it is not just the bills that have accumulated, but the bills that will accumulate for these months going forward to the end of the fiscal year," Thomas Elzey, president of South Carolina State University, told The Times and Democrat.

He added that it is becoming more and more difficult to pay vendors.

South Carolina State University has nearly $6.1 million in outstanding bills since August 2013, The Times and Democrat reported.

"They (vendors) have worked with us and so far they have," Elzey said. "We have damaged our relationships because when you have a relationship with vendors where you are not paying them on time, there is an issue. Sometimes the responsiveness is not there."

A driving force behind the $13.6 million deficit was a $6.67 million shortfall in last year's athletic program.

Elzey said the school is considering eliminating its women's golf program as well as assistant athletic coaches. 

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